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Public Statements

Mourning The Loss Of Life On American Samoa And Samoa After The Earthquakes And Tsunamis On September 29, 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, D.C.


Ms. CHU. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of House Resolution 816. Last month's magnitude 8.0 earthquake in Samoa, Tonga, and American Samoa was devastating, setting off tsunamis that washed over islands killing 168 people.

The quake generated three separate tsunami waves, the largest measuring 5.1 feet, completely destroying villages, leaving families whose entire lives had washed away with nothing. On the small islands, ocean waters washed away houses, cars, and main access roads, making it all the more difficult for rescue parties and aid to reach hard-hit areas.

In the aftermath of the disaster, local aid agencies, foreign nations, the U.S. Coast Guard, and FEMA instituted a quick and much-needed response. With the lack of proper sanitation, water and shelter continuing to be a problem, I urge relief organizations to bolster their efforts to keep residents safe and healthy.

I commend President Obama for declaring American Samoa a major disaster area. My heart goes out to the Samoan community, many of whom live in my area of Los Angeles County.


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