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World Tsunami Awareness Day: ‘Take heed of warnings’

Saturday 5 November 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Local

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World Tsunami Awareness Day: ‘Take heed of warnings’
Emergency Management Cook Islands (EMCI) director John Strickland says people need to take heed of tsunami warnings. - 22110401

World Tsunami Awareness Day is today and Emergency Management Cook Islands (EMCI) director John Strickland is calling for people to “take heed” of authorities warning.

EMCI is putting out an ad campaign on what to do in a tsunami and where the warnings will come from.

World Tsunami Awareness Day is advocating for reducing tsunami risk globally through increasing access to early warning systems.

“Prevention is better than cure,” Strickland said.  

“People tend to think when something happens elsewhere we don’t get effected. That has been proven wrong, we do face some experiences of these happenings out there worldwide.”

Strickland said he was disappointed with people’s past reaction to tsunami warnings. He said people have gone to look at the ocean instead of getting to high ground.

“Please comply, instead of going to it move to high ground.

“We’ve already talked about the tsunami warning, we’ve already got all those awareness programmes, but people are not really following it and people are not taking it that seriously unfortunately, we need our people to take heed of these things.”

Strickland asked people to respect the authorities in change in emergencies and their warnings.

He said he was aware some people thought it was impossible for Rarotonga to get a tsunami based on deep water surrounding the island but added anything could happen.

“Who are we to determine that nothing will ever happen,” he said.

Sea surges generated from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano that erupted underwater in January caused sea surges that damaged boats moored in Avatiu harbour.

Strickland said they monitor earthquakes around the world each day to see if there was a risk to the Cook Islands.