Monday, July 14, 2008

The Sphere Project

Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response

Sphere is based on two core beliefs:
All possible steps should be taken to alleviate human suffering arising out of calamity and conflict.
Those affected by disaster have a right to life with dignity and therefore a right to assistance.

Sphere is three things: a handbook, a broad process of collaboration and an expression of commitment to quality and accountability. The project has developed several tools, the key one being the handbook.

Visit to learn more about the sphere project.

Hope we will never have snowfall in Sri Lanka!!!

Measuring Snowfall.....

This is an obviously an obsolete topic for Sri Lanka however, as all of us in the Disaster Management class were very keen on knowing how to measure snowfall, this article was published.

Equipment needed:

Usual 8’ rain gauge without the inner tube and the funnel – this helps to collect the solid snow with ease.
Snowboard - a flat board, painted white, ideally about 16" x 16". This can be marked with a falg or so to find it after the snowfall.

There are 3 measurements with regards to snow fall:
1. Precipitation – the water content of snow
To measure the water content of snow with this type of gauge, you will need to
melt the contents ( by adding measured amount of warm water for example)
and put them into the inner cylinder.
2. New Snow Amount
Snowfall is the maximum accumulation of fresh snow during the past day prior to melting or settling. This is measured on the snow board using your ruler.
3. Snow depth - Total depth of snow on the ground
This is the total depth of snow on ground at your scheduled observation time
4. Snow Cores - Core Precipitation
If you think that all the snow has not fallen into the cylinder and has rolled down on its outer walls, example in windy conditions, you can take core precipitation. After measuring the precipitation, you cut a cylinder of fresh snow using the gauge for example on the snow board, collect the snow, melt it and add it to the precipitation.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Helpful Telephone Numbers

Bomb Disposal 243425, 2440527

Police Emergency Service 119, 2433333 (Colombo)

General Hospitals

Colombo General Hospital 2691111

Sri Jayawardanapura 2778610

Lady Ridgeway 2693711-5
Ragama 2959261

Kalubowila 2822261

Karapitiya 091-2245848

Kandy 081-2222170

Peradeniya 081-2388001

Jaffna 021-2222833

Ambulance Services

St. John Ambulance Service 2433756


Central Blood bank 2692317

Poison Information Centre 2686143, 2691111 - Ext 430

Electricity Board

Colombo 2466611-3

Dehiwala 2713662,2739324

Ratmalana 2637703

Sri Jayawardanapura 2863070

Public Transport

Central Bus Stand Pettah 2329606

Road Passenger Transport Authority

Western Province 2421731

Colombo Fort Railway Station 2434215

Flight Information

Airport katunayaka 2252861-5

Water Supply and Drainage Division

Colombo Municipality 2695348

Disaster Information

Disaster Management Centre 2861197

Meteorological Department 2686686

Geological Survey and Mines Bureau 2728227,2725750, 2734634

Community Tsunami Early-warning Centre 0914385408-9


Probation and Child Care 2448577

Legal Aid Commisiion 2433618

Abduction Disappearences 2676513, 0602119246

National Dangerous Drugs Control Board 2868794 (3 lines)

Bribery Commission 2581632,2586257

Fraud Bureau 2583512

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Protecting right to breath…..

Vehicle gas emission test compulsory from 15th July 2008….

Vehicle gas emission test will come into effect from 15 of this month onward, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Champika Ranawaka said.
Revenue license would not be issued to vehicles which do not comply with the environmental standards on vehicle emissions, the Minister added.
Obtaining an emission test certificate will cost less than 500 rupees for small vehicle while bigger ones will be charged 500 - 1,000 rupees. Vehicle owners will be required to come to the testing centre, obtain the certificate and take it to the revenue authorities for renewal of their revenue licenses. This move is part of the efforts to improve the air quality in the island, especially in Colombo, where pollution levels are high owing to a concentration of vehicles. A center to test vehicle gas emissions is setup close to the Fort Railway Station.
The Ministry has taken steps to establish four new testing centers by the end of this year at a cost of Rs. 88 million to purchase related equipment for testing.
At the commencement of this programme the Ministry will test the vehicle of its own.
Vehicle emissions -carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons – contribute to the formation of photochemical smog, acid deposition and elevated CO levels and these pollutants cause respiratory problems, increase toxicity and mortality, and the effects are more severe in urban areas where vehicle use is higher.