31 Dec 2004

PNG Disaster Centre comment on tsunamis in Indian Ocean

11:33 am on 31 December 2004

The director of Papua New Guinea's National Disaster Centre says the saddest thing about the tsunami in the Indian Ocean on Sunday, is that more lives might have been saved through awareness.

This follows the tsunami in the Indian ocean on Boxing Day, caused by an undersea earthquake which devastated coastal areas of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and India, killing more than 120 thousand people.

Colonel Eric Ani says it's particularly sad that the tsunami hit during the festive season.

"This is the unfortunate thing about disasters. They happen on the odd times, like public holidays, when only a few people expect them. Its only disaster management people, who are mindful of these, that disasters can occur at odd times, like public holidays."

Colonel Ani says he's grateful to the Japanese government, which is funding an extra early warning system for the region.