November 28, 2014
JICA teams conducted aerial and field surveys of a landslide that killed at least 16 people in October in the village of Koslanda, Sri Lanka.
The field survey was conducted Nov. 19 and 20 by three landslide experts from a JICA project to identify the scale and mechanism of the landslide and suggest measures including infrastructural restoration.
The aerial survey was conducted on Nov. 5, a week after the 3-kilometer landslide was caused by monsoon rains.
The Sri Lankan Ministry of Disaster Management has no helicopters, so the aerial survey was new to it and served as on-the-job training for government employees.
The aerial survey investigators included JICA project members, and two trainees, one each from Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center and National Building Research Organization.
In Japan, soon after the occurrence of a large-scale disaster, disaster-management authorities deploy a helicopter to the site to observe the overall situation and to identify the risks of secondary disasters. These observations are then used for decision-making by the emergency operation center. At the same time, relevant authorities deploy field survey teams to assess the disaster and identify lessons for enhancing disaster risk reduction capacity.
Since post-disaster efforts mainly have focused on search and rescue in Sri Lanka, these kinds of surveys rarely have been conducted.
JICA and the government of Sri Lanka will use the experience of this tragedy for further strengthening the government's disaster risk reduction capacity.
*The contents of this story is based on the below reports and press release published by the JICA Sri Lanka office.