The system, which warned countries across the South Asian region, including India, about 6 to 24 hours in advance of the sudden flood, was launched on Friday. The system, introduced in the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), is said to be the first of its kind warning system.
In fact, the Global Meteorological Department (WMO) gave India the responsibility to play the role of coordinator of the South Asian Flash Flood Guidance System (SAFFGS). For this reason, the regional center of this system has been established here at IMD. Apart from warning of floods to neighboring countries, this center will also warn about cyclones.
This system was approved in the 15th WMO Congress. The system has been developed by the WMO Hydrology Commission and the WMO Basic Systems Commission in collaboration with the US National Weather Service and the US Hydrological Research Center.
According to IMD Director General Mrityunjay Mohapatra, the system will provide information to member states like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan, etc. in advance including the possibility of damage from floods that come suddenly for a short time.
Usually, the intensity of such floods is extremely high and there is less than six hours gap between the floods after the rains to reach the peak level. This flood comes due to sudden excessive rainfall in a very limited area.
Mohapatra said the possibility of accidental floods will be released at the watershed area as well as at the urban level. Representatives of member countries were also present during the launching of the guidance system.
24 hours early warning, six hours before the system will confirm
The IMD Director-General said, the system would warn about the risk of flooding 24 hours earlier, while confirming the flooding six hours earlier. This warning from the Regional Center will be given to National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, National and State Disaster Management Authorities and all other stakeholders so that preparations can be made in advance to save the loss of life and property.
This information will be given to all countries in South Asia. However, M. Rajeevan, Secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences, expressed the need to increase the monitoring network of rainfall and soil moisture to improve the performance of the system.
The test was done in the recent monsoon season
According to IMD senior scientist BP Yadav, IMD had tested the ability of FFGS during the recent monsoon season and issued flash flood bulletins for the National Hydrology and Meteorological Services to assess its validity.