Geologist warns warning system not work
A geologist criticised the government on Friday for looking to set up a network of warning systems to monitor the potential for flash floods and landslides in northern provinces, saying the system wouldn't work.
Associate Professor Dr Thanawat Jaruphongsakul said the money should be used to buy weathermonitoring radars to track cloud patterns, a practice that had been adopted internationally.
And he said money should also be spent on building weather stations to measure rainwater volume in 2,700 villages at risk of landslides.
"No warning system for flash floods or landslides exists anywhere in the world," said Thanawat, a geology lecturer with Chulalongkorn University's science faculty.
The academic was responding to approval by caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra for the construction of a network of monitoring and warning systems at the request of caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapanlop. The system would cover areas in the North.
He suggested the Meteorological Department and the National Disaster Warning Centre, under the Department of Mineral Resources, should coordinate more closely with each other to cope with the likelihood of natural disasters that seemed to be becoming more frequent in Southeast Asia.
Professor Associate Dr Wisut Baimai, a project manager at the Biodiversity Research and Training Programme (BRT), said the consequence of structural damage in areas ravaged by flash floods in Uttaradit, Sukhothai and Phrae provinces required decades of natural or manmade restoration to mend the original environmental and biologicallydiverse conditions.
Citing BRT research, he said the flash floods had been partially caused by a drastic change of biodiversity when uninhabited jungles were transformed into plantations and farmland.