ISLAMABAD: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) of the United States is partnering with several leading scientific institutions to release a significant breakthrough in flood prediction technology to help save lives and aid early response to rising flood impacts worldwide.
“This new technology covers the face of the globe, enabling us to observe flood risk and anticipate the likelihood of floods in ways never before possible,” said Dr. Shanna N. McClain, Manager for Nasa’s Earth Science Applied Science Program.
“The technology we have developed will be transformative, enabling early action by communities around the globe — especially small island communities and developing states that lack the necessary early warning information to protect themselves and their loved ones during flood events.
“Until now, comprehensive global flood early warnings have not been possible. Either due to limitations in hydrologic monitoring networks, forecast models, or expertise to operate and widely disseminate their results, especially in small and vulnerable countries, the “Model of Models” MoM will be a game changer,” said Chris Chiesa, Deputy Executive Director of Pacific Disaster Center, a key partner in the project.
For the new technology to be put into use, it must reach the hands of local populations and decision-makers who need it the most — that is where the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) comes in.
The PDC is a University of Hawaii applied science and research center that specializes in disaster risk reduction.
science and technology that supports organizations worldwide in creating a safer world.
“Effective early warning information is proven to save lives. Flood early warning has been so far expensive, requiring hyper local investment, knowledge and maintenance. I am looking forward to helping PDC and Nasa make this powerful
tool available to all communities to complement the efforts of national disaster management organizations and meteorological agencies to help early warnings reach the last mile,” said Omar Abou-Samra, Director of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)’s Global Disaster Preparedness Center.
The IFRC currently integrates all of PDC’s ‘DisasterAWARE’ early warning and risk information into its ‘Go Platform’, which provides its 192 national societies and more than 15 million volunteers with critical emergency needs information and the tools they need to provide adequate response.
Pakistan Red Crescent Society provides aid to communities following catastrophic flooding in 2022 which caused more than 1,700 deaths and displaced more than 7.9 million people.
Roughly half of the world’s countries lack adequate hazard early warning systems, according to a recent study by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Floods are among the most deadly and costly disasters worldwide and are only increasing in severity due to climate change. To make matters worse, a large percentage of the world’s population lack the tools needed to detect and respond to floods, leaving them vulnerable to the full force of flood impacts.
Published in Dawn, December 26th, 2022