APEC shares experience in technology application to address disasters hinh anh 1Delegates at the 11th APEC Senior Disaster Management Officials' Forum (Photo: VNA)
Nghe An (VNA) – Lessons and experiences that APEC member economies have withdrawn through their natural disaster fight and response, especially in applying advanced science and technology, have been shared at the ongoing 11th Senior Disaster Management Officials Forum held in central Nghe An province.

Talking with Vietnam News Agency reporters on the sidelines of the event, Takeshi Yonezawa, Deputy Director-General for Disaster Management Cabinet Office, said that Japan and Vietnam share many similarities in natural disaster vulnerability.

He highlighted Japan’s preventive measures such as strengthening the resilience of its infrastructure such as roads, bridges and public works, and improving the efficiency of forecast.

Besides, Japan has learned about the way people get information and forecast on natural disasters so as to provide them with forecast in a fastest manner.

Highlighting that Vietnam should pay due attention to the community’s preparedness for disaster response for Vietnam, Yonezawa shared that Japan has held training courses targeting children, aiming to raise their awareness and practice in coping with disasters.

Japan is willing to continue working with Vietnam in natural disaster management through the Japan International Cooperation Agency by sending experts to support the Southeast Asian country.

[APEC senior officials seek ways to cope with disaster risks]

Meanwhile, Bernado Rafaelito R. Alejandro IV, Director of the Policy Development and Planning Service under the Office of Civil Defence of the Philippines, said that there are about 20 typhoons hitting the Philippines each year with very strong ones.

He said that his country is adjusting its structure to strengthen the authority of the disaster response agency, while concentrating on mitigation and preparedness.

“We have focused on early warning through SMS, while developing a network for early warning. We have also invested a lot in technology and also people.”

Ambassador Phillip Gibson, Special Envoy for Disaster Risk Management from the New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade, emphasised the fundamental significance of technology application in disaster management.

“We need to prepare for the disasters, manage the response and recovery. A really important element is being prepared. To be prepared, we have to know what the risks are, and for that we need really good science and technology,” he said.

He also lauded Vietnam’s idea in holding the forum, which he described as a good chance for APEC members to learn from each other.

Nguyen Quoc Hiep, Vice Director of the Vietnam Academy for Water Resources’ Centre for Water Resources Software, said that one of the difficulties that Vietnam is countering is the data transmission technology, as the country is sending data through the existing mobile network which has yet to cover all areas of the country, especially some remote areas with high risks of natural disaster such as flash flood and landslide. The system is also vulnerable to weather conditions such as storm.

He revealed that Vietnam is working to upgrade the technology, using the satellite system that is more reliable, thus expanding coverage.

Within the two-day forum, participants will also discuss developing solutions for information infrastructure operation in mitigating natural disaster risks.

Established in 1989, APEC with 21 member economies represents 39 percent of the world population, 57 percent of the world GDP and 47 percent of the total trade.-VNA