GA / DISASTER RISK REDUCTION

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Congratulating Indonesia on its successful early-warning reaction to yesterday's 8.6 magnitude earthquake, United Nations Chef de Cabinet Susana Malcorra said that "we cannot eliminate disasters", but "we can save more lives." UNTV / FILE
Description

STORY: GA / DISASTER RISK REDUCTION
TRT: 1.57
SOURCE: UNTV / UNESCO / UNICEF
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/ NATS

DATELINE: 12 APRIL 2012, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

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Shotlist

FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

12 APRIL 2012, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, podium
3. Wide shot, audience
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Susana Malcorra, Under-Secretary-General, Chef de Cabinet of the United Nations Secretary-General:
“We cannot eliminate disasters, but we can reduce the risks. We can lessen the damage, we can save more lives.”

FILE – UNESCO – DATE UNKNOWN, CRISIS MANAGEMENT CENTRE, WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND

4. Pan left, computer screen to projected map

FILE – UNESCO – DATE UNKNOWN, WESTERN BAY OF PLENTY CIVIL DEFENCE AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT HEADQUARTERS, NEW ZEALAND

5. Various shots, meeting
6. Close up, map

12 APRIL 2012, NEW YORK CITY

7. SOUNDBITE (English) Senator The Hon. Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia:
“Disaster risk is a stark reality for all of us. Climate change will increase the frequency and severity of weather-related hazards. Rapid urbanization and environmental degradation are exposing people and assets more than ever. The risk of economic loss from a disaster is increasing at a faster rate than economic growth.”

FILE – UNESCO – 2006, PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTRE, HONOLULU, HAWAII

8. Close up, "Active Alarm" signal
9. Med shot, people at work
10. Various shots, maps and computer screens
11. Various shots, people talking on phones
12. Various shots, computer screens
13. Med shot, people at computers

12 APRIL 2012, NEW YORK CITY

14. SOUNDBITE (English) Willem Rampangilei, Deputy Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare of the Republic of Indonesia:
“DRR [disaster risk reduction] can actually save what we have built and developed for years. Therefore, we continue to put DRR as a high priority on our national agenda. Our objective is to make Indonesia more resilient against natural disasters.”

FILE – UNICEF – DECEMBER 2004, BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA

15. Various, tsunami devastation scene

FILE – UNICEF – DECEMBER 2004, AKKARAPUTA, SRI LANKA

16. Wide shot, devastation scene

FILE – UNICEF – DECEMBER 2004, PHUKET, THAILAND

17. Wide shot, flooded field

FILE – UNICEF – DECEMBER 2004, BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA

18. Wide shot, pan left, wrecked car
19. Wide shot, tents at camp
20. Med shot, children at camp
21. Med shot, family at camp
22. Med shot, family at camp
23. Wide shot, crowds of displaced people

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Storyline

The United Nations (UN) today (12 April) praised the level of preparedness and early warning systems of several Indian Ocean countries following an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, on Wednesday.

Speaking on behalf of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a thematic debate of the General Assembly on disaster risk reduction, UN Chef de Cabinet Susana Malcorra pointed out that “we cannot eliminate disasters, but we can reduce the risks. We can lessen the damage, we can save more lives.”

At least eight countries issued tsunami alerts following an 8.6-magnitude earthquake that struck 437 kilometres off the coast of Sumatra yesterday at 3:38 p.m. local time.

Evacuation orders were issued immediately for coastal areas at risk in Indonesia followed by Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and Myanmar. Two hours later an 8.2-magnitude aftershock triggered a second wave of tsunami warnings across the region.

Australian foreign minister Bob Carr, speaking on behalf of the Group of Friends of Disaster Risk Reduction, told the meeting in New York that “disaster risk is a stark reality for all of us”. He said that climate change would increase the frequency and severity of weather-related hazards and that rapid urbanization and environmental degradation were exposing not only people but economic assets. “The risk of economic loss from a disaster is increasing at a faster rate than economic growth”, he said.

In the last seven years since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, affected countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka have invested heavily in disaster response capacity and early warning systems.

National search and rescue agencies and disaster response teams from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the UN were on stand-by across the region following yesterday’s earthquake. They were closely monitoring the situation and exchanging information, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a news release.

While no major tsunamis occurred, and there are no reports of significant damages, early warning systems are being praised for their effectiveness, in particular the use of mobile phones, which alerted people to the risk so they could move to higher ground.

Indonesian Minister for People’s Welfare, Willem Rampangilei, said that it was a “high priority” on Indonesia’s national agenda to “save what we have built and developed for years” through disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures.

In 2004, the Indian Ocean Tsunami killed more than 226,000 people following a 9.1-magnitude earthquake.

Today’s thematic debate aims to contribute to ongoing discussions on how disaster risk reduction can be best incorporated in the outcome document that will be agreed at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June.

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UNTV
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