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New Zealand to help tsunami readiness in Pacific nations

(Xinhua)

14:32, September 06, 2011

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand is to help smaller Pacific countries improve their tsunami precautions, Prime Minister John Key announced Tuesday

"Our region is particularly prone to cyclones, floods, tsunami and other catastrophic disasters, many of which can wipe out hard- won development gains in minutes," said Key, who is chairing the annual Pacific Islands Forum in Auckland this week.

The government would invest 2.7 million NZ dollars (2.24 million U.S. dollars) over the coming year to upgrade tsunami risk management systems in the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Niue and Tokelau, said Key.

New Zealand's Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management will work with those nations' authorities to improve tsunami assessment and warning processes; roll out siren warning systems; raise public awareness, including tsunami-awareness workshops, drills and educational resources for schools; and identify tsunami evacuation routes.

"Pacific island governments, economies and livelihoods can be overwhelmed by natural disasters, and planning to reduce the impact of these events will help save lives and assist in recovery efforts," said Key.

The 42nd Pacific Islands Forum is being held from Sept. 6 to 9.


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