• Kyodo

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Mexico’s National Center of Disaster Prevention held its first forum on tsunami prevention in Mexico on Friday, under the auspices of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

About 200 experts from Mexico and Japan took part in the “First Forum of Prevention before Occurrence of Tsunami in Mexico.”

The experts discussed the lessons learned from December’s catastrophic tsunami in the Indian Ocean and how to save Mexico and the region from similar calamities.

Tsuneki Hori, JICA’s disaster prevention specialist, gave a presentation on Japan’s experience with tsunamis and measures for dealing with them.

“Tsunamis are not the only thing that can hit the region,” he said, mentioning hurricanes, floods and other acts of nature that endanger people.

Mexico, which is situated in an earthquake zone, suffered severe tsunamis in 1925, 1932 and 1995 on the central Pacific coast, according to the center.

“Where there are earthquakes, there are more risks of tsunami,” said Robert Quaas, director of the center.

JICA has been assisting Mexico with disaster prevention since 1990. It provided $12 million to establish the center and a system for monitoring sea disasters and carrying out disaster prevention programs.

“Japan offered aid to Mexico because of the terrible earthquake in 1985,” said Koji Kawai, director general of the JICA Mexican bureau. The 1985 earthquake devastated Mexico City, killing more than 10,000 people.

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