Flash Flood Guidelines

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Flash Flood Guidelines

Application: GS Paper-1, GS Paper-2 and GS Paper- 3

Why Flash Floods were in news?

  • Recently, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has launched the South Asian Flash Flood Guidance System (FFGS),
  • which is aimed at helping disaster management teams and governments make timely evacuation plans ahead of the actual event of flooding.
  • They are going to establish A dedicated FFGS center in New Delhi.
  • where weather modeling and analysis of rainfall data observations from member countries will be done.

What are Flash Floods?

  • Flash floods are among the world’s deadliest natural disasters with more than 5,000 lives lost annually
  • and result in significant social, economic and environmental impacts.
  • Accounting for approximately 85% of the flooding cases,
  • flash floods also have the highest mortality rate (defined as the number of deaths per number of people affected)
  • among different classes of flooding (e.g., riverine, coastal).
  • Flash floods have a different character than river floods,
  • notably short time scales and occurring in small spatial scales
  • which make forecasting of flash floods quite a different challenge than traditional flood forecasting approaches.

In forecasting of flash floods, we are concerned foremost with the forecast of occurrence, and herein have focused on two causative events-

  1. Heavy rainfall and
  2. Rainfall on saturated soils

What are the problems due to Flash Floods?

  • Forecasting flash floods is very difficult as an event can occur within three to six hours and the water run-off quantity is very high.
  • Frequency of extreme rainfall events has increased due to climate change and south Asia is highly prone to flash floods.
  • Data suggest that across the world, about 5,000 people die annually due to flash floods.
  • Despite such high mortality, there was no robust forecasting or warning system for flash floods.
South Asian Flash Flood Guidance System

The India Meteorological Department – IMD launched the SAsiaFFG.India has launched first of its kind Flash Flood Guidance services for India and other South Asian countries Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
The aim of the South Asian Flash flood System is helping disaster management teams and governments make timely evacuation plans ahead of the actual event of flooding.A dedicated FFGS center will be established in New Delhi, where weather modeling and analysis of rainfall data observations from member countries will be done.

IMD will issue impact-based forecasting at the watershed and also city level, of floods which are very sudden and of short duration.The warning mechanism will function as follows – Based on the rainfall and potential flooding scenario, flash flood warnings will be issued to respective nations.
Flash flood threat warning will be issued six hours in advance, whereas flood risk warning will be issued 24 hours in advance. Warnings about watershed level will be issued 12 hours in advance.

South Asian Flash Flood Guidance System

SAisaFFG was developed by US-based Hydrologic Research Center (HRC) was shut down after one and half years of operation because of lack of regional collaboration and cooperation to make progress in the regional implementation of the system.


The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and few South Asian countries expressed the importance of the project, put forth their views and the urgent need for such a warning system.

 

What is India’s role in handling situation?

  • India is leading the delegation of nations, including Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal,
  • in sharing hydrological and meteorological data towards preparing flash flood forecasts.
  • India’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Central Water Commission (CWC) partnered in developing the system.

Reference

https://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/hwrp/flood/ffgs/index_en.php

https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1667043

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