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Mayor highlights lessons from 2011 tsunami

Jiji Press NEW YORK (Jiji Press) — The mayor of the city of Rikuzentakata highlighted lessons from the March 2011 tsunami at an event held in the U.N. headquarters on Monday, calling for regular evacuation exercises.

“Whenever you feel a big earthquake, make sure to evacuate to higher ground as soon as possible,” Rikuzentakata Mayor Futoshi Toba said at the event, held for the U.N.-designated World Tsunami Awareness Day.

This is “the biggest lesson” learned from the tsunami disaster, he added.

“Recovering from the massive devastation is long and difficult processes,” Toba said. “There is no manual telling us what to do or how to do it.”

The mayor also said, “We want to be a model city of inclusive society globally,” explaining that the city in Iwate Prefecture has been boosting efforts to prevent vulnerable people, including the disabled, from being left behind in natural disasters.

Speaking to reporters after the event, Toba said, “We want to share our lessons with many people so they can use them in preparing for future disasters.”

At the event, Indonesian Ambassador to the United Nations Dian Triansyah Djani underlined the need to take comprehensive measures against tsunami, after Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, suffered soil liquefaction following a major earthquake and massive tsunami in September.

“Preparation is not enough because tsunami never comes alone,” he said.

A representative from the Maldives said the island republic has no upland where residents can take refuge, with most of its territory lower than one meter above sea level.

The event was also joined by Blake Inscore, mayor of Crescent City, Calif.Speech

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