Sri Lanka: Dialog assists Disaster Management


Dialog Telekom PLC in collaboration with its partners Dialog University of Moratuwa Mobile Communications Research Laboratory and Microimage Technologies together with the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) of Sri Lanka launched Sri Lanka’s first ever mass alert warning system; the ‘Disaster and Emergency Warning Network’ (DEWN) yesterday under the patronage of Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe.

Speaking on the launch of DEWN Group Chief Executive Officer, Dialog Telekom PLC, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya said that “There are 10 million people in this country who have access to telecommunication and mobile services. Now the mobile has become a powerful tool which could be called as a ‘Digital Empowerment Device’ and our citizens are digitally empowered into the digital network”. Dr. Wijayasuriya went onto say that now one can even provide banking and other information services via a mobile phone unit adding that the Dialog News Alert service has now reached 350,000 subscribers.

DEWN is a system that was being tested by the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) to alert Dialog mobile users of potential disasters via a method called ‘Cell Broadcast’. Users only need to configure area information reception settings on their Dialog mobiles to receive the alerts issued. The DMC takes the responsibility to adequately verify any emergency situation and issue alerts. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Dialog Telekom PLC and Disaster Management Centre to start the DEWN. In a potential disaster scenario, the DMC will first use DEWN to alert emergency personnel on their individual phones, and public alerts will be issued only when a threat is adequately verified. In addition to alerts received on the mobile phones, specially designed DEWN remote alarms will also be used to alert nominated emergency personnel. Cell Broadcast is currently available only on the Dialog GSM network and not yet available on #G mode.

Addressing the gathering Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe said that “since December 26th 2004, when we lost 38,000 lives and when the tsunami caused serious damage to the assets of our economy and development of the country, the Government has moved into make Sri Lanka a safe place”. The Minister also highlighted the importance of private sector corporate social responsibility projects that enhance and enrich the lives of people. “Disaster prevention and mitigation in this country is essential for rapid economic strategy and sustainable economic development of Sri Lanka” Minister Samarasinghe said adding that the 24 hour operating Disaster Management Centre will be the focal point when sending the alerts via Dialog network.


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