Medical Aid Offered to American Samoa Following Tsunami

Direct Relief has offered emergency medical assistance for the Territory of American Samoa in response to the tsunami that hit the island yesterday.

Immediately following news of the tsunami, Direct Relief staff contacted governmental and nongovernmental agencies to determine the most needed and appropriate aid, including the American Samoa Department of Health in Pago Pago, the National Association of Community Health Centers, the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, and the Pacific Islands Primary Care Association. Direct Relief is prepared to dispatch emergency aid immediately as needs are identified.

After the tsunami hit the island, our partners report that the Tafuna Family Health Center remained open around the clock to treat patients diverted there from LBJ Hospital during road closures. The clinic in Amouli sustained some damage and closed for a day, but would reopen immediately. The Leone-area facility was not affected.

An 8.0-magnitude earthquake in the Pacific triggered the tsunami, which killed 22 when it hit American Samoa and has injured 50 people in early estimates. The tsunami directly hit Pago Pago Harbor, and destroyed buildings, roads, and bridges, cutting off some villages. President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in the island territory.

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