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Pacific Disaster Net provides daily updates in wake of cyclone Pam

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18 March 2015, Suva - The Pacific’s largest and most comprehensive information management resource on disaster risk management and national sustainable development has commenced daily email updates in the wake of cyclone Pam.

Anyone wanting to subscribe to the Pacific Disaster Net service can do so online at http://lists.spc.int/mailman/listinfo/pdn. The portal is updated daily by a dedicated team at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Suva, Fiji, on behalf of an international partnership initiative.

“The main target audiences for Pacific Disaster Net are National Disaster Management Officers, government officials, emergency responders and communities to help them prepare for, and manage, natural disasters in the Pacific Islands region,” the Director of SPC's Geoscience Division, Professor Michael Petterson, said in Suva today.

“With more than 15,000 documents and materials, the portal facilitates informed decision-making and really comes into its own in the wake of significant disaster events,” Prof Petterson said.

According to Prof Petterson, the portal contains extensive information on cyclone Pam and other disasters, such as situation reports, response updates from international partners, various agencies on the ground and media coverage that has been compiled by the team in Suva.

The Pacific Disaster Net portal is developed with support from partners, such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the UN Development Programme Pacific Centre (UNDP PC), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

The information usually comes in the form of weekly updates and a monthly disaster risk management calendar for the Pacific region, but for now a temporary daily update is also available.

It is part of a comprehensive response by SPC and its partners designed to support Pacific Community members impacted by cyclone Pam. Anyone who wishes to view information in the portal can do so online at www.pacificdisaster.net.

 

Media contact: Sereima Kalouniviti, Researcher – Pacific Disaster Net, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or +679 3381 377

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 15:04  

Newsflash

Monday 17 June 2013, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) –  The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), with Geoscience Australia, has developed a computer model to help the Government of Tonga see what the impact of a tsunami would be on Tongatapu. Part of an AusAID funded project, the model makes use of high resolution data, the collection of which was made possible by Australia, the European Union, and the New Zealand Ocean Sciences Grant.

The new Tsunami Inundation Model shows that an 8.7 magnitude earthquake in the Tonga Trench would create a wave that would hit the eastern coast of Tongatapu within ten to twenty minutes, inundating most of Nuku’alofa.  Leveni ‘Aho, Director of Tonga’s National Disaster Management Office, says the new computer model has enabled the Government of Tonga to consider how the public would need to respond in a range of possible scenarios.

‘Nuku’alofa has, perhaps, the biggest urban population in the Pacific living in a very low-lying area. We can talk about Japan’s earthquakes but if we can present something that shows what is going to happen to us here at home, the message is much more effective.  For us, it’s an excellent opportunity to help communities to be aware of what could possibly come and what they will need to do if a significant event occurs,’ he says.

After the model was presented to the cabinet and the National Emergency Management Committee, the Hon. Prime Minister Lord Tuʻivakanō indicated that the government would need support to construct access ways to some parts of Nuku’alofa so that the local community can quickly get to safe areas.

Mr ‘Aho says the model is also helping the Government of Tonga to design emergency response measures and improve long-term urban planning for Nuku’alofa and its surrounding villages.‘The tsunami computer model given by SPC has provided the government with a wonderful tool to help us really understand the risks of different scenarios and to prepare in the best ways we can,’ he says.

Mosese Sikivou, Deputy Director of SPC’s Disaster Reduction Programme, says this project is part of SPC’s assistance to Tonga in connection with its Joint National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management, approved by Cabinet in July 2010. The work to develop the model is part of an integrated approach that SPC and other partners are taking right across the Pacific to try and maximise scarce resources and minimise duplication of effort and potential conflict in policy development.