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

Sri Lanka produces one of the world’s earliest GSM based disaster warning systems

Sri Lanka has always been prone to natural disasters; more commonly droughts, floods and landslides. However, the 2004 Tsunami caused the most devastation we had witnessed in a very, very long time. LIRNEasia’s stance in the aftermath, apart from contributions in cash and kind for immediate relief, was a more longer term solution using our core strengths – research, getting the right people connected and facilitating initial efforts of implementation. The outcome was the design of a participatory concept of an all hazard-warning system. It was a joint effort getting the right people together – from government, to technology developers to communication network specialist who would then later go on to provide the platform required for the implementation of an early warning system. A number of systems were tested, one of which was DEWN’s (Disaster and Emergency Warning Network) remote alarm device. DEWN is the first of its kind in the world to test multiple languages using the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) over GSM. Instrumental in this effort was LIRNEasia’s senior research fellow Nuwan Waidyanatha who carried out the first CAP interoperability testing with DEWN (GSM) and WorldSpace (L-Band); i.e. the publishing of CAP messages with WorldSpace and channeled back to DEWN to automatically trigger devices. Under the leadership of Harsha Purasinghe of Microimage, DEWN has now been developed with many more features and a mobile app and is the World’s first GSM based early warning system.

Also see: DEWN – Harnessing cellular technology for early warning dissemination

Ubiquitous GSM Technology For Early Warning & Disaster Mitigation

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