The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday has launched a first-of-its-kind system for South Asian countries that provides alerts for flash floods 6-24 hours in advance. The World Meteorological Department (WMO) has given the India the responsibility of the Regional Centre of South Asia Flash Flood Guidance System for coordination, development and the implementation. The IMD is sharing cyclone warning alerts with the neighboring countries including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
IMD issues the impact-based forecasting of floods, floods are sudden and of short duration at watershed, said IMD director general Mrutunjay Mohapatra said at the online launch.The member countries India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan representatives were present in the event. Flash floods are highly localised events of short duration with a very high peak and usually have less than six hours between the occurrence of the rainfall and peak flood. The flash flood warning capabilities and capacities among countries across the world is lacking till now. The flash floods have a disastrous impact on lives and properties of the affected populations, the 15th WMO Congress had approved the implementation of a Flash Flood Guidance System (FFGS) project in global level.
The WMO Commission for Hydrology, jointly with the WMO Commission for Basic Systems and in collaboration with the US National Weather Service, the US Hydrologic Research Centre (HRC) has developed this system. Regional Centre will provide the guidance for flash floods in the form of Threats (6 hours in advance) and Risks (24 hours in advance) to National Meteorological & Hydrological Services, National and State Disaster Management Authorities and all other stakeholders to take necessary mitigation measures to reduce the loss of life and property in the South Asian region countries of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.