Valuable lessons for Samoa

Dear Editor,

The tank fire and the proposed investigation as to why it happened will be valuable lesson for Apia to ensure the risk is low for it to happen again. One can’t say it won’t happen again.

Seeing the flames emanating from the tank made me think what would happen to the Amanaki and Millenia hotels if a tank next to them caught fire. 

Not so much the concrete walls which would be hard to burn but the roofs which would be at the same height where the flames are at their most intense.

Fires occur regularly and have been the demise of many buildings in Apia. 

Regulations require separations of structures from each other and use of fire resistant walls on boundaries and in some cases within the buildings. 

This is good and is happening.

But is it happening for buildings to resist earthquakes and cyclones? 

Because we have not had a cyclone or earthquake for so long the feeling would be the same as for the tank fire – i.e. they don’t happen here. (Maybe I will be proven wrong and there will be a cyclone from Fiji later this week).

What I would like to see is that when the tank investigations are made that similar investigations are carried out into the cyclone and earthquake procedures for design and construction in Samoa. 

All reports should be made public and not filed on a C.E.O’s shelf somewhere.

A big section of the report should be on the standard of Chinese design and construction.


S. Esene

Concerned citizen

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