Planning is important to avoid disaster: Weather expert

Natural events like El Nino, tropical cyclones, floods and earthquakes can turn out to be hazards and not disasters if managed well.

Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) institutional development specialist Ruby Policarpio says Papua New Guinea must plan well and be prepared for natural events to avoid disasters.

Policarpio said hazard and disaster are two different things.

She explained that when anticipatory mechanisms are in place then preparedness measures can be done so that the impacts are minimized.

“When we are anticipating El Nino it doesn’t need to be a disaster but a hazard this is where seasonal weather outlooks are very important.

“Various institutions must work with their members of the community so that preparedness actions can be done,” she said.

Policarpio added that institutional and community mechanisms are inadequate for responding to hazards information.

She stressed that government stakeholders must recognise that they’re key institutions mandated in the country for productivity and risks management.

Photo caption: A farmer inspecting the damages to his food gardens inundated by flood waters in Zingan Bang 

Quintina Naime