Understanding the barriers restraining effective operation of flood early warning systems
Over the years, a variety of structural and non-structural measures have been employed by the human societies to counter the growing frequency and intensity of natural disasters. Among the various measures, Early Warning Systems (EWSs) have globally been acknowledged as one of the key non-structural measures for disaster mitigation and preparedness, especially due to their multi-faceted benefits. However, their effective operation during rapid-onset disasters like floods is often disrupted pertaining to a variety of reasons. These manifold reasons have today become critical barriers which restrain the smooth functioning of EWSs. This paper theorizes that the numerous barriers restraining the effective operation of EWSs can primarily be categorized into Knowledge, Technology and Institutional aspects. To support this argument, the study presents an overview of three selected examples of flood disasters in Cameron Highlands (Malaysia), North Kyushu (Japan) and Sri Lanka. Based on published literature, the study lists out key reasons that affected the timely functioning of Flood-EWSs in all the selected cases and explains them in relation to the three theorized categories of barriers. In view of the current limited understanding, this study provides a new perspective for understanding the barriers in EWSs and correspondingly enhancing their operation during disaster situations.
WMO. (2013). Integrated Flood Management Tools Series: Flood Forecasting and Early Warning, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) / Global Water Partnership Associated Programme on Flood Management. Issue 19, May. Retrieved from: https://library.wmo.int/doc_num.php?explnum_id=4269 (accessed on 8 June 2019)
Jongman, B., Winsemius, H. C., Fraser, S., Muis, S., & Ward, P. J. (2018). Assessment and Adaptation to Climate Change-Related Floods Risks. In Oxford Encyclopedia of Natural Hazard Science, 1-29. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199389407.013.278
UNISDR. (2015). The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters 1995-2015. United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). Retrieved from : https://www.unisdr.org/files/46796_cop21weatherdisastersreport2015.pdf (accessed on 8 June 2019)
Yi, B.L. (2017, October 10). FACTBOX-Asia-Pacific: the world's most disaster-prone region. Thomson Reuters Foundation News. Retrieved from : http://news.trust.org/item/20171010030737-rqs41/ (accessed on 8 June 2019)
ADB. (2017). A Region at Risk: The Human Dimensions of Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific. Asian Development Bank: Manila, Philippines. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.22617/TCS178839-2 (accessed on 8 June 2019)
IPCC. (2018). Global warming of 1.5°C. An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty [V. Masson-Delmotte, P. Zhai, H. O. Pörtner, D. Roberts, J. Skea, P.R. Shukla, A. Pirani, W. Moufouma-Okia, C. Péan, R. Pidcock, S. Connors, J. B. R. Matthews, Y. Chen, X. Zhou, M. I. Gomis, E. Lonnoy, T. Maycock, M. Tignor, T. Waterfield (eds.)]. In Press.
UNISDR. (2017). Terminology on Disaster Risk Reduction. The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. Retrieved from: https://www.unisdr.org/we/inform/terminology (accessed on 8 June 2019)
Acosta-Coll, M., Ballester-Merelo, F., Martinez-Peiró, M.& Hoz-Franco, E.D.L. (2018). Real-Time Early Warning System Design for Pluvial Flash Floods—A Review. Sensors. 18(7), 2255. DOI: 10.3390/s18072255
UNEP. (2012). Early Warning Systems: A State of the Art Analysis and Future Directions. Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Nairobi. Retrieved from: https://na.unep.net/siouxfalls/publications/early_warning.pdf
GOI. (n.d.). Flood Early Warnings System-A Warning Mechanism for Mitigating Disasters During Floods. Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances, Government of India (GOI). Retrieved from: https://darpg.gov.in/sites/default/files/70.%20Flood%20Early%20Warning%20SystemFLEWS-Documentation-Final.pdf (accessed on 8 June 2019)
Bouwer, L., Papyrakis, E., Poussin, J., Pfurtscheller, C. & Thieken, A. (2014). The costing of measures for natural hazard mitigation in Europe. Nat. Hazards Rev., 15(4). DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)NH.1527-6996.0000133
IOC. (2009). Hazard Awareness and Risk Mitigation in Integrated Coastal Area Management (ICAM). Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Manual and Guides No. 50, ICAM Dossier No. 5. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://www.preventionweb.net/publications/view/41289
Linham, M. & Nicholls, R.J. (2010). Technologies for Climate Change Adaptation: Coastal erosion and flooding. TNA Guidebook Series. UNEP/GEF.
GDPC. (2017). Early Warning Systems. The Global Disaster Preparedness Center. Retrieved from: https://www.preparecenter.org/topics/early-warning-systems
Glantz, M.H. (2003) Usable Science 8: Early Warning Systems: Do’s and Don’ts. Report of workshop, Shanghai, China, 0–76. Retrieved from: https://www.academia.edu/31773841/Usable_Science_8_Early_Warning_Systems_Dos_and_Donts (accessed on 10 January 2019)
Tompkins, E.L., Nicholson-Cole, S.A., Hurlston, L.A., Boyd, E., Hodge, G.B., Clarke, J., Gray, G., Trotz, N. & Verlack, L. (2005). Surviving Climate Change in Small Islands: A Guidebook. Norwich: Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Retrieved from: https://tyndall.ac.uk/publications/surviving-climate-change-small-islands-guide-book
United Nations. (2006). Global Survey of Early Warning Systems. Final Version. 46 p. Treeived from: https://www.unisdr.org/2006/ppew/info-resources/ewc3/Global-Survey-of-Early-Warning-Systems.pdf (accessed 20 March 2019).
IFRC. (2009) World Disasters Report 2009-Focus on early warning, early action. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Geneva, CH. Available at: http://www.ifrc.org/Global/WDR2009-full.pdf (accessed on 9 June 2019)
Molinari, D., Ballio, F., Berni, N. & Pandolfo, C. (2013) Towards More Effective Flood Early Warning Systems-The Italian Experience. Input Paper, Prepared for the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015. Retrieved from: https://www.preventionweb.net/english/hyogo/gar/2015/en/bgdocs/Molinari%20et%20al.,%202013.pdf (accessed 10 September 2018).
Kundzewicz, Z. W. (2013) Floods : Lessons about Early Warning Systems. In Late Lessons from Early Warnings: Science, Precaution, Innovation. European Environment Agency Report No.1 347–368. ISSN 1725‑9177. DOI: 10.2800/73322
Travis, R.W. (2011). Elements of a Severe Climate Change Early Warning System. Retrieved from: http://www.heardisland.org/HD_documents/HE_Library/Climate/Travis_warning_system.pdf (accessed on 9 June 2019)
Georgaka, D., Mparmparousi, M. & Vitos, M. (2012) Early Warning Systems. Hospital Chronicles 7(1), 37–43. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.2015/hc.v7i1%20Sup.482
Blöschl, G., Gaál, L., Hall, J., Kiss, A., Komma, J., Nester, T., Parajka, J., Perdigão, R.A.P., Plavcová, L., Rogger, M., Salinas, J.L. & Viglione, A. (2015) Increasing River Floods: Fiction or Reality? Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 2(4), 329–44. Retrieved from: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/wat2.1079
Jha, A. K., Bloch, R., & Lamond, J. (2012). Cities and flooding: A Guide to Integrated Urban Flood Risk Management for The 21st Century. The World Bank, Washington DC, 390-402. Available at: http://www.zaragoza.es/contenidos/medioambiente/onu/805-eng.pdf (accessed on 5 December 2018)
Foster, H.D. (1980) Disaster Planning: The Preservation of Life and Property, Springer -Verlag, Emergency management. New York. Retrieved from: https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/1387944 (accessed on 8 June 2019)
Garcia, C. & Fearnley, C.J. (2012). Evaluating Critical Links in Early Warning Systems for Natural Hazards, Environmental Hazards, 11(2), 123-137. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17477891.2011.609877
ISDR. (2006) Developing Early Warning Systems : A Checklist. Third International Conference on Early Warning: From Concept to Action, Bonn, Germany. 1–13. Available at: https://www.unisdr.org/2006/ppew/info-resources/ewc3/checklist/English.pdf (accessed on 22 October 2018)
Ibrahim, M. & Kruczkiewicz, A. (2016). Learning from experience: a review of early warning systems, Moving towards Early Action. World Vision. Retrieved from: https://www.wvi.org/sites/default/files/WV_EWEA_Doc_FINAL_Web.pdf (accessed on 9 June 2019)
Zschau, J. & Kuppers, A.N. (2003). Early Warning Systems for Natural Disaster Reduction, Springer- Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-55903-7
UNISDR. (2006) Early warning – From concept to action. United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, The conclusions of the Third International Conference on Early Warning, United Nations, Bonn, Germany. Retrieved from: https://www.unisdr.org/2006/ppew/info-resources/ewc3_website/upload/downloads/Early_warning_complete2.pdf (accessed on 9 June 2019)
The Malaysian Insider (2013, October 25). 80 houses swept away, 3 dead, 1 missing after dam gates opened in Cameron Highlands. Retrieved from: https://web.archive.org/web/20131025042404/http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/three-dead-three-missing-after-dam-gates-opened-flooding-farms-in-cameron-h (accessed on 8 June 2019)
Khalid, S.M., Mustaffa, C.S., Marzuki, M.N., Sakdan, M.F., Sipon, S., Ariffin, M.T. & Shafiai, S. (2015). Failure to React Positively to Flood Early Warning Systems: Lessons Learned by Flood Victims from Flash Flood Disasters: The Malaysia Experience. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, International Journal of Educational and Pedagogical Sciences 9(5), 1406-1410.
Chan, N.W. (2012), Impacts of disasters and disasters risk management in Malaysia: The case of floods. In: Sawada, Y., Oum, S., editors. Economic and Welfare Impacts of Disasters in East Asia and Policy Responses. ERIA Research Project Report 2011-8, Jakarta: ERIA. p497-545.
Khalid, M.S. & Shafiai, S. (2015). Flood disaster management in Malaysia: An evaluation of the effectiveness flood delivery system. International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, 5(4), 398-402. ISSN: 2010-3646. DOI: 10.7763/IJSSH.2015.V5.488
Japan Meteorological Agency. (2017a) Torrential rainfall and storm due to weather front and typhoon No. 3, July, 2017, 12-16. Retrieved from: http://www.data.jma.go.jp/obd/stats/data/bosai/report/2017/20170711/jyun_sokuji20170630-0710.pdf (accessed 10 September 2018).
Cabinet Office. (2017) Damage Situation and Government Response to the Northern Kyushu Heavy Rainfall Disaster of July 2017, Features of the Northern Kyushu Heavy Rainfall Disaster. Retrieved from: http://www.kaigai-shobo.jp/pdf/Japan_Local_Disaster3.pdf (accessed 20 March 2019).
Japan Meteorological Agency. (2013) About Emergency Warning, Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from: http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/kishou/know/faq/faq28.html
Japan Meteorological Agency. (2017b, July 20) Minister Press Conference Summary. Retrieved from: http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/kishou/tyoukan/2017/dg_20170720.html
IOM. (2017) Sri Lanka Floods and Landslides 2017. International Organization for Migration, Situation Report #2, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Retrieved from: https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/situation_reports/file/Sri-Lanka-Floods-IOM-Situation-Report-2-5June2017.pdf (accessed 10 September 2018)
PDNA. (2017) Sri Lanka Rapid Post Disaster Needs Assessment-Floods and Landslides. Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and Ministry of Disaster Management. Vidya Mawatha, Colombo 7. Retrieved from: http://www.lk.undp.org/content/dam/srilanka/docs/localpublications/PDNA%20Sri%20lanka%202017-1.pdf (accessed on 8 August 2018)
Lanka Jalani. (2015). Early Warning Systems for Disasters in Sri Lanka, Report to UN- Asia Pacific Adaptation Network. Sri Lanka Water Partnership (Lanka Jalani). Retrieved from: http://lankajalani.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/early-warning-systems-for-Sri-Lanka.pdf (accessed on 10 June 2019)
Perera, A. (2017, May 31) Sri Lanka Disaster Authorities Failed to Issue Early Warnings For Storm That Killed 202 People. Sri Lanka Brief. Retrieved from: http://srilankabrief.org/2017/06/sri-lanka-disaster-authorities-failed-to-issue-early-warnings-for-storm-that-killed-202-people/
Jongman, B., Winsemius, H. C., Aerts, J.C.J.H., de Perez, E.C., van Aalst,M.K., Kron,W. & Ward, P.J. (2015). Declining vulnerability to river floods and the global benefits of adaptation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 112(18), E2271–E2280. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1414439112