Brazil to create disaster alert system
Ready for next rainy season:
BRAZIL: Brazil will put in place a national disaster-prevention and
early-warning system before next rainy season, the country’s top science
official said Thursday. The early-warning system being developed was
designed to protect lives from major natural disasters, said Science and
Technology Minister Aloizio Mercadante.
“The system we want to implement may not put an end to disasters, but
at least deaths will decrease. Nothing is more valuable than lives,” he
told state radio reporters.
Following the worst natural disaster ever recorded in Brazil’s
history that killed more than 750 people in mountain towns north of Rio
de Janeiro, the Government announced the creation of a national system
to prevent and alert natural disasters Monday.
According to Mercadante, the system will be composed of 15 radars and
a recently purchased supercomputer to help forecast heavy rainfall and
other extreme weather conditions, giving authorities enough time to
evacuate people from high-risk areas.
The most critical areas will be given priority to install the alert
system which is expected to be fully operational in four years, given
the time to conduct a geological survey, he added.
“A few cities have already made a systematic geological survey and we
have to identify risky areas first, which are estimated at 500 across
the country,” Mercadante said.
He said strengthened weather forecast ability, combined with
geological survey, will allow the alert system to effectively issue
evacuation warnings to those dangerous areas.
“Then we will have another measure, that is training people on
disaster prevention, because we do not have such culture of prevention
in Brazil like other countries that have to deal with earthquakes and
hurricanes,” he said.
“However, as a result of climate change, droughts and floods tend to
be more frequent and more severe around the world. These phenomena have
become frequent in Brazil,” he added. BRASILIA, Friday, Xinhua