In the past 20 years there has been a sharp increase in the loss of life from tsunamis. The disasters, driven mainly by earthquakes, have killed close to a quarter of a million people since 2004. Denis McClean is the spokesperson for the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. He says we all need to become more aware of the danger and be ready to react. McClean joined us on World Tsunami Awareness Day.
"In the case of an earthquake, once the initial tremor has passed, you just seek out higher ground wherever possible. In the case of Thailand in 2004, people who managed to get to the upper floors of hotels on the beaches there were quite safe because the hotels were constructed to earthquake-resistance standards and they were able to resist the power and strength of the wave which swept through the lower floors," McClean told FRANCE 24.
If you find yourself in a coastal area and there is an earthquake, he advised, you should flee to higher ground as quickly as possible "if you want to have a chance of surviving."