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Date: Monday, May 04 2015

Dr Timothy Sim, Associate Professor of APSS and Director of PolyU’s United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) project was recently interviewed by Phoenix TV and Xinhua News Agency sharing his views and experiences of working with Earthquake Without Frontiers, a consortium partnership funded by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) bringing together a group of earth scientists with a long track record in integrated earthquake science, and social scientists who have extensive experience in dealing with the vulnerability and resilience of communities in disaster-prone regions, and communicating scientific knowledge to policy makers to develop strategies for managing and reducing disaster risks.   

 

While assistance is pouring into Nepal from various parts of the world, Dr. Sim emphasized that only systematically developed coordinated post-disaster management strategies would be able to help the earthquake victims effectively. More importantly in the future Nepal will need to direct more educational and collaborative efforts not only in post-disaster reconstruction but also in preparing people for minimizing disaster risks and losses.

 

His interviews (in Chinese) are accessible via the following links:.

鳳凰網衛視 –訪問視頻片段 (2015年4月27日) 

http://v.ifeng.com/news/opinion/201504/0105a9f4-62a3-4959-a8e0-611d8f3fc...

新華社–最新播報(2015年4月30日)

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B58pSSYcZAAGRWt1RWRxOGt4eUU/edit (15:40- 17:48)

 

A report on his interview is also reproduced below:

 

香港防災減災專家為尼泊爾地震救災建言(2015年4月29日 20:11:52 -新華網,記者謝希語)

 

香港理工大學防災減災專家沈文偉29日接受新華社記者專訪時表示,尼泊爾地震受災地區確實很需要幫助,但前往的研究人員和志願者要講究方法,要有序進行援助,避免造成二次傷害、成為當地負擔。

 

“在這種非常緊急的時候,水也沒有,吃的也沒有,甚至上廁所的地方也都沒有,我們這個時候進去是真的能夠幫上忙嗎?能帶來什麼好處?這是我們必須慎重考慮的。”沈文偉說。

 

沈文偉指出,尼泊爾地震之所以造成如此大的傷亡,和當地的歷史文化背景是分不開的。比如,加德滿都當地人的房屋大多是代代相傳的,人居面積不夠用時就在原有房屋基礎上向上加建,這樣的房屋很不結實,同時,居民區房屋非常密集,增加了地震的危險性。

 

他認為,尼泊爾在進行地震重建時應做好城市規劃。他說,有“危”就會有“機”,希望尼泊爾在經歷這次強烈地震以後,能夠重建得更好,避免再次發生災難。

 

談及防災減災,沈文偉表示,災害防禦是一個由上而下、由下而上的過程。由上而下需要一個國家或地區的政府牽頭,在政策、經濟、教育等方面著手;由下而上則是加強民眾對防災減災的意識和準備,建立跨部門、多學科的交叉合作,聯合多領域開展防災減災工作。

 

他還特別提到,尼泊爾的勞動力輸出很多,受到地震影響的很多婦女、兒童、老人等弱勢群體值得特別留意。

 

沈文偉是香港理工大學-聯合國減災署合作專案總監、香港理工大學應用社會科學系副教授。尼泊爾地震發生前一周,他與其他來自全球各地的地震專家在加德滿都舉行會議。

 

對於網上有傳言說此次會議是預測到會有大地震發生才舉行,沈文偉表示,目前科學界仍然沒有辦法準確預測地震,會議是“地震無疆界”專案的中段會議,早有安排,並不是因為預測到地震才舉行。