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Data Sources:

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Organisations have been identified as sources for obtaining information in respect of disasters. They are print media, government and non-governmental organisations and other research organisations.

News Papers

Various systems and methods have been used in collecting and maintaining the data in governmental organisations from a very long period. As a result it was noticed that there are various difficulties in the collecting of data pertaining to disasters since year 1974.

  • Except the data related to communicable diseases, data in respect of all other disasters were present only for a period less than 10 years since they had commenced accumulating such data.
  • Even the available data were limited only to special situations and they were present only as summarized reports

Accordingly it was decided to collect the relevant data by using print media, right from the inception. Also based on such information and data collected from the print media, it became convenient to obtain further detailed information through government organisations. Two news papers published in Sinhala (“Dinamina”) and English (“Daily News”) media were selected for this purpose. These news papers have been published by the Associated News Papers of Ceylon Ltd. which is a state organisation. The news papers that had been published from the year 1974 to 1976 were obtained from the Department of National Archives and those from the year 1976 to 1977 onwards from National Library Documentation Centre.

Government Organisations:

The data in the possession of state organisations were of diverse formats as stated below.

  • Weekend reports pertaining to disasters.
  • Abridged reports in respect of special incidents
  • Daily reports giving publicity for disasters.
  • Requests made for relief aid.

However this information was present separately in the organisations at the national level as well as in the district level. Therefore it was decided to collect this information from state organisations in two stages as initially at the state level and thereafter at the district level. Collection of data possessed by non-governmental organisations and other research organisation have not been done up to date

The following organisations have been linked and associated to collect the data at the national level.

  • Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health
  • Department of Social Services
  • Department of Wildlife Conservation
  • Department of Fire Services of the Colombo Municipal Council
  • National Building Research Organization Department of Meteorology
  • Disaster Relief Service Centre
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Census and Statistics

The following organisations have been linked and associated to collect the data at the district level.

  • District Secretariats
  • Divisional Secretariats
  • Provincial Councils / Local Authorities
  • Police Stations
  • MOH office