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LET'S SEE THE RESULTS! Gov requests territory-wide disaster drill report from local Homeland Security

American Samoa Homeland Security logo

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has requested local Homeland Security (ASDHS) director Samana Semo Ve’ave’a to provide a report on the Territory-Wide Disaster Drill that was carried out late last month, as well as the 10th Anniversary of the 2009 tsunami ceremony which was coordinated by ASDHS.

For the tsunami drill, Lolo wrote to Samana, “I hope you will be candid in documenting performance gaps and the effectiveness and sufficiency of our Territory’s Disaster Preparedness Plan. It is also very important to assess the efficiency of our EOC operation inclusive of the presence of leadership from the requisite agencies.”

Upon completion of the appropriate review of the report, Lolo said he expects another Territory-Wide Disaster Drill exercise to be conducted, to test the effectiveness of any incorporated amendments.

The governor’s letter was to express gratitude and appreciation to Samana and his staff on the success of the two events. “Performance exceeding expectations deserves to be publicly recognized and acknowledged, for we need to celebrate and cherish performance excellence when we have occasions to witness it being exhibited an demonstrated,” Lolo wrote.

This letter serves to express the Lt. Governor and “my deep appreciation for the most effective, efficient and seamless fashion” in which the disaster drill was “planned, orchestrated and implemented,” the governor wrote. In spite of minor executive leadership hiccups and a few others, which could’ve derailed the expected disaster drill efficacy, Lolo said the overwhelming success achieved discounted and rendered these minor setbacks inconsequential.

He added that the same measure of “leadership excellence was evident in the majesty, solemnity, dignity, stateliness moving, and emotionally charged ceremony” marking the 10th anniversary of the Sep. 29, 2009 tsunami for the 34 lives lost. The event was held Sept. 28th at the malae of the Veterans Memorial Center at the Tafuna Industrial Park,

“These emotions are kindled, inspired and awakened by appropriate symbolic action such as the tolling of the bell as the names of our loved ones were being proclaimed,” said the governor, who added that this “success didn’t happen by chance but rather deliberately and expertly” by Samana and his staff.