Public lecture, discussion on progress in early warning on 19 June

Tuesday, 17 June 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  •  10 years after Indian Ocean Tsunami disaster
LIRNEasia will host the 4th Annual Disaster Risk Reduction Lecture and discussion on progress made on all aspects of the tsunami warning system since the 2004 tsunami at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo 7 on 19 June from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The lecture will be delivered by the Deputy Director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) in Hawaii, Dr Stuart Weinstein, who was one of the scientists on duty at the PTWC, which at that time had no responsibility for the Indian Ocean, on 26 December 2004. He is one of the world’s leading experts in the science of earthquakes and tsunamis. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the warning centre and conducts tsunami training with the International Tsunami Information Centre. He received his Ph.D. in geophysics in 1991 from the Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore). The discussion panel comprises Koichi Katagiri (Director Global ICT Strategy, an arm of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication of Japan); Dr Hans Wijayasuriya Group CEO of Dialog Axiata and Chief Executive of Axiata Digital Services); and Dr Vinya Ariyaratne (General Secretary of the Sarvodaya Movement), each with experience in different aspects of the warning system. Katagiri was in charge of recovery of the ICT infrastructure damaged by the Great 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. He led the post Tohoku disaster impact studies which advocated the importance of more effective and broader use of ICT for disaster management. This work was carried out while he was the Director of the Safety and Reliability Office (2008) and the Director of the Broadband Network divisions belonging to the Telecommunications Bureau of the same Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. A Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Engineering Technology UK, Dr. Wijayasuriya has led Dialog Axiata since 1997. Under his leadership, Dialog Axiata has upported research on early warning technologies to ensure government warning traverse the last mile and reach the intended recipients. He is also a recipient of the CIMA-Janashakthi Business Leader of the Year Award, and in 2008, was named the ‘Sri Lankan of the Year’ by Sri Lanka’s premier business journal the LMD. Dr. Ariyaratne holds a Doctorate in Medicine from De La Salle University Philippines and a Doctorate in Community Medicine from the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine of the University of Colombo, in addition to several other academic achievements. Dr.Ariyaratne has been extensively involved in health and development programs related to disaster affected communities in Sri Lanka. After the Tsunami disaster in 2004, he was responsible for the overall coordination of the Sarvodaya’s emergency response and later the entire reconstruction program with a portfolio of projects worth over 15 million US dollars. The 4th Disaster Risk Reduction Lecture has been organised as part of a series of events on the theme of ‘Ten years of post-tsunami recovery: The role of ICTs in building disaster resilience’ (, including the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Forum; events associated with the Sahana software suite developed in Sri Lanka after the tsunami; and the ISCRAM (Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management) conference. These events have the support of the ICT Agency, the Ministry of Disaster Management and several international organisations. The CAP Implementation Forum that takes place in Negombo 16-18 June 2014, co-sponsored by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), World Meteorological rganisation (WMO), Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), Information Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), and the International Development Research Center of Canada (IDRC), is the foremost expert technical forum focusing on Interoperable Early Warning Standards. The 2014 CAP mplementation Workshop in Sri Lanka will be the first to be held in the Asia Pacific. It will raise Sri Lanka’s profile in the disaster risk reduction field and will provide opportunities to engage technical experts from the Asia Pacific Region and beyond. The other technical events will take place in different locations in Colombo 18-22 June.