An early warning system is a comprehensive network that combines monitoring, forecasting, and prediction of potential hazards with risk assessment, communication, and preparedness activities. This integrated system allows individuals, communities, governments, businesses, and other stakeholders to take prompt action and mitigate disaster risks before hazardous events occur. According to a recent study by the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water, a significant disparity exists in the coverage of early warning systems (EWS) for floods in India. While 66% of the population is exposed to extreme flood events, only 33% of those individuals are protected by flood EWS. In contrast, the EWS for cyclones in the country is robust, providing coverage to 100% of people living in cyclone-prone areas, which accounts for 25% of India’s population.
The study highlights Himachal Pradesh as one of the states most affected by recent heavy rainfall, with weak flood warning systems in place. As climate change leads to unpredictable weather patterns and increased occurrences of extreme floods in India, the report emphasizes the need to expand the availability of flood EWS to a larger portion of the population compared to previous efforts.
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