PDC and Thailand Partner to Save Lives

Date: 11-17-2005

HONOLULU (Nov. 17) – As the anniversary of last year’s deadly Indian Ocean tsunami approaches, the Thai government continues its efforts to ensure it is prepared to head-off any similar disasters.

One step announced Thursday (Nov. 17) was to sign a $597,000 contract with the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), headquartered in Kihei on Maui, to help develop an early warning platform. The PDC will provide technical support and assistance to Thailand’s National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC) under the terms of the new deal.

PDC’s Chief Operating Officer Ray Shirkhodai says this organization is “extremely proud to support Thailand’s further development of disaster analysis and warning dissemination capabilities.” He adds, “It is clear from last December’s devastating Indian Ocean tsunami that this endeavor is extremely significant in terms of protecting lives.”

To that end, the new contract calls for the PDC to assist the NDWC in deploying an “operations center technology center”. This includes tools to automate data collection, assessments, and notification systems and procedures, as well as hazard event tracking tools, and a Geographic Information Systems map viewer.

Assisting PDC in this project are Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), Lockheed Martin Information Technology (LMIT), and Sun Microsystems.

The PDC’s Shirkhodai says the “goal is to develop an integrated architecture to augment the NDWC’s early warning and decision support abilities” that will, in his words, “…achieve our vision of fostering disaster-resistant communities in Thailand and other nations in the region.”

The PDC points out that this latest project is envisioned to compliment current efforts by the U.S. Agency for International Development to develop a comprehensive regional Indian Ocean tsunami warning system.

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The East-West Center has been the PDC’s managing partner since 2001.

Ray Shirkhodai can be reached on (808) 891-7918 or via e-mail at rshirkhodai@pdc.org.

This is an East-West Wire, copyright East-West Center