Tonga reveals vulnerability of small island states: UN General Assembly president

2022-01-18 09:18:29Xinhua Editor : Zhao Li ECNS App Download

UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid said Monday that the massive volcano eruption in Tonga and the ensuing tsunami demonstrate the vulnerability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to natural disasters.

The usual response options, when it comes to SIDS, are limited. There is limited higher ground. The groundwater is easily contaminated, and almost all infrastructure is located near the shoreline, Shahid was quoted as saying by his spokesperson Paulina Kubiak.

"What we need is efforts to enhance resilience as outlined in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and further specified in the 2030 Agenda," said the spokeswoman.

This is an instance where international solidarity is needed in crisis response and reconstruction, she said.

Shahid is following closely the developments in the region. The president is relieved that there have so far not been any confirmed reports of deaths or major injuries. But he notes that communications remain down and details are coming in slowly. The president is aware that losses are difficult to assess, said the spokeswoman. 

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