Disaster Management Plan to be submitted for Cabinet approval | Sunday Observer

Disaster Management Plan to be submitted for Cabinet approval

29 January, 2023

People in the 14 districts that are at risk in the event of a tsunami, should be prepared to deal with it in the event of an emergency, as the tsunami poses the greatest risk of disaster in this country, said  Director General of Disaster Management Centre (DMC), Major General (Retd.) Sudantha Ranasinghe.

He was speaking at a program at the Disaster Management Centre recently to raise awareness about tsunami and other disaster preparedness and notification methods.

The National Disaster Management Plan for 2023-2030 is due to be submitted to the Cabinet for approval soon.

The Tri-Forces should be trained and given powers to bring the people to a safe location if a tsunami occurs, he said, adding that he hopes to strengthen the organisation’s abilities in specific areas to be prepared for disasters such as floods, landslides and tsunamis.  Disaster Management Centre Deputy Director, Communications, Pradeep Kodippili said a tsunami could hit Sri Lanka from the East, the West, or the South. If such a situation arises, the management centre will take immediate steps to notify the public. 

According to the Deputy Director, abnormal animal behaviour and other natural characteristics, such as the backward movement of the sea, are signs that could identify potentially dangerous situations.

Planting mangroves and other plants will not completely eliminate the tsunami threat, but would help in reducing the waves, he said.

Director of Preparation, Sunil Jayaweera said that if a tsunami occurs, information will be received from India, Australia, and New Zealand.

Assistant Director Thusitha Vaidyasekara said, “If an emergency situation arises we will use text message services, apps, tsunami warning towers, radio communication, faxes, and the Disaster Management Centre website to inform people at the national level and via loudspeakers at the village level. 

Seventy-seven tsunami towers have been installed in the country, and while these towers were previously operated by satellite technology, the Director said that they are now operated by security officials.

He said that if more towers are built, financial issues will arise, so new methods for warning of a tsunami hazard will be developed at a low cost.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with telcos to notify the public in the event of a tsunami via telephone networks.