Disaster Management Current Affairs

Odisha Government signs MoU with RIMES for effective management of all kinds of disasters

Odisha Government has singed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) to enhance effective management of all kinds of disasters. The collaboration is aimed at automating risk management, advisory generation and dissemination.

Key Facts

The partnership has been forged between Odisha State Disaster Mitigation Authority (OSDMA) and RIMES in field of drought monitoring and early warning for different natural disasters. The collaborative effort aims at enhance early warning system for effective management of all kinds of disasters like flood, drought, heat wave, lightning and road accidents in the state. Initially, the MoU will be in force for 5 years with cost involvement of about Rs. 8 crore. Under it, efforts will be made to create open-source software platforms and public domain data sets using weather and climate information, sourced from the India Meteorological Department (IMD.

Significance

The collaboration will help OSDMA to engage integrated multi-hazard early warning system to strengthen its prediction and response capability. It will also strengthen OSDMA for more effective management of natural disasters. It will also help in transfer of best practices among different countries of world in handling natural disasters. It will also enhance warning response capacities of OSDMA by imparting specialized expert training. It will also help to develop one-stop risk management system for all OSDMA needs-integration of multiple data database/servers.

Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES)

The RIMES is an intergovernmental body registered under United Nations. It is owned and managed by 45 collaborating countries in Asia Pacific and Africa Region. India is chairman of the body. It was established in 2009 and was registered with UN in July 2009.

It operates from its regional early warning centre located at campus of Asian Institute of Technology in Pathumthani, Thailand. It has evolved from efforts of countries in Africa and Asia in aftermath of 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Mandate: It seeks to establish regional early warning system within multi-hazard framework for generation and communication of early warning information and capacity building for preparedness and response to trans-boundary hazards. It provides information related to Tsunami and extreme weather conditions. It also acts as a test bed for emerging technologies and help to enhance performance.

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Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS): IMD’s new forecast model

The Ministry of Earth Science (MoES) has launched a new system to generate more accurate and area specific forecast of extreme weather events including rains, heat wave and cold wave. The new Ensemble Prediction System (EPS) has been touted as best available model after such a system available in Europe.

Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS): Key Facts

  • The new EPS system has been developed by three bodies under Ministry of Earth Sciences viz. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.
  • The most salient feature of new EPS is its high resolution for short-medium range weather forecasts. Under the new system, the area of spatial resolution (currently 23 km grid scale) will come down to 12 km. This would help sending out district level warning and forecast extreme weather events as before as five days.
  • In its calculations, the system will use a newly procured 8 petaflops high-power computing system. The system was recently procured for Rs. 450 crore.

Potential Advantages

The new system will generate more accurate and better area specific forecast of extreme weather events in comparison to current models by quantifying the uncertainties in the weather forecast. The probabilistic forecasts of severe weather events at 12 km grid scale would greatly help the disaster management authorities and other users in making better emergency response decisions. The accurate weather forecasts would help farmers to damage crops and also support administration to take disasters prevention steps beforehand.

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