Warn­ing to save lives

Flood alert will is­sue cau­tions in both English and Ton­gan

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Noel Thomp­son noel.thomp­son@cnbtimes.com.au

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.

MarkWolf said.

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.

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