National Emergency Management Office, in response to the complaints by residents of Koror about delay in notifying about the heavy rains that occurred last weekend, stated that a Special Weather Statement can be given only when the weather change closer to the arrival.
The notice by NEMO is given out in collaboration with weather service when the wind is extensive (25mph) and the update was given out to the public on Friday and on Monday.
The Executive Director of NEMO Wayamine Towai said, “We have had complaints from people in the past where they felt like they were ill prepared. In collaboration with weather service we then decided to keep the threshold as 25mph to be safe. Previously there was no threshold.”
NEMO can only give out notices when the weather service using scientific means can convey the conditions.
“These are not things set in stones, these are forecasts. The closer the weather, the more accurate the reading will be,” Towai said.
He added that the Special Weather statements are given out two days before for accuracy.
Even though the rains that escalated over the weekend started on Friday, the wind wasn’t 25mph on the previous day.
“This is the rainy time of the year. If you want me to issue a statement every time the clouds are grey, you’re going to get statements every day. There has to be credibility,” Towai added.
Several residents have complained about property damage because of the weather.
“The precaution to be taken by residents during this weather depends on individual cases,” Towai said.
Towai added that every time there is such weather, the NEMO office is open 24hrs. He said that distress call from the residents have reduced as he believes people are getting more aware on how to deal with bad weather conditions.
The updates on weather is given on the radio on regular basis at 5 AM and 5PM and the Special Weather Report is given out on the condition of wind speed. (Eshan Kalyanikar)