Pacific Must Be Prepared For Bigger, More Intense Tropical Storms

Japan assisting Pacific establish wave measurement program

By Felix Chaudhary

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Sept. 20, 2016) – Be prepared for bigger, stronger and more intense tropical cyclones. This was the message from Toru Fukuda, a specialist from the Remote Sensing Technology Centre of Japan.

He said the Japanese Government was concerned about the impact of storm surges and coastal inundation on vulnerable Pacific Island countries and was assisting in the establishment of a program to measure wave activity and its impact on coastal communities.

At a workshop held in Nadi last week, representatives from the Japanese Government, Secretariat for the Pacific Community and meteorological services from Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa discussed the types of tools that were available to assist them.

Mr Fukuda said Japan had a lot of experience with coastal inundation and it was hoped that systems developed in Japan could be tweaked to assist vulnerable PICs such as Fiji.

Climate change consultant Shin Furuno said the workshop was designed to come up with the most practical solutions to estimate risks from tropical cyclones in the future.

"With climate change, there are predictions that future cyclones will be bigger and more intense," he said.

"There was significant damage during Winston from the cyclone picking up waves on the shoreline and those waves coming up and damaging houses and infrastructure along the coastal areas.

"So this project is for us to come up with unique methodology to project that risk into the future and look at the possible risks along the coastline. This information will help countries like Fiji prepare better for disasters and prepare better to adapt to these conditions in the future."

The Workshop for Developing Methodology to Evaluate Climate Change Impacts on Storm Surge/Storm Wave Hazards in Small Island Developing States was the first regional forum of its kind.

It was organised by the Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan in partnership with Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme as the Pacific Node of the Asia-Pacific Adaptation Network under the sponsorship of Japan's Environment Ministry.

Fiji Times Online.
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