The widespread casualties caused this year by fast moving weather systems in Uttarakhand and in Pakistan have caused experts to call for real-time data sharing among the region’s meteorological departments. This seems to call for increased reliance on ICTs.
The monsoon has been erratic in recent years. Last year, the monsoon failed in Sri Lanka, and parts of the country’s northern, eastern and southern regions went through a drought that affected at least 1.2 million people. This year the monsoon has been above average. Rains have been lashing the country since June, and have so far caused 58 deaths and stranded over 17,000.
“We need to have a better understanding how the monsoon is changing and be better prepared,” S H Kariyawasam, head of the Meteorological Department in Sri Lanka said, agreeing with Rasul.
One of the effective means of achieving this is real-time sharing of weather information among countries in the region, experts say. Rasul sees a simple need to share information. “If countries at the beginning of the monsoon keep sending updates, then countries at the toe end like Pakistan could prepare better.