Tsunami Awareness Empowers Island Students


It was an experience that Aisake Malupo, 16, would never forget as the plane took off from Nadi International Airport.

Not only was it his first time in a plane but for the first time, the Lauan lad was visiting another country.

Describing his journey, Mr Malupo said, “We left Nadi on September 4, 2019, and it was a 10 hour flight from Nadi to Korea, then we transited and made our way to Tokyo, Japan.”

The Adi Moapa Secondary School student, who hails from Vanuabalavu, was chosen by the Japanese Embassy in Fiji with three other students from the same school to attend the World Tsunami Awareness Day in Japan.

“On the first day we visited the Tokyo Tower, a temple and a museum.”

Mr Malupo was amazed at the tower which is stood at more than 300 meters high.

He said during the workshop they were split into groups and he was the moderator for his group which consisted of students from other countries such as France, India, Nauru and Japan.

“We discussed in our group on the various challenges we face when or if a tsunami occurs and how to create awareness.”

“We also did presentations on natural disasters and how it affected our individual countries.”

Mr Malupo said it was interesting to learn the different countries and culture, and that he will never forget the opportunity that was given to him.

“I will take what I have learnt from the workshop back to my school and my village.” The ‘High School Student Summit on World Tsunami Awareness Day’ 2019 in Hokkaido is committed to using the memories of the past disasters as a guide toward preventative and risk reduction measures. This was highlighted by Japanese Ambassador to Fiji, Masahiro Omura when talking about the purpose of the program.

“Since 2016, we have invited high schools to Japan from countries that are vulnerable to tsunamis and provide them with opportunities to acquire knowledge on disaster reduction.”

During the send-off reception Ministry of Education permanent secretary Alison Burchell said that World Tsunami Day is important to areas of vulnerability especially in the Pacific which is surrounded by the sea.