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Tag Archives: tsunami

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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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

They are getting rid of warning sirens in Oregon; Sri Lanka is still installing

The gist of the NYT report is that some residents of coastal Oregon are unhappy about the discontinuance of tsunami warning sirens. But in these matters what one has to look at is the science. Supporters of the county’s decision, including some coastal hazard experts, say that the sirens, comforting as they may sound in […]

Added danger from an earthquake in the Bay of Bengal?

In 2007 Smith Dharmasaroja, the former disaster czar of Thailand, pointed to the dangers posed by mountains of mud deposited by the Ganges in the Bay of Bengal. What the research below raises is the danger of soft material combined with earthquakes. Are these not high priority research areas for our scientists? In a paper […]

Tsunami risk reduction in the age of twitter

A few days back, on April 11th 2012, a powerful earthquake occurred not too far from Aceh. Naturally, fears of a tsunami were uppermost in people’s minds. It’s been some time since we at LIRNEasia did funded disaster-related research, but within minutes, I was receiving requests for analysis on the lines of the post-mortems we’ve […]

Disaster risk reduction in the age of Twitter: First reflections on a tweeted tsunami

An earthquake happened. Minor tsunamis occurred with no loss of life. The story was in the warnings and responses. My first (and obviously imperfect) reflections are in LBO. In the age of social media, people will learn of distant hazards independently of government. What government must focus on is helping them respond on the most […]

Tsunami risk reduction: Problems with projections

How does one plan for 97 feet high tsunami? The scale of the possible tsunami trumps all previous notions of the risks facing the town. Deadly tsunamis have been rare here; the last few waves to reach Kuroshio, including one in 1946, did little damage. Town officials are not entirely blind to the risks of […]

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 […]

No walls can stop tsunamis

I recall a meeting within weeks of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, convened by the current President (then Prime Minister), to seek the views of intellectuals about rebuilding. The most memorable suggestion came from the late Arisen Ahubudu, who began with a reference to Madagascar once being part of Lanka and ended with a proposal […]

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