Brunei to get Weather Hazard Index System

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THE Brunei Darussalam Meteorological Department (BDMD) will be implementing the Weather Hazard Index System (WHIS) this year, said the department’s acting director.

WHIS is a computer system that can identify locations in the sultanate that are at high risk of catching fire.

Muhd Husaini Aji said this on the sidelines of the World Meteorological Day celebration held yesterday at the Ministry of Communications.

He said that the installation of the system was completed last year.

The acting director said that the department is currently verifying the information generated by the system to ensure that the information is accurate.

“WHIS can (use) Brunei’s map to determine which areas in the country are prone to dryness and are at high risk of catching fire in accordance to certain periods of the year,” he said.

“For example, our country is currently experiencing El Nino, areas that are at high risk of fire will show up in the system and will be designated as red. The system will also classify low risks areas,” said Muhd Husaini.

The acting director said that once the system is ready for use, the BDMD will relay the information generated to the relevant agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Department, Forestry Department, as well as the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood.

He said that the system will allow these agencies to be better prepared.

The said agencies will be able to allocate their resources early to locations that are designated as high risk, he explained.

“We are aiming to implement the system by this year and we will discuss with the relevant agencies on how we can relay the information to them,” he said.

Yesterday’s event also included the launch of a photography competition with the theme ‘Weather and its impact on our country’.

It was officiated by Minister of Communications Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Mustappa Hj Sirat.

The competition is for public participation, organised in partnership with the Brunei Photographic Society and Association of Photographers Brunei Darussalam and will be open from March 23 until May 23.

World Meteorological Day is observed every March 23 to commemorate the establishment of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), as well as the contributions made by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services.

This year’s theme is ‘Hotter, Drier, Wetter – Face the Future’ which highlights the need for action by the global community to address climate change.

The Brunei Times