A one-day workshop focusing on Tsunami Disaster Risk Reduction, and aiming to create awareness about the devastating impacts of tsunamis was held yesterday at Labourdonnais Waterfront hotel in Port-Louis.
This initiative of the Mauritius Meteorological Services organised in the context of the World Tsunami Awareness Day 2017, also provided a platform for participants from the National Coast Guard and the Fire and Rescue Services amongst others for the drafting of appropriate mitigation plans for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
On this occasion, the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, highlighted the importance of proper preparedness and response strategies for SIDS as they tend to be most vulnerable to tsunamis because of their geographical instances. According to the World Risk Report 2016, Mauritius has been classified as the 7th most exposed country to natural hazards, he added. On this score, he underlined that SIDS need to transform from a state of vulnerability into a state of resilience.
The Minister emphasised that countries must be prepared and fully equipped to set up disaster response mechanisms. Several measures, he said, have been put in place to reinforce disaster risk reduction management. They include the promulgation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act 2016; the setting up of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the implementation of a National Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Emergency Alert System, amongst other.
He recalled that Mauritius is the only SIDS to have implemented an Early Warning System for incoming storm surge. He further reiterated that Government will spare no efforts to enhance the preparedness of agencies and local communities against natural disasters.
World Tsunami Awareness Day
In December 2015, the United Nations General Assembly designated 05 November as World Tsunami Awareness Day to promote a global culture of tsunami awareness. The focus for this year is to reduce the number of people affected globally by disasters.