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Friday, May 18, 2018

May 18th

Interesting Facts

Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) looks at past disasters to prepare for the future

Released by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), Aftershocks: Remodeling the Past for a Resilient Future looks at various disasters from the distant and recent past and explores the likely impacts similar events would have if they were to occur in today’s more populous and connected world. Aftershocks notes that impacts from disasters are increasing due to population growth and development. These trends are likely to continue in the future. For example, models show that by 2050, population growth and rapid urbanization alone could put 1.3 billion people and $158 trillion in assets at risk to river and coastal floods. The report explores how understanding the great disasters of the past enables governments and communities to better prepare for the risks they face. For example, earthquakes that struck Chile and Haiti in 2010 demonstrate the value of enforcing building standards and resilient urban planning to mitigate the impact of future events. A remodeling of typhoon Wanda, which devastated the coastal regions of China in 1956, illustrates both the impact of natural hazards in a rapidly growing economy and the benefits of effective risk identification and early warning systems. A closer look at the two earthquakes in Mexico City in 1985 and 2017 illustrate the importance of integrating multiple interventions to mitigate risk, from early warning to improved building practices and financial protection... Read more   Download the report    

Caribbean Lost Almost $700M in Tourism Revenue Due to Hurricanes in 2017

Waves crash against El Malecon ahead of the passing of Hurricane Irma, in Havana, Cuba.The Caribbean's tourism sector lost close to US $700 million in revenue and saw almost one million fewer visitors in 2017 due to the devastating impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria. An industry report released by the London-based World Travel and Tourism Council revealed the disastrous effect the storms had on one of the region's most critical industries when compared to previous years Tuesday. The report notes that the hurricane season resulted in an estimated (loss) in 2017 of 826,100 visitors to the Caribbean, compared to pre-hurricane forecasts. It is estimated that those tourists and the missed revenue could have sustained more than 11,000 jobs within the region. Tourism is a crucial sector for Caribbean countries. The industry, according to the report, is responsible for 15.2 percent of the region's gross domestic product. It's also responsible for 14 percent of the overall all jobs in the islands... Read more


Hurricanes Irma and Maria a hint of what the future holds 

Hurricanes Irma and Maria a hint of what the future holdsSecretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque warned that Hurricanes Irma and Maria which devastated many countries in the Region last year were “a hint at what the future holds”. Speaking at the opening of a meeting with the Heads of Institutions of the Community at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana, on Monday, the Secretary-General noted that the long-term forecasts for climatic activity in the Region were even “more foreboding as the effects of climate change become more pronounced.” The meeting was aimed at strengthening the co-ordination among the Institutions and the Secretariat as the Community builds resilience to encounter the new normal of more intense and frequent climatic activity. A review of the preparedness and management of the response to the events of last September has been undertaken by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to glean lessons learned... Read more

Cuban Scientific Center to Help Reduce Disasters in the Caribbean 

According to the minister of Science, Technology and Environment Elba Rosa Perez, the weather center in the Cuban province of Ciego de Avila will train specialists from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Perez said that the Ciego de Avila-based institution will host three disaster risk reduction training courses for experts, researchers and scientists from the Caribbean. She stressed that the facility has conditions, new technology and a competent staff, so it can become an excellent convention unit in central Cuba. The minister added that it would be an ideal place to hold events on meteorological forecast and climate change, and it can provide technical assistance, scientific technological and innovative services to sectors of the economy and society... Read more

Policy Developments and Outlook
          
U.S. Senate aims to improve volcano warning system 


The U.S. Senate has passed legislation aimed at improving the country’s volcano monitoring and early warning capabilities. The measure would strengthen existing volcano monitoring systems and unify them under one connected system. It also would create a Volcano Watch Office, which would operate around the clock, to monitor all active volcanoes in the U.S. and U.S. territories. The measure still must be approved by the U.S. House. Washington state Sen. Maria Cantwell says her state has five of the highest-threat volcanoes in the nation. She says Thursday’s eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is a reminder that volcanoes are a persistent and serious threat.... Read more  


Jamaican government working on framework for disaster risk financing


Jamaica has been working on establishing a policy framework for disaster risk financing, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service Fayval Williams said on Tuesday. Williams, who was making her first contribution to the sectoral debate in the House of Representatives since being promoted to minister in a Cabinet shuffle by Prime Minister Andrew Holness on March 26, said she is pleased that the Government has put in motion, and are far along with the analytic work that will guide the eventual establishment of a Policy Framework for Disaster Risk Financing ahead of a disaster. Williams said that the Government would continue to maintain a contingency in the budget to deal with high frequency events, but relatively low levels of damage. She added that an analysis of the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Fund would also guide Jamaica's continued participation in the product... Read more