Govt. moves on landslide

Members of the public might have to wait a while for the Tuialamu landslide to be cleared.

This is according to the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E.), Ulu Bismark Crawley.

The landslide followed Cyclone Gita. It is the biggest landslide recorded by the Land Transport Authority.

According to Ulu, the G.H.D. Limited was commissioned by the New Zealand government to support the Samoa Government through the M.N.R.E. with Geotechnical assessment following damages sustained during the recent cyclone.  

He said assessments were carried out in seven different locations, including Leusoalii to Lauli’i landslide, Luatuanu’u and Solosolo, Eva road damage, Falefa road damage, Lalomanu rock fall, Tuiolemu landslide and Lalomanu – Tuiolemu landslide.

“The assessment is to determine contributing factors to the number of landslides around the island and to identify appropriate recommendation and resolutions for proper implementation to minimise the risks associated with landslides.” 

Accoridng to the C.E.O, the main cause is because of prolonged rainfall during Tropical Cyclone Gita. 

“The recommendations of both soft and hard solutions are being proposed in the report for Technical Ministries namely, M.N.R.E.; M.W.T.I. and the L.T.A. to discuss at an earlier date for future implementation and considerations,” said Ulu. 

Last month, the C.E.O. moved to stop the clearing of the biggest landslide to be recorded in Samoa for safety reasons.

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He said they have halted anymore work until a geotechnical assessment of the site is undertaken by a qualified geotechnical engineer.

At the time, he said they are considering all their options. 

The C.E.O. added they have recommended the L.T.A. to extend the road further to the seaside, away from the red zone.  

“Leave some more huge borders to the cliff side as barrier to reduce the impact of the next collapse, while constructing a temporary road,” Ulu said. 

They have also asked to “completely fence off the danger zone to protect the public from entering the subject site and that no more earthworks shall be undertaken or restoration activities unless a geotechnical assessment of the site is undertaken by a qualified geotechnical engineer. 

“And we are currently expediting the process.”

In the meantime, the M.N.R.E. has recommended that traffic to be redirected/ detoured on to Saleapaga road further inland and onto the coastal road through Lalomanu.

They have also called a warning signage installed 500 meters away from the subject site to warn the public. 

“And cease all quarries in the Tuialamu area and around the subject area.”

Ulu said the landslide was a result of excessive rain fall and tremors and also nature causes which loosened the rocks.  

It is unclear when the road will re-open.

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