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Category Archives: Disaster

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11 year olds using LEGO, Sahana Software, and NASA sensors

Born2Build is a group of enthusiastic 11year olds competing in a First LEGO League Robotics competition. The 2013 topic is “Nature’s Fury” – “children ages 9 to 16 from over 70 countries will explore the awe-inspiring storms, quakes, waves and more that we call natural disasters. Teams will discover what can be done when intense natural events meet […]

Lest we forget

Silently crawling seawater soon turned in to a tide of mass destruction. Nearly quarter of a million loved ones were perished across the costs of Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004. The world was stunned by such an unprecedented scale of catastrophe. The rescuers’ power of love overpowered the devastation of tsunami. Hands of prayers […]

Presentations at ESCAP expert consultation on Asian Information Superhighway

Senior Policy Fellow Abu Saeed Khan and I participated in the ESCAP consultation that sought input on three documents: a report on the state of optical-fiber-based connectivity in the ASEAN region, a new interactive map of international and domestic fiber cables in Asia and a report by LIRNEasia on resilience of ICT infrastructures. The agenda […]

ICTs to improve monsoon hazard monitoring in S Asia

The widespread casualties caused this year by fast moving weather systems in Uttarakhand and in Pakistan have caused experts to call for real-time data sharing among the region’s meteorological departments. This seems to call for increased reliance on ICTs. The monsoon has been erratic in recent years. Last year, the monsoon failed in Sri Lanka, […]

Mobile money

I saw this lament and my first thought was, she does not live in Kenya, but in backward New York. A truly mobile wallet — one that would let you easily pay for restaurant meals, subway rides or beers at a bar with a quick wave of your cellphone — has long been described as […]

Sri Lanka disaster early warning: It’s deja vu all over again

We are not even sure how many have died. But we are sure that too many have died as result of the strong winds that lashed the west coast the past few days. I could write a long essay. But instead, I will link to what we wrote after the mini cyclone of November 2011 […]

Critical infrastructure hardening: Who should pay and how much?

LIRNEasia works on infrastructure policy and regulation. It also has expertise in disaster risk reduction. That means that we have a natural interest in critical infrastructure issues. This is an area I had published in, even before LIRNEasia came into being. The subject was on assigning responsibility for risk reduction by regulators. When Hurricane Sandy […]

US gets fully behind cell broadcasting for early disaster warning

People ask me where cell broadcasting has been implemented. I’ve said Netherlands. But it actually had been implemented quietly in the US two years ago. The ad campaign to publicize it is being run only now. “Many people do not realize that they carry a potentially life-saving tool with them in their pockets or purses […]

Mapbox nifty tool for visualizing the disaster impact before-n-after

MapBox has released its JavaScript code for the public to use in visualizing the recent Moore tornado impact. Simply slide your mouse over the area in the map below. Exerpt from mapbox blog – “Thanks to open aerial imagery provided by the U.S. Government and our MapBox.js javascript library, we can now see — in […]

Need for mobile mesh networks during crises

“In a recent article on BBC Future, Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Internet Law at Harvard University, promotes the need for a network that works independently of the ones owned and controlled by the network operators and only in an emergency – something called a mesh network.” – FULL STORY

Myanmar beefs up emergency communications

Cyclone Nargis still haunts Myanmar. With a wall of wave as high as 16 feet at 135 miles per hour, the sea had unleashed its fury across the Irrawaddy Delta on May 2, 2008. Nearly 140,000 lives were perished and 2.4 million displaced people lost everything. It destroyed 450,000 homes, damaged 350,000 others, flooded 600,000 […]

Symbols in Alerting

dream-flash-flood

I had a dream once – I was walking along a river in China and then an audible alarm emitting from my mobile phone got my attention. When I looked at the screen, surprisingly, a symbol with a red border showing rising water and a human figure running uphill towards shelter, was displaying. Later I […]

Internet and telecoms restored in quake-hit Sichuan

Last Saturday a 6.6 magnitude earthquake has rocked the Baoxing County in China’s Sichuan province. It immediately reminded everyone the 7.9 magnitude earthquake that killed nearly 90,000 people around Chengdu city in the very Sichuan province during May 2008. Five years is too short to forget the devastation as well as the mistakes. In 2008, […]

Overview of meteor impact hazard

Nalaka Gunawardene, a friend and colleague, has provided an overview of the hazards posed by near-earth objects. Thousands of pieces of cosmic debris enter our atmosphere every day — most are burned up before hitting the ground (producing harmless ‘shooting stars’). Larger pieces that crash-land are called meteorites. Even then, average ones are too small […]

Infrasound: A particular form of damage from meteor hits

What we noticed in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was the randomness of the damage. Houses that were right next to each other were affected differently: one destroyed another untouched. This was supposed to be caused by the complex interaction of the wave and the topography of the coast. In the case […]

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