The Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (RAII-SeA-SWFDP) Regional Sub-project Management Team (RSMT) Meeting; the Southeast Asia Flash Flood Guidance (SEAFFG) System Initial Planning Meeting; and the First Southeast Asia Steering Committee (SEA-SC) Meeting of the project “Building Resilience to High-Impact Hydro meteorological Events through Strengthening MHEWS in SIDS and SEA” was held by the National Hydro-Meteorological Service in collaboration with World Meteorological Organization in Hanoi during 20-23 November 2017. The aim of the meeting is to create synergies between RAII-SeA-SWFDEP and SEAFFGS through enhancing the linkages between the two systems for providing efficient and effective severe weather and flood warnings.
Attending the forum were representatives of WMO, participating countries in the region, namely Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam a representative from the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Secretariat, the Hydrologic Research Center, US National Weather Service (US NWS) and USAID/Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance.
Flash floods are among the world’s deadliest natural disasters with more than 5000 lives lost annually. Their social, economic and environmental impacts are significant. Accounting for approximately 85% of flooding cases, flash floods also have the highest mortality rate among different classes of flooding, including riverine and coastal. Flash floods differ from river floods in their short time scales and occurrence on small spatial scales, which makes flash floods forecasting a different challenge from large river flood forecasting.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Director General Tran Hong Thai said that the first Southeast Asia Project Steering Committee (SEA-PSC) Meeting for the MHEWS project will open a new support of WMO for the Southeast Asia and I believe that with a strong support of WMO and ECCC, a close collaboration of all SEA countries, the Project will reach the purpose of contributing to reducing human and economic losses associated with hydro meteorological and climate-related hazards in SEA and Pacific and Caribbean SIDS through strengthening weather-, climate- and water-related impact-based decision support services to MHEWS stakeholders, from all socio-economic sectors & communities.