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American Samoa, Cook Islands begin assessing damage caused by king tides

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The governments of American Samoa and the Cook Islands have begun assessing the magnitude of damage caused by king tides that swept through the roads, infrastructure and inundated coastal villages on Thursday and Friday last week.

Videos circulating on social media show giant huge waves washing into homes on the beachfront. No injuries or fatalities were reported from either American Samoa or the Cook Islands.

In American Samoa, Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga declared the U.S. territory under a state of emergency.

Talanei News reported that food and water have been delivered to families on Aunuu island whose homes suffered sea damage.

"Some families had already abandoned their houses and moved further inland. The shack (that stored) fuel drums of the American Samoa Power Authority didn’t stand a chance against the forceful waves," Talenei News said.

RNZ Pacific reported that several sections of the road were not accessible on the eastern side of Tutuila while Fatumafuti was covered with sand and debris and huge waves washed onto vehicles stalling them.

In the Cook Islands, Prime Minister Mark Brown urged citizens to report damage to their homes and businesses on Rarotonga and the Pa Enua outer islands.

“People will recall the flooding that happened a couple of years ago that affected homes in Avatiu and Arorangi. At that time government assisted affected homes with loss of appliances and flood damage," RNZ Pacific quoted Brown as saying.

"Soon after that, we established a fund for emergency support in the event of another flood. We stand ready to assist those households that have been damaged. The first thing to do is to assess the damage and how much will be needed.”

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