15 Oct 2009

Samoan call for new tsunami alert approach

4:31 pm on 15 October 2009

A Samoan businessman says lives could have been saved in the recent tsunami had people received the right information and training.

The tsunami struck Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga two weeks ago and killed more than 180 people.

Papalii Grant Percival says he believes Samoa needs a new disaster plan based on high and low risk areas.

"The current training, information and way of handling tsunami alerts is not going to save lives. The areas at risk need to react immediately if it's quite violent. But this is not explained to them and this is what needs to be done."

Papalii Grant Percival says it's obvious that residents on the south coast of Upolu and Savaii are much more at risk since the Tongan Trench is only 160 kilometres away.