The Asia-Pacific region has the highest number of deaths and economic losses from natural disaster more than any other area of the globe, according to a report from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. To that end, scientists and academics from the U.S., Japan and Indonesia are banding together to find proactive ways to combat the problem, according to an article in last week’s New York Times.
This three country collaboration is being called “Disaster University” and academics from the University of Hawaii are training colleagues from Tohoku University in Japan on how to develop courses on all aspects of disaster response including the psychological and behavioral management side,” according to the NYT piece. University of Hawaii researchers are looking at Indonesia as the focus country for Disaster University and is teaming with Gadjah Mada University and the Islamic University of Indonesia as Indonesia is the reportedly the most disaster prone area of the world, said Mochamad Tegun, dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Planning at the Islamic University of Indonesia.
More than 10,000 people are killed yearly and 200 million individuals are affected in the Asia-Pacific by natural disasters. Almost $300 billion was lost in 2011 alone due to the earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan and floods in Southeast Asia.