Dialog Telekom PLC in collaboration with its partners Dialog University of Moratuwa Mobile Communications Research Laboratory and Microimage Technologies together with the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) of Sri Lanka launched Sri Lanka’s first ever mass alert warning system; the ‘Disaster and Emergency Warning Network’ (DEWN) yesterday under the patronage of Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe. Speaking on the launch of DEWN Group Chief Executive Officer, Dialog Telekom PLC, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya said that “There are 10 million people in this country who have access to telecommunication and mobile services. Now the mobile has become a powerful tool which could be called as a ‘Digital Empowerment Device’ and our citizens are digitally empowered into the digital network”. Dr.
Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe says the government will establish a series of Tsunami warning towers throughout the country from next month. Speaking at the main ceremony of the Tsunami tragedy and National Safety day held in Kandy this morning the Minister said three Tsunami warning towers have been established in various areas of the country. The Minister said the government hopes to establish another 25 Tsunami warning towers along the coast around the country by next March and five emergency disaster centers by next January. This is getting to be quite boring. The same story about three towers and 25 to come repeated since July 2006.
We assume that the failure of the Hikkaduwa tower will be examined as part of the comprehensive review the Minister has called for. The important thing is to think about warning as a chain with many links. If one link breaks, the chain breaks. The conclusions are that one must minimize the number of links and ensure that each is link is robust. It appears from the story that a link in the Galle district failed.
The Minister is to be commended for initiating the review of the alert process that went from alert to evacuation in minutes. Sri Lanka News | Online edition of Daily News – Lakehouse Newspapers Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, called for an immediate review of the tsunami alert process that was put into operation on September 12 to learn from the experience and refine procedures the Disaster Management and Human Rights Ministry in a release said.He stated that the successful exercise could prove a platform for future improvements to the early warning process making it more effective and efficient.
It is good to have a confident Minister. Of course, we would sleep better if we were shown the results of some on-the-ground simulations, rather than given bland assurances. After all some of us remember his statements about the large number of warning towers that would be erected and operational by the second anniversary of the tsunami (and the actual outcome was . . .