Mon | May 20, 2019

Wheatley wants tsunami readiness report

Published:Monday | January 15, 2018 | 12:00 AM

On the heels of deficiencies and concerns highlighted with the national alert system by the tsunami scare that gripped the nation last week, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley has requested a readiness status report from both major telecommunications operators.

The minister has also invited both operators to a meeting at the ministry, where discussions about how the readiness of the telecommunications sector, in the event of earthquakes and tsunamis, can be brought to a level in keeping with global best practices.

In a media release, Wheatley noted: "While we appreciate the inter-agency coordination effort that must occur between the public and private sector, telecommunications entities play a critical part in ensuring that citizens are notified of impending threats from natural disasters." The minister went on to say: "We will be looking to ensure that all attendant measures required to optimise the functions and synchronisation of all telecommunications systems as it relates to their operation within the wider national alert system are implemented in the shortest period of time".

This latest action by the technology ministry is in response to concerns raised in many quarters related to the apparent lack of timely notifications associated with the tsunami warnings issued by the met office and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management last week.