Effectiveness of Early Warning Dissemination A Case Study on Tsunami Early Warning in Sri Lanka

M. K. G. I. Dharmasena


Media & Communication technology has an important role to play in disastercommunication by educating people about natural disasters. As the whole world isentertaining the results of new communication technology, the attention of the disastermanagement experts has driven towards, using this new technology in disastercommunication. Accurate and timely information about natural disasters were needednot only for the people at risk ,but also for the government officials, community leaders,donor agencies and media, to take necessary steps to reduce risk as well as to speedrecovery. Effective risk reduction involves mitigation measures in hazards prone areas.It may also involve overcoming the socioeconomic, institutional and political barriers tothe adoption of effective risk reduction strategies and measures in developing countries.Therefore, effective disaster communication is very essential for the sustainable disasterrisk reduction. As Sri Lanka is a country accustomed to disasters, this is an importantfact. In 2004, tsunami hit Sri Lanka without any prior warning. But in April, 2012 theDisaster Management Center, official institution involved in Early Warningdissemination, was equipped with new technology. Therefore, this paper is aiming atinvestigating the effectiveness of the present Early Warning dissemination mechanismin Sri Lanka. The study, being basically quantitative, employed descriptive statistics foranalytical purpose using the primary data collected in one GN Division in Galle district.The study revealed that the strongest method of Early Warning dissemination is theSiren. The community was already aware on the way they should behave on such anevent. The trust worthiness about the Early Warning message seemed to have a linkwith the authority of the party who disseminate the message. Furthermore, the electronicmedia seems to have a good reputation among the public regarding there work in EarlyWarning dissemination.

Key words: Disaster communication, Early warning, Disaster risk reduction, Naturaldisaster

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