Disasters — Page 20 of 23 — LIRNEasia


By Laura Smith-Spark BBC News Eighteen months after the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, hundreds have died after a giant wave struck the Indonesian island of Java. Their deaths have raised questions about the failure of a promised Indian Ocean tsunami early warning system to sound an adequate alert. More than 300 people died and about 140 were reported missing after the tsunami struck Java’s southern coast on Monday. Witnesses have said people had little or no warning to flee the 2m-high wave triggered by an undersea earthquake.
Rohan Samarajiva and Gordon Gow developed a set of standard operational procedures for the Last-Mile Hazard Warning System. The manual titled “Guidelines for HIH“, provides the steps and actions need be taken by the actors and entities of the Sarvodaya’s Last-Mile Hazard Warning System. A 1-day workshop was held today at the Sarvodaya Community Disaster Management Center, “Samana Teta”, to train and introduce the literature in the guidelines to the HIH staff members. Another workshop will be held on July 21, 2006 to introduce the standard operational procedures to the Community First-Responders. The program is a 1 day event to be held at the Sarvodaya Damsak Mandiraya in Moratuwa.
Thursday Evening, 5:00PM Sri Lanka Foundation Institute 100 Independence Square, Colombo This lecture is free and open to the public. The lecture will address all-hazards warning and the use of the Common Alerting Protocol in disaster mitigation. Gordon Gow is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Extensions at the University of Alberta, Canada. Co-author of the book: “Mobile and Wireless Communication: An Introduction” and most current book: “Policymaking for Critical Infrastructure”. Moreover, he is the communication systems consultant for “Evaluating a last-mile Hazard Dissemination: A Research Project” in Sri Lanka.
Using ICT for Effective Disaster Management A hotel that was hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Ahungalle, Sri Lanka is the location of a conference that examines all aspects of the relationship between ICTs and disasters. One of the guests at this hotel on the 26th of December 2004, Dr Chris Chapman, a theoretical seismologist, wrote one of the best analytical accounts of the experience, which is on this PDF  document. LIRNEasia’s Executive Director Rohan Samarajiva and HazInfo Project Manager Nuwan Waidyanatha are participating as are a number of our partners in disaster work.
Nuwan Waidyanatha – Project Manager, Last Mile Hazard Warning System The socioeconomic belief is that a CAP message relay is one way of effectively managing disasters, and that is what is envisioned in the Last-Mile Hazard Warning System (LM-HWS) Pilot Project. I will be talking about the current Workpackage of the LM-HWS project, which is developing the Hazard Information Hub (HIH). The general objective of the LM-HWS project is to evaluate the suitability of a selected set of ICT that can communicate CAP messages and alert the village first-responders. The Sarvodaya HIH was specifically built with the intension of providing structured risk information such as CAP messages to the local communities.
ReliefWeb » Document Preview » SouthEast Asia: Earthquake & Tsunamis Quarterly Report Appeal No.28/2004 Operation Update No. 59 “With support of the Federation delegation, PMI’s [Indonesian Red Cross/Red Crescent] role in the development of Indonesia’s early warning system (EWS) gains increasing acceptance by the government as the national society’s strength in community-level education and awareness building becomes ever more recognized. This has been formalized in the final draft of disaster management law submitted by PMI to the government.

Seismic monitoring in Sri Lanka

Posted on May 15, 2006  /  0 Comments

The link below is to a comprehensive article by a geo scientist on Sri Lanka’s seismic monitoring capabilities. Paper Articles – The Island “The seismic monitoring equipment available at the University of Peradeniya with peripherals at other national universities needs to be operationalized properly as a national network. The entire system must be maintained with the involvement of a competent group of scientists. The data processing centre at Peradeniya should be linked to the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau enabling independent data processing and interpretation at both these locations. Further, the coordinating centre of the security forces should have a direct link with the network to receive real time information.

Effectiveness of Disaster Assistance

Posted on April 17, 2006  /  0 Comments

IEG Conference on Effectiveness of Assistance for Natural Disasters | Independent Evaluation Group LIRNEasia’s partner in the last-mile hazard-information project, Sarvodaya is representing the non-governmental sector at the above major conference.  This is very significant because Sarvodaya is among the few organizations that are capable of, and already active in, building community-centered disaster preparedness.
Mangroves failed to protect coastal villages in ‘04 tsunami – INQ7.net “The World Conservation Union, also known as IUCN, and other nongovernmental organizations earlier reported that mangroves saved lives in Sri Lanka and India — a finding they said could motivate hard-hit communities across Asia to consider replanting mangroves. A quarter of mangroves have been destroyed in tsunami-impacted countries since the 1980s due to development and the rapid growth of shrimp and fish farms. But Baird, of James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, and his co-authors argued that governments would be better off putting their resources into an early warning system and evacuation plans. They also called for many coastal communities to be moved to higher ground.
“Bangladesh learned about the value of [early warning] in 1970 when a cyclone resulted in more than 300,000 deaths. The government and people subsequently put in place effective early warning and preparedness measures involving modern cyclone-forecasting systems and more than 5,000 people to get the message to the villages. When a cyclone of similar force struck in 1997, 200 people were killed, which brings up to mind a point I want to make. The interesting thing to me is what Bangladesh did to marry old-fashioned communication with modern technology, the so-called ‘last mile’ of the early warning system. It’s something that we dare not forget in our UN work for the tsunami… All the sophisticated technology won’t matter if we don’t reach real communities and people.
An AFP report states that: UN Under Secretary Patricio Bernal said Egeland and former US president Bill Clinton had taken to task government officials from countries in the Indian Ocean in a closed-door meeting here in a bid to speed up the process. “We are not worried about the technical side. At the moment we have 17 sensors in the Indian Ocean and by July we will have 23. If anything happens tonight, somebody will be there to move an alert,” he told AFP. “What we are afraid of is whether this information will flow down.

Mapping disaster research

Posted on February 14, 2006  /  5 Comments

NSF EXPLORATORY WORKSHOP ON SENSOR BASED INFRASTRUCTURE FOR EARLY TSUNAMI DETECTION, Maui, Feb 9-10, 2006 What I learned during my visits to the Civil Defense Center and the Tsunami Museum in Hilo and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach in Hawai’i last January greatly contributed to the disaster communication research program undertaken by LIRNEasia in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Therefore, I welcomed the opportunity to step back and reflect on the research program a year later, also in Hawai’i. The occasion was a workshop funded by the National Science Foundation of the US. It was organized by Louise Comfort, Daniel Mosse and Taieb Znati, all at the U of Pittsburgh. Louise is from Public Policy and has been working on disasters for a long time.
LIRNEasia organised a press conference to highlight two major initiatives in the area of hazard warning, one that it launched on providing disaster mitigation and last-mile connectivity to tsunami-affected villages and the other that it wrapped up on dam-related hazard warning system for Sri Lanka. LIRNEasia released A Concept Paper for a Dam-related Hazard Warning System in Sri Lanka: A Participatory Study on Actions Required to Avoid and Mitigate Dam Disasters in collaboration with its project partners, the Vanguard Foundation, Sri Lanka National Committee on Large Dams (SLNCOLD), Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) and Sarvodaya. This work was funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, Executive Director of LIRNEasia, handed over the final concept paper to U.

Discussing ICT and disasters

Posted on January 13, 2006  /  0 Comments

The Pacific Telecom Council meetings where I first presented our analysis of the tsunami reponse has scheduled a major session on disaster communication at the 2006 meetings. PTC’06 Conference and Exhibition

Webhamuva yields bicycles

Posted on January 12, 2006  /  0 Comments

As part of our partnership with Sarvodaya on using ICTs for disaster management, LIRNEasia is managing www.webhamuva.org.  The excerpt below is from the Daily Mirror of 10th January 2006(www.dailymirror.
LIRNEasia is undertaking a project to provide disaster mitigation training and last-mile connectivity to tsunami-affected villages along the coast of Sri Lanka. The effectiveness of training and five different ICT technologies that will be deployed will be assessed with a view of rolling out the most successful strategies and technologies in 226 tsunami-affected Sarvodaya villages. This IDRC funded project is partnered with Sarvodaya, Vanguard Foundation, Dr. Gordon Gow, LSE, UK, TVE Asia Pacific, Sri Lanka and the Community Tsunami Early-Warning Center (CTEC) at Peraliya. In the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, it was evident that if Sri Lanka along with the other affected countries had an effective disaster warning system in place, many lives could have been saved.