26 Mar 2009

Senate recommendations in American Samoa to upgrade disaster warning system

3:03 pm on 26 March 2009

The American Samoa Senate has responded to worries about the territory's disaster warning system with list of recommendations for the local Department of Homeland Security to implement.

This followed last week's tsunami warning after a quake off Tonga.

Senators witnessed problems with the government's response with confusion among local residents.

The biggest problem observed last week was that some public schools, located closer to the ocean, were let out without any supervision of students.

The Senate strongly recommends the schools be made responsible for moving the students to specific areas as recommended in the evacuation plan.

Another recommendation is for government agencies to have a disaster plan, along with specific evacuation plans.

There is also a call for telecommunication services to be improved, as phones were overloaded with calls during last week's tsunami warning.