National Tsunami Drill Deferred

A National Tsunami Drill initially scheduled for late October has been deferred to allow major responding agencies to complete preparation and conduct necessary awareness.

Initiated by Government to minimize disaster risks and the potential threats of tsunamis, the National Tsunami Drill will test warning systems, communication systems, and evacuation plans for all coastal communities in Fiji.

Permanent secretary for Rural and Maritime Development, Disaster Management, and Meteorological Services, Meleti Bainimarama said that although the drill had been deferred, all families, schools, and communities in tsunami hazard zones should ensure they have a tsunami evacuation plan and a designated safe zone.

“Public preparedness for tsunami has been increasing and we want to keep building the momentum until the National Tsunami Drill,” PS Bainimarama said.

“As part of the ongoing preparation, we have had two national civil military coordination exercises in recent months, a few table top exercises for key response agencies on tsunami events, a series of communication systems tests, and continuous tests of tsunami warning sirens. Most recently, Cabinet endorsed the Fiji Tsunami Response Plan and the plan was launched earlier this month.”

PS Bainimarama said there are questions that we must begin to ask each other for tsunami preparedness.

“Is my family, school, or business situated in a safe zone or danger zone? What is the tsunami evacuation plan for my family, school, or workplace? What is my tsunami evacuation route when a warning is given? How can I ensure the elderly in my home and community are safely evacuated?”

PS Bainimarama added that the drill is a massive national undertaking and will now take place on a date to be decided by Cabinet.