Around 500 Indonesian school children taking part in tsunami drill in Bali

Aug 15, 2017


BALI, Indonesia  –  More than 500 Indonesian elementary school children in the tourist island of Bali on took part in a major tsunami drill conducted by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Tuesday, with financial support from the Government of Japan. 

 

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The drill in Tanjung Benoa, a popular seaside spot in the southern part of Bali, is part of a regional project called ‘Partnerships for Strengthening School Preparedness for Tsunami in the Asia Pacific region’.

On Tuesday, around 500 elementary school children of Tanjung Benoa State Elementary School 2 lined up outside their classrooms with books and school bags over their heads to the nearby ION hotel, the designated evacuation point. Under the scorching sun, some of the students performed first aid activities to attend their fellow students, under the scenario of an 8.0 on Richter Scale earthquake.

“Our school children have learnt about disaster preparedness for quite some time, it’s very important to practice what we’ve learned with a realistic scenario. We’re very grateful for this tsunami drill,” said Luh Sri Sudarmini, the Headmaster of Tanjung Benoa 2 school.

The drill project includes 18 Asia-Pacific countries, in partnership with the Tohoku University, the International Tsunami Information (ITIC) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Indonesia and Japan are both located on the Ring of Fire, a region highly prone to earthquakes and tsunamis. Both countries have experienced major disasters in recent years. . In 2004, Indonesia bore the brunt of the Boxing Day tsunami, which killed over a 200-thousand people.  In March 2011, the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake followed by a tsunami killed around 20-thousand people.

Indonesia is the first country where the tsunami drill is taking place, part of an 18-month project. Following the 2004 tsunami, Indonesia’s Government passed a Disaster Management Law in 2007, which led to the establishment of a national agency to address disaster management. The country is now a leader in   disaster preparedness in the region, and is supported in its efforts by several partners including Japan and UNDP.

“Education can save many lives, for instance school children will be able to recognize early signs of a tsunami, allowing them to make their way out to safety without panic,” said Hirohisa Chiba, Consul General of Japan in Denpasar.  “A tsunami drill like this one in Bali is an invaluable investment that will increase the chances of survival for people in on this island,”

Japan, which proposed the UN-designated World Tsunami Day on November 5, is a global leader in disaster preparedness and recovery. The $ 1.5 million in funding by the Government of Japan to UNDP will help countries have better access to disaster risk data, and in formulating disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.

“As time goes by, it is vital not to forget the lessons we have learned from the tsunami that destroyed so many lives in Indonesia or Japan. One of those key lessons is that anyone, including children, needs to be prepared and know exactly what to do when an earthquake and a tsunami strikes,” said UNDP Indonesia Country Director, Christophe Bahuet   “The UNDP office in Indonesia is delighted to partner with Japan and conduct drill at schools. Together, we are making a very tangible contribution to disaster preparedness and the protection of exposed populations.“

UNDP Bangkok’s Disaster Risk Reduction team is leading the Project with implementation support from the Country Offices, the Pacific Office and the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Team in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.

The 18 Asia-Pacific countries included in the $1.5 million Project are Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu and Viet Nam.



For more information:

UNDP Indonesia
Tomi Soetjipto (suryo.tomi@undp.org)
Communication Specialist, HP 0811 888814

UNDP Regional Bureau of Asia-Pacific
Cedric Monteiro (cedric.monteiro@undp.org)
Communication Asia Pacific Advisor