Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

PRINCETON – Lorsque le séisme et le tsunami ont frappé le Japon en mars dernier, Brian Tucker était à Padang, en Indonésie. Tucker travaillait avec un collègue à la conception d’un refuge qui pourrait sauver des milliers de vies si – ou plutôt quand – un tsunami identique à celui né dans l’océan Indien en 1797, quelques 1000 kilomètres plus au sud que le tsunami de 2004, frappera à nouveau. Tucker est le fondateur et le président de GeoHazards International, une organisation à but non lucratif dont l’objectif est de limiter le nombre de morts et les souffrances liées aux séismes pour les populations les plus vulnérables dans le monde.

Padang est précisément l’un de ces endroits. Au nord-ouest de cette ville, à Banda Aceh, 160.000 personnes ont été tuées par le tsunami de 2004. Les sismologues pensent que la rupture de la zone de subduction, à l’origine de ce raz-de-marée, pourrait se reproduire plus au sud, et des villes côtières comme Padang, qui compte 900.000 habitants, sont exposées au risque d’un séisme majeur suivi d’un tsunami dans les 30 années à venir.

A Banda Aceh, le tsunami a tué plus de la moitié des habitants. A Padang, selon une estimation du directeur municipal de la gestion des catastrophes naturelles, un raz-de-marée de la même ampleur ferait plus de 400.000 victimes.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/xtjfPw4/fr;
  1. An employee works at a chemical fiber weaving company VCG/Getty Images

    China in the Lead?

    For four decades, China has achieved unprecedented economic growth under a centralized, authoritarian political system, far outpacing growth in the Western liberal democracies. So, is Chinese President Xi Jinping right to double down on authoritarianism, and is the “China model” truly a viable rival to Western-style democratic capitalism?

  2. The assembly line at Ford Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

    Whither the Multilateral Trading System?

    The global economy today is dominated by three major players – China, the EU, and the US – with roughly equal trading volumes and limited incentive to fight for the rules-based global trading system. With cooperation unlikely, the world should prepare itself for the erosion of the World Trade Organization.

  3. Donald Trump Saul Loeb/Getty Images

    The Globalization of Our Discontent

    Globalization, which was supposed to benefit developed and developing countries alike, is now reviled almost everywhere, as the political backlash in Europe and the US has shown. The challenge is to minimize the risk that the backlash will intensify, and that starts by understanding – and avoiding – past mistakes.

  4. A general view of the Corn Market in the City of Manchester Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

    A Better British Story

    Despite all of the doom and gloom over the United Kingdom's impending withdrawal from the European Union, key manufacturing indicators are at their highest levels in four years, and the mood for investment may be improving. While parts of the UK are certainly weakening economically, others may finally be overcoming longstanding challenges.

  5. UK supermarket Waring Abbott/Getty Images

    The UK’s Multilateral Trade Future

    With Brexit looming, the UK has no choice but to redesign its future trading relationships. As a major producer of sophisticated components, its long-term trade strategy should focus on gaining deep and unfettered access to integrated cross-border supply chains – and that means adopting a multilateral approach.

  6. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now