India: Early warning system saves lives as flood wreaks havoc in north Bihar
As torrential rains and the rivers flowing from Nepal are wreaking havoc in 12 districts of north Bihar, a first of its kind mathematical model based early warning system has proved effective in reducing the damage done by flash floods.
The Nitish Kumar government was working on activating this system ever since upstream of Kosi river, also called the sorrow of Bihar, breached the left embankment of the dam built in Nepal in 2008 which took a shape of catastrophe leading to unprecedented loss of lives and livelihoods. Patna-based Flood Management Improvement Support Centre (FMISC) was relentlessly working for a reliable system which could alert common people from looming flood threats well in advance.
State’s water resources minister Sanjay Jha told TOI that till last year this system worked on the basis of manual inputs received from monitoring centres established along the river flanks of Ganga, Gandak, Kosi, Punpun, Bagmati and other rivers which have origin in Nepal. “From this year FMISC is getting real time data through Geo Information System (GIS) software to get high resolution satellite imageries", he said. The moment a significant rise in water level is detected, the district administrations of downstream districts are alerted which helps people living in flood prone low lying areas to move to safer places.