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India to assist Seychelles in setting up advanced weather warning systems

Victoria, Seychelles | April 16, 2024, Tuesday @ 13:49 in National » GENERAL | By: Rita Joubert-Lawen Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 2712
India to assist Seychelles in setting up advanced weather warning systems

Seychelles has also suffered from extreme weather with heavy rainfalls. (Seychelles Nation) 

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Seychelles Meteorological Authority (SMA) will be better equipped to record and monitor rainfall and weather conditions during the next rainy season, with assistance from India to develop its early warning systems, according to a top official.

The SMA's chief executive Vincent Amelie told SNA that the upgrade in its system will be finalised once an agreement is signed next month, as part of a national partnership resulting from bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Amelie visited India earlier this month and had the chance to visit various meteorological services and discuss with Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of Earth Sciences responsible for the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

"What I have seen in the existing infrastructure during my visit, is that they have everything we need to advance in the field. We are finalising the priority areas that we will work on under the agreement," he said.

"India will be providing the technical expertise through the transfer of technology where they will tailor the modelling for Seychelles. This is different from the other countries' met centres we had approached to help us in that area, as they were asking for high prices for the expertise," Amelie explained.

The authority is working with its Indian counterparts to finalise an agreement that will help Seychelles improve its predictions as well as impact-based forecasting.

"We will have a flash flood and early warning system that is more advanced and better equipped than the one we have currently," said Amelie.

As a result of the agreement between the two countries, Seychelles will not have to pay India consultancy fees for the advanced software they will be donating and helping with their proper installation.

According to a report released by the World Meteorological Organidation (WMO) in December, there is a concerning trend of disasters increasing over five times between 1970 and 2019. Water-related disasters became the most common globally, with tropical cyclones causing the most harm to people and economies.

Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has also suffered from extreme weather, as the heavy rainfalls and ensuing flash-floods that resulted in landslides on December 7 last year have shown.

Amelia said Seychelles this will address many weaknesses in its forecasts such as impact-based forecasting "where we not only say that it's going to rain, but we can also tell what impact it will have."

SMA currently only provides a generalised forecast.

He explained that India has already developed a system that not only predicts rain but also predicts the intensity of the rain, what impact it will have as well as the exact location of the rain.

Another area India will be assisting with is marine forecasting "an area that we have struggled a lot with over the years as we did not have the expertise. India will be providing SMA with advanced systems to allow the authority to provide this service more efficiently," Amelie added.

Capacity building and expertise exchange is also part of the agreement between the two countries and there will be very qualified personnel coming to SMA for short-term and longer term contracts. Those on shorter terms will mainly be working in research.

"As a result of these improvements, people will see an improvement in our predictions and decision-making that is more cost-effective," said Amelie.

In addition to the exchange of expertise, SMA and India have plans for a hydrometer project costing US$ 70 million that covers four countries in the region.

The other beneficiaries of the project being funded by the Green Climate Fund are Mauritius, Comoros, and Madagascar. The five-year-long project specifically covers equipment to be donated such as radars and automatic stations.

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Tags: India Meteorological Department, Seychelles Meteorological Authority, World Meteorological Organidation

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