5 April 2011, 22:05

Putin holds meeting on natural disasters

Putin holds meeting on natural disasters

Russia is getting prepared for spring flooding and summer heat. The country’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin held a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss measures that should be taken to prevent negative effects of natural disasters.

Russia is getting prepared for spring flooding and summer heat. The country’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin held a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss measures that should be taken to prevent negative effects of natural disasters. 

Mr. Putin noted that natural disasters are becoming more frequent in Russia each year, thus posing a serious threat to human health and national economy. The only way to avoid huge losses is to improve early warning methods.

While visiting Valdai in Novgorod region, Mr. Putin was demonstrated a new generation weather forecast navigator that predicts tornadoes and ‘freezing rains’ within a radius of 250 km. Experts note that although tornadoes cannot be predicted in advance, the new navigator spot them several minutes before they hit. It can also assess the amount of precipitation and can forecast the so-called ‘freezing rain’, a weather phenomenon that caused chaos at Moscow airports at the end of last year.

Within the next five years Russia’s state-run agency for meteorological studies will receive 140 such navigators to cover two thirds of the country`s most populous territories.

Last year Russia improved early warning system in its Far East. And it proved effective during the 11 March deadly quake and tsunami in Japan. Russia’s Kuril Islands got a tsunami alert within ten minutes, thus allowing evacuation of people from unsafe areas.

In Novgorod Mr. Putin held a special meeting on natural disasters.

"It is necessary to inspect all regions which are facing the risk of forest fires and do everything to prevent peat bog fires in Moscow region," said Mr. Putin.

Last year’s sweltering heat and drought turned into a true disaster for all Russians. Forest fires wiped out vast areas of woodland in 22 regions of the country.

Last summer was also a challenging time for Spain, Portugal, Greece, the US as well as some other countries. Haiti`s quake, flooding in Pakistan, storms in Asia…The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that natural disasters in 2010 claimed more than 250,000 lives worldwide.

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