The government of Japan is assisting Pakistan in installation of weather surveillance radars to upgrade its forecast capacity and help reduce effects of natural disasters, particularly urban flooding.
With cooperation of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the weather surveillance radars have already been installed in Islamabad and Karachi, with few others planned to be put in place in Multan and in Sukkur.
These radars will cover almost the entire country in monitoring of weather updates, the Japan embassy said Tuesday.
Pakistan is prone to natural disasters such as floods and landslides caused by heavy torrential rains, tropical cyclones and earthquakes. This results in heavy damages, particularly due to floods triggered by monsoon rains.
“The Japanese government has been assisting Pakistan proactively, in the enhancement of weather surveillance capacity through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) since the 1980s, in order to mitigate the damage by flood,” the Japan embassy said in a statement.
In 2019, the Japanese government through JICA assisted in establishing the ‘Specialized Medium-Range Weather Forecasting Center’ in order to enhance not only the weather surveillance capacity, but also weather forecasting capability for Pakistan.
An officer from the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has acknowledged that the “capacity of weather forecasting has been enhanced by various Japanese assistance”.
Also, the country can now get exact positioning information of clouds through high-resolution images as compared to previous weather surveillance system.
The PMD can also provide advance weather information to local communities, identify heavy rain areas, and issue early warning to local residents living downstream of rivers which are expected to be flooded.
Similarly, advance weather information can also be provided to the Islamabad international airport.
The weather surveillance radars contain the same state-of-the art technologies as used in Japan, confirmed a Japanese engineer.
During monsoon seasonal floods in 2020, the ‘Specialized Medium-Range Weather Forecasting Center’ coupled with PMD’s efforts had enabled local residents to safely evacuate through the timely issuance of early flood warning.