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Press Release No. 888

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HAITI: FORECASTING AND WARNING SERVICES OPERATIONAL FOR THE HURRICANE SEASON (June – December 2010)

Geneva, 18 June 2010 (WMO) – The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced today that the National Meteorological Centre (CNM) of Haiti launched its website www.meteo-haiti.gouv.ht to provide and disseminate information and warnings to all users including UN agencies, NGOs, disaster affected communities and media.

Following the earthquake of 12 January 2010 in Haiti, which caused considerable loss of lives and damage to all infrastructures including CNM, WMO Members have joined forces to re-establish operational meteorological services to help prevent further disasters during the hurricane season (June-December 2010). This is an exemplary model of cooperation of WMO and its Members that could be replicated in other similar situations in the future.

The operational capacity of Haiti to produce and disseminate weather information and warnings which was adversely affected by the earthquake has been re-established with the support of a coalition of WMO members including Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

The 62nd session of the WMO Executive Council, in discussing the enhanced capabilities of Members in multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster prevention and preparedness, applauded and welcomed the coordination and contribution of Members to re-establish and reinforce the operational capacity of Haiti in the field of observation, monitoring and forecasting.

Weather forecasts and early warnings from CNM are essential for national authorities, humanitarian and development agencies and the people for emergency contingency planning and recovery.

Over 90% of disasters in the country are linked to or aggravated by frequently occurring meteorological, hydrological and climate-related hazards: tropical cyclones and related storm surges, rivers and flash floods, drought, thunderstorms or lightning, landslides or mudslides, which have been further exacerbated by massive deforestation and environmental changes. Haiti annually experiences two rainy seasons, from April to June and from October to November, as well as a hurricane season from early June until the end of November. It suffered significant losses in 2008 from four major hurricanes, Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike. In 2004 tropical storm Jeanne’s heavy rains caused massive flooding and landslides; 1998 experienced Hurricane George; 1994, Hurricane Gordon and 1963, Hurricane Flora.

WMO is the United Nations System’s authoritative voice on weather,
climate and water.

For more information, please contact at the WMO Communications and Public Affairs Office:

Ms Carine Richard-Van Maele, Chief, Tel: +41 (0) 22 730 8315, Mobile: +41 794 064730; E-mail:  cpa@wmo.int

www.wmo.int

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