SL best tsunami warning system in SA – DMC

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa 

Sri Lanka had the best tsunami warning system in South Asia, Disaster Management Centre (DMC), Assistant Director, Pradeep Kodippili said yesterday (15). 

Addressing a media conference on the end-to-end coastal hazard early warning systems in place in the country, Kodippili said that the tsunami warnings could reach the public within two minutes two minutes of the DMC confirming a tsunami alert from Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB), through the countrywide warning towers with the help of satellite technology. 

Now, ample time for evacuation was assured with streamlined regulations to save lives, an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Official said. The Emergency Operations Centre operates under the DMC.

 The EOC official, who did not wish to be identified, however, cautioned that the centre would use the satellite technology to issue early warnings only if all other methods got jammed as the satellite system was very expensive. "The satellite system costs much money and therefore we use it if at all when other systems such as VHF, SMS alert etc. get jammed."

DMC Deputy Media Director Sarath Lal Kumara said that the EOC would take immediate steps to expand the capacity to send short messages to all mobile phones throughout the country in collaboration with all media stations and the police.  

To prevent another disaster from an earthquake-driven tsunami, the DMC has set up 75 warning towers in coastal areas countrywide. 

To ensure people understand how to respond to warning messages, the centre also organises training programmes to teach local residents in coastal areas how to prepare themselves for tsunami and related disasters.

The DMC official insisted that the system could not save lives and damage without public cooperation.

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