Name Roll No. Class Section Subject Project Name : : : : : : Rahul Kumar 28 11th B Geography Natural Disaster in India (1901-2009)

Natural Disasters in India

Natural disasters in India, many of them related to the climate of India, cause massive losses of Indian life and property. Droughts, flash, cyclones, avalanches, landslides brought on by torrential rains, and snowstorms pose the greatest threats. Other dangers include frequent summer dust storms, which usually track from north to south; they cause extensive property damage in North India and deposit large amounts of dust from arid regions. Hail is also common in parts of India, causing severe damage to standing crops such as rice and wheat. Landslides are common in the Lower Himalayas. The young age of the region's hills result in labile rock formations, which are susceptible to slippages. Rising population and development pressures, particularly from logging and tourism, cause deforestation. The result is denuded hillsides which exacerbate the severity of landslides, since tree cover impedes the downhill flow of water. Parts of the Western Ghats also suffer from low-intensity landslides. Avalanches occurrences are common in Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Sikkim.

Floods are the most common natural disaster in India. The heavy southwest monsoon rains cause the Brahmaputra and other rivers to distend their banks, often flooding surrounding areas. Though they provide rice paddy farmers with a largely dependable source of natural irrigation and fertilization, the floods can kill thousands and displace millions. Excess, erratic, or untimely monsoon rainfall may

also wash away or otherwise ruin crops almost all of India is floodprone, and extreme precipitation events, such as flash floods and torrential rains, have become increasingly common in central India over the past several decades, coinciding with rising temperatures. Mean annual precipitation totals have remained steady due to the declining frequency of weather systems that generate moderate amounts of rain.

Tropical cyclones, which are severe storms spun off from the Intertropical Convergence Zone, may affect thousands of Indians living in coastal regions. Tropical cyclogenesis is particularly common in the northern reaches of the Indian Ocean in and around the Bay of Bengal. Cyclones bring with them heavy rains, storm surges, and winds that often cut affected areas off from relief and supplies. In the North Indian Ocean Basin, the cyclone season runs from April to December, with peak activity between May and November. Each year, an average of eight storms with sustained wind speeds greater than 63 kilometers per hour (39 mph) form; of these, two strengthen into true tropical cyclones, which have sustained gusts greater than 117 kilometers per hour (73 mph). On average, a major (Category 3 or higher) cyclone develops every other year. During summer, the Bay of Bengal is subject to intense heating, giving rise to humid and unstable air masses that produce cyclones. Many powerful cyclones, including the 1737 Calcutta cyclone, the 1970 Bhola cyclone, and the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone, have led to widespread devastation along parts of the eastern coast of India and neighboring Bangladesh. Widespread death and property destruction are reported every year in exposed coastal states such as Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal. India's western coast, bordering the more placid Arabian Sea, experiences cyclones only rarely; these mainly strike Gujarat and, less frequently, Kerala. In terms of damage and loss of life, Cyclone 05B, a super cyclone that struck Orissa on 29 October 1999, was the worst in more than a quarter-century. With peak winds of 160 miles per hour (257 km/h),

it was the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. Almost two million people were left homeless; other 20 million people lives were disrupted by the cyclone. Officially, 9,803 people died from the storm; unofficial estimates place the death toll at over 10,100.

Indian agriculture is heavily dependent on the monsoon as a source of water. In some parts of India, the failure of the monsoons result in water shortages, resulting in below-average crop yields. This is particularly true of major drought-prone regions such as southern and eastern Maharashtra, northern Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. In the past, droughts have periodically led to major Indian famines, including the Bengal famine of 1770, in which up to one third of the population in affected areas died; the 1876–1877 famine, in which over five million people died; the 1899 famine, in which over 4.5 million died; and the Bengal famine of 1943, in which over five million died from starvation and famine-related illnesses. All such episodes of severe drought correlate with El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events.El Niño-related droughts have also been implicated in periodic declines in Indian agricultural output. Nevertheless, ENSO events that have coincided with abnormally high sea surfaces temperatures in the Indian Ocean—in one instance during 1997 and 1998 by up to 3 °C (5 °F)—have resulted in increased oceanic evaporation, resulting in unusually wet weather across India. Such anomalies have occurred during a sustained warm spell that began in the 1990s. A contrasting phenomenon is that, instead of the usual high pressure air mass over the southern Indian Ocean, an ENSO-related oceanic low pressure convergence center forms; it then continually pulls dry air from Central Asia, desiccating India during what should have been the humid summer monsoon season. This reversed air flow causes India's droughts. The extent that an ENSO event raises sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean influences the degree of drought.

It has been two years since the January 26, 2001, earthquake in India that left death and devastation in its wake. As one of the first humanitarian organizations to respond, CARE began providing lifesaving emergency supplies and services to four of the hardest-hit areas of Kutch District. Yet, even after basic needs were met -- and the television crews went home, CARE stayed on the scene to help survivors recover and rebuild. CARE partnered with The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on the longterm recovery, including reconstruction of homes, schools, health clinics and community centers. CARE and FICCI also supported people's ability to earn a living by providing training and support for agriculture and small businesses. Substantial progress has been made in the past 24 months. Now, as the construction of homes and community infrastructure nears completion, CARE work in close collaboration with communities, governments and local organizations to ensure these changes are effective and sustainable. The Earthquake As India commemorated its 51st Republic Day on Saturday January 26, a tremendous earthquake struck Gujarat State in the western part of the country. The quake's epicenter was near the town of Bhuj in Kutch District, but tremors from the quake, which registered 7.7 on the Richter scale, was felt deep into Pakistan and as far away as Nepal. Estimates for the death toll ranged as high as 100,000 people, and buildings and infrastructure in many areas were completely destroyed. After traveling to Bhuj's worst hit areas, CARE worker Renu Suri described the trauma of survivors immediately following the quake: "Life has come to a complete standstill. There are people roaming about on the roads, so stunned by events that they cannot participate in a discussion about what they need."

The words of Dawood Ismail, an earthquake survivor in Kutch, echo those of Dr. Suri. "There is nothing left between the sky and the earth anymore. Everything has been demolished."

Almost all the countries situated around the Bay of Bengal were affected by the tsunami waves in the morning hours of 26 December 2004 (between 0900 – 1030 hrs IST). The killer waves were triggered by an earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale that had an epicenter near the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. The first recorded tsunami in India dates back to 31 December 1881. An earthquake of magnitude 7.5 on the Richter scale, with its epicenter believed to have been under the sea off the coast of Car Nicobar Island, caused the tsunami. The last recorded tsunami in India occurred on 26 June 1941, caused by an earthquake with magnitude exceeding 8.5. This caused extensive damage to the Andaman Islands. There are no other well-documented records of Tsunami in India. It was all quiet on the waterfront on the Sunday morning after Christmas in 2004 at Kanyakumari, the famous Marina Beach in Chennai and elsewhere on the Kerala coast and Andaman Nicober Islands. There was the excitement of a holyday with an offbeat mood with swarms of people on the sea front: children playing cricket and man and women on their morning work at the Marina. Elsewhere, fishermen were putting out to sea for the day’s catch. Then all on a sudden, a curious thing happened. The holidaymakers at Kanyakumari were awestruck when the sea receded from the shores. In the present tsunami, India was the third country severely battered after Indonesia and Srilanka. In India the State severely affected by tsunami are Tamilnadu, Pondicheri, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Andaman and Nicober Island. The following Table.1 shows the average scenario of tsunami devastation in the respective areas.

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