NEW DELHI: India has launched first- of-its kind Flash Flood Guidance services for South Asian countries — India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka — to issue impact-based forecasting of floods, which are very sudden and of short duration, at watershed and also city level.
The Flash Flood Guidance is a robust system designed by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to provide the necessary products in real-time to support the development of warnings for flash floods about 6-12 hours in advance at the watershed level with resolution of 4km x 4km for the flash flood prone South Asian countries.
The IMD had tested the performance of the system during recent monsoon season in the pre-operational mode and the Flash Flood Bulletins were issued to National Hydrological and Meteorological Services in the Region for its validation. The system has in-depth science, dynamics and diagnostics to provide guidance for the possible occurrences of flash floods at local level.
M. Mohapatra, Director General, IMD, and Permanent Representative of India with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) highlighted the salient features of the system and appreciated the collaborative work done in the field of capacity building for forecasting hydro-meteorological hazards.
Mohapatra assured the member nations that the guidance for flash floods in the form of threats (6 hours in advance) and risks (24 hours in advance) will be provided by the Regional Centre to the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, National and State Disaster Management Authorities and all other stakeholders for taking necessary mitigation measures to reduce the loss of life and property.
Recognising that flash floods have a particularly disastrous impact on lives and properties of the affected populations, the 15th WMO Congress had approved the implementation of a Flash Flood Guidance System project with global coverage that had been developed by the WMO Commission for Hydrology jointly with the WMO Commission for Basic Systems.
Lack of warning capabilities
Flash floods are highly localised with very high peak and usually have less than six hours between the occurrence of rainfall and peak flood. There is lack of flash flood warning capabilities across the world.