For the urban coastal city of Hong Kong, typhoons are a regular occurrence from May to October. Consequently, Hong Kong’s infrastructure is designed to cope with the strong winds, floods, and storm surges they bring. Recently, however, the territory experienced two powerful storms in consecutive years. In 2017, Super Typhoon Hato struck the region, and in the following year, the city witnessed Super Typhoon Mangkhut, the strongest typhoon since 1983. But Hong Kong suffered lower economic losses from both storms when compared with the neighboring Guangdong region and the city of Macau, thanks partly to its well-coordinated response and resilient infrastructure.
Regional cooperation is rising, systemic governance is center stage and businesses are taking an important role in disaster risk reduction — vital steps towards the ultimate goal of saving lives and livelihoods.
Tsunamis remain the deadliest of all sudden onset natural hazards and they expose shortcomings in the built environment with deadly precision and fatal consequences. They are the ultimate test for risk governance and the rigor of DRR strategies when it comes to managing risks that originate in the world’s oceans and threaten the coastlines where 650 million people are exposed to tsunami risk, storms and tidal surges. Rising sea levels and industrial pollution are all contributing to the expansion of the tsunami threat. The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction is encouraged by the progress we have seen since the celebration of the first World Tsunami Awareness Day five years ago.
Over 500 people joined an online high-level event to mark the 6th World Tsunami Awareness Day today. The accent was very much on science and youth, and the inclusion of tsunami risk in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.