Vessels and Corals: A Tale in American Samoa

By Robin Garcia In December 1991, Tropical Cyclone Val struck American Samoa. It was the worst cyclone to impact the Samoan Islands since the Apia cyclone of 1889. Among the devastation caused, nine fishing vessels were grounded on the coral reef in Pago Pago Harbor on Tutuila Island, the largest and most populated island in American Samoa. About 1,500 gallons of oil was released into the harbor during the grounding incident. The U.S. Coast Guard in Hawaii responded to the incident and performed an initial cleanup of the vessels. The…

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