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Although thirty percent of the world’s earthquakes occur within the southwest Pacific and eighty-one percent of tsunamis in the region are generated by earthquake activity, the region experiences, on average, some of the slowest detection times for earthquake activity.

At the SPC/SOPAC Division’s STAR meeting held in Nadi this week, Mrs Esline Garaebiti Bule, Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD) said that the earthquake and tsunami events with casualties in Papua New Guinea, 1998, Vanuatu in 1999, Solomon Islands, 2007, and more recently, Tonga and Samoa in 2009 indicated the region needs a tsunami early-warning system based on fast earthquake detection system for the South West Pacific Region.