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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Policy Commentary: Mobilizing information and communications technologies for effective disaster warning

lessons from the 2004 tsunami -- Samarajiva 7 (6): 731 -- New Media & Society


The Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004 was one of the greatest natural disasters; it was also the first internet-mediated natural disaster. Despite the presumed ubiquity and power of advanced technologies including satellites and the internet, no advance warning was given to the affected coastal populations by their governments or others. This article examines the conditions for the supply of effective early warnings of disasters, drawing from the experience of both the 26 December 2004 tsunami and the false warnings issued after another great earthquake in the Sunda Trench on 28 March 2005. The potential of information and communication technologies for prompt communication of hazard detection and monitoring information and for effective dissemination of alert and warning messages is examined. The factors contributing to the absence of institutions necessary for the realization of that potential are explored.
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