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Asian disaster specialists to learn from Christchurch quakes

Asian disaster management specialists to learn from Christchurch’s earthquakes

March 12, 2014

A group of Asian specialists involved in disaster management will be based at the University of Canterbury (UC) for more than a week to gain lessons from Christchurch’s earthquake experiences.

UC is this week helping members of the ASEAN Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA), passing on information on how to deal with disaster management issues similar to what Christchurch faced more than three years ago.

The AHA Centre is an inter-governmental organisation, established by Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, to prepare for any disaster management and emergency response in the ASEAN region.

The week-long visit to UC will provide strategic crisis leadership training and an introduction to emergency exercise science which will better equip participants for crisis leadership activities in the future.

UC’s Centre for Risk, Resilience and Recovery (UCR3) has organised key speakers, including UC’s Dr Chris Gomez who studied aspects of the 2011 Japan earthquake, Associate Professor Nilakant Venkataram who will talk about leadership and Dr Erica Seville who will highlight issues of resilience.

Dr Gomez says he will be emphasising how important is it for ASEAN countries to empower their local communities.

``Also after disasters, engineering is important but comprehensive management is vital for resilience and recovery,’’ Dr Gomez says

UCR3, headed by director Chris Hawker, was founded last year to meet the demand for university level emergency management practitioners’ professional development and education.

The AHA Centre disaster management specialists will also meet Civil Defence, GNS Science in Wellington and Auckland Civil Defence experts before flying to Jakarta on March 22.


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