Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sri Lanka's disaster management strengthened with IT

[Colombo Page]

"Apr 20, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) says that the Information Technology sector of disaster management of the country is being strengthened now for a more productive service."

For the full article read:


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Volcanic Ash Cloud -Will it be a global disaster?

Icelandic volcanic ash cloud has not shown any signs of regression, geologists from Iceland state. Many air travels have been cancelled as a result of the volcanic ash cloud, including those of Barak Obama. Airline industry is experiencing a loss of 200 million USD per day collectively as a result of this incident. Many airports in Europe have been closed and airports have turned into "refugee camps".

"La grande pagaille" – the big mess, as a Parisian new-paper referred to the incident, is a strong reminder that we are living in a constricted global village. What ever happens in any part of the world can have effects on the rest of the world. Air travels have been cancelled even in Sri Lanka, thousands of kilometers away from the incident.

This incident will test the emergency preparedness and response capacity and plans of developed countries. Some questions are rising out of this incident. Did we miss to include such an incident into the contingency plans of air ports and air lines? We got to wait to find answers to these.

Nature is so creative at times, it can some how find loop holes through which power is implied on mankind, no matter how developed they are....

Health Hazards of volcanic ashes yet to be known!

WHO stated that the health hazards of volcanic ashes from the volcanic eruption in Iceland are not known yet. However, volcanic ashes could have negative effects on people with bronchial asthma and other respiratory problems.

WHO says that 25% of the ashes are of particles less than 10 microns. Particles which are less than 10 microns can go deep into the lungs and cause trouble. Particles have not yet started to precipitate.

WHO has advised people to stay indoors as much as possible.

The effect of volcanic gas on Sri Lanka is unlikely, considering the long distance from the site of explosion.

Danger zones marked on roads!

I observed that danger zones have been marked beside the roads in many places I visited recently including Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kurunegala and Galle. Some of these signs read as follows:
1. High accident prone area: Drive carefully
2. You are entering a accident prone area
3. The road is slippery, drive slowly!

I think this is a very good strategy adopted by the officials, especially from a preventive point of view. Deaths and injuries due to road traffic accidents are many each year.

The signs were established in collaboration with the local police station and some funding agency.

It is encouraging to see how risk zoning concept has come into practice in road safety.

Weldone! Why not extend it to the whole country as well?

Weldone Traffic Police!

Traffic police officers have become a common scene on my way to Colombo from Piliyandala. I initially thought that this could be attributed to a special incident or so. But later I realized that this is not the case. They are on the road even at 6.30 am, doing their duty.

Even women police constables are seen commanding traffic on the roads.

This is a very good development in reducing road traffic accidents. The great service rendered by traffic police officials need to be appreciated.

Keep up th good work, Traffic Corps!

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to Safer Sri Lanka! it is almost an year that I could not write for Safer Sri Lanka. It was a long year indeed. Yatiyanthota to Vavuniya to Colombo. A lot of experience. A lot of friends and a handful of loss of friends!

Thanks a lot for all of you who read Safer Sri Lanka and encouraged us.

We are planning to bring to you up to date information on emergency preparedness and safety issues from Sri Lanka.

Enjoy Safer Sri Lanka!