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Sri Lanka TV news staff prepare for dealing with disasters

Seventy-five Maharaja TV newsroom staff took part in a three-day ABU workshop in Sri Lanka to prepare them for dealing with disasters.

The Emergency Warnings and Communications for Disaster Risk Reduction workshop in Colombo from 26-28 May 2014 was part of the ABU Disaster Risk Reduction Broadcast Media Initiative, supported by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness.

Organisers said some of the participants had taken part in an introduction to Early Warning Broadcasting and DRR conducted in Colombo by the ABU in June 2013 and their input was valuable in assessing developments during the past year.

The workshops included contributions from the Director of the Department of Meteorology, a Senior Director of the National Disaster Management Centre, the International Red Cross, Red Crescent and representatives from GAATES – an organisation dealing with accessibility issues for disabled and less abled groups.

The organisations agreed there was an urgent need for government agencies, NGOs and media to work together to improve early warning messages and make them available in relevant local languages. They also committed to establishing regular contacts and helping each other to improve emergency messages and coordination.