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Indonesia: Ban Applauds New Tsunami Warning System

Secretary-General Applauds Tsunami Early Warning System In Indonesia

New York, Nov 11 2008 5:10PM

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the launch of the Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System, congratulating the country’s Government for its regional leadership by taking steps towards making its citizens less vulnerable to the effects of such a natural disaster.

In a speech delivered in Jakarta by United Nations Director of the Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Sálvano Briceño, Mr. Ban acknowledged the terrible destruction of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

“The tragedy was burned into the world’s collective memory. But for people in coastal communities, the terrible after-effects and especially the fear of another catastrophe remain a daily reality. They are wondering, what if it happens again? How will we survive? Fortunately, governments from around the Indian Ocean heard their pleas."

With countries of the region forging partnerships in technology, sharing data, communicating in real time and helping communities to prepare, Mr. Ban has acknowledged such efforts will reduce risks to vulnerable communities in the region.

He further urged all participating countries to maintain such progress and commitment to working with the UN, not only in preparation for a possible tsunami but to deal with all natural hazards – “Even small disasters can keep poor communities trapped in poverty and underdevelopment.”

“The United Nations, for its part, will continue to work with all partners to ensure that we are ready when disaster strikes. In that spirit, I offer my congratulations on this important achievement.”

The launch of the Indonesian initiative follows in the footsteps of the UN-led staged tsunami drill, Exercise Pacific Wave 08, carried out by the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation Systems (PTWS) just last month with the aim of achieving rapid tsunami detection in that region.

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