Shippers work together
to aid Samoa victims

Three shipping companies teamed up yesterday to aid the relief effort for the victims of Cyclone Heta in Samoa by volunteering to transport a container of relief supplies to the wind-ravaged island.

Heta plowed through Samoa and neighboring American Samoa on Jan. 4 with winds up to 200 mph, devastating up to 90 percent of the nation's crops.

A donated 40-foot container will be stationed until Feb. 7 at the Lighthouse Outreach Center at the Assembly of God church in Waipahu, where donations of dry, nonperishable goods such as canned food, rice and flour will be taken.

Matson Navigation Co. is providing the container, while American Pacific Transport is providing the trucking transportation on Oahu. Polynesia Line-Hawaii is providing the ocean transport to Samoa.

Since Heta struck, Samoa has received aid from pro wrestler and actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who gave $10,000, and the government of China, which sent $100,000.

Meanwhile, President Bush issued a disaster declaration on Jan. 13, making residents eligible for federal aid. About 600 homes were destroyed and more than 4,000 were damaged in the U.S. territory.

The Lighthouse Outreach Center at Assembly of God, 94-230 Leokane St., Waipahu, will accept donations daily between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.


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