A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Secretary Salazar and Assistant Secretary Babauta's Statements on Earthquake and Tsunami Surges in American Samoa
WASAHINGTON, D.C. -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Tony Babauta expressed their deepest sympathies to the Governor and people of American Samoa following an earthquake and tsunami surges that have hit the U.S. Pacific Territory.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of American Samoa and all those in the region who have been affected by these natural disasters,” Secretary Salazar said. “Our Office of Insular Affairs has been in constant communications with our employees on Tutuila and we are working closely with the American Samoa Government and Federal Emergency Management Agency on the federal response effort to assist the islands.”
“We are doing everything we can to ensure the people of American Samoa receive the assistance they need to respond to this tragic event,” said Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Tony Babauta. “Our office will be providing as much information on the response and recovery efforts as soon as it becomes available.”
The magnitude 8.3 earthquake occurred about 100 miles southwest of American Samoa. It rocked the island at about 6:48 a.m. SST (1:48 p.m. EDT; 17:48 Zulu). The quake occurred approximately 33 kilometers below the seabed. Soon after, several tsunami flood surges came ashore, flooding low-lying villages, roads, homes, and other structures.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is the lead agency for coordinating the federal response, has been in touch with Governor Tulafono of American Samoa, is in constant contact with the territory's emergency responders, and is closely monitoring the activities associated with the quake and tsunami events.
Earlier this evening, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, W. Craig Fugate issued the following statement:
“The Federal Emergency Management Agency has activated its National Response Coordination Center, as well as our Regional Response Coordination Center in Region IX, in order to support American Samoa as they respond to the earthquake and resulting tsunami in the Pacific Ocean. Working closely with the US Coast Guard, FEMA is deploying an Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) as well as a Planning and Response Team (PRT) to American Samoa to provide support and on the ground assessment. FEMA, who has provisions pre-positioned in a distribution center in Hawaii, is also preparing to send supplies as needed. We remain in contact with the leadership of American Samoa and our federal partners and will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that there are no unmet needs in the territory or in other potentially impacted regions. As we take the steps necessary to address the situation, our thoughts and prayers are with the people in the affected communities that have been impacted by this event.”
For additional information, the media should contact FEMA at 202-646-3272.