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Reducing Geological Disasters

Source:China Meteorological News Press19-03-2020

In the context of global climate change and rapid economic and social development, China is facing more complicated natural disasters, bigger disaster risks and more serious disasters losses. Chinese meteorological department led by China Meteorological Administration (CMA) is taking advantages of modern science & technologies, in collaborated with related sectors, to build a safer society through improved forecast, risk management, cross-sector linkage mechanism, and enhanced capabilities in rural areas.

During the flood season, on the occasion of mountain torrents and geological disasters, CMA always releases related warnings with Ministry of Water Resources and Ministry of Natural Resources to remind relevant sectors, government and the public to take prevention measures.

Now, meteorological departments have completed the general survey of meteorological disaster risks in all districts and counties across the country, finished risk zoning for more than two-thirds of the mediumsized and small rivers, established and improved the big data-based meteorological disaster risk management system, etc.

On April of 2011, the State Council agreed the National Overall Plan for Harnessing Small and Mediumsized Rivers, Reinforcing Small Reservoirs, Preventing and Reducing Geological Disasters from Flash Floods. The meteorological departments finish the task of this support project which the main contents are the construction of monitoring & warning system. Targets of the project are to finish "two goals" and "three implementation"—"to finish national decided targets and to boost the construction of modern meteorological system" and "to implement the national overall plan, to implement the related plans & tasks of modern meteorological service and to boost finishing the comprehensive reform tasks of basic-level meteorological institutions".

In these years, based on the joint efforts of all meteorological departments, the project achieved significant benefits, and played important role in promoting meteorological modernization and comprehensive meteorological service at county level.

Meteorological worker was checking the station.

The project had been constructed in many times in the past years. In main prevention areas, the density of precipitation monitoring network substantial increased, the refined forecasting and monitoring operation of geological disasters from flash floods made significant progress, and the timeliness and effectiveness of warning issuing significantly improved. It strongly supported meteorological modernization, gained great benefits in disaster prevention and mitigation, and was fully recognized by the governments and other departments at all levels.

Meteorological observation capability
The density of observation station network improved 75%. The project updated more than 1000 sets of automatic meteorological stations in national ground observation stations, and constructed more than 1000 sets of automatic observation equipment for visibility and 986 sets of automatic observation equipment for solid precipitation.

Forecasting and warning operation capability
The refinement and accuracy of weather forecast significantly improved. It carried out refined meteorological factor forecast in towns, and the temporal resolution reached 3-hour per time.

The capability of weather disaster nowcasting effectively was improved. The project established quantitative precipitation estimation operation and the QPE product resolution reached 0.1*0.1.

The forecast technological systems including the convective weather monitoring, short-term nowcasting, quantitative precipitation estimating, and refined meteorological factor forecast future improved and were operated in provincial operation.

The application of ensemble forecast system was initially established. The globe ensemble forecast system and regional ensemble forecast system at national level achieved operation.

The accuracy of climate forecasting has increased steadily. The accuracies of national 24-hour rain or shine, highest temperature, lowest temperature and rainstorm warning have respectively reached 86.7%、80.4%、84.5% and 88%. The time scale of severe convective weather warning has been 38 minutes earlier than before.

In 2018, the public satisfaction score on meteorological service reached 90.8.

Forecasting and warning system platform continually improved. It optimized the MICAPS function and promoted SWAN system, and developed integrated forecast operation platform at county level. The high-resolution numerical weather prediction capability and data assimilation capability significantly improved. In 2016, the upgraded GRAPES_GFS V2.0 system officially has been put into operation.

Warning information released and meteorological service capability

County-level forecast platform is improved.

Left shows the Jinsha forecast paltform in the past. Right shows the new platform after construction.

The capacities of harnessing flood of small and mediumsized rivers, monitoring geological disasters and assessing risk have been enhanced significantly.  The four-level meteorological disasters risk early-warning and service systems have been established. It accumulates basic data of rainstorm and flood disasters risk, builds the index of disasters-causing critical threshold, and establishes national-level, provincial-level, city-level and county-level disasters risk warning and service system.

The warning information released timeliness and effectiveness of small and mediumsized rivers flood and mountain torrents has improved obviously. 

After the efforts, all-level meteorological service capacities of preventing geological disasters from flash flood are improved obviously. Just in year of 2013, all-level meteorological departments have made and released over 70000 meteorological disasters risk warning products by the ways of warning single, service material, short message. Over 2.224 million people transferred because of mountain torrents, more than 3.8 million people transferred because of geological disasters and flood of medium or small rivers. The projects provided powerful supports for reducing casualties and losses.

Shuicheng forecast paltform in the past.

Shuicheng forecast paltform after construction.

Editor Hao Jing