–Japan-Thailand cooperation project on disaster prevention ICT–
NEC Corporation, in collaboration with Thailand’s National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC), has conducted a trial of its flood simulation system to predict the inundation areas in the event of flood. The trial was conducted in Uttaradit Province in Northern Thailand during the period from November 2015 to March 2016, and has confirmed the effectiveness of the system.
Flooding is a frequent occurrence in Thailand. In particular, the 2011 Chao Phraya River flood caused large-scale flood damage to many industrial parks and urban areas, including Bangkok. As a result, global supply chains were disrupted, which had a significant economic impact not only in Thailand but worldwide. Flood disaster prevention is therefore an urgent issue in Thailand.
In April 2015, Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication and Thailand’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology issued a joint statement announcing that the two countries would cooperate in a wide range of areas, including the development of more sophisticated disaster prevention ICT and the use and application of the technologies. As a country that experiences frequent natural disasters, Japan is expected to contribute to disaster prevention in Thailand through provision of its advanced technologies.
This trial is NDWC’s first disaster prevention cooperation project between Thailand and Japan. NEC conducted this trial as part of the “Research and Study for the development of a flooding simulator in Thailand” commissioned by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication.
The flood simulation system is one of the modules of NEC’s “integrated risk management system”. The integrated risk management system consists of a shared platform that has functions such as data integration, visualization, and early warning, and disaster modules specialized for particular disasters such as flooding, landslides, and earthquakes. The disaster modules or functions can be selected individually as required, or several disaster modules can be combined in order to predict multiple disasters simultaneously.
The flood simulation system performs a simulation based on meteorological data (observed rainfall and forecast rainfall), topographical data (elevation values, land use purposes), and watercourse data (river networks, water levels, sewer systems, etc.), making it possible to predict inundation areas, maximum flood levels, and other flood-related information.
Further, the system can perform detailed simulations using a triangular mesh measuring 50m on each side, and provide hourly-basis prediction for a period of up to seven days in advance. This allows NDWC to issue warnings to threatened areas before the flooding occurs, helping to reduce potential damage. Moreover, even during periods when no disaster is forecast, areas at risk of flooding can be identified by performing simulations using previous rainfall data, which enables hazard maps to be prepared.
“I firmly believe NEC’s flood simulator, which is one of the most effective disaster simulation systems for NDWC, will help us improve our operational efficiency. In order to benefit more from the system, we are considering to further expand the coverage area of the simulator,” said RADM Song EKMAHACHAI, Director of Warning and Dissemination Section, National Disaster Warning Center. “As our country is also facing risks of landslides, we have a high degree of interest for NEC’s landslides simulator. We are committed to mitigate damages from natural disasters and to save our citizens’ lives by continuously implementing these innovative ICT technologies.”
“NEC will continue to contribute to the development of more sophisticated disaster prevention ICT and the use and application of the technology for preventing disasters in Thailand, such as flooding and landslides,” said Minoru Hirata, General Manager, Fire and Disaster Prevention Solutions Division, NEC Corporation. “Further, we will harness the experience and knowhow gained through this trial to actively promote the system to other countries in Asia that experience frequent damage from flooding.”
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