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Guest editor profile

Sam Hettiarachchi

Risk Assessment Working Group Chair of Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System

United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization - International Institute for Educational Planning Expertise: Coastal and Harbour Engineering, Coastal Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction and Coastal Zone Management.

Professor S.S.L. Hettiarachchi, Professor of Civil Engineering of the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka specialized in Coastal Engineering and obtained his PhD from Imperial College, London on Coastal and Harbour Structures. He has represented Sri Lanka on the establishment of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System (IOTWS), under UNESCO/IOC, Paris since its inception in 2005 and is serving as Chairman of Working Group on Risk Assessment for Indian Ocean States for the Inter Governmental Coordination Group for the establishment of the IOTWS (UNESCO/IOC/ICG/IOTWS). As Chairman, Professor Hettiarachchi provided leadership for the preparation of Tsunami Risk Assessment Guidelines for the Indian Ocean (UNESCO/IOC Guideline and Manual No 52). He has also contributed to other UNESCO guidelines on coastal hazards. The Working Group also collaborated with Geo Science Australia to develop the Tsunami Hazard Map for the Indian Ocean. These two powerful tools will contribute to the safety of human life, ecosystems and infrastructure against the tsunami hazard within a multiple hazard coastal framework. He has served on UNESCO committees/missions on tsunami risk assessment. Professor Hettiarachchi has also worked with UNDP –Asia Pacific Regional Centre-Bangkok in providing training in Tsunami Risk Assessment for Indian Ocean States.

On the research front, he has authored papers and has been very active in various activities including those of Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) in Africa and the work of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) where he has contributed to the development of science plans on “Integrated Research on Disaster Risk” and “Natural and Human-induced Hazards and Disasters in sub-Saharan Africa”.

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