28 Sep 2015

American Samoa in 6-year anniversary tsunami drill

7:52 am on 28 September 2015

Agencies in American Samoa have been holding exercises this past weekend to test the territory's preparedness for a tsunami.

Damage in American Samoa caused by the 2009 Tsunami

Damage in American Samoa caused by the 2009 Tsunami Photo: RNZI

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre led the exercise, which checked to see whether the response functions of government and other agencies were adequate.

The exercise coincides with the six-year anniversary this week of the tsunami that struck American Samoa, killing 34 people in the territory.

A senior geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, Dr Gerard Fryer, says that event was very much in responders' minds.

"What we're doing today is we're re-imagining the 2009 tsunami and we're making sure that everybody's procedures work, and then this afternoon we'll be considering a tsunami from further away which gives us a little bit more time and more opportunity to coordinate. And we're going to look at how the different agencies coordinate."