A NEW $7.52million coastal inundation forecast demonstration project is expected to strengthen the technical capacity and capability of the Fiji Meteorological Services.
Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities Timoci Natuva revealed the scope of the project at the second Pacific Meteorological Council meeting in Nadi.
The project is a collaboration between the government World Meteorological Organisation, the IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology. and WMO's Technical Commission of Hydrology .
Col. Natuva said developing and implementing the project in Fiji would be carried out over the next three years.
Funded by WMO, Col.Natuva said the project would improve FMS services in issuing timely weather warnings and advisories on extreme unexpected weather events such as tropical cyclones, flooding and tsunamis.
"Towards this end, an agreement detailing the objectives and focus of this project has been endorsed by the government of Fiji," he said.
"It is expected that this project shall also benefit the nearby small islands of the Pacific that are now more vulnerable to the negative impact of climate change which is creating havoc in many countries around the world through heavy flooding."
He said the project would be spearheaded by a national co-ordinating team whose membership included government agencies, NGOs and development partners.
FMS acting director Aminiasi Tuidraki said the new system would provide up-to-date information delivered in a timely manner.
"Those in our coastal communities will benefit from this system because it will assist us in forecasting any threat of tsunamis allowing us to send out the right information for early evacuation," he said.