A Cross Case Analysis of the Upstream–Downstream Interface in the Tsunami Early Warning Systems of Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar and Sri Lanka

Nuwan Dias , Richard Haigh, Dilanthi Amaratunga, Maheshika Sakalasuriya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and more recent tsunami events in Indonesia have demonstrated the challenges in detecting and evaluating a tsunami threat, and the importance of communicating warning information to communities at risk. Early warning for tsunami is faced with the dilemma of time verses uncertainty due to short response times, and obvious limitations of technology and currently available scientific knowledge. Previous studies have also revealed a need for better governance, including a more strategic approach focusing on stronger integration of tsunami early warning into national and local disaster management and other public and private sectors. This chapter describes research carried out in Indonesia, the Maldives, Myanmar and Sri Lanka to better understand current tsunami early warning systems. The four countries are linked to the region wide Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System. The chapter builds on the results of four national level studies to carry out a cross case analysis of the upstream-downstream interface arrangements in tsunami early warning. This is the period where the tsunami warning decision is taken at the country level, the warning information is disseminated, and an evacuation order is issued. The analysis focuses on nine critical aspects of capacity at the interface, including: decision making mechanism; clearly defined actors; centralised vs decentralised approach; standardisation of interface arrangements; technical capacity; human capacity; spatial and sociocultural aspects; vertical and horizontal coordination; and, formal and informal communication mechanisms. The results provide insights into the operationalisation of the interface arrangement in each country, as well as the technical, social, economic and political dynamics that shaped their establishment and current functioning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMulti-Hazard Early Warning and Disaster Risks
EditorsDilanthi Amaratunga, Richard Haigh, Nuwan Dias
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783030730031
ISBN (Print)9783030730024, 9783030730055
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2021
EventInternational Symposium on Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Disaster Risk Reduction: To promote the availability and application of research, science and technology to support implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 - Virtual, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Duration: 14 Dec 202016 Dec 2020


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Disaster Risk Reduction
Country/TerritorySri Lanka
Internet address


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