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The Five FAQs - Earthquake

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What is an earthquake?  The sudden tremors, shaking or vibration of the earth’s surface is called an earthquake. It results from the release of accumulated stress of the moving lithospheric or crustal plates.  Why does it occur?  There are natural factors as well as man made factors. Natural factors include disturbance in the earth’s crust (uppermost layer of the earth) or movement of earth’s plates, volcanic eruption, hitting of a meteor on earth. Man made factors include construction, underground explosion etc. What precautions can a person take to stay safe from an earthquake?  Consulting structural engineers and designing the infrastructure of our cities to be as earthquake resistant can help in long term prevention from earthquakes. It is advised that the infrastructure complies with the National Building Codes (NBC). Cracks on walls, ceilings should be repaired and shelves should be fastened securely to walls, placing heavy/large objects on lower shelves. How can p

Reform, Perform, Transform

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A brief of the initiatives undertaken by NDMA under the dynamic leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister and Chairman of NDMA, Shri Narendra Modi to make India a disaster-resilient country, highlighting how ‘good governance’ changed the landscape of disaster management in India. For the same purpose, dedicated booklets were prepared by NDMA.  Aapda Mitra - A prime example of community-based disaster management  Aapda Mitra – a force of volunteers from across India trained in disaster response – is becoming a game changer in the field of disaster management in the country. This booklet highlights the journey of Aapda Mitra scheme from its pilot status to becoming a people's movement for disaster response and risk reduction, putting India on the global map in the domain of Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction. Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction - A transformative journey towards a disability-inclusive society   Persons with disabilities experience the

Early Planning for Early Action - Heat Wave

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In recent years, heat wave has increased in intensity and duration over the country whereby a number of States/districts/cities/towns have been severely affected. This year, the States have to simultaneously manage COVID-19 and heat wave. Therefore, State governments need to be prepared for a different kind of experience of vulnerability and exposure to heat wave and devise mitigation measures accordingly. To tackle heat wave in the summer of 2021, preparations for the same started way before in January itself. NDMA held a National Webinar on Heat Wave (Theme: Early Planning for Heat Wave Risk Reduction) on 19th January 2021 inviting academicians, policy makers, Central Ministries, NGOs, IGOs, State Governments and other stakeholders to discuss ways to tackle issues related to heat wave. The webinar was divided into three technical sessions. The first technical session focused on heat wave risk reduction, early warning, forecasting and communication strategy. It began w

Think Water, think life!

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Conserving it not only means groundwater resources for our future generations but also reduced risk of flooding and better irrigation systems. Traditional rainwater harvesting techniques have been doing this for ages and there's plenty to learn from them. Here are a few: Kuhls - Diversion channels which have carried water from glaciers to villages in the Spiti area of Himachal Pradesh for a long time. Where the terrain is muddy, these are lined with rocks to keep it from becoming clogged. Kuis - Kachcha structures (10-12 m) dug near tanks dug near tanks to collect seepage; usually covered with planks of wood. Mouth of the pit is narrow and gets wider as it goes deeper. These can also be used to harvest rainwater in areas with meagre rainfall. Found in Bikaner and Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. Ahar Pynes - Indigenous to south Bihar, this irrigation system leverages the natural marked slope of the terrain. It is embanked on the remaining three sides. Pynes are diversion channels made to ut

The Five FAQs - Avalanche

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What is an avalanche?  An avalanche is an event that occurs when a cohesive slab of snow lying upon a weaker layer of snow fractures and slides rapidly down an inclined slope such as a mountainside. Why does it occur?  An avalanche occurs when a layer of snow collapses and slides downhill. Avalanches are caused by a steep slope, snow cover, a weak layer in the snow cover and are triggered by either natural forces, such as precipitation, wind drifting snow, rapid temperature changes or human activity. What are the signs of an avalanche?  Avalanches mostly occur on steep slopes - between 25 and 45 degrees, conv ex slopes (spoon-shaped). Loose, underlying snow is more dangerous than when compact and new snow is particularly dangerous. Rapid snow settlement is a good sign as loose, dry snow slides more easily. Low temperatures increase the duration of snow instability, while a sudden temperature increase can cause wet snow slides. How to stay prepared?  Keep track of weather before heading

Reducing the risk of Lake Outburst Floods

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Glacial retreat due to global warming occurring in most parts of the Hindu Kush Himalaya, has given rise to the formation of numerous new glacial / landslide lakes which bear the potential for disastrous Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) or Landslide Lake Outburst Floods (LLOFs). A Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) is a type of flood occurring when water dammed by a glacier or a moraine is released. When glaciers melt, the water in these glacial lakes accumulate behind loose, naturally formed ‘glacial/moraine dams’ made of ice, sand, pebbles and ice residue. A catastrophic failure of the dam can release the water over periods of minutes to days causing extreme downstream flooding. Peak flows as high as 15,000 cubic meters per second have been recorded in such events. GLOF / LLOF events have killed thousands in many parts of the world and some of the largest events have occurred in the Himalayas, such as, the 2013 Chorabari lake outburst known as Kedarnath disaster in Uttarakhand, s

The Five FAQs - Cyclone

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What is a cyclone? A cyclone is an extreme weather phenomenon caused by disturbances around a low pressure area over water bodies. Winds spiral around the centre of this low pressure area in a snake-like coil and gather speed. These winds rotate counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. What are the conditions in which a cyclone is formed? A warm sea (a temperature in excess of 26 degrees Celsius to a depth of 60 m) with abundant and turbulent transfer of water vapour to the overlying atmosphere by evaporation. Also, atmospheric instability encourages formation of massive vertical cumulus clouds due to convection with condensation of rising air above the ocean surface.   How can one prepare for a cyclone? Keeping mobile phones charged to ensure connectivity, checking verified sources of information for weather updates, keeping valuables and important documents in water-proof containers, along with preparing an emergency kit helps in preparing