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    Why were relatively few people killed in each of these two major disasters ?


    Taken from ABC News in relation to TC Pam:
    Many development experts agree it was due to a combination of traditional knowledge, improved communications technology and disaster preparedness.
    – light weight housing materials flex better and are scattered quicker doing less human damage
    – local communities are used to cyclones so are more prepared
    – SMS warnings were given early
    – the RC in Vanuatu spend much time preparing locals for cyclones, eg teach techniques to secure houses, prepare food gardens and store emergency food.

    This makes sense when a community has plans in place for these events and luckily building materials are light and simple to reconstruct. SMS warnings are vital here, as are sirens in Hawaiian islands.


    hi Michael (and others),The fact that the communities in both countries were relatively well prepared; meant that the death rates (< 20 in Vanuatu; < 50 in Fiji) were relatively slight, although the numbers (and percentages) of people in both countries was high - eg 166,000 affected in Vanuatu, and around 350,000 in Fiji. The emergency response, and subsequent recovery operations, were well supported by mixture of local communities, national resources, supported by the international community. The situation in these two countries contrasts with Haiti, hit by Hurricane Matthew in early October. The number of deaths is proportionally higher (over 1,000 as at end Oct), and the number of people affected around 2.1 million. I'm not sure whether a proportion of these deaths were caused by storm surges around the coast. The situation is probably more challenging due to greater poverty, and cries of corruption/nepotism/inefficiency (leading to some growing security problems) relating to the forthcoming elections due on the 20 Nov 2016. .

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