23 Jan 2004

American Samoan residents begin receiving insurance for Heta damage

5:20 pm on 23 January 2004

Residents in American Samoa began receiving insurance payouts this week for claims resulting from Cyclone Heta.

National Pacific Insurance says claims of up to eight thousand US dollars have been made, mostly for damage to houses and cars.

The general manager of the insurance company, Peter MIller, says claims worth around half a million US dollars have been submitted so far.

Insurance company assessors arrived in American Samoa earlier this week to work with local staff in inspecting damages and processing claims.

Mr Miller says flying corrugated iron from shacks and other substandard structures was the cause of most of the damage to homes.

He says he hopes that federal and local authorities will not allow people living in substandard dwellings before the cyclone to rebuild the same structures.