UNDP Concludes Tsunami Education Activities and Evacuation Drills in Schools in Timor-Leste

Apr 9, 2018

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Over 750 students in Timor-Leste received training on tsunami evacuation and first aid in efforts to strengthen the preparedness of schools for natural disasters. UNDP tsunami drills were held in five primary schools situated at less than 500m above sea level across Timor-Leste.

As tsunamis can attack in minutes, proper response plans are needed to save lives in times of emergencies. Schools' and students' preparedness for tsunamis helps to be ready for many other hazards like cyclones, floods and other hazards, which take a lot more time to evolve. Most tsunamis hit more than one country and require a regional or international effort to raise awareness, manage risks, and build early warning systems.  

Students received a detailed briefing before participating in a series of simulated exercises which involved taking cover in their classrooms, evacuating the building and re-convening at a designated meeting point. Trained medics from the Red Cross also provided a practical demonstration on evacuating and caring for the injured.

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Countries in the Asia-Pacific region – including Timor-Leste - are vulnerable to tsunami risks, and drills are an effective way of increasing awareness and preparedness amongst coastal communities,” said Alamgir Hossain, UNDP Chief Technical Advisor for the Tsunami Preparedness Project in Timor-Leste.

“In the last 50 years there have been 37 deadly tsunamis, approximately one in every 1.5 years. Most have occurred in the Asia Pacific region with more than 280,000 people losing their lives. Awareness and preparedness are more important than ever before.”

This initiative is being implemented by UNDP in Asia and the Pacific in 18 countries which are vulnerable to tsunamis in collaboration with Tohoku University, Japan and the International Tsunami Information Centre (ITIC), with funding from the Government of Japan, and supported locally by International Organization for Migration (IOM) Timor-Leste and Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste (Red Cross).

UNDP’s partnership with Japan contributes to the achievement of the Sendai Framework’s seven targets to reduce lives lost, numbers of people affected, and economic damage from natural and human-induced hazards. It aims at achieving the UNDP goal to help vulnerable regions to adapt to climate change by integrating disaster risk measures into national strategies.

More: Strengthening School Preparedness for Tsunamis in Asia-Pacific  

More: UNDP Timor-Leste

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