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Buka Town Plans for Tsunami Evacuation and Response

Over two thousand people in Buka town and Kokopao will need to be evacuated to higher grounds in the event of a tsunami, a press release issued by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) this afternoon (April 24) states.

The information is reportedly part of the Buka/Kokopao Tsunami Evacuation and Response Plan that has been reviewed by the Humanitarian Partners Coordination team in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) during their first meeting in Buka this week.

The plan was developed by the AROB Regional Disaster and Emergency Service Office with the support of the UNDP.

UNDP Disaster Risk Project Manager Michael Sembanombo who attended the Humanitarian Partners Coordination meeting in Buka said:“Developing the Tsunami Evacuation and Repsonse Plan is an indication of the very good cooperation between Government and Non-Government stakeholders in Bougainville. It was made possible thanks to financial support from Australian Government. We hope to see this partnership continue to grow as we continue to work with partners on the ground to prepare people in Bougainville for for all types of natural hazards that they face.”

While the plan is yet to be approved by the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), humanitarian organisations working in the Region now have an indication of the support that the ABG will need to increase preparedness and ensure the safety of people in the event of a tsunami.

The plan also identifies Hahela Primary School as the evacuation point for residents of Buka town, while Kokopao residents are advised to follow the road uphill towards Arawa until they reach higher elevations.

Adaptation and Mitigation Manager of the AROB Regional Disaster and Emergency Service Office, Ms Janely Dau said the plan is comprehensive, capturing a lot of key areas that need to be taken note of: “The important thing is that all key players must know their roles and responsibilities so that they are able to effectively respond when the need arises.”

Source: Press Release

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