Brace for Heat2019

In a few weeks from now, the scorching sun will descend upon us with all its might. If the recent report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is any indication, which it is in all likelihood, then we staring at a global warming of 1.5ºC-2°C. This will worsen the situation in cities and will lead to an increase in health risks.
It may not be possible to halt the onslaught of a heat wave but it is very well possible to reduce its effects. It only takes a little advance planning - preparing for the heat even as we continue to battle the cold.

Start by painting your roof white - it will reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat, thus reducing the amount of heat conducted to your home. Add to this kitchen gardens - on the roof or your backyard - to cool down the surroundings further besides bringing you home-grown veggies. Try to plant creepers; the exteriors of your walls could breathe a sigh of relief. You can also try to deve…
Kumbh Mela Mock Exercise

Kumbh Mela 2019, the largest public gathering and collective act of faith, anywhere in the world, is happening from January 15 to March 04, 2019. It draws tens of millions of pilgrims to bathe at the confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mystical Sarasvati. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (UPSDMA) conducted a mock exercise to test emergency preparedness and strengthen response mechanisms. 'Aapda Samvaad'spoke with NDMA's Maj. Gen. V. K. Datta (Retd.) to know more about the Kumbh Mela Mock Exercise.

Q. What were the salient features of this mock exercise?
A. All kinds of scenarios that could occur during a mass public gathering of the scale of the Ardh Kumbh were simulated during two mock exercises that were held one after the other. The first exercise was held in December 2018. It was preceded by a coordination conference where stakeholder agencies pres…
India-Japan Cooperation on Disaster Risk Reduction
India and Japan are two of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. Japan is situated along the Pacific Ring of Fire and is highly susceptible to earthquakes. Given its long history of devastating earthquakes, Japan has a very high level of community awareness. Its technological know-how, especially in the area of earthquake risk reduction, is among the most advanced in the world.
India is rapidly urbanising and a massive investment in the infrastructure sector is imminent. As nearly 59% of India’s landmass is prone to moderate to severe earthquakes, this cooperation will not only save lives in the event of an earthquake but also make for great economic sense that this investment is made earthquake resilient.
To realise the goal of a disaster-resilient Asia-Pacific, it is imperative that they come together to address disaster risk. Towards this, India and Japan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on disaster risk reduction (DRR) i…
14 Formation Day Early Warning for Disasters
Early warning is a major element of disaster risk reduction and can minimise the loss of lives and economic impacts. Timely early warning is key to a structured and efficient response.
To be effective, early warning systems need to involve the communities at risk, generate public awareness, effectively disseminate warnings and ensure there is a constant state of preparedness. Over the years, India has made considerable progress in issuing accurate and timely early warning, especially for cyclones. Very recently, authorities could evacuate thousands before Cyclone Gaja made its landfall as its path was accurately predicted by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Despite the progress, a lot needs to be done to further improve our early warning mechanisms, hence the theme chosen for National Disaster Management Authority's 14 Formation Day was 'Early Warning for Disasters'. The Formation Day was celebrated on November 27, 2018 in Ne…
Why Vardah failed to wreak havoc?
- Dr. K. Satyagopal State Relief Commissioner, Tamil Nadu

In December 2015, Chennai was taken by surprise with unabated rainfall submerging large parts of the city bringing it to a standstill. The catastrophe was due to excessive rainfall in the upstream rivers to the extent of 68 cm within 48 hours (as against an annual rainfall of 63 cm during the entire northeast monsoon in Kancheepuram District) and the problem was compounded due to encroachments in water courses, on river banks and constructions in flood plains. However, some quarters opined that the preparedness could have been much more elaborate to face extreme weather events. A year later, in December 2016, the city was face-to-face with another extreme weather event, the tropical Cyclone Vardah. This time around, the government had put in place preparedness measures to deal with any freak rainfall, flooding, cloudburst, drought or cyclonic storm incident well in advance. It saved the city when Va…
Cyclone TitliDuring October 2018, two very severe cyclones were formed on the two sides of the Indian mainland - Luban in the Arabian Sea (7-13 October) and Titli in the Bay of Bengal (6-14 October) - in what the India Meteorological Department called one of the "rarest of rare" occurences given the unique movement of both these cyclones. While Titli changed its direction and moved towards the northeast after making a landfall at Gopalpur in Odisha, Luban took multiple recurvatures before making a landfall on the Gulf coast. 
Even as Titli continued to batter out coastline with strong winds speed touching close to 149 kmph, torrential rain and a metre high storm surge, a prepared Odisha administration was all set to dampen its spirits. It had set for itself the target of 'zero  casualty'. Around 3,00,000 people from low-lying areas and kuchchha houses, especially in five coastal districts of Ganjam, Puri, Jagatasinghpur, Khurda and Kendrapara, were evacuated and brough…
Interview: Sanjay Kumar, DG, NDRF, on Kerala Floods

Unprecedented monsoon rains in Kerala this year caused the worst flooding the State has seen in more than a century. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) deployed 58 teams in the State thus making it the Force's biggest rescue and relief operation so far, bringing succour to the flood-affected people. Shri Sanjay Kumar, Director General, NDRF, talks about the role his people played in Kerala.
Q.  What were the focus areas during the operation?
A. Even as news about the incessant rains and consequent flooding began to trickle in, NDRF pre-positioned its teams and continued to increase their number as the situation worsened. A total of 58 teams were deployed across 10 districts primarily to rescue and evacuate people. NDRF saved more than 550 lives directly and evacuated around 18,000 people. We also provided medical assistance to the sick and needy victims. Our people worked 24X7 to track the incommunicado and inform their fam…