Evaluation and prevention of the risk of tsunami to French shores
On 26 December 2004, a destructive tsunami devastated the coasts of 11 countries in the Indian Ocean, killing nearly 300,000 persons, including 230,000 in the Indonesian province of Aceh in Sumatra. The international community was shocked not only by this natural catastrophe's intensity, but also by the fact that the tsunami's impact could have been mitigated by an effective early-warning system. It also demonstrated that the Pacific Ocean is not the only zone concerned by tsunamis and that every basin is indeed vulnerable. Under the aegis of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, it was therefore decided to set up a regional early-warning system in each basin. With its exclusive economic zone covering 11 million kmĀ² and spread out among all of the world's oceans, France appeared particularly vulnerable to the vagaries of tsunamis. The Parliamentary Office for the Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Choices was therefore charged with analyzing the policies in place both in metropolitan France and in its overseas territories for evaluating the hazards of tsunamis and reducing their effects on the local populations.
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Office Parlementaire dĀ“Evaluation des Choix Scientifiques et Technologiques of the French Parliament (OPECST)