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Tonga hosts final workshop on multi-hazard risk assessment and EWS

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26th April, 2018 The Minister for MEIDECC Hon Poasi Mataele Tei opened a two-day workshop on ‘Strengthening Multi-Hazard Assessment and Early Warning System with Applications of Space and Geographic Information Systems’ at Tanoa Hotel this morning.

This is the final workshop for the pilot program that was developed as a result of the first Pacific regional workshop on multi-hazard risk assessment and early warning systems with applications of space and geographic information systems in 2016.

Hon Tei said, “As a result of that workshop, UNESCAP with the gracious donation of the People of Japan piloted a two-phased training for eight countries.”

The first phase was on the National Geo-Database and Geo-Portal for Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development. As a result the first GeoNode for Tonga’s National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) was established along with a work plan for the management of the GeoPortal.

The next phase was hosted by the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics in Indonesia where Tonga Met Services developed a work plan on capacity building for operating multi-hazard early warning systems in Tonga.

“The collaborations that have gone on after the first workshop and leading to this very day has been fruitful for the Kingdom but specifically for Tonga Met Services and NEMO. Not only has staff been trained but software and work plans as tools for implementation and aiding these two departments in multi-hazard risk assessment and early warning systems have been shared.”

He said that after TC Gita satellite imagery data from UNOSAT and UNITAR were accessed in order to get a rapid count of the damages to shelter and pick up large water logged areas.

“We have been able to use open source software and tools to aid us in our damage assessments. We can feel more confident not just in our preparations but in our reconstruction phase that nobody is left behind.”

Japan’s Ambassador to Tonga H.E Mr. Tetsuya Ishii said that the workshop is “very much timely and significant to Tonga.”

He stated that the Pacific is “identified as a vulnerable region” due to its capacity for resilience and the threats they face every year from varying types of natural disasters.

“Through my experience of these cyclones, I keenly felt the severity of natural disasters impacting the Pacific. In addition, such experiences have made me realize necessity for strengthening capacities of early warning in the region.”

Mr. Ishii said that under the assistance policy of Japanese Government in accordance with the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy, Japan is “accelerating the procedure for realization of the project with the Government of Tonga” dubbed as the Nationwide Early Warning System (NEWS) and Strengthening Disaster Communications which will contribute to “advancing the Kingdom’s preparedness and mitigation against natural disasters.”

ENDS

Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change & Communications.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 April 2018 18:02 )  

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