Six schools at the Aleipata Coastal Area will conduct a tsunami evacuation drill today.
The schools are Aleipata College, Saleaumua Primary School, Lotopue Primary School, Satitoa Primary School, Ulutogia Primary School and Vailoa Primary School. All schools were affected by the 2009 tsunami.
The tsunami drill will be a full operational exercise to test and evaluate the operational and decision making readiness of principals, staff and students and school committees in the event of a tsunami affecting.
The drill will also test the effectiveness of the S.M.S early warning system in place.
It will allow these schools to simulate evacuation of the students in a safe manner to the identified safe locations as well as to test their drafted School’s Disaster Management Plan.
The tsunami drill is a partnership initiative between the government of Samoa, the government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (U.N.DP.) through the implementation of the “Partnerships for Strengthening School Preparedness for Tsunami in the Asia Pacific Region” project.
“Samoa will always be at risk of tsunamis due to its proximity to the Tongan trench,” says Anne Milbank D.R.R. Programme Manager at U.N.D.P.
“It is crucial to ensure that future generations are aware of this risk and know what to do. U.N.D.P is committed to support the government of Samoa in disaster preparedness and risk reduction.”
The Chief Executive Officer for M.N.R.E, Ulu Bismarck Crawley, agrees.
“We must acknowledge our partners the U.N.D.P and the government of Japan for the never-ending financial support in delivering these important activities to the schools,” he said.
“The Ministry through the D.M.O will continue to conduct schools tsunami drills through its on-going Schools Preparedness and Planning program to all schools in Samoa.”