Societal Impact of the Research Study on Governance of Upstream-Downstream Interface of Tsunami Early Warning - The Case of Sri Lanka

Nuwan Dias , Dilanthi Amaratunga, Richard Haigh, Sarath Premalal, Senaka Basnayake

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

1 Citation (Scopus)


The societal impact of research is all about making a positive change to our societies. This occurs in many ways, through creating and sharing new knowledge and innovation; inventing ground-breaking new products, companies and jobs; developing new and improving existing public services and policy; enhancing quality of life and health; and many more. A 2015 United Nations (UN) report estimates that each year, an additional 60,000 people and $4 billion (US$) in assets are exposed to the threat of tsunami hazard. As demonstrated by the human and economic losses from the 2004 Indian Ocean and 2011 Tōhoku disasters, tsunamis inflict death and damage through violent, powerful flooding along the world's coastline. The shortcomings in preparation have been due to a lack of warning through poor regional detection and communication systems, but they also reflect inadequate awareness, planning and coordination. Tsunamis can be broadly classified as local, where coastal residents feel an earthquake and have only minutes before the tsunami begins flooding, or distant, where coastal residents do not feel the earthquake and have an hour or more before tsunami flooding commences. In both types, an effective end-to-end early warning system is critical to mitigating losses. The decision on whether or not to evacuate an area is critical. Failure to evacuate in a timely manner can leave tens of thousands of people exposed to a tsunami wave. Accordingly, based on a series of studies, several initiatives have been taken to improve the Tsunami early warning mechanism of Sri Lanka. Data were collected for these studies using literature reviews, interviews, focus group discussions. The key government and local institutions related to Tsunami early warning were on board as partners during these initiatives. As outcomes of these initiatives the Tsunami early warning mechanism of Sri Lanka has been significantly improved and it has positively impacted the Sri Lankan society to prepare for a future Tsunami risk while helping to archive the priorities of the Sendai Framework and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 From Innovation to Impact (FITI)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781728167220
ISBN (Print)9781728167237, 9781728167213
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2020
EventFrom Innovation to Impact Conference 2019 - Lavendar & Orchid Rooms, BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Duration: 22 Nov 201922 Nov 2019


ConferenceFrom Innovation to Impact Conference 2019
Abbreviated titleFITI
Country/TerritorySri Lanka


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