Early Warning Systems: The Importance and How it Helps

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), extreme weather, climate and water-related phenomenons caused 11,778 reported disasters between 1970 and 2021. These disasters killed more than 2 million people and caused economic losses of $4.3 trillion.

However, in those 51 years, something has changed. A report from the WMO published two years ago found that at the start of that period, there were more than 50,000 deaths worldwide each year linked to disasters.

That number has fallen to under 20,000 in the 2010s. And the WMO’s latest figures, released on Monday (May 22), show that there were 22,608 disaster-related deaths in 2020 and 2021 combined.

One reason is caused by the early warning system. Improved early warning systems and coordinated disaster management have significantly reduced the human toll over the past half century. 

Early Warning System and How it Helps

It is an integrated system for monitoring hazards, forecasting and predicting and assessing disaster risk as well as communication and preparedness activities. This system gives an early warning and informs people close to a potential disaster what may or is certain to occur and how it may affect them.

Information on impact and likelihood is communicated by official sources in a timely, accurate and effective manner with actionable warnings. This can include things like location-based text messages warning people of imminent storms, floods, forest fires, or other extreme weather events.

Why is it Important?

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The frequency of extreme weather events has increased dramatically in the last 20 years. But only half of all countries have early warning systems with very low coverage (Small Island Developing Countries (SIDS), Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and in Africa). 

This means that one in three people on this planet is not covered by an adequate system. Several disasters cause economic losses in SIDS that are over 100 percent of their GDP.

The World Meteorological Congress will gather to discuss as one of their top priorities is accelerating and scaling up initiatives to provide an early warning system to everyone on Earth. UN Secretary General António Guterres launched an initiative at last year’s COP27 to ensure every person on Earth is protected by an early warning system by 2027.

Source: euronews.com 


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