LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Tsunami warning tower fails on September 12th

We assume that the failure of the Hikkaduwa tower will be examined as part of the comprehensive review the Minister has called for.

The important thing is to think about warning as a chain with many links. If one link breaks, the chain breaks. The conclusions are that one must minimize the number of links and ensure that each is link is robust. It appears from the story that a link in the Galle district failed. Why can we not directly connect the Met Department which has been given authority to issue warnings directly to the towers using a robust technology such as WorldSpace addressable satellite radio that does not even require mains power?

Is not foolhardy to install more towers before the operation of the existing towers has been remedied?
:: Daily Mirror – Features ::

Thousands of people living in the Hikkaduwa area which was of the worst affected area in the south heaved a sigh of relief when a Tsunami Early Warning Tower was installed on the Hikkaduwa beach.

The residents of several other surrounding villages in the area including Kahawa Akurala , Telwatta, Peraliya, Seenigama, Thotagamuwa and Dodanduwa , the business community and the owners of tourist hotels praised the Minister of Disaster Management and Human rights, Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe for providing a disaster warning system to the area. The Korean Government funded the project costing US dollars 2000 and provided the technical expertise. Similar Early Warning Towers beaming alarm signals to an extent of 4 kilometres were installed at Kalmunai in Ampara the district and at Point Pedro in the Jaffna district.

The Minister and the disaster management experts from Sri Lanka and Korea guaranteed the smooth functioning of the disaster Warning Towers on the day of commissioning which was celebrated in a grand way. However it is a matter of serious concern that the Hikkaduwa Tsunami Early Warning Tower failed on the eventful day when the area faced a threat of a possible tsunami in the aftermath of an earthquake in the sea off the Sumatra islands.

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