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Tag Archives: Early Warning

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A plea for closer communication between DMC and the people when disaster looms

Right now disaster awareness is high. A cyclone was heading toward Sri Lanka’s Northeast Coast but has apparently veered off toward the Indian East Coast. Flooding has started in different parts of the country, trees are falling, transport has been affected. Of course, people are very aware of Hurricane Sandy and the US East Coast […]

Sri Lanka: Nuclear hazard detection sites in eastern and central locations too

I was pleased to read that detection devices for nuclear hazards are to be set up in Sri Lanka, even if it was from a foreign publication. I have been one of the few to point out that Sri Lanka lives in the shadow of nuclear reactors, while getting none of the benefits. This announcement […]

LIRNEasia disaster management action research: Video on using voice in local languages

Senior Research Fellow Nuwan Waidyanatha recently completed an action research project on how local-language voice communication can be used in early warning and other disaster management tasks. A 10 mt video has just been released.

Cyclone Thane: Early warning and preparedness saves lives

We complain every time early warning is not given or false warnings/evacuation orders are issued. But praise must be given when right action is taken and lives are saved. Indian authorities are to be praised. Witnesses in Chennai and Pondicherry said trees had been toppled, there had been power outages throughout the night and disruption […]

Disagreeing with Smith Dharmasaroja: Importance of focusing on the most important issue

Smith Dharmasaroja is a hero of mine. Disagreeing with a hero does not come easy. But he is wrong to give equal or greater weight to national tsunami detection and monitoring systems than to communication of last-mile warning. It may be that the fault lies in the reporter in ordering the comments, but it does […]

Sri Lanka: Seven years after tsunami, lack of information and preparedness prevails

The government itself has found the early warning actions of the designated national authorities deficient and is talking of setting up workaround mechanisms. Nothing really new, other than sadness that seven years and large commitments of resources have not taken us much farther than we were back in 2004. What is even more worrisome is […]

Sri Lanka: Bypassing the national disaster early warning center

Based on theory and analysis, we have strongly advocated that early warning should be issued by government. I have even gone so far as to suggest that those who issue false warnings should be prosecuted. Thus, it comes as shock to read in the Sunday Times that the government itself is planning to bypass the […]

Communication for risk reduction talk at DMC Symposium

It is very important to keep the conversation going in a field like disaster risk reduction. The Sri Lanka Disaster Management Center, in collaboration with UNDP, is organizing the Third National Symposium on Disaster Risk Reduction & Climate Change Adaptation on 24th and 25th November 2011. The presentation from LIRNEasia is here.

Twitter as crowdsourced early warning

The idea of using information supplied by people for early warning is extremely attractive. So much so that one politically-correct person wanted us to rename our project from “last mile” to “first mile.” We didn’t because in our model it was the last mile, the end of the warning chain, and we have little tolerance […]

Cell broadcasting gets a new boost, thanks to Pacific tsunami

The MIT Technology Review is taken seriously by many people, especially those who see technology as part of the policy solution mix. When it more or less endorses cell broadcasting as an effective public warning technology, citing our work to boot, we cannot but be pleased. The technology is also being tested in a very […]

Sympathies to the victims of the 2011 Pacific Ocean tsunami

We are saddened by the multiple tragedies of the earthquake, dam break, nuclear station problem, local tsunami and teletsunami. We offer our condolences to the victims and our admiration and encouragement to the brave men and women doing the hard work of providing succor to the survivors. More concretely, we are working on a media […]

Preparedness saves lives

What we want to do next in our disaster work is to train the inhabitants of coastal villages and the staff of coastal hotels to develop and rehearse annually risk reduction plans. The Chile experience shows the value. Still, Chile’s earthquake preparedness clearly saved lives. Laura Torres, 62, and her husband, Víctor Campos, 66, live […]

Early warning: still hung up on sirens. Why not cell broadcasting?

It is disappointing to see sirens still being promoted despite the demonstrated problems. And I think Kogami was present at the HazInfo dissemination event we held in Jakarta. Patra Rina Dewi, director of the Tsunami Alert Community (Kogami), a nongovernmental organisation working on disaster mitigation training for communities, said the knowledge people most need is […]

5th anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

The tsunami occurred within three months of LIRNEasia’s founding. We were lucky. No one in LIRNEasia was directly affected, though there were several “what ifs”. It changed our research program for sure. We did three projects directly connected to the tsunami: NEWS:SL which was a study on how Sri Lanka could establish a robust, effective […]

A new disaster act may be a good way to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the tsunami

The following quote in a recent article by a Sri Lankan disaster management expert in the government newspaper caught my attention: There was a time gap of nearly three hours between the time Indonesia was affected and the time that Sri Lanka was affected and also the coastline was hit by the wave at different […]

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