As the death toll from to the Asian tsunami rose to over 200,000 this week, delegates attending a Disaster Reduction Conference in Kobe, Japan, agreed on the need to put in place a tsunami warning system for the Indian Ocean. But one disaster expert attending the conference expressed dismay that discussions of scientific research into catastrophes took a back seat.
"There's been little hard discussion on operational issues [for disaster management] or even scientific and practical matters. Research figures little or none," said Debarati Guha-Sapir, director of the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters in Brussels.
"The level of discussion remained rather general," she said of the Kobe meeting. "I'm disappointed that [disease] surveillance remains a low...