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Early Warning System to undergo significant improvements

The current Early Warning System will undergo significant improvements by 2020 with the setting up of Sub-Regional Centre of Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) in Sri Lanka, Meteorology Department Chief K.H.M. S.Premalal said.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, the Director General said the proposed Centre will attract regional meteorological experts and researchers to Sri Lanka.

He said the proposed Centre will help improve his Department’s capacity to issue more accurate weather bulletins and early warning messages on natural hazards such as landslides, floods, tsunamis, drought, cyclones, heavy rains and strong winds.

The decision to establish a sub-regional centre of RIMES in Sri Lanka was taken at its third ministerial meeting in Papua New Guinea in August 2017, to which a delegation led by Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa attended. The Centre will be opened in 2020 parallel to the fourth Ministerial Meeting of RIMES scheduled in Sri Lanka.

Premalal said it will be an opportunity for the country to grasp the latest technologies being used in the field, new software for weather forecasting and early warning, and new research outputs.

“This will enable his Department to develop the country’s weather forecast, early warning system and long term climate projections,” Premalal added.

He said RIMES, as part of this project, will provide technical and financial support to improve early warning on ocean hazards, adding that it will enhance the Department’s marine weather forecast issued to fishing and naval communities on rough seas and strong winds. He added another aspect of the project will be improvements to climate service and climate projection.

“As a result we will be able to disseminate more reliable climate-related information to various sectors such as the agriculture and irrigation. Long term climate projection will also see an improvement,” Premalal added.

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a Cabinet Paper presented by Minister Anura Yapa to construct a two storied building in the Meteorology Department premises to house the RIMES Sub-Regional Centre.

Local funds would be utilized for the construction of the building and purchasing office equipment to it.