Aircrafts to probe, assess cyclones in India

April 24th, 2008 - 10:07 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) India will deploy special aircraft to probe and assess the impact of cyclones in coastal districts of the country and develop a cyclone warning system, an official said here Thursday. “Aircrafts can go to a cyclone prone area and make assessments like when the disaster is going to hit the land and at what speed it is going to affect the people living in the coastal areas,” M.S. Reddy, member of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said.

Reddy was speaking at a function to release national disaster management guidelines on cyclones. Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibal released the guidelines.

“The commissioning of Aircraft Probing of Cyclone (APC) facility will help to fill the critical observational data gaps and significantly reduce the margin of error in predicting cyclone track, intensity and landfall (crossing of cyclones from ocean to land area),” Reddy told IANS.

He, however, said the details of the plan are being prepared.

Unveiling the guidelines, Sibal said that 241 districts of India along the coastline are cyclone prone and these guidelines will help officials, disaster management workforce and public in general to reduce both casualties and loss of property.

“Though the number of cyclones experienced in Indian coastline is comparatively less, yet one third of Indians face cyclone. We have seen the damage in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and other states,” Sibal said.

The cyclone guidelines were prepared after two years of labour. They have been formulated after a ‘nine step’ process taking into consultation various ministries, state governments and union territories.

The process included wide consultations with scientific and technical institutions, academics, technocrats and humanitarian organisations. The draft guidelines document was circulated to all the ministries and departments of the central and state governments and union territories for their feedback.

NDMA in its guidelines has identified 10 key areas of cyclone management like establishing of a state-of-the-art cyclone early warning system (EWS) involving observations, predictions, warnings and user-friendly advisories.

The guidelines also asked the states and other stake holders to take up structural mitigation measures like improving infrastructure, construction of multi-purpose cyclone shelters and cattle mounds, and ensuring cyclone resistant design standards in rural and urban housing schemes.

As climate change and subsequent sea level rise can wreak a lot of damage on the country, the guidelines call for setting up of an exclusive eco-system monitoring network to study the impact of climate change.

It has also advised setting up of a National Cyclone Disaster Management Institute in one of the coastal states to address all issues related to cyclone risks.

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