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Critical gaps remain in Asia-Pacific tsunami early warning systems: United Nations

A decade after the Indian Ocean tsunami struck, the Asia-Pacific region remains highly disaster prone and critical gaps remain in early warning systems, especially in reaching the most vulnerable people and remote communities, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) says.

“Ten years after the Indian Ocean tsunami, much has been done to fill gaps in risk reduction, disaster preparedness and early warning systems,” Shamika N. Sirimanne, ESCAP’s Director of Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division said.

Ms. Sirimanne noted that a key lesson from the 26th December 2004 tsunami was the importance of early warning, and highlighted the establishment of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System in 2011 as an important milestone towards building greater resilience to disasters in Asia-Pacific.

But Asia-Pacific remains highly disaster prone, despite progress being made in building resilience, says Ms. Sirimanne. Critical gaps remain in early warning and additional investments are required particularly at the local level.

“Reaching the most vulnerable people and remote communities at the ‘last mile’ with timely warnings is critical,” added Ms. Sirimanne. “An efficient end-to-end system is yet to be realized.”

•Date: 16th December 2014 • Asia Pacific •Type: Article • Topic: Emergency planning

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