CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.Res. 816 is being considered under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Del. Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS) on October 8, 2009.
H.Res. 816 resolves that the House of Representative:
• "Mourns the loss of life caused by the earthquakes and tsunamis that occurred on September 29, 2009, in American Samoa and Samoa;
• "Offers its deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the many earthquake and tsunami victims;
• "Pledges its full support to the people of American Samoa and the villages of Fagamalo, Poloa, Amanave, Failolo, Afao, Asili, Amaluia, Leone, Fagasa, Faga'alu, Fagatogo, Pago Pago, Afono, Vatia, Lauli'i, Faga'itua, Masefau, Alao, Tula, and Aoa as they begin the long and difficult process of rebuilding their homes and lives;
• "Recognizes the humanitarian response that is currently underway and commends the efforts of all persons and relief organizations who continue to alleviate the suffering by providing financial and material support;
• "Urges continued attention by donors and relief agencies to the needs of vulnerable populations in the stricken areas, particularly the children and elderly who have been devastatingly affected by this disaster;
• "Expresses gratitude and appreciation to the foreign governments from around the world that are lending their support to the United States Territory of American Samoa;
• "Commends the over 100,000 Samoans residing in the United States from American Samoa and Samoa for coming to the aid of their "aiga" in the affected islands; and
• "Pays tribute to the people of American Samoa and Samoa for their strength of spirit and their deep and abiding faith in God which brings hope to all of us."
On September 29, 2009, a powerful earthquake struck below the ocean about 140 miles southwest of Pago Pago, American Samoa. The earthquake registered 8.3 on the Richter scale. The death toll, as of October 7, 2009, was estimated at 32 in American Samoa and 135 in the Independent State of Samoa. A team of more than 300 responders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies is on the ground in American Samoa coordinating relief and recovery operations. The U.S. military is also involved in the recovery effort.