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Category Archives: Disaster

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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

1575

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 […]

LIRNEasia’s first public event on disaster-risk reduction, four months into its existence

Newspaper announcement

As we prepare for the IOTX events that start on the 16th of June in Negombo, I was reminded of the first expert consultation we conducted, exactly one month after the tsunami. That was a productive meeting, catalyzing, among other things, the USD 71 million plus dam safety project that has made large swaths of […]

First publicity for Disaster Risk Reduction Lecture and Discussion on 19th June, 1530 at SLFI

Since we run the DRR lecture on a shoestring, there will be no paid media ads. We are grateful for publicity. If forewarned is forearmed and you are in the NGO sector specifically in DRR (Disaster Risk Reduction) there’s a lecture on Disaster Risk Reduction Public Lecture: Regional Readiness. Disaster risk reduction is the concept […]

Viewership stats of an online publication on disaster warning

I must have been busy last February. That is the only possible explanation for why I neglected to blog about an article Nalaka Gunawardene and I wrote, reflecting on the experience of providing effective disaster warnings, nine years after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The proliferation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) adds a new […]

Code-fest for Alerting Enthusiasts – IOTX Lanka

Join us at the CAP Code-fest REGISTER NOW   IT Industry teaming with Emergency Management Experts to experimentaly develop exciting warning/alerting software solutions. ANYONE CAN JOIN the CAP Code-fest and it is Free to Attend. Experiment with interchanging warning/alerting information with disparate software solutions and then build new interfaces between them. Play with various domain […]

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