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Lessons learned from 2011 Thailand flood and preparation for the next

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Posted November 25, 2014

In Thailand, effective prediction techniques for integrated management of hydro-meteorological data and water-related disasters is insufficient, and accurate information transmission of the danger of water-related disasters is not available.

Integrated Water Circulation Information System on Climate Change Data Center in Kasetsart University © 2014 University of Tokyo.

Integrated Water Circulation Information System on Climate Change Data Center in Kasetsart University © 2014 University of Tokyo.

As part of Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS), which is structured as a collaboration between the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the research team of the project titled “Integrated Study Project on Hydro-Meteorological Prediction and Adaptation to Climate Change in Thailand (IMPAC-T)” led by Professor Taikan Oki, Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo, developed a numerical simulation model that predicts the water level and river discharge of the Chaophraya river and an integrated water circulation information system including real-time data collection and visualization of simulation results.

These results have been made open to the public from January 2014. This enables near real-time prediction of floods affected areas when an abnormal event (for example, heavy rainfall in the upstream area of the river basin) occurs, and provision of accurate information transmission in a real-time basis, which was not available at the time of the severe flood in 2011. As a prevention measure for future flood disasters, it will be possible to calculate flood transitions using the real-time and forecasted rainfall distributions, and estimate the amount of damage reduction such as in inundation area and depth from changes in reservoir operations.

The results of this IMPAC-T project have been issued by the international research journal Hydrological Research Letters as a special collection. This is expected to contribute to the future development of science and technology in water-related fields, not only in Japan but also in Thailand.

Source: University of Tokyo

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