Disaster Mitigation and Management ASSIGNMENT 1. 2. 3. 4.

List the main natural hazards India exposed to Describe a recent natural disaster event you are familiar with In what way and how this natural disaster affect your city/region/country/continent Types of action would recommend to decrease the damages from future disaster for the above discussed disaster for our city/region/country/continent 5. Define the following terms: a. Prevention b. Mitigation c. Preparedness d. Response/Relief e. Recovery/Rehabilitation


over 40 million hectares (12 per cent of land) are prone to floods and river erosion. It is highly vulnerable to floods. close to 5. 68 per cent of the cultivable area is vulnerable to drought and hilly areas are at risk from landslides and avalanches. A multi-hazard map of India may be seen in Figure 2 . as well as. droughts. in varying degrees.Vulnerability Profile of India to various Natural hazards India has been vulnerable. landslides. avalanches and forest fires. 27 of them are disaster prone. Almost 58.700 km is prone to cyclones and tsunamis. cyclones.516 km long coast line. Out of 35 states and union territories in the country. human-made disasters on account of its unique geo-climatic and socio-economic conditions. earthquakes.6 per cent of the landmass is prone to earthquakes of moderate to very high intensity. of the 7. to a large number of natural.

Drought can be devastating as water supplies dry up. Droughts Floods Tropical Cyclones Thunder storm and Hail storm Heat wave Cold wave and Fog Earthquake Landslides Tsunami 3 . the monsoon. 2. Weather events can be classified as extreme on the basis of various factors such as the impact.the impact of extreme weather on human life and other living beings. and malnutrition and ill health become widespread The environmental effects of drought. including salination of soil and groundwater decline. animals die. 8. distribution and intensity of this deficiency in relation to existing reserves. Since then sizeable progress has been made in the flood protection measures. both the number and severity of such events have increased.1950). monsoon rainfall was deficient (between 20% and 43%) in 10 of the 31 meteorological subdivisions of India. the highly silted river systems and the steep and highly erodible mountains. and 11 faced cyclones. 30 have had droughts. is critical. is prone to floods. A prolonged period of relatively dry weather leading to drought is a widely recognized climate anomaly. The annual rainfall along the western coast and Western Ghats. The major natural hazards occurs in India are listed below 1. Of the entire area 35 percent receives rain falls between 750 mm and 1125 mm which is considers drought prone while 33 percent which receives rainfalls between less than 750 mm is considered to be chronically drought prone. 6. Most of the floods occur during the monsoon period and are usually associated with tropical storms or depressions. 4. the socio-economic losses. With more than 70 percent of India‟s population relying on agriculture directly or indirectly. particularly those of the Himalayan ranges. 7. Khasi hills and over most of the Brahmaputra valley amounts to more than 2500 mm. 5. active monsoon. The average rainfall in India is 1150 mm with significant variation across the country. DROUGHTS: The primary cause of any drought is deficiency of rainfall and in particular. 49 years have experienced floods. Twenty-three of the 35 states and union territories in the country are subject to floods and 40 million hectares of land. Of the 14 major drought years in the 85-year record. increased pollution of freshwater ecosystems and regional extinction of animal species. In 1994. eight occurred in the first 30 year period (1891-1920) whereas there was only one in the second 30 year period (1921. The principal reasons for flood lie in the very nature of natural ecological systems in this country. In 1972 and 1979 deficient rainfall (about 25% below normal) was recorded in one half to two thirds of India‟s plains. FLOODS: India is one of the most flood prone countries in the world. five major drought years were recorded. These analyses have yielded a 30-year cyclicity of the Indian monsoons. crops fail to grow. namely. the timing. Droughts were more common in the 1960s. In the 25-year period from 1951 –1981. roughly one-eighth of the country‟s geographical area. 9. In India around 68 percent of the country is prone to drought in varying degrees. The National Flood Control Program was launched in the country in 1954. Over the decade of the 1990s.India is vulnerable to extreme weather events. environmental degradation and long term damages etc. In the state of Orissa. 3.

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Kerala. but no distinct periodicity. where as the highest annual number of storms. typhoons and cyclones also cause floods. About 71 percent of this area is in ten states (Gujarat. floods as water fails to seep down to the deeper layers. the trend indicates a slight decrease with time. Nicobar and Lakshadweep are also prone to cyclones. inadequate capacity of rivers to carry the high flood discharge. 1926. Andhra Pradesh. inadequate drainage to carry away the rainwater quickly to streams/ rivers. with wind speeds between 65 Km/h and 117 Km/h and severe cyclonic storm with wind speeds between 119 Km/h and 164 Km/h. The annual average of tropical cyclones has varied from one in 1949 to ten in 1893. heavy rainfall. When a cyclone approaches to coast.7 with a standard deviation of 3. Ice jams or landslides blocking streams. two or three are severe. of which two or three could be severe. The annual number of cyclonic disturbances range from seven in 1984 to twenty three in 1927. The Cyclone hazard map of India may be seen in the Figure gives the vulnerability map of hazard due to cyclone. reaching Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh is high during the north east monsoon season ie. Tamil Nadu. The annual average of cyclonic disturbances in the North Indian Ocean is about 15. However. The yearly distribution of tropical cyclones in the north Indian Ocean indicates large year to. Most cyclones occur in the Bay of Bengal followed by those in the Arabian Sea and the ratio is approximately 4:1. 5 . The incidence of cyclonic storms.West Bengal coast. On an average. The effect of a storm surge is most pronounced in wide and shallow bays exposed to cyclones such as in the northern part of Bay of Bengal. about five or six tropical cyclones form in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea and hit the coast every year. a risk of serious loss or damage arises from severe winds.1.year variations in the frequency of cyclonic disturbances and tropical cyclones. October – December. Karnataka. storm surges and river floods. it is exposed to nearly 10 percent of the world‟s tropical cyclones. Maharashtra. TROPICAL CYCLONE: The major natural disaster that affects the coastal regions of India is cyclone and as India has a coastline of about 7516 kms. Orissa and West Bengal). Areas with hardpan just below the surface of the soil are more prone to. 1930 and 1976. Goa. On an average. Out of these. Flash floods occur due to high rate of water flow as also due to poor permeability of the soil. The main causes of floods are heavy rainfall. Puducherry. severe storms occur in the Orissa . five or six tropical cyclones occur every year.Floods occur in almost all rivers basins in India. The islands of Andaman.

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HEAT WAVE Extreme positive departures from the normal maximum temperature result in a heat wave during the summer season. Decrease in the Diurnal Temperature Range (DTR) due to urbanisation is a new factor leading to human mortality and discomfort. cold wave conditions are sometimes reported from states like Maharashtra and Karnataka as well. The cold waves mainly affect the areas to the north of 20°N but in association with large amplitude troughs. specially the hilly regions and the adjoining plains. These are known as western disturbances. Increased minimum temperatures in summer do not allow the necessary nocturnal cooling to neutralize the high maximum temperature during a heat wave epoch. In recent 7 . COLD WAVE AND FOG: Occurrences of extreme low temperature in association with incursion of dry cold winds from north into the sub continent are known as cold waves. Table gives the frequencies of the occurrence of cold waves in different parts of the country for different periods. in rare cases till July. Abnormally high temperatures were observed during April 2002 across the country. over the northwestern parts of the country. The northern parts of India. In recent years. are influenced by transient disturbances in the mid latitude westerlies which often have weak frontal characteristics. the maximum temperature at Gannavaram (Vijayawada) 49°C (WMO 2003) was recorded. On 10th May 2002. heat wave induced casualties have some what increased. The rising maximum temperature during the pre-monsoon months often continues till June.

UP and Bihar rank the highest in terms of casualties from cold wave and this could be due to poor level of development and lack of shelters to the outdoor workers and farmers. Delhi. HAILSTORM AND DUSTSTORM: As winter season transforms into spring. Some of other tornadoes which caused extensive damage and destruction in the country is given in the Table 8 . giving rise to thunderstorms and squally weather which are hazardous in nature. The hailstorm frequencies are highest in the Assam valley. thunderstorms also occur in Kolkatta. northeastern. the temperature rises initially in the southern parts of India. north and northwestern parts of the country. Tornadoes are rare in India but some of them are quite devastating. THUNDERSTORM. Jaipur and Ahmedabad. such hazardous weather affects the central. However.years due to deterioration of the air quality in urban locations of India the deaths and discomfort from cold waves have been substantial. Jharkhand and Vidarbha Maharashtra (Philip & Daniel 1976). followed by hills of Uttarakhand. While the southernmost part of the country is free from dust storms and hailstorms.

earthquakes result in a loss of about 50.. The entire Himalayan Region is considered to be vulnerable to high intensity earthquakes of a magnitude exceeding 8. India has been divided into four seismic zones according to the maximum intensity of earthquake expected (Figure 1. 1897 (M8.3).5 magnitude on the Richter scale are progressively damaging to property and human life. along the Himalayan range. Fortunately. there are many other factors that influence the damage pattern. none of these have occurred in any of the major cities. thus any earthquake striking in one of these cities would turn into a major disaster.000 lives every year.0 on the Richter Scale. 1934 (M 8. Scientific publications have warned that very severe earthquakes are likely to occur anytime in the Himalayan Region.8. Earthquakes over 5. 1950 (M 8. Massive earthquakes generally occur near the junction of two tectonic plates.continent situated on the boundaries of two continental plates is very prone to earthquakes. According to latest seismic zoning map brought out by the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS). Six major earthquakes have struck different parts of India over a span of the last 15 years. J&K.7). Some of the most intense earthquakes of the world have occurred in India. Bihar–Nepal.6). where the Indian plate goes below Eurasian plate. zone V is the most active which comprises of whole of Northeast India. 1905 (M. Regulatory mechanisms are weak. e. India has highly populous cities and the constructions in these cities are not earthquake resistant. Some significant earthquakes in India are listed in the Table 9 . Of these.g. the northern portion of Bihar. and Assam–Tibet. The Indian sub. However. Himachal Pradesh. and in a relatively short span of about 50 years. Gujarat and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. which could adversely affect the lives of several million people in India. over 65 percent of the country is prone to earthquake of intensity Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale (MSK) VII or more. Uttarakhand.EARTHQUAKES: Globally.0). four such major earthquakes have occurred in the region: Shillong.13). Kangra.

unprecedented rains in the region triggered about one hundred landslides which caused severe damage to communication lines. Based on the general experience with landslides. The Himalayan mountains. LANDSLIDE HAZARD ZONATION MAP: 10 . In the Nilgiris. which accounts for considerable loss of life and damage to communication routes. Landslides are also common in western ghat.LANDSLIDES: Landslides mainly affect the Himalayan region and the western ghats of India. Scientific observation in north Sikkim and Garhwal regions in the Himalayas clearly reveal that there is an average of two landslides per sq. It is estimated that 30 percent of the world‟s landslides occur in the Himalayas. in 1978 alone. human settlements. Landslides are also common in the Nilgiri range. agricultural fields and forest lands. are not a single long landmass but comprises a series of seven curvilinear parallel folds running along a grand arc for a total of 3400 kilometers. which constitute the youngest and most dominating mountain system in the world. A valley in Nilgiris is called “Avalanches Valley”. tea gardens and other cultivated crops. km. a rough estimate of monetary loss is of the order of ` 100 crore to ` 150 crore per annum at the current prices for the country as a whole. Landslides constitute a major natural hazard in our country. Due to its unique nature. the Himalayas have a history of landslides that has no comparison with any other mountain range in the world. The mean rate of land loss is to the tune of 120 meter per km per year and annual soil loss is about 2500 tonnes per sq km.

Seismicity generated tsunamis are result of abrupt deformation of sea floor resulting vertical displacement of the overlying water. A tsunami (in Japanese „tsu‟ means harbor and „nami‟ means wave) is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water. In the Tamil language it is known as “Aazhi Peralai”. The release of energy produces tsunami waves which have small amplitude but a very long wavelength (often hundreds of kilometer 11 .TSUNAMI: Tsunamis and earthquakes happen after centuries of energy build up within the earth. the water above the reformed area is displaced from its equilibrium position. Earthquakes occurring beneath the sea level. usually an ocean.

The first time that a high intensity cyclone was hitting the union territory after the one in the 1950’s. Cyclone Thane had left at least 46 dead in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. However when it approaches the coast its wavelength diminishes but amplitude grows enormously. The storm made the city inaccessible by damaging road network and the National Disaster Response Force and fire and rescue services are having difficulty in reaching the cyclone affected fishing hamlets. Uprooted trees and inundated roads have cut off Puducherry and Cuddalore from the rest of the adjoining regions.2. A population of 26. Andhra Pradesh. About 10. more than 450. People from low lying areas were shifted to community centers with adequate arrangements of food and medical round the clock.Puducherry: The cyclone was the severest in the history of Puducherry. coastal vegetation and dissipating its energy through the destruction of houses and coastal structure. Chennai Corporation kept its four permanent relief centers (Basin Bridge.000 houses were devastated by the cyclone apart from loss of 58 human lives. The Tsunami disaster had badly affected the fishermen community who not only lost their near and dear ones but also lost their means of livelihood. It may be caused by non-seismic event also such as a landslide or impact of a meteor. It remains undetected by ships in the deep sea. Thiruvallur. Kerala. Kanjipuram.3. stripping beaches of sand. Fishing activities came to a complete halt in the cities of Chennai. Chennai. UTs of Puducherry and Andman & Nicobar Islands (A & NI). usually within minutes of the arrival time. Tsunami in the deep ocean may have very long waves length of hundred of kilometer and travels at about 800 km per hour. Computer model can provide tsunami arrival.000 hectares of agricultural crops were destroyed. This region was worst affected is north Tamil Nadu.long). and it takes very little time to reach its full height. Most of the missing persons were from Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Napattinam. Q. Almost 9395 people lost their lives and 3964 people were reported missing and feared dead. Q. IMPACT OF THANE CYCLONE Thane cyclone was mainly affected into the areas of Cuddalore.000 fishing boats were moved to safer locations in all fishing hamlets in these areas. Even in Puducherry and Cuddalore thatched huts of fishermen and wooden frames in slum areas were completely destroyed. Chintadripet. The road side trees had been uprooted on the road alone resulting in suspension of vehicular movement. As per the Government reports. Tsunamis have great erosion potential. Thiruvarur. and Thanjavur. 12 . Around 176. Puducherry. Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram in the wake of the storm after the warnings by the weather department were received. but an amplitude of only about 1 km. Gopalapuram and Perambur Barracks Road) ready to accommodate people in case of evacuation due to torrential rains. Villupuram. About 7 deaths were reported in Puducherry and 39 people were reported dead in Cuddalore. The Tsunami of 26th December 2004 caused extensive damage to life and property in the states of Tamil Nadu. Cuddalore and Puducherry were the worst affected by Thane.63 lakhs in 1396 villages in five states and UTs was affected by this disaster.

electrical goods damages and transportation damages was caused. The cyclonic storm brought in copious overnight rainfall coupled with squally winds uprooting trees in some places of Chennai and elsewhere. The region worst affected is northern Tamil Nadu. with damaged roads rendering it difficult for rescue teams including those from National Disaster Response Force and Fire and Rescue Services to reach the cyclone hit fishing hamlets. traffic signal poles and mobile phone towers and damaged standing crops across the coastal districts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. including those bound for Kuwait and Kuala Lumpur were cancelled. Cuddalore district was highly affected into agriculture. which resulted in acute shortage of drinking water and other basic amenities. boat damages. In Chennai the Marina beach area 500mts of water’s was surrounding and many boats were damaged. Electricity for many of the affected villages had not been restored even after 15 days of the cyclone. Power production at the Lignite Neyveli Corporation was affected as the mines were submerged. Major roads were blocked in almost all areas of Cuddalore district for a whole week. An official said around 400 trees had been uprooted on the Cuddalore-Chidambaram roads. Traffic on the East Coast Road was disrupted due to uprooted trees. Cuddalore Deaths in Cuddalore occurred mainly due to electrocution. A large number of cows. In many places of Chennai city were highly surrounded water and human normal life was highly affected. Almost the entire tree cover of Cuddalore district was ravaged including the entire cashew nut trees and jack fruit trees that were the backbone of the majority of the people’s livelihood options.Several trees have fallen down. hand-pumps and bore wells have been damaged that lead to water scarcity and lack of safe drinking water. settlements. 13 . falling of trees and collapse of house or walls. Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu was the most affected. lamp posts and electric poles were uprooted. resulting in suspension of vehicular movement. electric poles. Even mobile phone signals were not proper Andhra Pradesh 700 fishermen were reported to be stranded near the Nizampatnam Bay area due to the rough sea conditions near the coast due to the cyclone. The high speed wind also uprooted hundreds of trees. goats and buffaloes were killed in many villages. Thousands of people reached relief camps in Cuddalore as the strong wind blew off the thatched roofs of houses. Chennai Chennai flight services were also disrupted due to the cyclonic storm with four international services. Trees. The railway management announced around two hour delay in the arrival of some trains to Chennai Egmore station.

Provide basic privacy and sanitation facilities in the temporary shelters 18. 3. The government should provide the aid to people to built up and other basic needs to into 6. children and aged 15. agriculture. the cyclone was travelled the whole day it was rained. Q. Standing paddy crop on the Cauvery delta region is estimated to have been damaged due the high speed cyclonic wind. physical planning. In the deltaic regions . In the development of a management plan. 12. In Nagapattinam coastal lands are eroded and fisherman boats have highly damaged. nature conservation at all levels (national. regional. The deltaic regions are highly experienced the agricultural loss. Build permanent houses for all vulnerable communities 14 . Hand over early warning system to community to manage properly In a couple of years: 1. 11.Deltaic Regions The Deltaic region of the Thiruvarur. area and sea level rise. Nagapattinam. announce to removal of agricultural loans. Involve women led disaster task force as volunteers to oversee relief and rehabilitation 13. 5. management.ACTION RECOMMENDED Immediate Actions: 1. Provide livelihood support for the affected community 3. decision makers at all levels (local. Organise health camps to address problems by women. Increase the compensation for damaged houses 19. land use. transport and 9. Afforestation involving community groups in planting and maintenance 14. Compensate the farmers who have lost their crops and provide loans at low interests to resume cultivation and business In one year: 1. and Thanjavur region also the cyclone affect by harvesting stage of the agricultural crops have damaged. regional and local). Form/strengthen disaster task force in all coastal villages to reduce the risk 2. hence the government should 4.4. The government should take the steps to erect the walls for preventing from the flood prone 2. 10. infrastructural facilities. Address drinking water issues 17. Distribute relief according to needs assessment 16. national and international) as well as stakeholders and civil society should be involved. The plan should be based on an integrated approach covering all relevant aspects of water 8. normal life to the severely affected areas of the Cuddalore and Pondicherry area 7. urban development.

and reestablish normality through reconstruction and rehabilitation shortly thereafter. Preparedness: Are the measures that ensure the organized mobilization of personnel. restore order in its immediate aftermath. Its measures include inter alia. logistical infrastructure. Mitigation: Steps taken to contain or reduce the effects of an anticipated or already occurred disastrous event are termed as mitigation. It is the set of activities implemented after the impact of a disaster in order to assess the 15 . Prevention is also defined as those activities taken to prevent a natural phenomenon or potential hazard from having harmful effects on either people or economic assets. Response / Relief: Aggregate of decisions and measures taken to contain or mitigate the effects of a disastrous event to prevent any further loss of life and/or property. and shelves of projects. if left unchecked.5 Define the following terms: a. The first and immediate response is called emergency response. prevention is perhaps the most critical components in managing disasters. warning systems. Disaster preparedness is building up of capacities before a disaster situation prevails inorder to reduce impacts. c.Q. contain. Mitigation is permanent reduction of the risk of a disaster. Prevention: Measures taken to detect. seed reserve. and forestall events or circumstances which. availability of food reserve. For developing nations. and supplies within a safe environment for effective relief. health facilities. equipments. Primary mitigation refers to reducing the resistance of the hazard and reducing vulnerability. funds. relief manual. Delayed actions drain the economy and the resources for emergency response within a region. b. emergency reserve fund. d. Secondary mitigation refers to reducing the effects of the hazard (preparedness). could result in a disaster is termed as prevention.

Intervention aimed at meeting the immediate needs of the victims of a disastrous event is known as relief. open the way to rehabilitation. Restoration of an entity to its normal or near-normal functional capabilities after the occurrence of a disabling event 16 . reduce the suffering. limit the spread and the consequences of the disaster. Recovery / Rehabilitation: Process of returning an organization.needs. society. or system to a state of normality after the occurrence of a disastrous event is known as recovery. Rehabilitation is the restoration of basic social functions. e.