CONTINUOUS efforts to strengthen disaster preparedness, community and infrastructure resilience will help minimise the impact of natural disasters in future says Asian Development Bank's Dr Caroline Currie.
Dr Currie, who is the head of the economics and programming unit at ADB's South Pacific subregional office in Suva, co-authored the recent ADB Pacific Economic Monitor: December 2012 report and highlighted the impact of floods on the economy early this year.
Lamenting on the recent damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Evan, Dr Currie said the impact of cyclones on small developing countries such as small island countries in the South Pacific could be extensive.
"The effects are often felt countrywide and in many instances, all sectors will be affected," she said.
"The recent cyclone which hit Fiji will have some impact on health, education, water and sanitation, housing, power and logistics.
"The immediate effect will be a loss of output from all economic sectors and in particular from key sectors such as agriculture and tourism which are the mainstays of the Fijian economy."
She said the overall or net effect on the economy could be difficult to assess as restoring and rehabilitating damaged infrastructure could increase output in the coming months and years largely through a surge in construction activity.
"It is important for countries across the Pacific to have a disaster preparedness plan. Fiji was able to reduce the impact of TC Evan on people and property through its governance arrangements for disaster management and through communities paying heed to early warnings to be prepared for the approaching cyclone," she said.