The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) of the Ministry of Earth Sciences here inaugurated the Ocean Forecasting System for Comoros, Madagascar, and Mozambique at the third Ministerial Meeting of Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Asia and Africa (RIMES), held at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, on Friday.

Ocean forecasting system for Madagascar and MozambiqueA ground station at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services in Hyderabad.

The ocean forecast and early warming information on high wave, currents, winds, tides, sub-surface ocean conditions cater to users like fishermen, coastal population, tourism sector, coastal defence officials, marine police, port authorities, research institutions and offshore industries of these countries. These ocean services are aimed towards safety at the sea. The system would offer oil spill advisory services, high wave alerts, port warnings, forecast along the ship routes in addition to tsunami and storm surge warnings and help in search and rescue operations.

M. Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, and Chair, RIMES Council, launched the system for operational use in the presence of David Grimms, President of World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Wesley Nukund, Minister for Disaster Management, Papua New Guinea, Soulaimana Kaambi, Deputy Minister, Comoros, Abdullahi Majeed, Minister of Disaster Management Maldives, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa Yapa, Minister of Disaster Management Sri Lanka, Mr. Subbaiah, Director RIMES, Dr. Balakrishnan Nair, Head, ISG, INCOIS and Director General of Metrology and Disaster Management of 48 countries of Indian and pacific Ocean region.

INCOIS is already providing these operational services to Maldives, Sri Lanka and Seychelles. The Ministerial council and the WMO lauded and placed on record the initiatives of INCOIS/India in providing the ocean forecast and early warning services to Indian Ocean countries and taking a leadership in Ocean Services in the Indian Ocean region.

“The Ocean Forecast System developed for the Indian Ocean countries and the real-time data from their territories also help to improve the ocean forecast and early warning system for Indian coast too” said Dr. Balakrishnan Nair, Head, Ocean Science and Information Services Hyderabad. Wave surge ('kallkadal') and coastal flooding incident occurred in 28 July to 3rd August 2016 along Kerala and West Bengal were well predicted and real-time data from Seychelles were highly beneficial for predicting these incidents, as many of these remotely forced waves are originating from Southern and Western Indian Ocean, he added.

The ocean forecast and early warning services are most essential for safe navigation and operations at sea and the blue economic growth of many of these Indian Ocean rim countries and Island Nations.