A New Zealand company has begun drilling in preparation for pile driving that United States authorities require for the construction of American Samoa's new Legislature.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said that is because the new building will be located in a flood zone, it must be elevated.
The agency said the American Samoa government must comply or it may lose future disaster assistance from the US.
Two of five holes are to be drilled by Tonkin and Taylor and soil tests will determine the size and number of piles needed.
An engineer for the contractor said the first two holes will be about 35 metres deep but he said closer to the ocean the holes could be 60 metres below ground.
No decision has been made on whether foundations that were laid before the project was halted six months ago will need to be rebuilt.