Continued support from Norwegian Geotechnical Institute to National Building Research Organisation on disaster management
Today, Knut Nyfløt, Charge de Affairs of the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Colombo handed over a "supercomputer" to Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, the Minister of Disaster Management to be used in the Disaster Risk Reduction program. The event took place at the Ministry of Disaster Management. Under the Technical Cooperation facility, the Norwegian Embassy has supported the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) to work together with the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) on disaster management issues since 2012.
A tailor made high computing machine which was handed over to the Minister of Disaster Management will be used by the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) in Colombo to analyze vast amount of data being collected from various landslide prone areas in Sri Lanka. The high computing machine will make quick and efficient three dimensional models of the mapped site in an accurate manner in a Geographical Information System (GIS) platform.
Thanking Norway for the valuable technical cooperation extended, the Hon. Minister said that the blocking of waterways in hill areas had been the main reason for many landslides. He added that it was important to introduce natural mitigation methods to landslide prone areas. In his speech, Knut Nyfløt said that he believes the equipment handed over under the new phase will strengthen and complement the work being conducted by NBRO on reducing the risk from natural hazards in Sri Lanka. He further said that since the very inception, the two parties, NGI and NBRO have worked very well together and made use of advanced Norwegian technology such as ground penetrating radars (GPR) and early warning systems through automatic weather stations which helped Sri Lanka in their disaster risk reduction efforts. "We are happy that the GPR technology was used successfully in Matale to find potential sink holes and cracks were observed in buildings. With GPR one could observe the development of sink holes which is one of the main causes of subsidence in the area" he said. Dr Rajindra Kumar Bhasin, NGI’s regional director for Asia made a presentation on the ongoing activities of the project and the new areas that will be covered under the new project phase. Dr Asiri Karunananda also explained the importance of the contribution made by NGI for ongoing disaster management activities in NBRO and in Sri Lanka.