U.S. Supported System Brings a New Era in ASEAN Disaster Management and Response

For Immediate Release

Thursday, January 10, 2013
Christopher Galm
(66)2-257-3000

Chiang Mai, Thailand - A team of U.S.-supported international specialists has recently completed an eight month installation of a new state-of-the-art disaster monitoring and response system for ASEAN at the Jakarta-based ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre). The installation was supported by the U.S. Government-funded ASEAN-U.S. Technical Assistance and Training Facility.

The ASEAN Disaster Monitoring and Response System (DMRS) was officially launched today at a gathering of ASEAN’s senior disaster management officials, ASEAN Dialogue Partners and international organizations at the 21st ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management meeting.

The system provides streams of data on hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, typhoons, forest fires, and other natural disasters from all over ASEAN, combining them into one interface for disaster monitoring and decision making. AHA Centre operators can immediately see the big picture, which improves response times and leads to more efficient use of relief resources.

“The ASEAN region gets more than its share of natural disasters, and the speed of response can literally be the difference between life and death,” said Dr. Michael Yates, USAID Regional Mission Director. “ASEAN has shown great leadership in promoting regional disaster preparedness. The United States is pleased to help these efforts through this system, which will provide valuable data from across the region, accessible to all ASEAN Member States and stakeholders.”

The DMRS fulfills U.S. President Barack Obama’s offer of support for an ASEAN multi-hazard early warning system during his inaugural meeting with ASEAN leaders in 2009. The AHA Centre, working closely with the ASEAN Secretariat, has welcomed assistance from the United States and from other ASEAN Dialogue Partners in advancing its disaster management capabilities.

“We could not have been more proud to collaborate on such an important regional project”, said Mr. Ray Shirkhodai, Executive Director of the U.S.-based Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), who supplied the technical team and the operational software, which is based on the PDC’s DisasterAWARE platform.

USAID will bring disaster management action officers from across ASEAN together in Jakarta for a three-day Training of Trainers on the system by the PDC experts at the end of January.

“We offer our deepest appreciation to the U.S. Government said Mr. Said Faisal, Executive Director of the AHA Centre. “This system has already proved to be very effective in monitoring the movement of Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines last month.”

Last updated: September 16, 2014

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