Pacific Island communities are particularly vulnerable to natural
disasters - ranging from tropical cyclones, drought, floods, storm
surges and tsunamis. Each year, these events result in significant
loss of life, the destruction of homes, public infrastructure and
livelihoods and the reversal of hard-won economic gains. Recently,
deadly tsunami and earthquake events in the Indian Ocean region
have focused the attention of the world community, particularly
those living in small islands and coastal regions, to the need for
greater vigilance in disaster prevention and preparedness. This is
all the more important as evidence mounts that climate change will
exacerbate the incidence of extreme events and potential disasters.
For island leaders and their development partners, the lessons are
clear. Communities across the region need to counter the negative
impacts of extreme climate events and other natural disasters by
improving their preparedness and response.
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