Is accurate early warning possible for earthquakes? Chinese authorities have said they did not pick up any warning signs ahead of Monday’s earthquake. “Monitoring before the earthquake did not detect any macroscopic abnormalities, and did not catch any relevant information,” Deng Changwen, deputy head of Sichuan province’s earthquake department, said. AlJazeera.net | No Early Warning
“Mom, where are you calling from? Your voice is trembling, are you sure everything is alright?” These were the first words Carmen Hernandez heard after getting through to her son on the phone following the massive earthquake that struck Peru in August 2007. Mrs Hernandez lived in Pisco, where the quake hit hardest. “Please keep talking, it’s so good to hear your voice,” she replied.
CellCast Technologies urges the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) tomorrow to fully consider a proven technology, cell broadcast, in the nationwide emergency alert system for cell phones. On Thursday, the FCC is slated to vote on a committee report that did not specify cell broadcast technology. “In the best interest of the general public, the FCC must focus on serving the public safety with a proven technology that can be implemented nationwide immediately,” said CellCast Chief Operating Officer Paul Klein. “We should not wait until 2010 when more lives could be lost to hurricanes, tornados and other disasters or crises.” CellCast Urges FCC to Include Proven Cell Broadcast Technology in National Emergency Alert System for Cell Phones
Government failures across South Asia are the key factor that can turn natural disasters into humanitarian crises, a UK-based aid agency says. Political inaction, poor decisions and bad management are more to blame than nature for the humanitarian effects of disasters, Oxfam claims in a report. BBC News | S Asian Crises Blamed on Leaders
Yesterday, 5 March 2008, LIRNEasia, with its Indonesian partner, the Indonesian Institute for Disaster Preparedness (IIDP), held the final HazInfo workshop at the Hotel Borobudur in Jakarta, Indonesia. The “Sharing Knowledge on Disaster Warning: Community-based Last-Mile Warning Systems” workshop included several highlights such as a testimonial from an Aceh survivor of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami; informative presentations from the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), KOGAMI Padang, GTZ-GITEWS, Bureau of Meteorology and Geophysics (BMG) and the University of Syiah Kuala, Aceh. The workshop encouraged animated discussion on the importance of community-based early warning systems, training, and the necessity for information to follow warning.
On 5 March 2008, LIRNEasia in partnership with the Indonesian Institute for Disaster Preparedness (IIDP) will hold the third and final “Sharing Knowledge on Disaster Warning: Community-based Last-Mile Warning Systems” workshop at the Hotel Borobodur in Jakarta, Indonesia. Rohan Samarajiva, Natasha Udu-gama and Nuwan Waidyanatha will participate and speak at the event alongside several Indonesian speakers from various governmental, community-based and international NGOs such as BAKORNAS PB, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), KOGAMI Padang and GTZ GITEWS. As in past HazInfo workshops in India and Bangladesh, the Indonesia workshop will not only discuss findings from the “Evaluating Last Mile Hazard Information” pilot project, but also exchange lessons learned from Indonesian counterparts.
On December 31, 2007, DataQuest India published an article entitled “Disaster Alert” that featured LIRNEasia‘s “Evaluating Last Mile Hazard Information Dissemination” (HazInfo) project.
The LIRNEasia HazInfo team, Rohan Samarajiva, Nuwan Waidyanatha, Natasha Udu-gama, joined its partners from Sarvodaya, Dialog Telekom and WorldSpace Corporation (India) to present findings from the “Evaluating Last Mile Hazard Information Dissemination” (HazInfo) pilot project at the “Making Communities Disaster Resilient” on December 11, 2007 during the Third Global Knowledge Partnership (GK3) conference in Kuala Lumpur from 11-13 December. The session, moderated by Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, presented findings and analysis within a 90-minute session divided into two mini-sessions on technology and community. Mr. Michael De Soyza of Dialog Telekom and Mrs.
Will authorities be able to use this satellite system to ensure that hazard information gets to the vulnerable in a timely and accurate manner? Detection technology is available but it is up to governments to not only use it but find the means to convey the message to vulnerable communities. “A global satellite system should come on line next decade, potentially saving billions of dollars and thousands of lives by boosting preparedness for natural disasters, a top scientist said on Wednesday. Monitoring changes in climate, the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) should also help health officials prevent epidemics and guard against man-made environmental damage, said Jose Achache, head of the group behind the project. “I’m an optimistic guy.
On Monday, November 19th, Rohan Samarajiva, Nuwan Waidyanatha, and Natasha Udu-gama of LIRNEasia, along with Menake Wijesinghe of Sarvodaya‘s Community Disaster Management Centre went to New Delhi, India for the second in a series of workshops on the “Evaluating Last-Mile Hazard Information Dissemination” (HazInfo) entitled “Sharing Knowledge on Disaster Warning: Community-Based Last-Mile Warning Systems” at the India Habitat Centre in conjunction with the All India Disaster Management Centre (AIDMI). The workshop included a variety of stakeholders from Indian government, civil society, international organizations, private sector, and NGOs. Mr. Mihir Bhatt, Honorary Director of AIDMI, along with Mr. Mehul Pandya, Risk Reduction Transfer Initiative Coordinator and Ms.
The “Evaluating Last-Mile Hazard Information Dissemination” (HazInfo) project full-length video documentary, “The Long Last Mile”, is now available on YouTube. TVE Asia Pacific, a HazInfo partner, has also published an article on the premiere of the video in Dhaka, Bangladesh. More coverage of the Dhaka HazInfo Dissemination Workshop event on 25 October can be found at the Bangladesh Network Office for Urban Safety of BUET.
Indonesia has learnt lessons from dealing with a string of earthquakes, but still can do more to reduce the impact of such disasters by quake proofing buildings and deploying more tsunami buoys, officials said on Wednesday. An official at Indonesia’s National Coordinating Agency for Disaster Management said there had been progress in educating people since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that followed a huge quake off Aceh province and killed nearly 170,000 Indonesians. Read more Reuters Alertnet | Indonesia disaster preparedness a work in progress
On October 25, 2007, LIRNEasia’s Rohan Samarajiva, Nuwan Waidyanatha and Natasha Udu-gama traveled to Dhaka, Bangladesh to present findings from the “Evaluating Last-Mile Hazard Information Dissemination” (HazInfo) pilot project in the first international dissemination workshop for HazInfo entitled “Sharing Knowledge on Disaster Warning: Community-Based Last-Mile Warning Systems” at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) through its Bangladesh Network Office for Urban Safety (BNUS) directed by Dr. Mehedi Ahmed Ansary. The report summarizes the workshop and its sessions. Overall, the workshop was a success in familiarizing the Bangladeshi audience with the HazInfo pilot project and meeting the objectives.
Preparing for the Worst | Bangkok Post Saddam Hossain grew up in Bangladesh listening to stories about storms and cyclones. In school, he learned from textbooks about how to stay safe when a natural disaster strikes. “When there is a warning about a cyclone, we take shelter immediately with our family,” said the 14-year-old student. In disaster-prone Bangladesh, schools play an important role in educating children about natural calamities and how to keep themselves safe. They also have life-saving equipment that can be distributed to people in the communities.
Six water pressure sensors placed on the seabed in the southern Bay of Bengal and northern Arabian Sea will act as sentinels in India’s tsunami early warning system, which was formally inaugurated today. The sensors — four in the Bay and two in the Arabian Sea — will look for changes in ocean water level and send readings via satellite to the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) in Hyderabad, the hub for the system. The Rs 125-crore early warning system will also use a network of seismic stations, tide gauges and computer simulations based on seabed studies to issue alerts about tsunamis — waves sometimes triggered by undersea earthquakes. Continue reading “Tsunami sentinels on duty under sea – Six sensors in place, six more to be added”
On October 25, 2007, LIRNEasia will hold its first regional dissemination workshop for the “Evaluating Last Mile Hazard Information Dissemination” (HazInfo) pilot project at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) through its Bangladesh Network Office for Urban Safety (BNUS) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The purpose of the workshop is to gather experts, practitioners and community organizations to discuss the findings of the HazInfo project and determine ways in which the project may be developed to suit community-based hazard information dissemination regionally. The “Sharing Knowledge on Disaster Warning: Community-based Last-Mile Warning Systems” workshop in Dhaka will feature five presenters from government, academia and NGOs. Dr. A.