International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
|26 December disaster - failure of early warning|
|The massive earthquake that caused the tsunami was detected
and located just a few minutes after it occurred. The Pacific Tsunami Warning
Center in Hawaii tried desperately to contact the affected countries across
in the Indian Ocean. However, there was no system in place in the region
and the warnings did not reach the millions of people living along the
affected coastlines. Consequently, there was little chance for people to
react and survive the disaster.
The tsunami was among the deadliest disasters in modern history. About 300,000 people lost their lives, one million people were made homeless and many hundreds of thousands lost their entire livelihoods. The tsunami mainly affected poor communities where people lived in marginal conditions.
A tsunami early warning and mitigation system has been in existence in the Pacific region for 40 years, but a similar initiative for the Indian Ocean had not been considered a priority by the countries in the Indian Ocean region.