New tsunami could hit soon

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

United Kingdom

A British minister in the Department for International Development says that a second tsunami could hit South-East Asia within the next 50 years.

Gareth Thomas warned world leaders at a natural disasters conference in the Japanese city of Kobe. The conference was called to discuss the feasibility of an early warning system for tsunamis to be set up in the Indian Ocean.

He told a BBC radio program earlier today that such a system would cost £20 to £30 million pounds. There is a similar system in the Pacific Ocean, and Junichiro Koizumi, the Japanese Prime Minister, said that Japan would provide technical support for the system. "The system needs to be rapidly developed," he told the conference.

The World Conference on Disaster Reduction in Kobe, being held only 10 years after the earthquake that destroyed the city, began with a silent tribute to those who lost their lives in the tsunami.

The United Nations Emergency Co-ordinator, Jan Egeland, said, "I hope that nations will make a strong commitment to establishing a system in the Indian Ocean that will help vulnerable populations within the next ten years."

He also added that the system would remove danger: disasters will still happen, but forewarned is forearmed.


News Agencies. "New tsunami 'could strike within 50 years'" — Guardian, 18 January, 2005