Flash Flood Warning to Asian Nations

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India has been designated as nodal centre for preparing flash flood forecast to Asian Nations by the World Meteorological Department


  • The WMO says flash floods account for 85% of flooding incidents across the world, causing some 5,000 deaths each year.
  • Like India, several southeast Asian countries depend on the monsoon and are prone to its vagaries.

As nodal centre:

  • According to Ministry of Earth Science, India will have to develop a customised model that can issue advance warning of floods.
  • The IMD would be working to customise a weather model, developed by the United States and donated to the WMO, to warn of flash floods at least six hours in advance.
  • Using a combination of satellite mapping and ground-based observation, the Flash Flood Guidance System aims to provide forecasts six hours in advance.
  • The proposed model would provide forecasts by computing the likelihood of rainfall and the soil moisture levels to warn of possible floods.
  • A test version of this was being tried out by the IMD, and that was able to give a flood warning about an hour in advance.


  • Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand,
  • Though Pakistan was among the list of countries that would benefit from the forecast, it had refused to participate in the scheme.

India’s Existing Early warning systems:

Tsunami Early Warning Centre:

  • Tsunami Early Warning Centre is a part of Indian Nation Centre For Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).
  • An Early Warning System is imperative for the Indian Ocean to mitigate the loss of life and property due to Tsunamis and Storm Surges.
  • The Indian Tsunami Early Warning System incorporates the needs of storm surge forecast too. The System design is based on end-to-end principle.


  • Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) is an autonomous organization of the Government of India, under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • INCOIS is mandated to provide the best possible ocean information and advisory services to society, industry, government agencies and the scientific community through sustained ocean observations and constant improvements through systematic and focussed research.

Flash flood:

  • A sudden and destructive rush of water down a narrow gully or over a slopping surface caused by a heavy rainfall.
  • Flooding that begins within 6 hours, and often within 3 hours, of the heavy rainfall (or other cause).
  • Flash Floods can be caused by a number of things, but is most often due to extremely heavy rainfall from thunderstorms.
  • Flash Floods can occur due to Dam or Levee Breaks, and/or Mudslides (Debris Flow).
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