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$1.9 million system nearly a year after tragedy

By Fili Sagapolutele PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News,Aug. 1, 2010) - American Samoa plans to have installed over the next several days the first four siren warning systems, as officials of American Signal Corporation are scheduled to arrive by today.

Milwaukee, Wisc. based American Signal was awarded in December the $1.92 million contract for the "ASG Emergency Alarm System" project funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. According to the July 21 status report, the installation of the "first four priority" sirens is schedule to commence on Aug. 4 and the expected date of completion is Aug. 9.

The installation schedule is all based on, among other things, the weather cooperating, according to the report submitted to local Department of Homeland Security director Mike Sala.

[PIR editor’s note: American Samoa government officials reportedly squandered millions of U.S. tax dollars appropriated for a tsunami warning siren system several years before the devastating tsunami that took scores of lives last September. The funds reportedly were diverted to expensive office furnishings, flat screen TVs, travel and expenses and other diversions.]

The National Weather Service in Tafuna predicts weather conditions for today (Aug. 1) to Thursday next week to be mostly cloudy with isolated shows with east winds 10 to 15mph.

The first four sirens will be installed at the villages of Amanave, Leone, Pago Pago, and Tula, hardest hit villages during the Sept. 29, 2009 tsunami.

American Signal "anticipates having these four poles in the ground and installed by August 9, given the weather is clear," the status report says.

The first four sirens are part of the 15 priority sirens to be installed at sites already identify in the project worksheet. In total, 39 sirens will be installed throughout the territory by the end of August.

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