Warning to save lives
Flood alert will issue cautions in both English and Tongan
It has cost $75,000 and will save lives, but everybody hopes Mundubbera’s new early warning will never be used. The warning system will open with a 10-second tone before an announcement in two languages warning people to head to higher ground. The system comes more about 18 months after the flood that spurred action to install the device, similar to warning systems in cities around the world.
“WARNING, this is an emergency announcement. Flooding is imminent, move to higher ground now.”
“Fakatokanga Koe Tafea oku hau, hola ki ha.”
Mundubbera residents will hear these words in English and Tongan the next time there is a flood event after the installation of a 12.5m mass notification device behind Mundubbera Community Development in Stuart Russell St.
The device, similar to those used in other flood and cyclone-prone cities throughout the world, cost $75,000 and was funded by grant money.
“There are many people who will say this is a waste of money, but if it saves one life in the next 20 years it is worth every cent,” Prospect Environmental consultant
Karen Ellis I came from the Lockyer valley and early warning systems saved many lives there.
A warning tone will sound for 10 seconds; that will get everyone’s attention, he explained.
The device will then broadcast a warning message to all Mundubbera residents in a 1.2km radius.
“(It is) great to know that we can sleep at night knowing that we will be woken in an emergency,” shop manager Karen Ellis said.
“I came from the Lockyer Valley and early warning systems saved many lives there.
“This is needed in town and it is a great thing for Mundubbera.”
“During the floods two years ago, it was so hard getting word out,” Pastor Paul Dare said.
The early warning device can be activated online, by council, police and emergency services and physically at the pole.
Prospect Environmental installed the device last Thursday.