The Asia Pacific region is vulnerable to many types of natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes, drought and tsunamis. According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, from 2001-2010, on average, more than 200 million people were affected and more than 70,000 people were killed by natural disasters annually.
For Dr. Chul Sohn, a geospatial expert from the High Impact Weather Research Centre (HIWRC) at South Korea’s Gangneung-Wonju National University, the figures cited above prove how important it is to find innovative solutions to save lives and reduce economic losses brought about by natural disasters.
Dr. Sohn shared HIWRC’s success in developing a new device which could soon predict natural disasters before they even hit.
He explained that the device uses GIS technology and a weather model known as the Korea Local Analysis and Prediction System to forecast weather up to twelve hours before impact
“It does so by investigating the relationship between extreme climatic conditions and past natural disasters. Since it is GIS enabled, it gives users the capability to determine the areas likely to be directly impacted by a natural disaster.”
He said that by having this kind of information, local authorities can then quickly warn or evacuate people before a tragedy fully unfolds.
“GIS is a powerful technology. Once it’s integrated with a weather model such as KLAPS, it becomes even more powerful because it allows us to prevent significant damages in property, loss of lives, and substantial economic losses caused by natural disasters,” Dr. Sohn said.
“I believe the more we test this system, the better prepared we will be for future events happening across the world.”
Learn more about Dr. Sohn’s trailblazing system at this Esri Asia Pacific User Conference running from 12-14 November at the Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Singapore.
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