Investigating the Variables that Influence the Use of Social Media for Disaster Risk Communication in Sri Lanka

H. A.D.G.S. Jayathilaka, C. S.A. Siriwardana, D. Amaratunga, R. P. Haigh, N. Dias

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


    Sri Lanka has been experiencing various types of hazards which have turn into disasters over the past years. A considerable amount of human lives and properties have been impacted due to these disasters. Establishing proper communication channels for effective dissemination of disaster-related information is one of the key strategies of reducing and preventing the impact of disasters. As an emerging communication technology, new attention has been drawn to use social media as a communication channel during disasters to disseminate disaster-related information to the general public. It has previously been identified that there are several variables that affect the use of social media by the general public during disasters. The primary objective of this study is to investigate these variables and their variation for the Sri Lankan context. To conduct this study, an online questionnaire was circulated among the community and 408 responses were collected. Data were analysed under two phases. In the first phase, descriptive statistics for the data were obtained to identify the demography of the respondents. Secondly, binary logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify the variation of the independent variables (predictors) associated with the use of social media during disasters. It has been identified that there is a positive relationship between the respondents’ previous experiences of disasters and their social media usage during disasters. There is no meaningful relationship between gender and the use of social media during disasters. The age group to which the respondents belonged was also identified as having a significant impact on their use of social media during disasters. People who belong to the age group of 18–24 are more likely to use social media during disasters than other age groups. A significant increase in the use of social media during of disaster can be observed among the adult community in Sri Lanka.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationICSBE 2020 - Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Sustainable Built Environment
    EditorsRanjith Dissanayake, Priyan Mendis, Kolita Weerasekera, Sudhira De Silva, Shiromal Fernando
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    PublisherSpringer Singapore
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Print)9789811644115
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2021

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
    PublisherSpringer Singapore


    • Disaster risk communication
    • Disaster risk management
    • Disasters
    • Social media


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