8 Apr 2014

New mapping technology aids Vanuatu planning

1:36 pm on 8 April 2014

The Vanuatu government will now be able to plan better for future impacts of climate change and natural disasters by using new technology which can model sea level rises.

The Department of Meteorology and Geo-hazards says coastal flooding predicted for Vanuatu in the new data could reach catastrophic levels in the next 90 years.

The data, captured by high resolution topographic and bathymetric data through Light Detection and Ranging technology, LIDAR, was presented to government agencies at a workshop.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information in Australia says the collection of data is to help government and communities to better understand the risk of coastal flooding.

Dr Nathan Quadros of the Centre says the tool allows to make better plans for the future.

"The availability of that sort of data is really leading the world in a lot of ways and a lot of the world is going to start going that direction in the near future, and it was good to see that we could do that example here working the the Vanuatu government."

Dr Nathan Quadros also says the data showed the main commercial centres of Port Vila and Luganville are highly vulnerable to flooding from tropical cyclones and storms.