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Hat Yai, Thailand pioneers flood warning systems

Hat Yai has long been prone to floods, but they come more frequently these days. (cesc_assawin/ Shutterstock)

Hat Yai, the largest city in southern Thailand, has long been prone to floods. But in recent years, the flooding has been occurring with greater frequency.

Thin Lei Win reports for the Thomson Reuters Foundation that this city near the Malaysian border relies on video cameras, satellite imagery, data collection and volunteers for its early warning system. Canals are monitored in real time and rainfall and water level updates are posted online.

A “floods working group” that includes government officials, business executives and community leaders oversees the effort. Hat Yai’s flood management effort received a boost in 2009 when the city was selected to join the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN), a Rockefeller Foundation-led initiative, the article says. The foundation has donated $500,000 toward Hat Yai’s flood mitigation program, which is being replicated in other Thai cities.

(Disclosure: the Rockefeller Foundation is a lead funder of Citiscope.)

Thomson Reuters Foundation

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