J.M. NONGKYNRIH Scientist North Eastern Space Applications Centre, Umiam

A serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society causing widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources.

Disaster types
Natural Human-induced Man-made

Various types of natural disasters of North East India

What is an Earthquake?
Earthquakes: Vibrations (seismic waves) within Earth materials are produced by the rapid release of energy

Earth’s crust is in constant motion because of tectonic forces

Earthquake zonation map of India .

What causes Earthquakes? Movement along faults: occurs when the energy exceeds the friction holding the sides of the fault together and is suddenly released. Movement of magma (volcanic) Volcanic eruptions .

Measure of Earthquake Intensity A measure of the effects of an earthquake at a particular location Magnitude A measure of the strength or amount of energy released during an earthquake .

How do we Measure Earthquakes? Richter Scale: Measures the amplitude of earthquake waves on seismograms Scale from 1-10 Each number is 10 times the amplitude of the previous number. .

Seismograph .


 Anchor overhead lighting fixtures to the ceiling. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.  Follow BIS codes relevant to your area for building standards .Do’s and Don’ts What to Do Before an Earthquake  Repair deep plaster cracks in ceilings and foundations.

. Fasten cupboards securely to walls.

 Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds. closed cabinets with latches.  Brace overhead light and fan fixtures. . settees. Store breakable items such as bottled foods. and anywhere people sit.  Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks. glass. and china in low.

..  Store weed killers. Secure a water heater. by strapping it to the wall studs and bolting it to the floor. pesticides. and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves. LPG cylinder etc.

Under strong dining table. 1. Away from where glass could shatter around windows. In the open. mirrors. Identify safe places indoors and outdoors. or where heavy bookcases or other heavy furniture could fall over 4. bridges  Educate yourself and family members . away from buildings. Against an inside wall 3. bed 2. trees. pictures. telephone and electrical lines. flyovers.

police. hospital.Know emergency telephone numbers (doctor. etc) • Have a disaster emergency kit ready • Battery operated torch • Extra batteries • Battery operated radio • First aid kit and manual • Emergency food (dry items) and water (packed and sealed) .

• Essential medicines • Cash and credit cards • Thick ropes and cords and Sturdy shoes .• Candles and matches in a waterproof container • Knife • Chlorine tablets or powdered water purifiers • Can opener.

Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the 'family contact' After a disaster. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name. 2. . In case family members are separated from one another during an earthquake (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school). develop a plan for reuniting after the disaster. and phone number of the contact person.Develop an emergency communication plan 1. it's often easier to call long distance. address.

Localize the information by printing the phone numbers of local emergency services offices and hospitals. Conduct a week-long series on locating hazards in the home. . Work with local emergency services and officials to prepare special reports for people with mobility impairments on what to do during an earthquake. 3. 2. Publish a special section in your local newspaper with emergency information on earthquakes.Help your community get ready 1.

Interview representatives of the gas. . 6. electric. 5.4. retrofitting programmes. Work together in your community to apply your knowledge to building codes. Provide tips on conducting earthquake drills in the home. hazard hunts. and water companies about shutting off utilities. and neighborhood and family emergency plans.

Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place Stay indoors until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.What to Do during an Earthquake  Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake.  Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. .

If there isn’t a table or desk near you.If indoors  DROP to the ground. Take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture.  HOLD ON until the shaking stops. . cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.


under a table or even under a bed. . and anything that could fall. Stay away from glass. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow. such as lighting fixtures or furniture.Protect yourself by staying under the lintel of an inner door. Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. move to the nearest safe place. windows. unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case. outside doors and walls. in the corner of a room.

DO NOT use the elevators. Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on. load-bearing doorway.Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave. Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. .

flying glass. trees. and utility wires. at exits. and alongside exterior walls. and falling objects. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings. streetlights. stay there until the shaking stops. .  Once in the open.If outdoors  Stay there.  Move away from buildings. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls.

or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake. Avoid stopping near or under buildings. trees. bridges. .If in a moving vehicle Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. and utility wires. Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. overpasses. Avoid roads.

Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.  Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing. .  Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you.  Do not move about or kick up dust.If trapped under debris  Do not light a match. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort.

 Expect aftershocks. gas and electricity. . switch on the radio/TV and obey any instructions you hear on it.  Keep away from beaches and low banks of rivers. Be prepared. There may be gas leaks or short-circuits.  Do not smoke and do not light matches or use a cigarette lighter. Huge waves may sweep in. Do not turn on switches.After an earthquake  Keep calm.  Turn off the water.


What are Cyclones? "Cyclone" is an intense whirl in the atmosphere with very strong winds circulating around it in anticlockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere and in clockwise direction in the Southern Hemisphere. Cyclones generate intense low pressure areas from the centre of which pressure increases outwards. .The amount of the pressure drop in the centre and the rate at which it increases outwards gives the intensity of the cyclones and the strength of winds.

10 to 15 km high. thunder and lightning prevail.  Around this calm and clear eye. The diameter of the eye varies between 30 and 50 km and is a region free of clouds and has light winds. thick clouds with torrential rain.  The central calm region of the storm is called the "Eye". there is the "Wall Cloud Region" of the storm about 5O km in extent. where the gale winds. .Mechanism of cyclones  A full-grown cyclone is a violent whirl in the atmosphere 150 to 1000 km across.

Mechanism of formation of Cyclone .

 The gales give rise to a confused sea with waves as high as 20 meters. the wind speed gradually decreases. bringing with it strong surges Once the cyclones reach higher latitudes they often change their direction and move north and then north-east (south and south east hemisphere). . Away from the "Wall Cloud Region".join these Through these churned chaotic sea and atmosphere. the cyclone moves 300 to 500 km. occasional thunder and lightning flashes . The process is known as recurrence. in a day to hit or skirt along a coast. Torrential rains. swells that travel a thousand miles.

. (ii) when cyclone alerts and warnings are on. (i) immediately before the cyclone season.. viz. and (iv) when the cyclone has crossed the coast.Do’s and Don’ts The actions that need to be taken in the event of a cyclone threat can broadly be divided into four classes. (iii) when evacuations are advised.

signboards etc. carry out repair works for doors and windows  Remove dead woods or dying trees close to the house. loose tin sheds. secure loose tiles.Before the Cyclone season: Safety of your house  Check the house.  Keep some wooden boards ready so that glass windows can be boarded if needed . garbage cans. anchor removable objects like lumber piles. which can fly in strong winds. loose bricks.

Safety check of your house .

Simple measures can save life and property .

 Keep a hurricane lantern filled with kerosene. battery operated torches and enough dry cells  Demolish condemned buildings  Keep some extra batteries for transistors  Keep some dry non-perishable food always ready for emergency use .

When the Cyclone starts  Listen to the radio (All India Radio stations give weather warnings).  Ignore rumors and do not spread them. This will help you to prepare for a cyclone emergency. .  Pass on the information to others.  Keep monitoring the warnings. this will help to avoid panic situations.

Believe in the official information.  When a cyclone alert is on for your area continue normal working but stay alert to the radio warnings. If your house is securely built on high ground take shelter in the safer part of the house. When your area is under cyclone warning get away from low-lying beaches or other lowlying areas. Leave early before your way to high ground or shelter gets flooded. Remember that a cyclone alert means that the danger is within 24 hours. Stay alert. Do not delay and run the risk of being marooned. .

. paste paper strips on glasses to prevent splinters. However. this may not avoid breaking windows.  If you do not have wooden boards handy.  Provide strong suitable support for outside doors. However. if asked to evacuate do not hesitate to leave the place.  Board up glass windows or put storm shutters in place.

 If you are to evacuate the house move your valuable articles to upper floors to minimize flood damage. torches or other emergency lights in working conditions and keep them handy. should be stored safely in a room. which can fly in strong winds. . which can be eaten without cooking.  Have hurricane lantern.Get extra food.  Store extra drinking water in suitably covered vessels.  Small and loose things.

Cyclone Safety Kit .

because immediately after that very strong winds will blow from the opposite direction.  Remain calm. If the centre of the cyclone is passing directly over your house there will be a lull in the wind and rain lasting for half and hour or so. During this time do not go out. . Make provision for children and adults requiring special diets.  Switch off electrical mains in your house.

special foods for babies and children or elders. including medicines.  Remain in the shelter until you have been informed to leave .When Evacuation is instructed  Pack essentials for yourself and your family to last you a few days.  Do not worry about your property  At the shelter follow instructions of the person in charge.  Head for the proper shelter or evacuation points indicated for your area.

 You must get inoculated against diseases immediately.  Report the correct loss to appropriate authorities.  Strictly avoid any loose and dangling wires from the lamp posts.  Clear debris from your premises immediately.Post-cyclone measures You should remain in the shelter until informed that you can return to your home. .  If you are to drive. drive carefully.