A new disaster risk assessment report released recently shows that the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) is highly prone to multiple hazards, including earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
AROB is one of five provinces and regions featured in the report conducted by a team of experts from the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (Rimes) and supported by technical specialists from institutions in Papua New Guinea.
Rimes is co-owned and operated by governments in Asia and Africa and helps its members generate early warning disaster information.
“This disaster risk assessment shows that the AROB faces serious risks from multiple hazards,” said United Nations Development Programme technical specialist for disaster risk management Khusrav Sharifov.
“The region’s seismic, tsunami and volcanic hazards are the highest among the five pilot provinces and regions we have assessed. This requires serious attention in terms of risk reduction measures to be implemented in Bougainville.”
The preliminary results of the assessment report indicate that:
- If a strong earthquake occurs in the Solomon Sea, it may generate a large tsunami that would impact the whole of the western side of Bougainville (including Buka Island), with most households living in the southwest of mainland Bougainville considered to be highly vulnerable;
- About 47,000 households remain vulnerable to earthquakes of different magnitudes, with varying degrees of vulnerability; and,
- About 61,000 households, mainly in Torokina and Arawa districts, remain vulnerable to the Bagana volcano.