South and Southeast Asia better prepared for disasters: FAO

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A fishing trawler damaged by the tsunami under repairs at the Kudewella boat repair center with assistance from FAO, Kudewella, Sri Lanka.

Countries in South and Southeast Asia are better prepared for disasters but there is still room for improvement.

That’s the assessment of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on the eve of the Indian Ocean Tsunami which struck the region on 26 December ten years ago.

The tsunami claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people and destroyed the livelihoods of about 1.4 million others.

It damaged or destroyed fields, fish ponds, boats, fishing gear and livestock on which entire food production systems depend.

FAO says early disaster warning systems and clearly marked tsunami evacuation routes are evident in some of the countries and flood dykes have been built.

It notes that many countries in South and Southeast Asia are now better prepared to reduce risks and mitigate the damage of natural disasters such as tsunami and typhoons and protect agriculture and food systems.

Stephanie Castro, United Nations.

Duration: 1’03”