Work underway for PNG’s early warning centre

Construction of a regional integrated multi-hazard early warning system (RIMES) sub-regional hub for the Pacific region in Papua New Guinea is now underway.

The hub was approved by the National Executive Council in August 2016, who committed about US$350,000 to establish the facility.

The PNG multi-hazard early warning centre will be multi-disciplinary and will act as a sub-regional hub for the Pacific Islands. 

Assistant director of PNG National Weather Service (PNG NSW), Jimmy Gomoga, said whatever products made will provide services to the Pacific Island countries.

The centre will feature international standard tools and systems to provide services for earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, landslides, extreme weather, droughts and floods/flashfloods.

It will also provide services for climate risk management information systems and ocean swells and climate change projections for adaptation planning.

Gomoga highlighted that the hub is not here to replace key agencies like PNGNWS, Conservation and Environment Promotion Authority, Port Moresby Geophysical Observatory or Climate Change and Development Authority.

He said the hub will run the models and develop the products.

The products include the flash flooding warning system, tsunami hazard and risk assessment tool, evacuation modeling tool, climate risk information system for public health and specialised expert system for agro-meteorological early warning for climate resilient agriculture (SESAME).

Gomoga added that the concept is basically to train nationals to run the hub themselves; training will be conducted by experts from RIMES.

The construction of the centre is scheduled to be completed at the end of July and will be launched in August 2017.

RIMES helps the countries in building their capacities in the generation and application of user-relevant early warning information.

Quintina Naime