The meteorological services of Mauritius have recently launched the first phase of a project to equip the country with an ultra-sophisticated radar. The construction works of the building to house the radar have already begun at Trou-aux-Cerfs. The radar is expected to be ready by July 2017.
The old radar system at Trou-aux-Cerfs that is not operational since years now
The new equipment, named “Doppler Weather Radar” will replace the one which was out-of-order for the March 2013 floods. The crisis that had occurred two years ago had led to people questioning the reliability of the meteorological services of the island. When the leader of the Opposition had requested for clarifications pertaining to the matter in a Private Notice Question, it was said that the radar was out of order for several months by then and that the government had not scheduled for its replacement. Following the tragic events of March 2013 though, the ex-government had then reached out to Japanese experts to have the defective radar replaced.
The new project will cost Rs 533 million. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will donate Rs 315 million for the endeavour. The ex-government had spent around Rs 12.5 million in 2013 which were injected in the launching of the works of the New Radar Tower at Trou-aux-Cerfs. Now, the government will put in Rs 270 million to finance the current phase of the project.
The new radar will allow for precise information to be gleaned pertaining to the intensity of cloud masses and their content of rain water. Meteorologists will be able to determine whether a cloud mass will produce great volumes of rain that might lead to flash floods or not.
Furthermore, the data provided by the new radar will be used by the Ministry of Environment for its “Early Warning System” that is in preparation.