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Senate discusses aftermath of ‘King Tide’ waves and seawalls

Sen. Soliai Tuipine Fuimaono

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Senator Soliai Tuipine has questioned the status of the seawall project in Nu’uuli following the aftermath of the King Tides last week, leaving families residing in low coastal areas in a vulnerable position.

During the Senate session on Monday, Soliai said the Governor’s promised to “fix” the seawall in the village yet nothing has been done over the years.

 “I’m told this week, they will start on this project, but then I’m beginning to doubt the Governor’s broken promises,” said the Senator.

Senator Fa’aivae Iuli Godinet, said last week’s events call for a better communication strategy by the relevant authorities.

 “There was a lack of communication to the public and the Department of Homeland Security should have a better system in place.

 “The waves didn’t start hitting the roadsides on Friday morning — it started the day before and these types of announcements should have been aired the day before and on the day in question, yet the public were caught off guard when they were on the road and waves were coming onto the road,” said the Senator.

He said a hearing should be called to address these matters.

Regarding the road work across the Island, Senator Satele Aliitasi Lili’o has commended the Government for clearing the debris on the main highway to allow the public access on the road.

He said this was evident in his site assessment of villages that were badly damaged from the waves, which started on Thursday through to Saturday.

At the same time, he calls for more seawalls as that is the only barrier that will limit the stretch of the waves to ensure last week’s king tides will not leave a similar aftermath in the future.

The Senator said some villages suffered water loss as a result but it was restored not long afterward. For the island of Aunu’u, the power was out but then the residents are “used” to disaster emergencies.

 “And there are boats available to take supplies for the Aunu’u residents.”

According to the Senator, Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga conducted a site visit on Friday and slipped as a result, but reports are that he’s alright.

Adding that the Governor’s visit is what expedited the cleanup across the island.

Senator Satele also warned the eastern side residents that road works in Aua are continuing and therefore they should drive with caution.