The Minister for Defence and National Security, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, has urged all Fijians to be prepared before a disaster strikes.
He said Fijians should already have a plan in place.He outlined that the plan should include the following information:
know what to do;
where to go; and
who to talk to when in need of assistance during a disaster.
While delivering the keynote address at the launch of the Fiji National Disaster Awareness Week, Ratu Inoke said being prepared was the best way to ensure the safety of families and protection of properties and assets.
“The focus this year is on the Tsunami hazard. It stresses the need for all Fijians to ‘Be Tsunami Ready’,” he said.
“If not, Tsunamis has the potential to have a devastating impact on a large segment of Fiji’s population.
“The majority of Fiji’s villages, settlements, communities, towns, and cities are located within the tsunami danger zone, making us particularly susceptible to the damages that can come from a sudden ocean surge.”
The 2016 World Risk Report has placed Fiji as the 16th most vulnerable country in the world to natural hazards. The ranking is based on the fact that the rate of natural disasters happening in Fiji is increasing.
Ratu Inoke said Fijians should expect more frequent and intense disaster events and should be prepared for future events of equal, or even greater, magnitude. The Fiji Tsunami Response Plan launched yesterday is a vital document for Fiji, Ratu Inoke said. Members of the public were also reminded about upcoming National Tsunami Drills.
While no specific date has been announced, key stakeholders in government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are planning the event.
National Disaster Management Office, (NDMO) director Anare Leweniqila said the new sirens had a range of 1200 metres. Two sirens are now in place – one in Lami and one at the Maritime Academy in Laucala.