No Natural Disasters but man-made ones –Prof. Gomes

“There are no natural disasters. There are only natural extreme events and human disasters. The former is not within our control but the latter is,” said Prof. Chandima Gomes, Professor of Electrical Engineering of the Department of University Putra Malaysia.
He was delivering the key-note address at the ceremonial inauguration of the three-day International Round Table on the impact of extreme natural events: Science and Technology for mitigation held at Ramada Hotel in Katunayake on Wednesday.

The International Round Table Research Conference was organized by Research Centre – Technology for Disaster Prevention, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, National Science and technology Commission, Sri Lanka and Centre for Science and Technology of Non-Aligned and other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre Countries, with the participation of a large number of internationally-reputed experts, prominent academics from various parts of the world including India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, United Kingdom, Qatar

The programme began with the welcome address by the Chairman, National Science and technology Commission Prof. M.J.S. Wijeratne. It was graced by the Secretary to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research Udaya R. Seneviratne .

Prof. Dr. Arun P. Kulshreshtha , Director General of NAM S&T Centre delivered an informative address followed by the Introduction to the Round table by Prof M.M.M. Najim, Vice Chancellor of the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka.

Prof. Gomes, continuing further said, “Time advancement, finer details of spatio-temporal event distribution and effectiveness of information reaching the target of public play a vital role in the forecasting of natural extreme to minimize human casualties.

Thus, R&D should focus on the technological enhancement and improvisation of sensing and monitoring devises, coordination and communication, prediction models and information dissemination models. However, even with the best forecasting techniques, one can hardly prevent the property and socio-economic losses. The evacuation, maintenance and resettlement of the affected public incur a heavy toll on the Government. Thus it is the high time for the scientific community to give the utmost prominence to focus on technologies that develop disaster-resilient systems affordable.

Seven sessions on Extreme Events I, Climate Change, Extreme events II, Plenary speech Earth quake and landslides, Disaster mitigation Technologies I and Disaster Mitigation Technologies II were conducted by the experts in the relevant field.


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