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Thai Meteorological Department in Respect to Disaster Management Activity

By Sukirt Kirtsaeng, Thai Meteorological Department

Thailand's Disaster Management in accordance with the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Act B.E.2007 is under the responsibility of the National Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Committee (NDPMC), which includes several agencies such as Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC), Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) etc. (Figure 1). TMD is Thailand’s primary organization in weather monitoring, forecasting, and issuing weather warnings.It also has a role in providing data analysis, early warnings and weather forecast to NDPMC for national decision on disaster prevention and mitigation. For all the ad hoc centers for handling flood and drought situation formed by the government, TMD has been included and assigned the responsibility of analyzing and predicting severe situations with regard to atmospheric conditions.

Figure 1. Disaster Management and Arrangement in Thailand (Source: DDPM)

Figure 2. A TMD's delegate attends the national brainstorm meeting to address issues of inadequate water supply on public consumption and agriculture int e Chao Phraya River

TMD also educates the public about disaster preparedness and risk mitigation strategies. This is done from the literacy level up to the awareness level through channels such as public radio broadcasting and network of volunteers. The department also receives feedbacks from the public through its satisfaction surveys and other 2-way communications.

The capacity of operational officers is enhanced through trainings, reviewing and increasing knowledge of data use and dissemination for local community alarm. This includes, for example, courses on rainfall data quality control, analysis of drought using SPI and SPEI index, analysis of downpour by remote sensing. Last month, the Climate Center, under the direction of TMD organized the workshop about monthly and seasonal weather prediction with advanced statistical technique for staff of internal agencies within the department. In addition to its primary objectives in Thailand, TMD also serves the scientific communities of ASEAN members in improving the capacity of their meteorological workforce. The 5-week training course on hydrology (Advance Flood Forecasting, Flash Flood Forecasting, Remote Sensing and GIS Application in Hydrology) for Myanmar’s officers is a good example of this effort. By May 2016, the second workshop on quality control and assimilation of radar data will be held for two weeks by the Bureau of Meteorological Development (Coordinator: Dr.Sukrit Kirtsaeng).

Figure 3. Climate Center had meteorologists experience in seasonal forecast workshop with advanced statistical technique