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Flood Forecasting & Early Warning System inaugurated in city

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Press Trust of India Kolkata
The country's first Flood Forecasting and Early Warning System (FFEWS) was inaugurated here on Thursday to help people of the city to be better prepared in case of heavy rain and flood.
The FFEWS has been designed to provide real-time updates from sensor nodes installed in key points throughout the city, an official of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) said.
The city, given its location, is flood-prone and is also facing danger owing to global warming and rising sea level, Kenichi Yokoyama, country director of Asian Development Bank (ADB), said at the inauguration programme.
"It is a significant milestone for the people of Kolkata, which is among the 10 most vulnerable cities in the world from natural disasters," Yokoyama said.
He however, said the FFEWS cannot be a substitute for better infrastructure in drainage and sewage systems of the city.
"Improvement in drainage systems have to be made to counter such calamities," he said, adding that the ADB has invested USD 400 million for the development of the city.
The ADB has funded the design and implementation of the FFEWS through a USD one million technical assistance to the KMC from its Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund under the Urban Financing Partnership Facility.
Inaugurating the FFEWS, city Mayor Sovan Chatterjee said there will be sensor systems at 455 places in and around the city for an effective early warning system.
"Natural calamities, including heavy rain, can occur any time. The city's infrastructure has been upgraded over the past few years to deal with such situations better," he said.
Noting that the city is the first in the country to put in place a comprehensive city-level FFEWS, British Deputy High Commissioner Bruce Bucknell said the facility will help minimise damage before and during natural disasters.
The FFEWS will reduce economic loss and impacts on livelihood and improve flood awareness and safety at the community level, the KMC official said.
"The system includes weather forecasts, flood models for various intensities of rainfall, inundation levels, actual rainfall and a messaging system to provide warnings and real-time information to city officials and citizens," he said.

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First Published: Sep 27 2018 | 4:30 PM IST

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