Weather Station Prepares Mpumalanga For Disasters

By Tshwarelo eseng Mogakane

White River - A new weather service station unveiled in Mpumalanga will ensure the province receives timely information about possible flooding and disasters.The South African Weather Service (SAWS) unveiled the station as part of World Meteorological Day on Tuesday, March 18."The station will benefit the Mpumalanga people by bringing timely information that can warn them about the weather conditions,looming thunderstorms, floods and disasters," said Moses Rannditsheni, spokesperson for the deputy minister of environmentalaffairs and tourism Rejoice Mabudafashi on Wednesday.

He said the station, which is situated at the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) airport between White River and Nelspruit, would enable the province to react faster during disasters, resulting in saving property and lives. "The advanced technology helps SAWS to provide weather forecasts, which gives sectors such as agriculture predictions of weather patterns long in advance," said Rannditsheni. He said the airport also stood to benefit by learning in advance if their aircraft would be able to take off or land.

"Passengers can then seek alternative means of transport knowing in advance that they can't use the services of the airport on certain days," said Rannditsheni.Agriculture MEC Dina Pule said key socio-economic sectors such as agriculture, health, water resource management, energy and transport were increasingly realising the importance of weather and climate. "These environmental challenges require the world to cooperate and develop appropriate strategies to respond to them," said Pule.

The theme for this year's World Meteorological Day was "Observing our planet for a better future".She said SAWS was an important role player in developing and researching possible climate change adaptation measures for South Africa. SAWS also played a crucial role in promoting compliance with international treaties such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Montreal protocol. - BuaNews

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