7 Mar 2015

American Samoa school destroyed by tsunami to finally be rebuilt

2:55 pm on 7 March 2015

Clearance has finally been given for a school destroyed by the 2009 tsunami in American Samoa to be rebuilt.

Damage in American Samoa caused by the 2009 Tsunami

The 2009 tsunami caused extensive damage. Photo: RNZI

Students of Taputapu Elementary School, on the western end of the main of island of Tutuila, are still using an air conditioned tent set up shortly after the tsunami as a classroom.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency had refused to provide funding for the school's rebuild at its original site in Poloa, because of its proximity to the sea.

But the Deputy Director of Education, Russ Aab, says clearance for the construction of a new school has finally been issued, and Taputapu elementary is expected to be rebuilt to the north in Fagalii.

Mr Aab says there had been a delay in getting the lease approved by landowners, but that has now been settled and the project should be put out for tender soon.

Taputapu is the last of the five schools in the territory destroyed by the tsunami to be rebuilt.