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Smart helps in disaster risk reduction

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
The newly launched Smart-Earth Networks service can help villagers mitigate risks from natural disasters. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Turning away from the traditional tools of providing information about weather forecasts, people now can access real-time weather alerts on their smartphones and mobile phones via SMS and voice messages to better help them prepare to avert disasters caused by severe climatic events.
Smart Axiata in partnership with the US-based Earth Networks, a global leader in weather forecasting and reporting, launched the intelligence service called Smart Weather – the country’s first-of-its-kind digital service yesterday.
Smart users can receive weather alerts on their smartphones daily with a monthly payment of $0.15 as a service fee, according to Smart. The users will receive a weather update via SMS every morning, which provides them with a 10-day advanced forecast.
Mobile users receive SMS storm alerts at least two hours before a thunderstorm is expected to happen around areas where subscribers are. Smart Weather can also provide subscribers with alerts for heavy rains, storms, lighting, and other key weather-related information through SMS and interactive voice recordings.
Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart, said that the weather alert service will benefit people, farmers, businessmen, agricultural projects and government agencies.
“As weather patterns become more erratic due to climate change and other factors, accurate weather information is more important than ever before to protect lives and safeguard assets,” Mr Hundt said, adding that subscribers to the service would be provided with up-to-date and accurate weather forecasts about severe climatic events.
Smart Weather will also be integrated into Smart’s self-care app SmartNas, giving smartphone users a fully visualised weather forecast.
Ross Sovann, deputy secretary general of the National Committee of Disaster Management, said that the new launched service will benefit people and help them mitigate risks from natural disasters.
“It will complement traditional warning systems through television, radio and print media,” said Mr Sovann.
“In situations where people can’t access TV, radio or newspapers, they can still get real-time weather information through their smartphones,” he added.
“Accurate weather predictions not only save lives and property but also help farmers and other people working outdoors to minimize the impact of extreme weather in their lives.”
With more than 10,000 global weather stations and over 1,500 lightning sensors across Asia and the world, Earth Networks’ advanced weather intelligence system allows businesses, government and individual users to access real-time comprehensive weather information within their locality or elsewhere across the map.
In December Earth Networks announced a significant expansion of the Earth Networks Global Lightning Network – delivering unprecedented long-range global lightning detection capabilities for businesses and government to mitigate financial, operational and human risk.
And to help organisations better leverage this weather data, Earth Networks also recently launched Sferic Maps and Sferic Mobile – advanced weather visualisation, decision support and collaboration products that automate decisions surrounding severe weather situations and enable communication to prepare for disruptive events.

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