Hazard Warning

Sri Lankan Police forming a human chain in parliament to protect the Speaker and enable a vote.

Mar 13, 2011 (LBO) – A Great Earthquake, one of the most powerful in recorded history, occurred off the coast of Honshu, North East Japan, on the 11th of March 2011. The previous Great Earthquake in Asia occurred off the coast of Sumatra, North West Indonesia, on the 26th of December 2004. Both were followed by local tsunamis and teletsunamis (tsunamis that travel large distances across the ocean). The scope and scale of the destruction of lives, livelihoods and property by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami generated a massive wave of humanitarian assistance, some of which was also used for research on how to respond to and prepare for such hazards in the future. Now, in the aftermath of the Pacific event, it is reasonable to ask what was learned from the Indian Ocean event.

LIRNEasia, together with several partner organizations around the Bay of Bengal, engaged in a number of disaster risk-reduction research projects since 2005, some that were self- and locally-funded, but the major project that started in 2006 was financed generously by International Development Research Centre of Canada. It focused on the last mile of the warning chain, that constituted by the communities where the actions necessary to save lives, livelihoods and property has to be taken. This note summarizes the