The government seems to be thinking about flood forecasting only after loss of many lives and physical assets worth billions due to natural disasters. It is preparing to install radar sensor technology after the flood in Bhotekoshi.

    A government team left for Bhotekoshi area on Thursday to study about installing radar sensor there. Radar and bubbler sensors are used in flood forecasting. Radar sensor is installed above water level and bubbler sensor under water, according to the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology. Bubbler sensor was installed at Bhotekoshi, according to the department, but it was destroyed due to the landslide at Jure and pouring of stones into the river after the earthquake. Director General (DG) at the department Dr Rishi Sharma said one cannot say there has been delay by the government in flow of information. “We cannot say there was no prior information about the flood. We have data. We are preparing to install radar sensor to make the information more effective,” he argued.

    There seems to be lack of a coordinating body and an integrated security policy from the center to local level for control of disasters. Similarly, around 400 Nepalis are killed and physical assets worth billions are lost every year due to traditional working style and lack of development of safe settlements. Settlements around Sunkoshi, Dudhkoshi, Bhotekoshi, Saptakoshi, Mahakali and other major rivers are under higher risk, according to the department.

    The local administration warns the commoners through audio signals on the basis of water flow and other relevant data. But there have been problems in exercising precaution in lack of lasting and effective equipment. “There cannot be long-term resolution only through government urgency after the disasters. Different study reports must immediately be implemented for control of natural disasters like flood and landslides and risk minimization,” geologist Dr Ranjan Kumar Dahal said.

    “Bubbler sensor was installed at Bhotekoshi. But it has been damaged now. There is no way we can go under water and repair it. The technology did not work this time, as a result, and we could not provide forecasts,” hydrologist at the department Binod Parajuli said. “Radar sensor is more effective than bubbler sensor as it is kept above the water level and is not affected by floods,” he added.

    He claimed that information is being disseminated to the district administration offices, police and army, Red Cross and local disaster management committees by analyzing chances of flood. The department is preparing to use hand siren, radio and mobile SMS to inform the locals about impending flood. A total of 27 radar and bubbler sensors are installed around seven rivers including Mahakali, Narayani, Bagmati, Koshi, Karnali, Babai and West Rapti.

    Source : Karobar daily