South-East Asia launches disaster management centre

South-East Asian countries have unveiled a regional centre to coordinate disaster management, with an emphasis on amassing and improving knowledge on disaster science.

The ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) launched the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) last month (27 January).

Based in Jakarta, Indonesia, the centre will connect all disaster management agencies in the region and provide warning of disasters by linking up early warning systems.

The centre will also gather natural disaster data — such as disaster maps — scattered across the region, and develop new technologies to predict and deal with disasters.

For example, Ridwan Djamaluddin, deputy head of technology for natural resources development at Indonesia's Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology — the AHA Centre's host agency — told SciDev.Net that the centre will use remote sensing technology to monitor the entire region.


Published by Science and Development Network (SciDev Net) on 09 February 2011

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