Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - MRC and Facebook launch robust flood warning system



MRC and Facebook launch robust flood warning system

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The MRC estimated that the average annual cost of flood damage in the Lower Mekong Basin was approximately $60-70 million. Hong Menea

MRC and Facebook launch robust flood warning system

The Mekong River Commission Secretariat (MRC) announced on Monday that it has joined Facebook in launching an initiative aimed at providing timely flood warnings and drought information to riverside communities and governments in the Lower Mekong region.

An MRC press release said the initiative is the first of its kind and will help officials adapt to using online digital systems.

Shanti Alexander, the Asia-Pacific community affairs manager at Facebook, said the social media giant was pleased to partner with the MRC to keep millions of people in the region informed about possible floods and droughts so that they are better prepared for a crisis.

The MRC estimated that the average annual cost of flood damage in the Lower Mekong Basin was approximately $60-70 million, with Cambodia and Vietnam accounting for approximately two-thirds of the total.

It said drought events in the Low Mekong Basin had increased in frequency and severity in the past decades and this trend is expected to continue. The basin was also vulnerable to additional climate change impacts.

According to the press release, the MRC has installed 22 hydrological stations along the Lower Mekong Basin to monitor and collect river water level and rainfall data. The system provides the public and local governments with data on daily river water levels, flood alerts and drought forecasting for the whole year. The system will be explained through a 3D animated video, which will be shared on Facebook’s platform.

Facebook will also train relevant officials from the four MRC member countries – Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand – on how to use different digital tools to communicate effectively and quickly during and after a disaster, the press release said.

Dr Anoulak Kittikhoun, the MRC chief strategy and partnership officer, said: “We see the utmost importance of providing timely and reliable information on water levels to Mekong countries and communities exposed to flood and drought and an ever-changing climate so that they can take action in time to avoid or reduce their risk and prepare an effective response.”

MRC communication officer Meas Sopheak said on Monday that currently, the public needs to visit the MRC website to receive alerts, but the MRC is working to develop an app.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • ‘No chance Cambodia booted out of ASEAN’

    A group of former and current Cambodian diplomats on Tuesday fired back at retired Singaporean diplomat Bihalari Kausikan after he proposed that ASEAN dismiss Cambodia and Laos from the bloc. In an open letter, the Cambodian diplomats said Kausikan’s remarks were made from a

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Woman seeks answers after arrest of American partner

    Filipina Lalaine de Guzman, 48, is demanding answers for the detention of her American partner by Cambodian immigration officers after he was arrested at their home almost 90 days ago. She said without an arrest warrant or proffering any criminal charges, Stephen Sidney Greatsinger, 56, is being detained