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Mitigation of Tsunami Threat through Better Planning

Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura
Canada Research Chair in Project Management Systems
Director and Associate Professor
Project Management Specialization
Schulich School of Engineering
University of Calgary

The massive destruction caused by the 2004 Asian Tsunami opened up a completely new arena to explore natural disasters in the context of “disaster risk management”. Proper early warning mechanism leading to successful evacuation prevents such catastrophes and thus emphasizes the necessity of concrete framework for disaster preparedness planning. Currently, many warning mechanisms are in place and a single country receives tsunami information from several sources. Further, the information flow within a country is diversified that the warning to evacuees may reach sporadically. The complexity in handling information at both national and international level could result in inaccurate and delayed warning or no warning at all. The research addresses this issue taking into account multi-path information flow in the form of a warning network and simulating it. Uncertainties in each activity are also modeled together with delicate scenarios such as nighttime tsunamis. Research outcome is intended to convert to a comprehensive tsunami warning process that can be adapted to any country.

Co-contributors: Mr. Sanjeewa Wickramaratne, Dr. Chan Wirasinghe and Dr. Alex Braun (Schulich School of Engineering)

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