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WDB to give earlier flood warnings from next year PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 05 September 2008

Says adviser

Staff Correspondent

From next year, the Water Development Board will be able to forecast floods 10 days ahead of their onslaught, an adviser said Wednesday.

At present, the WDB says it can forecast "with 100 percent accuracy" 72 hours ahead of floods.
 
The water board announced the early forecast system, developed using US and European, technology at a seminar on flood forecast models for disaster management at the Sheraton Hotel.
 
Water resources adviser CS Karim attending the function as chief guest, later briefed reporters: "From next year, we will be able to forecast floods 10 days ahead of time."
 
"This will be a crucially early alert for people, especially for farmers to save their crops and cattle from inundation," he said.
 
He said the 10-day forecasts would be "80 percent accurate" and the model would gain more accuracy over time.
 
The adviser said the model may also eventually provide mid- to long-term forecasts for flood-vulnerable areas, 20-25 days and 1-6 months ahead of time. But further research and work was needed for this, he added.
 
Karim said the WDB had introduced test-models from July 26 this year.
 
The water board collected data on rainfall and temperature from the US's National Aeronautics and Space Adminstration (NASA) and the European Centre for Medium-range Forecasts to predict floods in Bangladesh.
 
US ambassador James F Moriarty, also attending the event, said the technology for making advanced forecasts would help farmers be more prepared for floods and reduce losses of lives and property.
 
He also lauded Bangladesh's role in disaster management and pledged continued US support for disaster management.
 
Md Sazedul Karim Chowdhury, a WDB project director, told reporters that the forecast technique was being tested in five areas of the country and gave "comparatively accurate predictions".
 
But, he said it was not possible to forecast the duration of floods at present using the model.
 
The US Agency for International Development is funding the early-warning project. CARE Bangladesh is also involved.
 
WDB director general H S Mozaddad Faruque, USAID's mission director Denise Rollins and CARE Bangladesh head Nick Southern also spoke at the opening function of the two-day seminar.

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