Central/South American countries to strengthen early warning systems in urban areas

Central/South American countries to strengthen early warning systems in urban areas

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Published

13 December 2013

As part of its commitment to promoting the development of multi-hazard early warning systems (EWS) in urban areas, WMO joined with several partners to organize a workshop from 10-12 December on “Multi-Hazard Warning Systems in Urban Areas in Central America.” Hosted by Costa Rica through the National Commission on Emergencies (CNE) and the National Meteorological Institute (IMN), the workshop explored the challenges, gaps, needs and opportunities for strengthening early warning systems and climate resilience in large and medium-sized cities in Central America.  

Mr Juan Carlos Fallas, Director-General of IMN and President of WMO Regional Association IV (North America, Central America and the Caribbean), summarized the case for strengthening urban early warning systems. He cited key vulnerabilities such as the growing size of cities in the region, the increasing vulnerability of expanding populations, weak infrastructures (such as drainage systems and buildings), and current zoning codes. As a result of these factors, urban populations are highly exposed to hydrometeorological hazards such as severe precipitation and flash floods.

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