The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) have launched a Flood Early Warning System (FEWS) for Guwahati to alert local authorities about flash floods and heavy rainfall.

Launched at an online event, the fully automated web-based tool will help them take timely and appropriate measures in event of a natural disaster heading toward the city, TERI said in a statement.

Developed under TERI’s project supported by the NDMA in collaboration with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), the tool can be replicated to predict urban floods in any part of the country.

The FEWS pilot project was undertaken on an experimental basis, to enhance resilience for urban floods, in assistance with the Guwahati Municipal Corporation, North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) and TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI SAS).

This is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent statement during a meeting with the Chief Ministers of six states—Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala—wherein he highlighted the need for development of local-level flood warning system.

Speaking at the launch event, Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI said, “Nature-based risks can now be integrated into early warning system, which is how FEWS is designed. Together with science communication, the results of these assessments can enhance the resilience of flood-prone cities and geographies in the country. We are delighted that our FEWS assessments can provide a flood management roadmap for cities that have perennial issues of urban flooding.”

Explaining the features of FEWS, Prasoon Singh, Project Lead and Associate Fellow, Earth Science and Climate Change, TERI said, “Early warning systems have proven to be an effective tool in reducing our vulnerabilities toward predicting natural disasters. Though assessing recurring events such as floods is complex due to multiple levels of interactions and dynamic nature of urban water system, tools such as FEWS, can be customised to incorporate such uncertainties, thereby improving our resilience against urban flooding.”

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