Lack of co-operation between S. Asian countries hindering timely flood warnings

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 20, 2013 05:40 hrs

The prevention of timely flood warnings has been reportedly attributed to a lack of co-operation between South Asian countries.

Met officials have said that sharing of hydrological data can be a sensitive issue because of disputes over water use and a network is required to share data across borders, however, countries in the region are doing very little to help each other forecast floods, BBC reports.

Chief district officer of Darchula district in western Nepal, which shares a border with India's flood-hit Uttarakhand state, Chiranjibi Adhikary said that they received no warning from the Indian side about the devastating flood which claimed more than 1000 lives.

Adhikary said that the authorities are still trying to contact the Indian authorities to know the reason behind the floods, but there has been no telephone contact yet.

According to the report, one of the worst flood-hit countries in the region, Bangladesh, receives relatively little hydrological data from upstream Nepal.

Pakistan's chief meteorologist Mohammad Riyaj said that the Indian side informs the Indus Water Commission only when the water level in the Chenab river crosses 75,000 cusecs which gives much less time for evacuation and preparation for floods.

Riyaj further said that the data exchange issue can be resolved only at the policy-making level.

Nepal Met Office head, Rajendra Sharma said that for genuine regional flood forecasting, all countries including India and China will have to actively participate, the report added. (ANI)

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