No tsunami warning plan in PNG

Letters, Normal

I AM sad over the loss of lives and appalled that no warning system was in place to warn the people of Samoa of a tsunami.
I hope this will not be the case in future.
Papua New Guinea, which is in the “Pacific ring of fire”, does not have a tsunami warning system either.
This makes me tremble with fear.
The low lying islands of Baluan, Manam, Karkar, Fergusson, Misima, and Normanby among others could be destroyed by a major tsunami.
It is only a matter of time, given the increased frequency of major earthquakes under the seas of Indonesia, our closest earthquake-prone neighbour.
The Samoan tsunami, the destructive Padang earthquake in Indonesia; the Aitape tsunami that wiped out a generation not so long ago, and the ongoing volcanic activities in PNG reminds us of the grave dangers PNG faces every day.
After the Aitape tsunami, I would have thought that we would have plans to work towards having a tsunami warning system and develop its capacity to deal with major natural disasters.
Apparently, this is not the case and we continue to live in ignorance.
How can we forget the traumatised survivors of the Aitape disaster?
Do we have to wait for another disaster to strike before we act?
Do we need others to remind us of this reality?
I urge our leaders and experts to discuss constructive ways to prepare the country for natural disasters like tsunami.
We must also educate all coastal villagers of the potential dangers they face.
Until our Government starts addressing this issue, we cannot rest in peace.
May the inhabitants of our atolls, islands and coastal regions remain wary and vigilant of potential tsunami threats.


Upisa Wana
Port Moresby