Caption:National Disaster Management Assistant Director, Mr Akapusi Tuifagalele.Photo:SUPPLIED.
Nineteen key stakeholders met today at the Department of the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) to participate in the PacWave 15 biennial meeting in the form of a “table top exercise”.
The exercise aims to test the new Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre’s (PTWC) enhanced products providing an opportunity for Pacific countries to test their new products and review their tsunami response procedures.
The NDMO Assistant Director, Mr Akapusi Tuifagalele said that participants are undergoing an exercise to check the emergency operations in Fiji for earthquake and tsunami.
He said maritime communities and coastal areas of Suva should be prepared in order to help alleviate saving lives and resources during unpredictable natural disasters such as earthquakes.
“There are two sirens for Tsunami alerts situated at the coast along USP and the other one in Lami. We need to expand more and reach out to our various divisions and districts,” Mr Tuifagalele added.
NDMO has a Tsunami Response Plan which they will be testing to see if it works and if there are any improvements needed the plan will be revised.Mr Tuifagalala adds that Fiji is not too far behind to be on par with developed nations in regards to Tsunami awareness.
The Department of Mineral Resources manager for Geological Services, Mr Apete Soro, said the new product has the mandate to issue local warnings which was previously issued by the Pacific Tsunami Centre in Hawaii.
“When an earthquake strikes we need to be alert and proactive in what we do as the country will rely on us.”
This exercise should address the gaps; maintain the strong areas and improve on some changes to counter any real time situation of an earthquake or Tsunami.