Islamabad: An inauguration ceremony for Japanese grant aid to “The Project for Establishment of Specialized Medium Range Weather Forecasting Center and Strengthening of Weather Forecasting System” was held with attendance of Matsuda Kuninori, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, Furuta Shigeki, Chief Representative, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Pakistan Office, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Federal Minister for Aviation and Muhammad Riaz, Director General, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).
This project has updated the degraded weather radar system in Islamabad and provided the wind profiler radar for upper-air observation, which monitor wind direction and speed in the Head Quarter of PMD in Islamabad and Multan Airport.
The weather forecasting and analysis system which enables medium-range (over 3 days up to 10 days) forecasting has been also provided to the Specialized Medium Range Weather Forecasting Center (SMRFC) located in the Head Quarter of PMD in Islamabad.
Technical trainings on the operation and maintenance of the weather radar, utilization of various meteorological products for weather forecasting, etc. were conducted as well. In addition, meteorological data communication systems have been installed in SMRFC and five PMD Regional Meteorological Centers, which enable exchange weather information such as various weather forecasting products, weather radar images, weather observation data, etc. between PMD Head Quarter and each PMD Regional Meteorological Office.
It is expected that the project will improve weather surveillance capacity and the weather forecasting and warning system in the country.
In the inauguration ceremony, MATSUDA Kuninori, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan stated “We will follow in the footsteps of our pioneers who built the old weather radar in Islamabad 30 years ago; Japan will remain committed to continuously enhance Pakistan’s resilience in coping with natural disasters.”.
FURUTA Shigeki, Chief Representative, JICA Pakistan Office, while speaking at the event said “I hope that the project enables Pakistan to forecast weather more accurately and contribute to mitigation of damage caused by natural disaster in Pakistan”.
Pakistan has a high frequency of natural disasters such as floods, landslides, cyclones and earthquakes. Quite notably, every year Pakistan experiences heavy damages to whole country due to floods triggered by heavy rains during the monsoon season.
The Government of Japan and JICA will continue to assist the disaster risk management initiatives conducted by the Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.