IMD launches SMS service for weather alerts

Apart from common people who can register on IMD website for alerts, authorities at local level will be brought into the ambit too

By Jyotsna Singh
Published: Friday 26 December 2014

Photo: flickr

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has launched a short messaging service (SMS) on Thursday to disseminate the information about weather events. The focus initially will be on extreme events, before making it a service to send forecasts about daily events like fog or temperature.
Apart from the common people who can register themselves on IMD website for SMSs, authorities at local level will be brought into the ambit too. “We will send SMSs to all concerned authorities from national to local governments. It will include officials in disaster management at national level and states. Village authorities like heads of panchayats will also receive relevant information,” said Shailesh Nayak, secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, under which IMD works.

However, it is expected to take some time before the information starts reaching local levels. “The database of all village heads and other officers will have to be created. Some of them will volunteer to register. But those who do not do it proactively will also have to be added. This exercise will take nearly one year,” said Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences.

Forecast of cyclones is the first service that was started on Thursday.

“Through this system we will be able to send information at negligible cost to people in the affected region. After this, the next step will be to create awareness about steps to be taken for impending disaster. For that, we are collaborating with other ministries like the home,” said Nayak.

The service is part of the Digital India Programme of the Government of India. It is utilising Mobile Seva, an initiative of Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. People can register at for the service.

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