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Tag Archives: tsunami

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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 […]

Post Tohoku tsunami period as a policy window

Policy windows are an important element of LIRNEasia’s work style. More than supply push we believe in demand pull. Does not give us optimal control over our time, but we live to work, not work to live. The period following the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami was clearly a media window, even if we can […]

False warnings are dangerous: Sri Lanka DMC should take legal action

In 2007, after false warnings and unnecessary evacuations in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, I wrote the following (published in India in early 2008): Given the massive costs associated with evacuation orders (not only in lost productivity but deaths, injuries and other negative outcomes), government must be the sole authority. Given the certainty of blame if […]

A recent talk on what can be learned from the Japanese tsunami experience

I have been writing about the lessons that can and should be learned from the Japanese experience with the devastating local tsunami which in addition to its normal destruction, also triggered the failure of the nuclear stations. Those writings were intended for general Asian audiences, rather than any particular country. In the slideset here, I […]

Has tsunami detection and monitoring improved from 2004 to 2011?

At LIRNEasia we consider every disaster, however tragic, an opportunity to learn. Among the disasters we have analyzed are the 2010 evacuation orders in Sri Lanka, the reaction to the Bengkulu earthquake and ensuing tsunami alert in 2007, and even the Cyclone that devastated Burma/Myanamar. Here is our contribution to the analysis of the Great […]

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 […]

SMS alerts for tsunamis, the Australian experience

Early warning does not happen every day. So when hazards occur, it is important that the experience is analyzed so that future responses can be enhanced. Here is a report on how warnings worked (or did not) on the Pacific Coast of Australia in relation to the tsunami generated by the Chilean earthquake of Saturday. […]

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 […]

M-donations to Haiti: Will this be permitted in most countries?

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami showed, among other things, the power of the Internet to raise money. Now Haiti is showing the power of the mobile to raise donations for earthquake relief. Old-fashioned television telethons can stretch on for hours. But the latest charity appeal is short enough for Twitter: “Text HAITI to 90999 to […]

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 […]

Stuart Weinstein at government early warning offices

Lakshaman Bandaranayake of Vanguard Management, who worked with LIRNEasia closely in the post-tsunami period, was kind enough to arrange meetings for Stuart Weinstein of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center who attended the LIRNEasia@5 conference. For those who may not know, Stuart was at the controls on December 26, 2004 when the great earthquake that caused […]

Sri Lanka warning tower fails

It is asked in one of Sri Lanka’s aphorisms whether the sword that is not ready for war is to be used for cutting kos (jack fruit)? That is the same question we have to ask the Ministry of Disaster Management about its warning towers. When oh when, will the Ministry realize that these towers […]

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