Strengthening of Myanmar’s Multi-Hazard Early Warning System

Implementation Period: June 2013 – November 2014
Countries: Myanmar
Donor: ESCAP Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster, and Climate Preparedness
Level of Funding: USD 829,056
Program Area: Area 4: Capacity Building in Early Warning at all Levels
Project Status: Ongoing

Project Description:

Myanmar’s Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) is the government agency mandated to observe, analyze, predict, and provide warning services for weather- and climate-related hazards, including hazards of geologic and oceanic origins. Donor support has contributed significantly to improving DMH provision of these services, but with recent political and economic changes, inflow of external support could overwhelm DMH, in the absence of a framework for coherent, integrated, efficient, and effective engagement with donors. This project aims to assist DMH in developing a capacity building program framework for addressing capacity gaps, as well as fill immediate capacity gaps in earthquake monitoring and tsunami warning, and decision-support tools for disaster risk management.

Objectives:
  1. Synergy in donor assistance for DMH capacity building
  2. A National Earthquake and Data Center (NEDC) that meets UNESCO/IOC standards for national tsunami warning centers
  3. Reduced disaster risks through users’ increased uptake of warning information

Activities:
  1. Synergy in donor assistance for DMH capacity building
  2. RIMES shall assist DMH in developing a capacity building program framework to streamline donor assistance for DMH provision of meteorological, climatological, hydrological, agro-meteorological, seismological, and tsunami and other ocean services. This involves identification of capacity gaps vis-à-vis minimum and optimum requirements for observation and monitoring, data analysis, prediction and forecasting, warning generation and communication, and receipt of user feedback, with reference to WMO and UNESCO/IOC standards.

    Report: DMH Capacity Assessment in Seismology
    Report: DMH Capacity Assessment in Meteorology
    Report: DMH Capacity Assessment in Agrometeorology

  3. A National Earthquake and Data Center (NEDC) that meets UNESCO/IOC standards for national tsunami warning centers
  4. RIMES shall assist DMH in filling gaps identified by the UNESCO/IOC assessment in September 2012, in particular: a) VSat telemetry of Pathein and Hpa-an seismic stations; b) NEDC access to CISN and CTBTO seismic data; c) integration of data streams from different seismic data acquisition systems; d) operational dedicated SeisComP3, with trained NEDC personnel; e) operational dedicated GTS clients server at NEDC, with trained personnel; f) operational Tide Tool, with trained NEDC personnel; g) NEDC exercises on earthquake and tsunami evaluations at different earthquake scenarios, and on SOP-based generation and dissemination of warning information

    Report: 1st NEDC SOP Testing Report
    Report: SeisComP Training
    Report: Tide Tool Training
    Report: ShakeCast Training

  5. Reduced disaster risks through users’ increased uptake of warning information
  6. RIMES shall assist DMH and the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MOAI) in implementing key recommendations of the 9th Monsoon Forum in Naypyitaw in October 2012, in particular the development of tools to support users of weather and climate information: an updated agro-ecological zone map for Myanmar, crop-weather calendars that take into consideration the climate pattern in the past decades, agro-meteorological bulletin that integrates crop development stage, expert system for translating weather and climate information into potential impacts and management options, and pilot Climate Risk Management Field Schools to introduce farmers to the use of science-based information in decision-making. Upgrade of the country’s agro-meteorological network shall support these initiatives.

    In addition, building on ESCAP’s project on geospatial information system for disaster risk preparedness in the Asia-Pacific region, RIMES shall assist DMH in developing a web-based geospatial database, for disaster risk management applications, with application demonstration in earthquake risk assessment, using U.S. Geological Survey’s ShakeCast, an online tool for rapid assessment of risks to populations, buildings, and other critical facilities from real-time earthquakes, with automated notification to registered users.

Expected Outcomes and Performance Measures:
  1. Synergy in donor assistance for DMH capacity building
    » DMH capacity building program document
    » Warning system design and specifications
  2. NEDC meets UNESCO/IOC standards for NTWCs
    » VSat telemetry in 2 remote stations
    » 3 seismic stations registered with IRIS
    » Dedicated GTS client server
    » At least 5 staffs trained in SeisComP3, Tide Tool and GTS, and practiced on EQ and tsunami evaluations and SOP-based generation and dissemination of warnings
  3. Reduced disaster risks through users’ increased uptake of warning information
    » Geospatial database and customized ShakeCast installed at DMH and available on DMH website
    » At least 5 DMH personnel trained on geospatial database and ShakeCast O&M, further development, and application
    » Myanmar agro-ecological zone map
    » Crop-weather calendars for major crops
    » Agro-meteorological bulletin that integrates crop development stage
    » 17 agro-meteorological stations with automatic data recording and transmission
    » Upgraded facility at DMH for receiving agro-met data from remote stations
    » Web-based agro-advisory expert system at DMH, linked to MOAI website
    » Users manual on Ag-ADE
    » At least 3 DMH personnel trained on Ag-ADE O&M and further development
    » More than 20 MoAI, RRD, and GAD staffs at pilot sites trained on Ag-ADE
    » Adapted CRM Field School curriculum
    » At least 4 trainers for CRM Field School
    » More than 60 farmers trained on forecast-based decision-making

External Connections:

The project builds on ongoing efforts from UNESCO/IOC and WMO in Myanmar. RIMES and DMH shall involve other external partners, by informing them about the project and by getting their feedback on how they could contribute, including the linking of project outputs with their ongoing and planned programs and activities:

» UNDP, JICA, TICA, and other development partners on the development of the capacity building program document; initial matching of donor priorities with DMH priorities could be made
» USGS, CEA, IRIS, CTBTO, CISN, the Government of India, and other relevant institutions that have been or are going to be involved in seismic system capacity building
» FAO, WMO, and the European Center for Medium-range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) on development of tools for improving utilization of weather and climate forecasts

Project Partners/Beneficiaries:
  • Department of Meteorology and Hydrology
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation
  • Relief and Resettlement Department
  • General Administration Department
  • Farming communities at the pilot sites

Information Resources:

Project Fact-sheet
Poster
Report: Training on Weather Research Forecasting (WRF) Model Installation, Operation, and Maintenance
Photo Gallery