Emergency News

Why PNG is among the Top 10 Global Hotspots for High Disaster Risk

by Kiwiana Ngabung – EMTV Online, Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea is ranked 10th in the WorldRiskIndex 2016. This means we are among the most vulnerable to natural hazards, and contributing factors to this result is poor economic and social states.

Part of the landmass lies in the “Ring of Fire” so PNG is very highly susceptible to disasters, like volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis.

Japan, like PNG, has high exposure – 20.97% higher than PNG – however its vulnerability is lower because it has very good prospects of disaster-preparedness and mitigation.

The Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance states that (BBK 2016): “Critical infrastructures are organisational and physical structures and facilities of such vital importance to a nation’s society and economy that their failure or degradation would result in sustained supply shortages, significant disruption of public safety and security, or other dramatic consequences.”

What PNG needs, apart from strategic implementations of disaster risk management and preparedness, is support and cooperation from organisations and groups in sectors that the Federal Office has distinguished as Energy; Information technology and telecommunication; Transport and traffic; Health; Water; Food; Finance and insurance; State and administration; and Media and culture.

The WorldRiskReport 2016 places particular focus on logistics and infrastructure, basically outlining the importance it plays in reducing impacts of disasters. It states: “…as long as infrastructure is in an unsatisfactory condition and neither governments nor authorities can respond adequately as well as provide and coordinate the logistics needed, extreme natural events will have disastrous impacts.”

Sadly, neighbouring countries Vanuatu (1st), Tonga (2nd) and Solomon Islands (6th) are also in the top 10 most risky places.

WorldRiskIndex 2016 graphical representation.

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