NEWS

 Seruiratu Tells Why Tsunami Sirens Were Not Activated

Minister for Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu has cleared the air on why tsunami sirens in the Suva peninsula were not activated when Fiji was issued a tsunami alert on Saturday.
20 Jan 2022 12:18
 Seruiratu Tells Why Tsunami Sirens Were Not Activated
Minister for Rural, Maritime Development and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu speaking during the joint press conference in Suva on January 19, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

Minister for Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu has cleared the air on why tsunami sirens in the Suva peninsula were not activated when Fiji was issued a tsunami alert on Saturday.

Mr Seruiratu said people needed to under­stand the difference between an alert and a warning.

“Alerts are given when the hazard has been identified and these are anticipated risks and threats while warnings are given when the threats are forthcoming,” he said.

“There was no information about any wave from Lami to Nadawa where there were si­rens. There was no threat to the Suva Pen­insula. Only if the information assessed by technical people assures us that there is an imminent threat for the Suva peninsula, then that is when the sirens will be activated.”

He said many needed to also understand that there were disadvantages of sending false warnings.

“If we send false warnings, NDMO will be bombarded with complaints if they had giv­en out a false warning.

“Secondly, the next time we activate the si­ren people won’t bother to respond because the assumption will be that is another false warning.”

He added that this was why the verification of information, although it may take some time, was extremely important.

He also confirmed that there were currently no tsunami sirens outside of Suva.



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