ICTs and Disaster Management
The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was a turning point in Sri Lanka. Devastating nearly two-thirds of the country’s coastal region, it claimed over 35,000 lives, and displaced another 500,000. The South, North, East and West were all affecting, in varying degrees. The tsunami also led to a critical turning point in the relationship between the government and the LTTE, with the political acrimony that surrounded the proposed relief sharing mechanism, the P-TOMS. Since then, Sri Lanka has taken disaster management a lot more seriously, with the government, supported by international agencies, putting in place better systems and procedures to help mitigate against future risks. A big part of this effort was driven by ICTs. This feature takes a look at how ICTs are being employed to provide early warnings to citizens and how effectively it is reaching different population groups. It also evaluates to what extent disaster management in Sri Lanka as it stands now encompasses other forms of disasters, like riots.
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