Brazil plans nat'l warning system in wake of floods

15:59, January 18, 2011      

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Brazil is planning a national system to warn against natural disasters and prevent damages, in the wake of floods and landslides that ravaged the country recently.

The system will be composed of meteorological equipment, such as radars and rain gauges, to improve the South American nation's capability to forecast extreme weather, such as heavy rainfall, and alert the population living in risky areas, the state news agency reported on Monday.

A geophysical study to identify risky areas will also be conducted and is expected to be partially concluded by summertime, according to Minister of Science and Technology Aloizio Mercadante.

"We estimate that there are about 500 risky areas in the country, where about five million people live, and we have also 300 areas subject to flooding," the minister said.

Brazil was plagued by one of its severest catastrophes ever in the country's history in recent weeks, as heavy rains in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro State in the Southeast triggered floods and landslides, leaving at least 641 people dead and thousands of others homeless, according to the latest official reports.

Source: Xinhua
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