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Tsunami preparedness in the Pacific Islands

Access to new resource related to emergency response/disaster recovery added to PMWL

Resource provided by Grace Chebet

4 June 2020 – Kisumu, Kenya – Access to a new resource has been added to the PM World Library (PMWL) related to emergency response/disaster recovery. The new resource is titled “Life in the Pacific Ring of fire: Tsunami preparedness in the Pacific Islands”, a conference paper by Joeli Veitayaki published in ResearchGate in 2010.

The world’s most turbulent area is the Pacific “Ring of fire”. This area has frequent earthquakes, volcanoes, cyclones, floods, droughts and tsunamis. Pacific islands consist of high and low islands, volcanic islands, raised limestone, hot spot islands, atolls, coral islands, continental islands and oceanic islands. The islands in the southwest pacific are at the divergent plate boundaries where they are associated with sea floor spreading, active volcanoes and experience tectonic movements in both lateral and vertical sense. Islands at the convergent plate are geologically active while those at the transverse plate are rare because they form as the plates slide past each other with little divergence or convergence. Over the last decade, numerous tsunamis associated with tectonic activities within the plate along the plate boundaries have brought extensive damage and loss of life to the pacific islands’ region. As coastal dwellers living in the pacific ring of fire, the islanders need to be better prepared for tsunamis and other hazards that are natural to their environment.

While warnings are now taken seriously, there is a need to ensure that these are promptly released, are accurate and that there’s an orderly evacuation process. Pacific island countries need to commit their own resources to fund research, build capacity and put measures to protect their people and places. Tsunami preparedness in the pacific islands is poor despite the regularity with which these events take place within that region. Most of the countries are still working on their disaster risk reduction plans while the villagers do not have emergency evacuation plans when natural hazards strike. Potential impacts of tsunamis are likely to worsen given the expected changes in climate. Education and awareness programmes must be formulated to engage people at all levels and in all their activities. There must be improvement in the regional understanding of the causes and effects of hazards to improve mitigation strategies. The islanders have the opportunity to shape the future in these islands and they should do it properly while they still have time.

To access this new resource, go to the emergency response/disaster recovery section of the library at click on tsunami protection and recovery, scroll down to resource. Must be a registered trial, student or full member and logged-in to access.

This new resource provided through the PMWL university research internship program; to learn more, click here