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Tropical storm hits American Samoa with outages, some damage


    THE 88-foot commercial fishing vessel Chui Zai Fa No. 1 is grounded in Leone Bay.

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa >> Some damage to buildings and wide-spread power outages were reported on American Samoa early today, a day after tropical storm Gita passed near the U.S. territory in the South Pacific.

The port and airport in Pago Pago were closed Friday because of the storm, which moved away from Tutuila, the largest island in American Samoa. A tropical storm warning remained in place today as American Samoa was forecast to have heavy winds and rains.

A Coast Guard HC-130 airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point is en route to American Samoa to conduct an aerial assessment. A small contingent of Coast Guard response personnel and a FEMA representative are expected to arrive late today aboard the same airplane, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The 88-foot commercial fishing vessel Chui Zai Fa No. 1 remains grounded about 300 yards off Leone Bay. The Taiwanese-flagged vessel reportedly caught fire on Nov. 4 in international waters and remained adrift until it grounded on Monday,

American Samoa is located about 2,550 miles southwest of Hawaii.

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