10 Nov 2011

American Samoa prepares for tsunami drill exercise

9:42 am on 10 November 2011

For two hours today, American Samoa will be in disaster mode for a territorial wide exercise which will simulate a tsunami triggered by a massive earthquake in Tonga,

The American Samoa Department of Homeland Security and the Weather Office which are coordinating the drill, have been on radio and television to inform the public.

The make believe earthquake in Tonga and is due to strike at 10 o'clock this morning.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre will then issue a bulletin 8 minutes later about a tsunami, the first wave of which would hit local shores an hour later.

The tsunami warning system will be activated across the island.

The Department of Homeland Security says this is a good opportunity for schools, departments, businesses and families to test their own disaster plans.

Taeaoafua Dr Meki Solomona, of StarKist Samoa, says they will treat this as a real disaster.

"Everyone from fish and loading to the farthest end where the administration and quality assurance, you know exactly where you should evacuate. There are designated areas up on the mountain, right across the street. We are participating full fledged."

Taeaoafua Dr Meki Solomona, of StarKist Samoa.