Warning for the 26 December 2004 tsunamis

Warning for the 26 December 2004 tsunamis Purpose – To investigate whether or not people at risk from the 26 December 2004 tsunamis could have had better warning of the event. Design/methodology/approach – This paper examines short‐term actions related to warning following the earthquake and long‐term actions related to setting up an Indian Ocean tsunami warning system prior to the disaster. The evidence is presented in the context of the long‐term processes needed to create and maintain successful warning systems. Findings – The evidence shows that, based on the knowledge and procedures existing at the time, any expectation of effective warning prior to the tsunamis was unreasonable. On 26 December 2004, as much action was taken as feasible. Prior to the catastrophe, the Indian Ocean tsunami risks were acknowledged but no warning systems were implemented because other priorities were deemed to be higher. Research limitations/implications – This paper presents a snapshot of the complex issue of warning system development and implementation. Each national and regional case study deserves detailed attention. Further work would add to a more complete understanding of conditions before 26 December 2004. Practical implications – This case study provides a reminder that planning for warnings must be done before extreme events, not following them. Successful warning systems require investment in a long‐term, ongoing process involving pre‐event planning, education, and awareness. Originality/value – This paper provides an initial attempt at evaluating Indian Ocean tsunami warnings on 26 December 2004. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Disaster Prevention and Management Emerald Publishing

Warning for the 26 December 2004 tsunamis

Disaster Prevention and Management, Volume 15 (1): 12 – Jan 1, 2006

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0965-3562
DOI
10.1108/09653560610654329
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – To investigate whether or not people at risk from the 26 December 2004 tsunamis could have had better warning of the event. Design/methodology/approach – This paper examines short‐term actions related to warning following the earthquake and long‐term actions related to setting up an Indian Ocean tsunami warning system prior to the disaster. The evidence is presented in the context of the long‐term processes needed to create and maintain successful warning systems. Findings – The evidence shows that, based on the knowledge and procedures existing at the time, any expectation of effective warning prior to the tsunamis was unreasonable. On 26 December 2004, as much action was taken as feasible. Prior to the catastrophe, the Indian Ocean tsunami risks were acknowledged but no warning systems were implemented because other priorities were deemed to be higher. Research limitations/implications – This paper presents a snapshot of the complex issue of warning system development and implementation. Each national and regional case study deserves detailed attention. Further work would add to a more complete understanding of conditions before 26 December 2004. Practical implications – This case study provides a reminder that planning for warnings must be done before extreme events, not following them. Successful warning systems require investment in a long‐term, ongoing process involving pre‐event planning, education, and awareness. Originality/value – This paper provides an initial attempt at evaluating Indian Ocean tsunami warnings on 26 December 2004.

Journal

Disaster Prevention and ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2006

Keywords: Tidal waves; South East Asia; Risk intelligence

References

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