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Scientists improve methods for early warning against natural disasters

ImageProcedures, systems and technologies to improve early warning against natural disasters and crisis management in the course of disasters – these were the main topics of a symposium held in Prague in January 2009. The scientists present decided on a "Prague Declaration", which summarized conclusions on how better to collect, coordinate, connect and evaluate data from terrestrial, overhead and space stations and how to use these data in the efficient protection of populations against natural disasters.

The reduction of the negative effects of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, a great variety of chance occurrences, fires and storms, the protection of populations and the giving of timely information to the public on how to behave during disasters has become a priority for every country in the world, especially since the tsunami in south-east Asia and Hurricane Catrina. Many states have collected a great volume of data which could help in the issuing of early warnings of impending disaster and subsequent crisis management. But these data are still not widely available, nor is a common approach to the sharing of information the norm.

The symposium attracted almost two hundred participants from all over the world and was organized by the Laboratory of Geoninformatics and Cartography of the Department of Geography of Masaryk University's Faculty of Sciences. To find out more, go to:

Czech president Václav Klaus admitted rector of Masaryk University and the organizers of the conference Milan Konečný from Faculty of Science Masaryk University and David Rhind, rector emeritus of City University London. Photo: Milan Konečný´s Archive.