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CMA Enhances Meteorological Service in Support of Disaster Prevention and Reduction

China Meteorological Administration
Posted on 31 August 2010

In 2010, weather and climate in China have been extremely anomalous. Meteorological disasters occurred in a sudden, extreme and concurrent manner, causing widespread impacts and serious damages. Since May 2010, 14 successive torrential rains have hit the South China and broad areas to the south of the Yangtze River, leading to concurrent floods and geological disasters. Since June, high temperature (heat wave) events have frequently occurred. In many parts of the North China, high temperature broke historical extremes; and in many parts of the South China, high temperature was constantly higher than that of the same period in history. In July, the North China met 5 successive torrential rains, causing severe floods in Weihe River, Liaohe River and the second Songhuajiang River. In August, floods, landslides, mud-rock flows and other secondary or weather-induced disasters brought about by frequent heavy rain, leading to casualties and property losses, causing serious damages to China’s economic and social activities. On the early morning of 8 August, Zhouqu County, Gansu Province in the Northwest China was hit by a flood and mud-rock flow, which was the most devastating disaster ever recorded as this category since the New China was founded, causing heavy casualties and property losses. Up to 24 August, 1447 people were killed with 318 missing.

Facing frequent extreme weather and climate events, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has always put meteorological disasters preparedness and mitigation on its top agenda, going all out to deliver good weather forecasts and services. In 2010, CMA has launched 19 emergency responses by providing dedicated meteorological services for such high-impact weather-related events, with more than 20 task forces dispatched to the scenes in support of disaster relief with weather services. By making full use of meteorological satellites, radars, GPRS, lightning location system and other modern observation equipments, CMA has enhanced monitoring, forecast and warning of emergent severe weather events. CMA has initiated intensive satellite, radar and upper-air observations, rolling and event-specific weather discussions, and timely issuance of early-warnings on potential meteorological disasters. By 24 August 2010, the Central Meteorological Office of CMA has issued over 620 forecasts and early-warnings on meteorological disasters, of which 223 focus heavy rain, 176 are related to high-temperature, and 34 are typhoon warnings. Meteorological service information on rainfall and floods, etc. has been made, in a timely and rolling manner, available to CPC Committees, Governments and competent departments at all levels, with a view to providing governmental decision-making departments with scientific information for disaster prevention and mitigation. Statistics shows by August 24, CMA has delivered to the State Council and relevant departments more than 700 products in support of decision-making processes, including 98 Special Reports on Significant Meteorological Events, 114 Express of Meteorological Disaster Warnings, 463 Reports Specially for Top Decision-makers, and 107 thematic reports. Also, the weather forecasts, warnings and relevant information were timely outreached to the public through mass media, including TV, radio, Internet, Mobile SMS and press conferences. Especially, 375,000 voluntary meteorological messengers from grassroots have played a role in facilitating the last-mile delivery of meteorological warning to villages, workplaces, communities, schools and hospitals."

In July alone, the meteorological establishments at all levels released more than one billion SMS warning messages (times) in a timely manner, especially 70 million messages (times) were addressed to the voluntary messengers in villages. By strengthening the inter-sector interactive and joint actions on the one hand, and by enhancing meteorological forecast & warning services in support of disaster prevention and mitigation by authorities of flood-control and drought-combat, civil affairs, land resources, transportation, railway, agriculture, health, safety supervision, tourism, electricity among other sectors on the other hand, a meteorological disaster warning and service liaison mechanism, to deliver "Express of Meteorological Disaster Warnings" to various governmental agencies, to ensure effective linkage between meteorological delivery and emergency meteorological disaster prevention and mitigation authorities. Meteorological Information service has been widely recognized by decision-making departments and end users, and its social benefits are significant.            

(August 2010)

 
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