WMO deal for Haiti to minimise hurricane impact

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The January 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti

The Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organisation, Michel Jarraud, has signed an accord with the Haitian President, Michel Martelly to improve weather, climate and hydrology forecasting in a country vulnerable to hurricanes, floods and landslides.

Funded by the Canadian government the 5.86 million USD project will be co-ordinated and managed by the WMO.

Claire Doole reports from Geneva.

Duration:  1’21″

Haiti is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters. It faces the recurrent threats of tropical cyclones, hurricanes and flash floods, exacerbated by massive deforestation.

Over the past ten years hurricanes have killed more than 3,800 people on the Caribbean island.

The accord signed with the Haitian President aims to reduce the impact of natural disasters by improving the country's weather forecasting system.

Funded by the Canadian government, the accord is managed by the World Meterological Organisation.

Its director of resource mobilisation and development partnerships, Mary Power, says forearmed is forewarned.

"It allows both individuals and government institutions to prepare better and in that sense reduce a loss of life and damaged property."

Over the next five years a new earthquake and hurricane proof Haitian National Meteorological Centre will be built.

Staff will receive training from international experts and equipment to strengthen the end to end service from monitoring and observation of natural hazards and climate change impacts to dissemination of information and early warnings to communities.

Claire Doole for UN Radio in Geneva.


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