Flood Early Warning Systems to Be Installed

Flood Early Warning  Systems to Be Installed Flood Early Warning  Systems to Be Installed

Early flood warning systems will be installed in areas prone to natural disasters, including Tehran’s river valleys that are highly vulnerable to flooding, said Esmael Najjar, head of the Crisis Management Organization (CMO).

The areas include Kan and Solughan, Darakeh and Evin, and Oshan-Fasham valleys, all in the northern districts of Tehran.  The low lying areas are generally more prone to flooding.

People’s vulnerability to natural hazards in Tehran Province is growing due to the population influx. Today, more people are living in risky areas, he said.

“While collateral damage is unavoidable, especially in the case of large-scale calamities, loss of human lives can be avoided if the proper precautions and measures are in place.”

Like earthquakes, one can’t precisely predict when and where a flood will strike, and therefore the early warning systems (EWS) will be effective in flood control and preventing loss of life during a deluge, Najjar told the Persian language newspaper ‘Iran.’

The installation of EWS is a necessity and will be implemented soon. However, minor instances will not be notified as they can cause unnecessary anxiety.  

“For example, annually 173 earthquakes occur in the country and repeated warnings may cause unnecessary panic” he said.

The flood EWS will be installed in predetermined regions and as a first step the relevant organizations and institutions responsible for response and preparedness will be notified.

 New Equipment

He said $3 million has been allocated to provide new equipment for Iran’s Meteorological Organization (IMO). “Besides installation of weather equipment for early warning, public awareness in environment protection should improve and constructions in the vicinity of rivers banned.”

Last week’s flooding in Kouhdasht County in western Lorestan Province which took the lives of three people and inflicted more than $60 million in damages was due to illegal constructions along the riverside. Constructions block the river flow and exacerbate flooding, Najjar said.

Referring to the recent floods in Ilam and Lorestan provinces, he said in 72 hours around 330 millimeters of rainfall was recorded. Although there is a 37-km water drainage channel in the area, rubble and sand of buildings under construction near the water outlet were swept into it, thereby blocking the drainage system and causing flooding.

The CMO has issued a warning about the El Nino phenomenon this winter. “Some experts believe that it will occur in East Asia and will also affect Iran. We have given instructions to the relevant organizations to take contingency measures.”

The measures include cleaning rivers and waterways and installation of ‘dual-fuel’ heating system in hospitals, schools and other places that provide public services.

“We are trying to take all precautions to deal with the probable phenomenon. In the last 35 years, 14 El Nino-fuelled rainstorms have occurred in the region, but none affected our country.”