Wed, September 30, 2009
World > Asia-Pacific > Strong quake triggers tsunami in Samoa

Samoa, American Samoa at a glance

2009-09-30 08:00:10 GMT2009-09-30 16:00:10 (Beijing Time)

Key facts on the Independent State of Samoa and the U.S. territory of American Samoa:

American Samoa:

• Located about 2,300 miles southwest of Hawaii and 1,600 miles northeast of New Zealand.

• Largest island is Tutuila, home to 95 percent of the territory's 65,000 population.

• A U.S. territory since 1900.

• Used as a training and staging area for the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. Controlled by the U.S. Navy until 1951.

• Territory is administered by the U.S. Department of Interior. Those born in the territory are U.S. nationals, not citizens.

• Local government is organized like the U.S. government, with a Senate, a House of Representatives and an elected governor. Represented in Congress by a nonvoting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives.

• American Samoa doesn't vote in elections for U.S. president and vice president, but residents can vote in Democratic and Republican presidential primary elections.

• Tuna canneries account for nearly 60 percent of all economic activity.

Independent State of Samoa:

• A German protectorate from 1900 until World War I.

• Administered by New Zealand until 1962, when it gained independence and formed a parliamentary democracy.

• Changed its name from Western Samoa to Independent State of Samoa in 1997.

• Population is about 179,000.


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