Disaster alert system in place
Manama, June 21, 2007
Bahrain is fully equipped to give early warning on natural disasters, a top official has informed.
Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA) Under-Secretary Captain Abdulrahman Al Gaoud said the meteorological office at Bahrain International Airport had state-of-the-art equipment to make accurate weather forecasts and give early disaster warning.
'At the directives of Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, we always invest in human capital and have provided world-class training to our Met office staff,' he told a seminar on disaster preparedness at Moevenpick Hotel.
The seminar was organised by CAA's Met office in co-ordination with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
Captain Al Gaoud said the seminar was being held a few days after Oman was hit by the tropical cyclone Gonu.
'We have learnt from the experience of Oman, which was able to minimise the impact of the disaster because of early warnings,' he added.
'We shall discuss issues like global warming and prepare a plan of action in co-ordination with all stakeholders involved, including the Public Security.
'We shall also seek technical assistance from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bahrain University and similar organisations.'
Public Security head Major General Abdul Latif Al Zayani said the Interior Ministry was also equipped to provide the best possible assistance to people in the event of a natural disaster.
'As public security is the main core of our business, we have added safety of the people to our manual at the directives of His Majesty King Hamad,' he added.
UN co-ordinator and UNDP resident representative Sayed Aqa said UNDP would help in the capacity building for disaster relief operations in Bahrain.
'We are ready to share our expertise in training the personnel and to promote awareness,' he added.
WMO representative for West Asia Jaser Rabadi said 80 per cent of natural disasters in the world were weather-related.
'The Oman experience has shown us that the impact of a natural disaster can be reduced if people are given early warning,' he noted. 'It is also important to take a proactive approach to disaster-related issues.'
CAA Assistant Under-Secretary for Meteorology Abdul Majeed Isa also addressed the gathering. TradeArabia News Service