SL’s Disaster Management Centre marks Tsunami Awareness Day with risk reduction programmes
Colombo (LNW): The Sri Lanka Disaster Management Centre has taken significant steps to enhance community awareness and preparedness for tsunami risk reduction, with programs scheduled for November 5th and 6th, 2023.
Sri Lanka has a poignant history with tsunamis, notably the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that caused widespread loss of life and displacement.
In 2006, the Government of Sri Lanka passed a Cabinet Memorandum to commemorate the victims of the 2004 Tsunami disaster, designating December 26th as “National Safe Day.”
Recognising the global importance of tsunami preparedness, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 5th as World Tsunami Awareness Day in December 2015.
The Sri Lanka Disaster Management Centre continues to engage in critical activities for tsunami risk reduction, emphasising its mandatory nature.
Notably, the center conducted the Indian Ocean Wave Exercise in 2023 (IOWave23) on October 4th, 2023. It included tsunami readiness programmes across 14 coastal districts and concluded with a large-scale evacuation exercise in three coastal districts at high risk of tsunamis, with a particular focus on rural, school, and fishing communities.
Further initiatives have encompassed online tsunami awareness programmes for 38 scout groups throughout Sri Lanka, marking International Tsunami Awareness Day.
These programmes also involve scout groups as volunteers in reducing disaster risk in rural communities.
Given that November 5th falls on a Sunday and various religious places conduct educational activities, the disaster awareness programs have been directed towards utilising these locations to reach a broader audience.