GIS -27 October 2015: A one-week stakeholder’s workshop on the implementation of a pilot project on Impact-based Forecasting and Risk-based Warnings, organised at the initiative of the Mauritius Meteorological Services through its Public Weather Programme, kicked off yesterday Gold Crest Hotel in Quatre Bornes.
In his address at the opening ceremony the Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management, Mr Jayeshwur Raj Dayal, said that the pilot project is an opportunity to test, evaluate and adjust a new approach to delivery of services. Each year the impacts of severe hydro-meteorological events around the globe give rise to multiple casualties and significant damage to property and infrastructure, he recalled.
The Minister pointed out all this happens in spite of the fact that many of these severe events have been well forecast, with accurate warning information disseminated in a timely fashion by the responsible authorities mainly by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and Disaster Management Centres.
According to Mr Dayal, the reasons for this apparent disconnect lie in the gap between forecasts and warnings of hydro-meteorological events and an understanding of their potential impacts, both by the authorities responsible for emergency management and by the community. Impact-based forecasting and risk-based warnings is the translation of hazard jargon in clear information about the likely impact of weather/climate hazards, he said.
An impact based-forecasting service will provide actionable information on the impact of hazards in a form that the public and other sectors may understand and take actions to protect lives, livelihoods and property, he added.
On that score, Government is acquiring a sophisticated Doppler weather radar through a grant from the Government of Japan. The new radar is expected to be operational by end of 2017. Furthermore the network of Automatic Weather stations in remote and data scarce areas is being extended.
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