Samoa will join 15 other countries around the northwest Pacific region as a participant in a tabletop exercise called “Exercise Pacific Wave 2016” (Pacwave16) tomorrow.
Based on a tsunami focused scenario, the exercise is a biennial contribution to the implementation of the Pacific Tsunami Warning System’s Pacific Ocean-wide tsunami programmes.
These exist to help strengthen the capacities of the member states of the U.N.E.S.C.O I.O.C’s Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (I.C.G/P.T.W.S) to reduce the risks of being adversely affected by tsunami hazards.
“The recent events of the 2009 tsunami in Samoa, 2010 Chile, 2011 Japan, 2013 Solomon Islands, 2014 Chile and the September 2015 Chile tsunamis have increased our need to be more prepared for such events,” said Suluimalo Amataga Penaia, C.E.O, M.N.R.E.
“This important exercise will validate products in place for future official use by member countries of the U.N.E.S.C.O I.O.C Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System.” The purpose of the exercise is to simulate how first response agencies such as M.N.R.E, F.E.S.A, Police, Samoa Red Cross and others will respond to a tsunami threat.
Their task will be to assess the information provided by the Meteorology Division to inform activation of warning signals and evacuation of at risk people and villages using our national standard operating procedures for tsunami warning and the National Disaster Management Plan.
Simulations or exercises is one way of testing plans and procedures and strengthening preparedness and awareness levels of all agencies and people.
The Disaster Management Office and the Meteorology Office will facilitate the exercise with participants from the Ministry of Police, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Samoa Fire and Emergency Services Authority and Samoa Red Cross Society.