Guam – As preparations are underway to place 15 tsunami warning sirens out into the villages, the Guam Homeland Security Office of Civil Defense is still facing challenges in getting them approved for a request for proposal.
DHS Spokesperson Alyssa Benito tells PNC News that Homeland Security was able to secure about $2 million in funding to finally complete the project recently. But there are still hurdles the office faces.
First, the sirens are about five years old and may no longer be operational. They were purchased in 2007 but a protest filed by a vendor stalled the installation of the sirens. They have been sitting at a warehouse on the Department of Public Works compound since. Benito says whomever is awarded the contract to install the sirens will have to reassess the condition of the sirens to determine whether they will actually work.
But before an RFP can be issued, Benito says the 15 sites identified for the sirens must first be approved/
“We have our 15 sites and us along wth (sic) Department of Land Management, (sic) The Guam Environmental Protection Agency, the mayors of the villages and … DPW engineers visit each site and they get cleared but we’re having a few problematic areas such as Yona and Umatac,” says Benito.
Benito says Homeland Security Department is still trying to find a location for the sirens in the two villages that are government property. She adds that the sirens may not be able to cover the villages entirely.
“Everyone wants to know when is this going to be completed, when are the sirens going to be erected, and ufortunately we can’t give a timeline only because DHS does their own review. So they can do five sites–I mean let’s say we turn it in tomorrow and they review five sites and that can be cleared but for the 10 other sites, it can take x amount of time,” she says.
Benito says her office is working with the mayors of Yona and Umatac to find suitable locations for the tsunami sirens.