World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Global Tsunami Early Warning System Plans Begin

UN Pushes Ahead With Plans For Global Tsunami Early Warning System

The United Nations plans to have an Indian Ocean tsunami early warning system, which experts say could have saved tens of thousands of lives in the current disaster, up and running by June 2006, with a global system operational a year after that.

The Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Koïchiro Matsuura, said assessment missions are already being undertaken to concerned countries as a step towards the creation of the Indian Ocean component, the first regional segment of the global system.

Such a mechanism would have given coastal populations enough time to reach higher ground before the gigantic waves struck on 26 December – in many countries hours after the initial earthquake that spawned the tsunami.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday in Mauritius at the International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, Mr. Matsuura estimated the cost of scientific infrastructure for the Indian Ocean system consisting of a regional and national centres at about $30 million, with an additional of $1 million to $2 million for annual maintenance.

UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) initiated in 1968 a successful International Tsunami Warning System for the Pacific, presently the only one in the world, and this “has undoubtedly saved many lives over the past four decades of its existence,” he said. “We have learned some important lessons and gained much experience in the Pacific, and this will prove invaluable in setting up a new global system.”

Two meetings of experts will be held in March to analyze the recent earthquake and tsunami and to look at exactly what will be required for a global alert system. They will also seek to harmonize all international efforts being made towards the establishment of the Indian Ocean early warning system.

Mr. Matsuura stressed the importance of collaboration in such a project and said UNESCO would be working closely with key institutional partners like the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and other international partners, donor countries and national authorities.

“The role of the latter is crucial in the success of any alert system,” he added. “It is up to the authorities in individual countries to set up the communication networks needed to ensure that information on tsunami, and other natural disasters, reaches threatened populations. They are also responsible for education and awareness-raising programmes to inform people about the actions they can take to save lives and limit the damage of such disasters.”

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news