Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UN Launches Plans For Global Early Warning System On Natural Disasters

Date:
January 21, 2005
Source:
United Nations
Summary:
The United Nations has launched comprehensive plans for a global early warning system to reduce the deadly toll of natural hazards, combining speedy transmission of data with training of populations at risk in a strategy that experts say could have saved scores of thousands of lives in the recent Indian Ocean tsunami.

January 19, 2005 -- The United Nations today launched comprehensive plans for a global early warning system to reduce the deadly toll of natural hazards, combining speedy transmission of data with training of populations at risk in a strategy that experts say could have saved scores of thousands of lives in the recent Indian Ocean tsunami.

Related Articles


“This new programme will help bring safety, security and peace of mind,” the Director of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), Sálvano Briceno, told the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR) in Kobe, Japan. “Millions of people worldwide owe their lives and livelihoods to effective early warnings systems.”

The International Early Warning Programme (IEWP), first proposed at the Second International Conference on Early Warning two years ago in Bonn, Germany, will improve resilience to all types of natural hazards ranging from droughts, wildfires and floods through typhoons, hurricanes and landslides to volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.

But it rose to the top of the disaster relief agenda with the 26 December tsunami, which left at least 165,000 people dead, more than half a million more injured and up to 5 million others in need of basic services and at risk of deadly epidemics in a dozen Indian Ocean countries from giant waves that in many cases took hours to reach vulnerable areas.

Had a tsunami early warning system that now exists only for the volcano- and earthquake-prone Pacific Rim also been operational in the Indian Ocean, the human toll might only have been a fraction of what it was since tremor and tidal gauges, fast data transfer and alarm mechanisms and training in the danger zones would have provided ample time for hundreds of thousands of people to flee to higher ground.

The IEWP brings together various UN organizations including the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), ISDR, the German Disaster Reduction Committee and other bodies.

“An effective warning system can exist only through regional cooperation that respects the principle of open, free and unrestricted exchange of observational data and ensures the establishment of an effective response plan that is activated when warnings are issued,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said, stressing the need for wider information flow and the importance of community education for disaster preparedness.

Effective early warning systems have been widely recognized as worthwhile and necessary investments and, coupled with humanitarian aid and better preparedness, have slashed the number of people dying from famine, saving 2 million lives over the last 20 years.

In 2004, millions of people in the Americas and Asia were evacuated when tropical storms struck, undoubtedly saving thousands of lives.

“It is increasingly clear that we need a multi-hazard early warning system that should represent a new way of thinking and ensures that environmental stability factors based on local wisdom and knowledge are built into disaster plans,” UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said.

The WFP has already developed the HEWSweb – Humanitarian Early Warning Service – bringing together under one web platform the vast amount of information available from technical institutions on each type of natural hazards.

“One third of more than 100 million people whom WFP assists are those affected by natural hazards,” WFP Executive Director James T. Morris said.

WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud noted that about 90 per cent of all natural disasters are of meteorological or hydrological origin. “WMO aims to halve the number of deaths due to water-related disasters over the next 15 years by improving alerting systems for weather and water events through risk assessment, hazard detection, awareness raising and education about disaster prevention of communities at risk,” he told the conference.

Addressing the need for training in potential disaster zones, UN Volunteers (UNV) Executive Coordinator Ad de Raad set forth a series of proposals to strengthen preparedness and response efforts, including legislation to encourage formation of volunteer organizations, involving them in the development of early warning systems and providing people with incentives such as tax exemption and special leave to volunteer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by United Nations. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

United Nations. "UN Launches Plans For Global Early Warning System On Natural Disasters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050121095038.htm>.
United Nations. (2005, January 21). UN Launches Plans For Global Early Warning System On Natural Disasters. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050121095038.htm
United Nations. "UN Launches Plans For Global Early Warning System On Natural Disasters." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050121095038.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Japan's Mt. Aso Volcano Spews Rocks

Raw: Japan's Mt. Aso Volcano Spews Rocks

AP (Nov. 28, 2014) — A volcano in southern Japan is spewing volcanic magma rocks. A regional weather observatory says this could be Mt. Aso's first magma eruption in 22 years. (Nov. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — An invisible barrier is keeping dangerous super fast electrons from interfering with our atmosphere, but scientists aren't entirely sure how. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins