While there are several types of floods, a flash flood is the most dangerous. They have enough power to change the course of rivers, bury houses in mud, and sweep away or destroy whatever is on their path. They are among the world’s deadliest disasters with more than 5,000 lives lost annually and result in significant social, economic and environmental impacts. Accounting for approximately 85% of the flooding cases, flash floods also have the highest mortality rate.
Because flash floods are hydrometeorological phenomena, Flash Flood Guidance System (or shortly – FFGS) is a forecaster’s tool designed to provide hydrological and meteorological forecasters with readily and accessible quality controlled precipitation estimates from weather radars and satellites, precipitation measurements (raingauges), forecast data from Numerical Weather Prediction models, and other information to produce timely and accurate flash flood warnings worldwide.
Since the implementation of the FFGS, more than 50 % of the countries have, for the first time, access to real time products that enable them to issue timely and accurate flash flood warnings and make rapid assessments of the potential of flash floods, allowing for rapid mobilization of response agencies.
As of November 2019, the FFGS covers 67 countries with a population of approximately 3 billion people.
Devastating impact of flash flood in Viet Nam
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development/Office of the U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the National Weather Service (U.S. NWS) of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Hydrologic Research Center (HRC) is organizing a Flash Flood Guidance System (FFGS) Global Workshop.
The goal of the Global Workshop is to bring together the users of the regional and national FFG Systems to build a roadmap on maintaining the sustainability of operations for FFGS.
The specific objectives are to: share experiences, showcase accomplishments, determine challenges and identify gaps towards establishing recommended practices; identify sustainability issues to develop the roadmap to ensure long-term operations and service delivery of FFGSs; and provide training to further understanding of the new capabilities of FFGS.