Vietnam and US agree to share Flood Forecast technology

Jan. 9 A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on technical cooperation in meteorology and hydrology between Viet Nam and the U.S. was signed in Washington on Jan. 9.

Signatories were Director General of the Hydro-Meteorological Service of Viet Nam Dr. Nguyen Cong Thanh and Director of the National Weather Service under the U.S. Department of Commerce John Kelly.

Vietnamese and U.S. representatives stressed the two countries' potential for cooperation in meteorology and hydrology, particularly in weather forecast, and preventing and overcoming aftermath of floods and natural calamities.

The MoU is the first step of materializing the Viet Nam-U.S. agreement on scientific and technological cooperation signed during US President Bill Clinton's visit to Viet Nam in November 2000.

Under the agreement, the United States and Vietnam expect to:

-- improve the quality of meteorological and hydrological forecasts through training;

-- transfer technology and assistance with Vietnam's modernization effort;

-- better understand the role of regional meteorology on hemispheric and global weather;

-- support the collection, sharing and analysis of weather data

Today's signing follows a November 2000 White House announcement outlining U.S. support for disaster preparedness and prevention in Vietnam. The investment includes $1.4 million to help create a coastal warning system to alert fishing boats at sea and a radio-based system that will use U.S. technology to broadcast weather information to boaters listening on low-cost radios.

Vietnam's Red River Delta region is vulnerable to river flooding, tidal effects and storm surges from tropical systems moving across the Eastern Sea. The current warning system in Hanoi provides an average of 12 hours notice of a threatening flood event. However, once Vietnamese forecasters incorporate the U.S. river forecast models, the
warning lead time is expected to increase to 36 hours.

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