Mauritius: Early Warning System to detect storm surges installed in Mauritius

Vacoas, Mauritius (PANA) - An Early Warning System (EWS) to detect storm surges on a 24-hour basis is now operational at the Mauritius Meteorological Services in Vacoas, in the centre of the island, officials said here Tuesday.

One official at the Met services said the primary goals of the EWS was to prevent loss of lives due to storm surges, protect the livelihoods and lives of vulnerable coastal communities, improve understanding about climate change among residents and provide for building capacity for the community.

The EWS, funded by the Global Environment Fund jointly with the UNDP to the tune of about US$295,000, provides a three-day forecast of water levels every 6 hours round the clock.

Given the previous experiences with storm surges on the South coast, with velocities of 50 km/hr, a warning circumference around each island in the Republic of Mauritius has been defined, such that coastal communities have at least 3 hours warning of possible incoming surges.

The official said the previous warning systems and technical interventions available in the country did not anticipate unconventional swell conditions which are not always due to local cyclones but are sometimes caused by convergent weather systems quite far from Republic of Mauritius.

He believed an EWS is a critical life saving tool for floods, storm surges and other natural hazards. 

It comprises of four components that are detection, monitoring and forecasting; analysis of risks involved; dissemination of timely warnings; and activation of emergency plans to prepare and respond.
-0- PANA NA/SEG 11Aug2015

11 august 2015 09:02:33

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