Saturday, 17 October 2009

[creative-radio] SAMOA: Radio Heritage Foundation praises tsunami broadcasters

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Pacific Media Watch nius <>
Date: 2009/10/7
Subject: [Pacific_media_watch] 6481 SAMOA: Radio Heritage Foundation praises
tsunami broadcasters
To: Pacific Media Watch <>

Title – 6481 SAMOA: Radio Heritage Foundation praises tsunami broadcasters
Date – 8 October 2009
Byline – Media release
Origin – Pacific Media Watch
Source – Radio Heritage Foundation, 7/10/09
Copyright – RHF
Status – Unabridged
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PAGO PAGO (Radio Australia/Pacific Media Watch): The recent earthquake and
devastating tsunami affecting Samoa, American Samoa and northern Tonga has
brought forward several shining examples of radio broadcasting dedication in
the face of extreme danger, says the Radio Heritage Foundation.

In Pago Pago, American Samoa, the morning DJ at KKHJ-FM felt the earthquake
and activated emergency warnings immediately. Lupe Lohmann then broadcast
calls for residents to head for higher ground and by
the time she realised that a tsunami was heading up Pago Pago harbor towards
the studios, it was too late for her to leave.

She stayed on the air as surging waters smashed into the ground floor of the
Pago Pago Plaza, home of KKHJ-FM. You can hear her interview with the BBC
describing the events at and
look at photos of the devastation caused by the tsunami at the KKHJ-FM
website [ ] where you can also listen to KKHJ-FM streaming
and see more images of the temporary studios being used at the
transmitter site.

Pago Pago FM Towers
For images of the KKHJ-FM tower high above Pago Pago visit and click on the article 'Pago Pago Tower Tour'. Other
features about American Samoan radio can be found at the same website -
'WVUV Radio Romance' and 'This is WVUV'.

According to the World Radio TV Handbook [] there are five FM
stations on the air in American Samoa [population 61,400] and in addition to
KKHJ-FM, live streaming is currently available from
KSBS [] and KNWJ-FM [].

2AP 540 AM stays on the air
Across in independent Samoa, another DJ also stayed on duty as the
earthquake struck the islands. Radio 2AP broadcasts at 540AM from sea level
near the capital, Apia, and Epati Tamati felt the earthquake and also
realized a tsunami was likely. He also chose to stay on the air, accepting
hundreds of calls from worried and frightened listeners and broadcasting
emergency messages.

You can see a photo of Epati inside the 2AP studios and read his story in
the article 'Radio Man Risks Life for Listeners' in the October 7 edition of
The New Zealand Herald newspaper online at

Radio Polynesia moves to the hills
Olga Keil of Radio Polynesia in Apia is also reported on the BBC
Asia-Pacific website with her comments about the earthquake. You can find
this story at
and find out more about the four stations of Radio Polynesia at

Since the earthquake, the staff have been broadcasting from makeshift
studios in the hills behind Apia, close to their transmitter complex.

According to the World Radio TV Handbook [] there are one AM and
eight FM stations on the air in Samoa [population 178,000] but none of the
local stations currently stream services online.

The Radio Heritage Foundation recommends reading the following features
about radio in Samoa at its website 'Radio in Samoa',
'Samoan Radio Sale', 'ZMAP Apia Samoa' and 'Samoan
Radio Journey' for more information about 2AP, Radio Polynesia and
other stations.

RNZI Pacific Coverage
We also recommend staying tuned to Radio New Zealand International [] for breaking Pacific news and live reports from reporters in
Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga as tsunami
reconstruction continues.
Radio Heritage Foundation is a registered non-profit organization
connecting popular culture, nostalgia and radio heritage across the
Pacific. Our global website is

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