22 Apr 2010

Tsunami evacuation routes identified in American Samoa

2:11 pm on 22 April 2010

The American Samoa Department of Homeland Security has so far identified six tsunami evacuation routes on the main island of Tutuila and has either completed or is beginning construction of those sites.

The director, Mike Sala, says this is part of the agency's effort to maintain the "momentum" of delivering emergency preparedness activities throughout the community.

The department has been working on the sites for a while, even before last September's tsunami.

Mr Sala says the first priority is to construct evacuation routes for all public and private schools at risk of inundation in the territory.

The sites identified so far are for six public and private elementary schools located in shoreline villages.

National Park Service technicians are taking account of the special needs of the disabled population in the routes' design.

National Park staff are among those from many other departments including Education, Public Works, Commerce, the Office of Samoan Affairs and the Public Information Office involved in the work.