More Schools in Samoa Ready to Conduct Safety Drills

Nov 3, 2017

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Photos: Tamas Marki/UNDP Samoa 

A tsunami evacuation drill in the newly built Savaia Primary School in Samoa mobilized 170 students, teachers, and members of school board. It was organized on the occasion of the World Tsunami Awareness Day 2017 and the Samoan National Environment Week.   

“Results and lessons from today’s drill will lay the foundation for many future school drills in Samoa,” said Anne Milbank, Disaster Risk Reduction Programme Manager at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Samoa.

“Samoa will always be at risk of tsunamis due to its proximity to the Tongan trench. UNDP is committed to support the Government of Samoa in disaster preparedness and risk reduction,” Milbank added. 

With support from the Government of Japan, UNDP assists Samoan schools to assess tsunami risks, develop emergency evacuation plans and conduct safety drills. So far 1400 students and teachers have participated in tsunami education and drills in seven schools across Samoa. Following these UNDP supported drills, the Disaster Management Office of Samoa is intending to roll out a tsunami drill exercise for all vulnerable schools, along the coastline.

The drills have been backed by the Government of Samoa, Disaster Management Office of Samoa (DMO), Samoa Meteorology Division, the police, the fire department, and the Samoa Red Cross.

Safety drills in Samoa are part of a regional project to strengthen tsunami preparedness in 90 schools across Asia-Pacific countries. Supported by the Government of Japan and UNDP, the project is active in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.

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