APIA: 7 Oct 2009 – Fresh water is about to be restored to Manono Island just off the main island of Upolu in Samoa after five days. The water pipeline was fractured during the earthquake and subsequent tsunami which hit the country last Wednesday.
Approximately 800 locals have been without fresh water since the tsunami.
A dive team from the Royal New Zealand Navy arrived on Saturday and began operations to assess the damage. In places, the pipeline had been covered in sand and debris obviously shifted during the quake. After clearing away the debris they found four fractures along its length and began the task of repairing the line. The dive team completed the job by Sunday evening.
“The biggest challenge was removing the debris from the pipeline. Once we were able to see the extent of the problem it was a relatively simple job to repair the PVC pipe and get the water flowing again“ said Lieutenant Commander Andrew McMillan, Navy Dive Team Commander.
The Navy Dive Team will now relocate to Lalomanu and assess damage to another water pipe to the island of Namu’a just off the south-east coast.