Monitoring and forecasting the exceptional flood of Sirba river in Niger
The Local Early Warning System against the Floods of Sirba (SLAPIS), developed as part of the ANADIA2 project by the Polytechnic of Turin, IBE-CNR and the National Meteorological Directorate of Niger has proved these days to be an effective and operational tool for monitoring floods and prevent the damage they can cause.
On Sunday 19 July, the Sirba level exceeded the orange guard level at the Bossey Bangou up-stream station. SLAPIS (www.slapis-niger.org) allowed from the first moments to follow the evolution of the flood in real time and to predict the downstream flood scenarios.
In addition, the network of local observers has made it possible to closely monitor the advance of the flood wave in the riverine villages and to spread the alert to the populations.
On the other hand, SLAPIS has allowed the Niger Hydrology Directorate, which manages it, to trigger the alert mechanism based on Civil Protection and the Mayors of the municipalities involved.
Even today the flood continues to increase reaching a flow rate (1266 m3 / s at 07 am on Wednesday 22 July) reached only four times since the 1950s.
Although the rolling effect of the numerous floodplain areas of Sirba is absorbing part of the flood volume, once the first phase in which the floodplain areas are able to dampen the event, the increase at the level of the villages downstream will be very sudden. The hydraulic models developed for SLAPIS indicate that we are not very far from the historical maximum of Sirba and beyond 1400 m3 / s many homes in all the main villages will be flooded.
For this reason, local authorities are on high alert and closely follow the evolution of the situation.
To follow the evolution of the flood in real time, you can use the platform www.slapis-niger.org.
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