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National Briefing / American Samoa

Corals destroyed by tsunami

October 18, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Scientists surveying American Samoa's coral reefs say the Sept. 29 tsunami obliterated some corals and damaged others to the point that they might not recover.

Researchers say more assessments will be needed to get a full sense of how the disaster affected coral in the U.S. territory. But in at least one area, the damage was so severe and the affected area already in such bad shape before the tsunamis, that the coral may never return.

A team led by Douglas Fenner, a coral reef monitoring ecologist with American Samoa's Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources, has surveyed about 20 sites around the territory.

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