‘Met Dept’s wrong forecasts cost millions’

25 April 2012 06:46 am - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The inability of the Department of Meteorology to forecast weather accurately had cost Sri Lanka millions, said Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera.

Mr. Amaraweera said that the Dambulla Hospital had lost equipment worth Rs 80 million due to the recent floods while the damage to the Economic Centre in the same area had been estimated at Rs 200 million.

Mr. Amaraweera said the damage caused by natural disasters, including floods, could have been avoided in the past if institutions such as the Department of Meteorology had been modernised.

Therefore, he said, the notion among Sri Lankans that one need not take an umbrella when going out if the Department of Meteorology has forecast rain had actually been correct.

He said, this situation had been taken into consideration by his ministry and it had already begun acquiring modern equipment. A Doppler radar system had been installed at Gongala Kanda in Deniyaya, he said.

A Doppler radar is specialized radar that makes use of the Doppler effect to produce velocity data about objects at a distance. It does this by beaming a microwave signal towards a desired target and listening for its reflection, then analyzing how the frequency of the returned signal has been altered by the object's motion. This variation gives a direct and highly accurate measurements of the radial component of a target's velocity relative to the radar.

The minister said the radar would become operational before the end of the year.

Through this system he said Sri Lankans could go out with an umbrella when the Met Department predicts rain and without one if it predicts good weather. (Yohan Perera)


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  Comments - 9

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  • Rainbow Thursday, 26 April 2012 03:35 AM

    We can still afford to carry an umbrella every day. Thanks don’t waste our money.

    Kiri Gamarala Thursday, 26 April 2012 04:11 AM

    How much will 20-million umbrellas cost? What is the cost of Doppler Radar? Whether the forecast was accurate or not cause of Dambulla's problem is not the inaccuracy of forecast but a drainage problem arising out of flash floods caused by sudden heavy down pours.
    Mr. Minister, please ask your Cabinet colleague in charge of Irrigation to solve the drainage problem in Dambulla before you open your mouth with your foot in the mouth.

    concerned Wednesday, 25 April 2012 03:09 PM

    Good move to modernise. I hope the new equipment bill is not Rs. 1000 million

    DN Wednesday, 25 April 2012 05:10 PM

    Voters wrong selection cost billions

    ind Wednesday, 25 April 2012 07:36 AM

    We have to reverse the forecast.

    Achari Wednesday, 25 April 2012 07:50 AM

    Atleast now they are talking the real truth.

    Kuriosity Wednesday, 25 April 2012 08:04 AM

    weather patterns are unpredictable and can can change even at the last minute no matter how high tech the equipment is. Anyway it has been known that the SL MET Dept can never give a proper weather report so this is nothing new. At least we hope that with the new equipment this will improve

    Dickson Thursday, 26 April 2012 02:58 AM

    The minister is v.v. cunning. He's tryin to cover his falts by accusing a gov.dept. Even if the MET dept. predict 100% accurately Disasater management ministy fails. Look at what has happend to the Tsunami warning system. Equipments are sub-standard and faild. No drill had taken place. These are not responsibilities of the MET. dept. but the minister and his unit only.

    GUNATUNGA Thursday, 26 April 2012 02:48 AM

    Met Chief , Your response to "The wrong forecast" is awaited.

    Mr. Minister. Your statement about many millions of Rs. lost is outrageous


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