Tsunamis cause almost 10 pct economic losses from disasters: UN chief

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday said that tsunamis have accounted for almost 10 percent of economic losses from disasters over the past two decades.

In his message for the World Tsunami Awareness Day, the secretary-general said that tsunamis set back development gains especially in countries that border the Indian and Pacific oceans.

“I saw this first-hand during my recent visit to Sulawesi, Indonesia, shortly after the earthquake and tsunami of 1 October. More than 2,000 people died and thousands more were harmed or displaced,” said the UN chief.

“As well as struggling to deal with the losses and trauma, the people of Sulawesi will need to recover from the economic losses caused by this disaster,” said Guterres, adding that reducing economic losses is a key target of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and is vital for eradicating extreme poverty.

The UN General Assembly designated Nov. 5 as World Tsunami Awareness Day in December 2015. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction each year calls on governmental and nongovernmental organizations, as well as individuals, to observe the day by engaging in efforts to raise tsunami awareness and share innovative approaches to risk reduction.

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