US university alerted Bangladeshi authorities 24hr before Cyclone Sidr hit

November 22nd, 2007 - 1:16 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, November 22 (ANI): About 24 hours before the devastating Cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh, an expert on coastal engineering at Louisiana State University had provided the countrys emergency officials with storm surge maps charting high-risk areas.

Dr. Hassan Mashriqui claims that his storm surge model enabled area agencies to take immediate action and save countless lives.

Its nice to know that LSUs capabilities helped people there before disaster struck. Its the practical application of all of our theoretical research, he said.

Dr. Mashriqui revealed that he observed the cyclone developing in the Bay of Bengal on November 12. Upon being intimated about the storms progress the next day, the authorities at the university gave Mashriqui access the LSU supercomputing network to facilitate the development of storm surge models.

D.r Mashriqui went to Tampa in Florida the following day to give a lecture at a hurricane conference. He accessed the LSU supercomputing network from his hotel room itself, and ran the first model.

He revealed that his observations through the storm surge maps compelled him to contact Bangladesh officials.

These models are incredibly accurate and highly detailed. You can pinpoint events down to small counties and towns. We were looking at a 10 12 foot storm surge that would devastate anything in its path, he said.

The findings were communicated to dozens of area agencies in Bangladesh through an LSU student, whose father is employed at the Bangladesh Ministry of Food and Disaster Management in the Office of Disaster Management and Relief Bhaban.

Dr. Mishriqui first bagan running storm surge models on the Bay of Bengal several years ago in conjunction with LSUs Center for Computation & Technology, forming the Bay of Bengal Cyclone Surge Modeling Program.

This project provides modelling support for the Bay of Bengal basin and strives to build partnerships with appropriate agencies.

The advance notice we were able to provide certainly saved lives and helped to lessen the devastation. When you can pinpoint the areas of impact and determine the level of storm surge that far ahead of landfall, it provides critical time for agencies and officials to focus energy and resources to the areas that will need them most, said Mashriqui. (ANI)

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