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November 11th, 2013
Korean Expert to Present a Disaster Prediction System

Chul Sohn, from the High Impact Weather Research Centre at South Korea’s Gangneung-Wonju National University, has been invited to showcase the unique system in Singapore at the Esri Asia Pacific User Conference (APUC) – one of the region’s premier geospatial events.

Dr. Sohn’s APUC visit follows the release of astounding figures which show 200 million people are directly impacted by natural disasters in the Asia Pacific region annually.

He said this finding proves how vulnerable the region is to catastrophic weather and the importance of finding a solution.

“Recent examples of these crises include: the South Korean Woomyensan Landslide in 2011; the Singaporean floods in 2010; and, the Japanese Tsunami in 2011,” Dr. Sohn said.

“Global urbanisation isn’t helping either, with Asia estimated to account for 75 per cent of the world’s population by 2050.

“And because more people are moving into coastal regions, floodplains and earthquake zones – all colossal hot spots for nature’s tragedies – they have a much greater chance of being affected.”

Dr. Sohn said the Research Centre’s innovative system could be the key to combatting this growing problem.

“The device uses Geographic Information System (GIS) technology and a weather model known as the Korea Local Analysis and Prediction System (KLAPS) to forecast weather up to twelve hours before impact,” Dr. Sohn said.

“It does so by investigating the relationship between extreme climatic conditions and past natural disasters.

“GIS technology also has the capacity to map likely future events to determine where fragile populations and infrastructure may be impacted.

“Armed with this insight, we can then act rapidly to warn or evacuate people before a tragedy fully unfolds – potentially saving millions of lives.”

Dr. Sohn said he saw the device becoming vital on a global scale.

“The integration of GIS technology and models such as KLAPS is undoubtedly the way forward in predicting natural disasters,” Dr. Sohn said.

“I believe the more we test this system, the better prepared we will be for future events happening across the world.”

Hosted by Esri Singapore, APUC will bring together technology leaders from across the globe, including the Founder and President of Esri, Jack Dangermond.

The event runs from November 12 – 14 at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

To register for the Asia Pacific User Conference, visit esri.com/apuc