The Japanese government plans to launch a new disaster prediction system in FY2020 to enable local authorities to prepare residents effectively for impending Nat CATs. This system will tap data from both satellites and the ground, reported the Yomiuri Shimbun.
Under the new system, there will be sensors placed at designated monitoring spots known to be disaster-prone locations, which will measure meteorological data such as terrain and rainfall. The system will also use the Michibiki quasi-zenith satellite system to obtain data on changes in terrain, rainfall and soil saturation. A total of four satellites have been launched to provide positioning information from November of this year.
The system, which will then use AI capabilities to analyse the collected data 24/7 and gauge disaster risk, was mooted at a recent meeting of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry’s panel of experts.
The expected improvements in accuracy in the forecast of imminent disasters will enable local governments to effectively issue warnings and evacuation orders to residents, reported the Yomiuri.
The panel, led by Tokyo University, is tasked with looking at how to further harness satellite data. The Ministry will work with other authorities like the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry and the Japan Meteorological Agency to establish the system.
Japan saw one of its deadliest flood disaster in decades due to record rainfall that hit mainly the west of the country, leaving over 200 dead or missing. The disaster has once again highlighted the importance for both central and local governments to improve the accuracy of Nat CAT forecasting.