Held every year on 13 October, the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. UNESCO seeks to bolster the resilience of societies through early warning, capacity building, knowledge sharing and networking, and policy advice, working with governments, civil society, research institutions, other UN agencies and international organizations, and all key actors.
The Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOTIC) of UNESCO IOC, housed in UNESCO Office Jakarta, published a booklet in Bahasa Indonesia, “Air Turun Naik di Tiga Negeri” (Tsunami in Three Villages), remembering the 1950 Tsunami in Ambon.
In line with the theme of the IDDR 2016: “Live to Tell: Raising Awareness, Reducing Mortality”, which aims to create a wave of awareness about actions taken around the world to stop disasters from claiming lives. The Booklet recorded and documented the story of 28 eyewitnesses of a tsunami that happened on a Sunday afternoon on 8 October 1950 in three villages in the island of Ambon, namely, Negeri Hutumuri, Negeri Hative Kecil and Negeri Galala.
There are limited information about the tsunami that happened during the unstable geopolitical situation in the Island of Ambon with the fighting between the Tentara Nasional Indonesia – TNI (Indonesian Army) and the Tentara Republik Maluku Selatan – RMS (Army of the Independent South Moluccas). These eyewitnesses, now at the age of 70-80, told their experience of how they survived during the event. Their stories have raised the awareness of the local government, the community, and the next generation of the tsunami hazards that exist in the island.
The “Air Turun Naik di Tiga Negeri” booklet was officially handed to the local government and the community on Saturday, 8 October 2016 in the Hative Kecil Church during the mass that is held every year to remind the community about the disaster.
More Information and the booklet can be downloaded from: http://iotic.ioc-unesco.org/1950ambontsunami/