Prävention statt Katastrophenhilfe

PRINCETON – Als Japan im März von Erdbeben und Tsunami heimgesucht wurde, befand sich Brian Tucker in der indonesischen Stadt Padang. Mit einem Kollegen arbeitete Tucker gerade an der Konzeption eines Zufluchtsortes, der tausenden Menschen das Leben retten könnte, falls – oder besser: wenn -  es wieder zu einem Tsunami wie im Jahr 1797 im indischen Ozean kommt, dessen Ausgangspunkt ungefähr 1000 Kilometer von der Stelle entfernt lag, wo der Tsunami des Jahres 2004 entstand. Tucker ist Gründer und Präsident der gemeinnützigen Organisation GeoHazards International, deren Mission darin besteht, Leid und Tod infolge von Erdbeben in den am stärksten gefährdeten Gegenden dieser Welt zu vermindern.

Padang liegt in einer derartigen Gegend. Bei dem Tsunami im Jahr 2004 verloren in dieser nordwestlich von Banda Aceh gelegenen Stadt 160.000 Menschen ihr Leben. Geologen sagen nun, dass die Verwerfung, die für den Tsunami 2004 verantwortlich war, wahrscheinlich weiter südlich aufbrechen wird, wodurch für tief gelegene Küstenstädte wie Padang mit 900.000 Einwohnern das hohe Risiko besteht, innerhalb der nächsten 30 Jahre von einem starken Erdbeben und einem Tsunami heimgesucht zu werden.

In Banda Aceh wurde mehr als die Hälfte der Bevölkerung durch den Tsunami getötet. Einer Schätzung des Leiters des städtischen Büros für Katastrophenschutz zufolge, könnte ein ähnlicher Tsunami in Padang über 400.000 Menschen das Leben kosten.

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