The Challenges of Tsunami Disaster Response Planning and Management

In IRES Vol.7 No.1
Volume (Issue): Vol.7, No.1, 2007
Peer-reviewed Article

No natural disaster in recent history has affected so many people’s lives as the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The world’s response in the wake of the tsunami seems so far to have revolved around recognition of the need for early warning systems linking countries and regions that are likely to be affected by the same tsunami or similar disasters. This paper introduces the main international initiatives for tsunami disaster response, and particularly for early warning. It then suggests some priorities for the current tsunami response planning and management efforts: (1) there should be no early warning systems without national actions plans; (2) there should be investment in preparing communities at risk; (3) tsunami early warning should be integrated into a multi-hazard system that also covers floods, storms, droughts, and other less frequent events; (4) there should be more cooperation with development banks to mainstream disaster management in countries that show willingness and commitment; and (5) the international community must not overlook other disasters such as famine and disease outbreaks in its haste to respond to the tsunami. Finally the paper argues that to undertake comprehensive tsunami response planning and management, there is a need for an approach that is grounded in both past evidence and present realities.


International Review for Environmental Strategies: Best Practice on Environmental Policy in Asia and the Pacific

Tolentino Jr., Amado S.