GENEVA, 2 February 2012 – The UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, today welcomed the announcement that the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) new Weather and Climate Information System has become operational “as a major contribution towards life-saving efforts at community level.”
She said: “This is a significant boost for disaster risk reduction and will have many practical benefits for communities which suffer from weather-related disasters. For the first time, national disaster management offices and other responders will have free and direct access in real-time to weather observations and forecasts including tsunami alerts, tropical cyclone and storm warnings. Time and information save lives and this will make early warning systems more effective.”
The new WMO Information System uses the latest telecommunications technology to allow users from outside the meteorological community to benefit from the Global Telecommunications System of WMO’s World Weather Watch which is at the centre of meteorological information exchange.
Over 200 million people are affected each year by weather-related disasters such as floods, storms, drought and heat waves. Early warnings of major weather systems are vital to disaster preparedness and timely evacuations.