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Category Archives: Disaster

LIRNEasia-Sarvodaya exhibit among the top three at National Safety Day 2014

National Safety Day was somewhat overshadowed by floods and an election. Yet, LIRNEasia and its partner Sarvodaya pulled together a good exhibit. The judges have selected our exhibit as one of the top three. As a reward we have been offered an educational trip to Bangkok. Someone from Sarvodaya will make the trip.

Knowledge, the tsunami and citizens

In the overview piece that keeps popping up in various media (link below), I highlighted the importance of knowledge. Not only its creation, but its incorporation into everyday practice. Not only of government and private sector, but also of citizens. Knowledge, he stressed, has to be incorporated into everyday practice not only by the government […]

Indian Ocean Tsunami + 10

LIRNEasia was three months old when the tsunami struck, killing over 200,000 people in countries around the Bay of Bengal where we intended to focus our efforts as a nascent think tank. But it hit Sri Lanka, where we are based, very hard. On a per-capita basis, Sri Lanka suffered the greatest loss of lives, […]

Post-tsunami advances in knowledge that contribute to disaster risk reduction

Based on writing and interviews done in June 2015 in the context of LIRNEasia’s events organized to mark the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 2004 http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Regional/2014/12/22/Contributing-to-global-knowledge/. The first multilingual trials of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) – a data format for exchanging public warnings and emergencies between alerting technologies – were […]

Insurance as a key element of future disaster risk reduction strategies

Ravaya landslides

Despite the massive goof-up with the situation reports which over-reported the number of casualties from the Koslanda landslide by a factor of eight (300 as against the actual 38), the country has been shaken by the disaster. The Sinhala language weekly, Ravaya, was dominated by it. The article that I contributed, building on the thinking […]

Landslides, and what can be done about them

We’ve had too many disasters. The tsunami, the LTTE, Nandikadal. And now Koslanda. After the tsunami we asked what could be done to avoid a repeat. We found answers. Ten years later we can be confident that it will not be that bad, the next time. But landslides are very different from tsunamis and cyclones. […]

Is Canada benefiting for LIRNEasia’s disaster risk reduction research?

In 2004 January I asked my friend, Pete Anderson, to take a risk and come to Sri Lanka to participate in the expert forum we had convened on the 26th of January to develop policy recommendations for effective early warning. At that moment I did not have a budget line to pay out of, but […]

Ebola rocks ITU’s PP-14. What’s next?

The ITU’s top officials get elected in a quadrennial event and the current one commences on October 20 at Busan. More than 3,000 government officials and 600,000 attendees from 193 countries are expected to visit. South Korean government is, however, worried about more than 170 delegates, including 107 Nigerians, from West Africa – the epicenter […]

Sri Lanka Disaster Management Conference, 24-26 September 2014, to mark 10th anniversary of our greatest disaster

It is true that we tend to overdo the ceremonial elements, but well-organized conferences perform a vital function in public policy making and implementation. They concentrate the attention of the relevant persons, both in terms of preparing presentations and in terms of listening. Not all of it sticks, but if well designed, enough seeps through […]

LIRNEasia 4th Disaster Risk Reduction Lecture generates coverage

This was published in Ceylon Today but they appear to have some kind of lag built into their online publication. So we are sharing the reflective column by Nalaka Gunawardene from his website. Whatever the hazard, early warnings would work well when adequate technological capability combines with proper decision-making and dissemination systems, and prepared communities. […]

Using CAP to minimize ill effects of false warning

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The 2014 LIRNEasia Disaster Risk Reduction Lecture focused on all aspects of the early warning ‘chain’ and what advances have been made in the ten years since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. On the whole the message that was conveyed was very positive. Tremendous progress has been made both in the science of understanding when […]

2014 Disaster Risk Reduction Public Lecture: Regional Readiness

Dr Stewart Weinstein

A lecture on disaster risk reduction was organized on Thursday 19th June at the Sri Lanka Foundation to consolidate knowledge on the subject in Sri Lanka and share it with other countries, private sector organizations and the general public. The keynote speaker at the event was Dr Stuart Weinstein, Deputy Director of the Pacific Tsunami […]

Talk on tsunami in January 2005: What Happened in Sri Lanka? And why it won’t be so bad next time

Nine and a half years ago, in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, I was asked to speak on the role of ICTs in disaster management at the PTC conference in Honolulu. The title says it all: Why it won’t be so bad next time. It was an emotional time and I half-wondered whether I […]

Financial Times carries a column on IOTX: 10 years later, what have we learned?

From today’s Financial Times: When asked to explain the importance of CAP, I find it helpful to contrast today’s media and disaster-management environments with those that existed at the time of the 1978 east coast cyclone where around 250,000 people were displaced (about the same as by the 2004 tsunami), but only around 900 died […]

Consolidating and applying the knowledge generated since 2004 tsunami

This is disaster risk reduction week in Sri Lanka. Nothing official, but we decided some time back that tsunami commemoration is better done in the middle of the year, than in the last week of December when everything, including our brains, shuts down. I learned this from my children’s schools where they celebrate half-birthdays for […]

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