Disaster warning centres operative
Ministry to reach 100 early warning centres target:
Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe
said 50 early warning centres have been established islandwide during
the past four years by the Disaster Management Centre and Cabinet
approval has been granted for the construction of another 25 centres.
Minister Samarasinghe was speaking at a press briefing at the
Information Department, yesterday.
The Minister said only 25 more centres have to be set up to
accomplish the 10-year plan of construction of 100 early warning centres
by the Disaster Management Centre. The Centres will warn the public on
tsunami, storms and hurricanes.
The Minister also recalled that the country was unable to be informed
of the tsunami in 2004 until it reached Sri Lankan shores one and half
hours after the earthquake in Sumathra. “But now we are equipped with
facilities to learn of such situations after in 15 minutes once such an
incident occurs,” he said.
The Minister also noted that the needs of the Internally Displaced
Persons (IDPs) were met by the Disaster Management Centre for two years.
The NGOs in Kilinochchi were removed from that area.
Referring to the services provided during the past four years by the
Meteorological Department coming under his purview Minister Samarasinghe
said, the Ministry could establish 38 Automatic Weather Observation
Centres island wide at a cost of Rs 733 million making the weather
forecast more accurate and instant.
The establishment of a Doppler Radar System on the peak of the
Gongala mountain at a cost of Rs 400 million would be completed next
Minister Samarasinghe dwelling on the services rendered under the
National Building Research Organization said it had studied 425 areas
prone to landslides during the past three years and designed a map. It
also had taken measures to educate people and schoolchildren in this