Sri Lanka evaluates effectiveness of disaster warning system

March 31, 2007 (LBO) – Community-based disaster warning system technologies and their effectiveness were tested in a recent study conducted in 32 villages Sri Lanka’s coastal belt. This project was started after the devastating Asian tsunami that claimed the lives of more than 35,000 people in Sri Lanka. It was funded by the International Development Research Centre of Canada. The research was conducted fielding Java enabled mobile phones, CDMA phones, addressable satellite radio and a specially developed Remote Alarm Device.

The efficiency of a disaster warning system depends on a lot of factors apart from the technology, say the researchers.

The efficiency of a disaster warning system is dependent on the community strength, organization and the practice they have had in preparing themselves for disasters, said Professor Rohan Samarajiva, Executive Director, LIRNEasia, one of the organisations involved in the study.

So what we researched is how effective certain technologies could be.

So far the addressable satellite radio remains most effective with its ability to communicate even to the conflict areas in Sri Lanka when other networks are unable to.