iFLOWS-Mumbai, a state-of-the-art Integrated Flood Warning System for Mumbai was launched through video conference jointly by Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray and Union Earth Sciences Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Friday.
The system will help make India’s financial centre more resilient by providing early warnings for flooding, especially during high rainfall events and cyclones. Using this, it will be possible to have an estimate of the flood inundation three days in advance, along with 3-6 hours nowcast or immediate weather updates. It will be very useful, especially if people need to be evacuated from low-lying areas as forecast on potential flooding will be available 12 hours in advance. The system will also forecast the rainfall in each pocket.
In his special address through video conference, Dr. Harsh Vardhan congratulated the scientists at the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) who developed the flood warning system and said, “Mumbai floods, especially that occurred in 2005 and 2017 are etched in everyone’s memory. This highly advanced flood warning system will help the people of Mumbai in a big way. A similar system was already developed by MoES and is in operation at Chennai.”
Dr. Harsh Vardhan further said that MoES scientists have developed the best early warning system for tsunami in the whole world. Countries in the Indian Ocean region have also benefitted from the service.
The Maharashtra Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray stated that the state-of-the-art flood warning system developed by MoES was like a precious gift to the people of Mumbai. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the recent Cyclone Nisarga, he said that both blood management and flood management were equally important. The Chief Minister congratulated the MoES and IMD scientists for the accurate prediction of Cyclone Nisarga and monsoon in the state. Early prediction of Cyclone Nisarga by IMD helped the state government in saving the state from a bigger disaster and loss of lives, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. M Rajeevan, Secretary, MoES informed that more than 160 observatories and four more radars to be used by next monsoon season had been ordered for Mumbai to forecast rainfall with a precision of 500 m and every 15 minutes. About the flood warning system, he said, “We are happy that we could complete the development of the iFlowsMumbai project in time.”
Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said that iFlowsMumbai could be a model for the rest of the country. Expressing his gratitude to MoES he said that it was being launched well before the onset of monsoon season in Mumbai.
On the occasion, a video of the flood warning system was screened and a digital brochure was also released.