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India helping 5 nations develop early warning systems: Weather Office
4/8/2024 10:34:52 PM
NEW DELHI, Apr 8: India is helping Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Mauritius develop early warning systems to reduce the loss of life and property due to extreme weather events, IMD chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra has said.
In a conversation with PTI editors, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) director general said India will play the role of a big brother and a peer advisor to Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Mauritius in the efforts to guard against the impact of extreme weather events.
India's efforts are part of the 'Early Warnings for All' initiative announced by the United Nations in 2022 to ensure that everyone is protected from hazardous weather, water or climate events through life-saving early warning systems by the end of 2027.
Mr Mohapatra said India is helping five of the 30 countries identified across the world for the first phase of the initiative of establishing early warning systems.
"Fifty per cent of the countries do not have an early warning system. The poor countries, least developed countries, and small island nations, for example, Maldives and Seychelles, do not have the capacity to provide early warning about extreme weather events. Therefore, people are dying and losing a lot of property because of disasters," he said.
These countries need financial and technical support to augment their meteorological observations. Financial support will be provided through public-private partnerships and countries like India have pledged to provide technical support, he added.
"We will help these five countries set up meteorological observatories, allow them access to our numerical models, create a decision support system, and computing power," Mr Mohapatra said.
The IMD will provide forecasts and warnings and ministries of communication of the respective nations have been roped in to help develop a system for data exchange and warning dissemination, Mr Mohapatra said.
According to a report released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in December, 101 countries (52 per cent) now have multi-hazard early warning systems.
The WMO's findings show a concerning trend as disasters increased over five times between 1970 and 2019. Water-related disasters became the most common globally, with tropical cyclones causing the most harm to people and economies.
From 1970 to 2021, the world witnessed nearly 12,000 weather, climate or water-related disasters, resulting in more than two million deaths and economic losses of USD 4.3 trillion.
According to official reports, around 41,789 people died annually from disasters between 2015 and 2022. And the number of people affected by disasters has been rising, with more than 130 million affected globally every year.
In Asia, from 2013 to 2022, more than 146,000 people lost their lives due to disasters and over 911 million were directly affected. Economic damages in 2022 alone were over USD 36 billion, mostly due to flooding and storms.
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