New Zealand Consulate-General Noumea, New Caledonia

NIWA collaborates on tsunami hazards study in Wallis and Futuna

NIWA, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research of New Zealand, has just completed a two-year collaboration with the European Union (EU) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Wallis and Futuna to deliver a programme to reinforce the safety of people and infrastructure against natural disasters.

Wallis and Futuna is still reeling from the devastation brought by Cyclone Evan in December 2012, and the impacts of the Tonga earthquake and tsunami in September 2009 and of a previous tsunami in 1993, which both caused flooding on Futuna. 

The scientific community has increased efforts to improve understanding of how tsunamis are generated, how they travel across the ocean, flood land, and affect coastal communities and infrastructure. Different tsunami scenarios were investigated, allowing the identification of key zones at risk, reaction time available to the authorities before the tsunami hits, and maximum inundation height.

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