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Disaster Management

SUCCESS OF A LOCAL SHUTDOWN: AGRA MODEL

Why in News?

  • The Centre showcased the Agra model at the daily COVID-19 briefing, and it is also being shared with other states as best practice.

Agra Model:

  • Nearly 259 team were set up for screening purpose which covered about 100 homes per day; doctors sat at a nearby civil dispensary, and people who showed symptoms couldvisit them.
  • Hotspot area was identified within radius of 3-km from the epicentre while a 5 km bufferzone was identified as the containment zone.
  • Agra covered 1.63 lakh households in a few days, took about 1000 samples. A security guard was roped in to supply daily needs to the families.
  • They utilise their existing Smart City Integrated with Command and Control Centre (ICCC) as war rooms.
  • Under the cluster containment and outbreak containment plans, Agra identified epicentres, delineated impact of positive confirmed cases on the map and deployed a special task force as per the micro-plan made by the district administration.
  • In these containment zones, urban primary health centres were roped in with 1,248 teams including ANMs/ASHA/AWW, reaching out to 9.3 lakh people through household screening.
  • Agra was also the earliest reference to community transmission in an official statement.

Pathanamthitta (Kerala) Model:

  • As a first step, Pathanamthitta district of Kerala sealed its borders. Unlike other parts of the country where only persons with travel history from abroad were being screened, it decided to do so for all entering the district, from overseas, other states or even districts, creating a database of the same. Details of those who entered the district from abroad and across the country since January were added to the database.
  • In a first, it also decided to prepare route maps of the positive cases. A flow chart was publicised to help people see if they had been present at a stated travel path at a particular time.
  • It launched a call centre from where enquiries were made twice daily to those under quarantine, regarding medical and non-medical requirements. A group of engineering

students designed a ‘Corona RM’ app, where the call centre counsellors would upload requirements of those under home quarantine.

  • It then put in place geo-mapping of those under observation. With limited kits, they could test only 200 samples a day. So they chose categories like international travellers, interstate travellers, health workers, migrant workers, senior citizens under observation etc.

Bhilwara Model:

  • Rajasthan’s Bhilwara was one of the early hotspots for COVID-19.
  • The city was completely isolated with Section 144 CRPC being imposed.
  • In the first phase, essential services were allowed; in the second phase, there was a totalshutdown with the city and district borders sealed and check posts set up at every entry and exit point. All trains, buses and cars were stopped.
  • The District Magistrates of neighbouring districts too were asked to seal their borders. The containment zone is usually 3 km around the epicentre, and the buffer zone is 7 km.
  • The containment and buffer zones were turned into ‘No-Movement’ zones and cluster mapping were done for COVID-19 cases.
  • Through this, six areas were identified and special teams were deployed for continuous screening of suspected cases. The containment and buffer zones, all ambulances and police vehicles, the screening centre and quarantine centres, the Collectorate, Police Line and other public-dealing offices were disinfected on a daily basis.

ICMR ISSUES RULE BOOK ON ‘LARGE OUTBREAKS’

Why in News?

  • The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) public guidelines to manage a large outbreak and guidelines on use of rapid antibody test kits.

Highlights:

  • The Health Ministry has stated that 30% (about 1,000 positive cases spread across 17 States) of India’s total case count is attributable to one event, the Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi.
  • Hence India’s official position is that there is no evidence of community transmission in the country.

The Plan for Large Outbreaks, Specifies:

  • Active surveillance for cases and contacts in the Identified Geographic Zone
    • Expansion of laboratory capacity for testing of all suspect cases of high-risk contacts and Sever Acute Respiratory Illness cases
    • Operationalizing surge capacities created for isolation (COVID-19 hospitals/COVID-19 dedicated blocks) to hospitalize and manage all suspect/confirmed cases
    • Implementing physical distancing measures with strict perimeter control
    • Providing chemoprophylaxis with hydroxy-chloroquine to all asymptomatic healthcare workers and asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed cases.
    • Given the increasing need for more testing and the fact that hundreds of antibody kit manufacturers have been approved in India to offer tests, ICMR has also issued detailed guidelines on the use of rapid antibody testing kits.

Antibody Testing Kits:

  • The real-time RT-PCR kits are used to detect an ongoing infection. Unlike RT-PCR kits, the antibody testing kits can indicate if a person has ever been infected by the virus and gives authorities an estimate of whether there are asymptomatic carriers of the infection in a community.
  • The antibody testing kits can give results within 15 minutes to Two Hours.
  • However, testing negative via an antibody kit doesn’t automatically rule out infection and needs to be supplemented by a PCR test.

DISEASES OF ANIMAL AND FOREST ORIGIN

Why in News?

  • The recent rapid spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus across the world has focused attention on the invisible processes that help pathogens originally found in wild animals, infect the humans.

Factors for the origin:

  • The destruction of forests and trapping or farming of wild species has brought these animals closer to humans.
  • The viruses they harbour find ready hosts in domestic animals, moving to humans.
  • Rising Activity: such as road building and mining cutting through forests bring more people in close contact with animals.
  • Global trade in wild species: for instance, in Wuhan the trade ranges from wolf pups to rats, civets and foxes, etc. and their sale in markets along with domestic animals.

Consequences:

  • Unlike previous epidemics, COVID-19 has extracted a staggering toll, killing people, forcing a lockdown.
  • Economic devastation and recession.
  • Short-term high growth trajectories can come to an abrupt halt with a pandemic.
  • Diseases of animal origin: Examples are Ebola, HIV, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, bird flu and swine flu.

What does these Pandemics Signify?

  • Maintain viable ecosystems: For instance, Nipah and Hendra viruses, involving transfer from bats to pigs in the former, and bats to horses, highlights the need of maintaining an ecosystem.
  • Eliminate the need for wild animals like bats to colonise human surroundings.
  • Conserve the biodiversity: Biodiversity in forests harmlessly retains dangerous virusesand other pathogens away from people.
  • Stop viewing undisturbed landscapes as an impediment to economic growth.
  • Warning to hasty development process: hasty permissions granted for new roads, dams, mines and power projects in already enfeebled forests can unleash more scourges.
  • Forest should be left undisturbed. Pristine forests with diverse species keep viruses virtually bottled up, out of man’s way.

Zoonotic Diseases:

  • Zoonotic diseases are an infectious disease caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites that spread from non-human animals (usually vertebrates) to Humans.

Modes of Transmission:

  • Direct Zoonosis: the disease is directly transmitted from other animals to humans through media such as air (influenza) or through bites and saliva (rabies).
  • Indirect Zoonosis: transmission can also occur via an intermediate species (referred to as a vector), which carry the disease pathogen without getting infected.

FOREIGN CONTRIBUTION TO PM-CARES FUND

Why in News?

  • The Central Government has decided to accept contributions from abroad, irrespective of the nationalities, to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) Fund.

Key Points:

  • Now the foreign governments, NGOs, and nationals can contribute to the Fund.
  • It has been said that the contribution to PM-CARES is not “aid” and the foreign contribution is “only” applicable to the PM-CARES fund and not any other fund like the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

Significance of the Move:

  • The move is a major policy change as in the past 16 years India has not accepted any foreign aid.
  • It has to remembered that the government refused to accept foreign aid to flood-ravaged Kerala since it was following the disaster aid policy set in December 2004.
  • After a tsunami hit India in December 2004, the government felt that it could cope up on its own. Since then, India has followed the policy of not accepting aid from foreign governments.

About PM-CARES Fund:

  • PM-CARES is set up as a public charitable trust with the trust deed registered on March 2020.It is meant for supporting relief or assistance of any kind relating to a public health emergency or any other kind of emergency, calamity or distress, either man-made or natural.
  • It includes the creation or upgradation of healthcare or pharmaceutical facilities, funding relevant research or any other type of support.
  • Donations to fund can avail 100% tax exemption.
  • PM-CARES is different from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTERNATIONAL CDRI

Why in News?

  • The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval for the Establishment of an International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) along with its supporting Secretariat Office in New Delhi

CDRI:

  • The CDRI is proposed to be launched at the UN Climate Action Summit.
  • Organized by the UN Secretary General, this event will bring together the largest number of Heads of States to generate commitments for combating the effects of climate change and resulting disasters, and will provide the high-level visibility required for the CDRI.
  • A global coalition for disaster resilient infrastructure would address concerns that are common to developing and developed countries, small and large economies, countries at early and advanced stages of infrastructure development, and countries that have moderate or high disaster risk.
  • Few concrete initiatives work at the intersection of Sendai Framework, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Climate Change Adaptation with a focus on infrastructure.

Impact:

  • The CDRI will serve as a platform where knowledge is generated and exchanged on different aspects of disaster and climate resilience of infrastructure.
  • It will bring together technical expertise from a multitude of stakeholders. In doing so, it will create a mechanism to assist countries to upgrade their capacities and practices, with regard to infrastructure development in accordance with their risk context and economic needs.
  • This initiative will benefit all sections of society. Economically weaker sections of society, women and children, are the most vulnerable to the impacts of disasters and hence, will be benefitted from the improvement of knowledge and practice in creating disaster resilient infrastructure.
  • It will also benefit all areas with high disaster risk. In India, the north-eastern and Himalayan regions are prone to earthquakes, coastal areas to cyclones and tsunamis and central peninsular region to droughts.

BIG DATA TO MITIGATE THE IMPACT OF DISASTERS

Why in News?

  • According to the report by the UN‘s Asia-Pacific social agency, technological innovations like big data can better predict disasters in the Asia-Pacific region and help to reduce its impact.

The Report:

  • The report stated that, since 1970, natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific region have killed two million people i.e. 59% of the global death toll. Rising global temperatures and climate change have increased the frequency and intensity of floods, cyclones and droughts in the region.
  • Further, disasters also cause more damage in Asia and the Pacific, measured as a percentage of GDP, than the rest of the world, and this gap has been widening. In this context, technologies intervention caused by big data can help identify and locate those most at risk, to warn people ahead of a disaster, and deliver targeted relief afterwards.
  • This data can come from a range of sources, including satellite imagery, drone videos, simulations, crowdsourcing, social media and global positioning systems.

Application of Big Data in Disaster Risk Reduction:

  • A Big Data-driven sensor network can help mitigate disaster in the following ways:
  • Flood and cyclone forecasting now rely on computer simulations, machine learning can help predict the location and severity of floods.
  • Sensor webs and the Internet of Things can enable efficient earthquake early-warning systems.
  • Remote sensing via satellites and drones provide quick assessments of damage and people affected so that disaster response can be prioritized.
  • Public data like India’s digital ID system (Aadhar) can help deliver targeted benefits to millions of small and marginal farmers affected by drought.
  • Big data applications have led to substantial reductions in mortalities and economic losses due to typhoons in the north and east Asia.

Big Data:

  • Big Data, broadly characterize data sets so large they cannot be stored and analysed by the traditional data storage and processing methods.
  • It has three characteristics, referred to as the three V’s – Volume, Velocity and Variety, that distinguish Big Data from other forms of data. The emergence of Big Data has primarily been due to the decrease in the cost of sensory and mass digitization of systems and processes around the globe.

NDMA CONDUCTED TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR CBRN EMERGENCIES

Why in News?

  • National Disaster Management Authority(NDMA) conducting a basic training programme at the Deendayal Port Trust in Kandla, Gujarat.

Objective:

  • The main aim is to increase awareness and enhancing the preparedness of Seaport Emergency Handlers (SEHs) to respond to CBRN emergencies.
  • It will be conducted at various seaports across the country to enable SEHs to respond suitably to the arrival of specialised response teams.

Highlights:

  • The training programme conducted in collaboration with the Indian Ports Association (IPA), Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). This training programme will improve the CBRN safety at our seaports by enabling the SEHs to handle any CBRN emergency.
  • The programme consists of lectures, field training, including live demonstrations of detection of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and mock exercises.
  • Equipping the SEHs to handle CBRN emergencies. The training programme will enable them to provide medical first aid and initial psycho-social support. Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will train the participants. There are 50 participants representing various agencies responsible for operation and maintenance of the seaport are being trained on various aspects of CBRN emergencies.

NDMA:

  • NDMA: National Disaster Management Authority is the apex body, mandated to lay down the policies on disaster management.
  • Based on the Disaster Management Act enacted on 23rd December 2005 by GoI, headed by the Prime Minister.
  • Headquarter: Delhi

NDMA CONDUCTED TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR CBRN EMERGENCIES

GS 3: Disaster Management

Why in News?

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducting a basic training programme at the Deendayal Port Trust in Kandla, Gujarat.

Objective:

  • The main aim is to increase awareness and enhancing the preparedness of Seaport Emergency Handlers (SEHs) to respond to CBRN emergencies.
  • It will be conducted at various seaports across the country to enable SEHs to respond suitably to the arrival of specialised response teams.

Highlights:

  • The training programme conducted in collaboration with the Indian Ports Association (IPA), Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). This training programme will improve the CBRN safety at our seaports by enabling the SEHs to handle any CBRN emergency.
  • The programme consists of lectures, field training, including live demonstrations of detection of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and mock exercises.
  • Equipping the SEHs to handle CBRN emergencies. The training programme will enable them to provide medical first aid and initial psycho-social support. Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will train the participants. There are 50 participants representing various agencies responsible for operation and maintenance of the seaport are being trained on various aspects of CBRN emergencies.

NDMA:

  • NDMA: National Disaster Management Authority is the apex body, mandated to lay down the policies on disaster management.
  • Based on the Disaster Management Act enacted on 23rd December 2005 by GoI, headed by the Prime Minister.
  • Headquarter: Delhi

ROOM FOR THE RIVER’ PROJECT

GS 3 : Disaster Management

Why in news?

The Kerala CM after returning from the Netherlands tour spoke of incorporating the
model for flood control in the state’s ‘Rebuild Kerala’ plan.

‘Room for the River’ Project:

  • The flagship project of the Dutch government is centered on protecting areas adjoining rivers from routine flooding and improving water management systems in delta regions.
  • The basic premise of the Dutch project is essentially to provide more space for the water body so that it can manage extraordinary high water levels during floods.
  • The project implemented at over 30 locations across the Netherlands and funded at a cost of 2.3 billion euros, involves tailor-made solutions for each river.
  • Among the nine measures which define the project are lowering the flood plain, deepening the summer bed, strengthening of dykes, relocation of dykes, reducing the height of the groynes, increasing the depth of the side channels and removing obstacles.
  • A key aspect of the project is also to improve the surroundings of the river banks through fountains and panoramic decks.
  • The landscapes are altered in a way that they turn into natural sponges which can
    accommodate excess water during floods.

Why such move?

  • Last year, Kerala had witnessed the century’s worst floods, which claimed nearly 500 lives
    and wiped out thousands of homes.
  • The Netherlands has historically been prone to flooding of rivers due to its low elevation. Much of the country lies below the sea level.
  • The country is located in the delta region of several major rivers like the Rhine, the Meuse and the Scheldt.
  • In fact, the rise of water levels in the sea and rivers due to the effects of climate change is one of the major challenges facing the Dutch.
  • But over the years, the country’s expert water management techniques and creation of independent local government bodies for flood control have borne praise across the world.

INDIA TO CO-CHAIR CONSULTATIVE GROUP (CG)

GS 3: Disaster Management

Why in News?

India is unanimously chosen as co-chair of the Consultative Group (CG) of Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) for the fiscal year 2020

GFDRR:

  • GFDRR is a global partnershipthat helps developing countries better understand and reduce their vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change.
  • GFDRR is a grant-funding mechanism, managed by the World Bank that supports disaster risk management projects worldwide.
  • It is presently working on the ground with over 400 local, national, regional, and international partners and provides knowledge, funding, and technical assistance.

Significance to India:

  • India became member of CG of GFDRR in 2015
  • India’s candidature was backed by its consistent progress in disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the country and its initiative to form a coalition on disaster resilient infrastructure.
  • This will give the country an opportunity to work with the member countries and organizations of GFDRR with a focused contribution towards advancing the disaster risk reduction agenda during the course of the year.
  • India would like to pursue a focused agenda and develop synergies with ongoing work streams of GFDRR.
  • Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (DRI) will be a central theme of engagement with the GFDRR partners and stakeholders.

POWERGRID HELPS IN RESTORATION OF POWER IN FANI AFFECTED AREAS

GS 3: Disaster Management

Why in News?

Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. (POWERGRID), a Navratna Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Power, Government of India is playing a major role in quick restoration of power supply in the state of Odisha.

POWERGRID:

  • Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID), is an Indian state-owned electric utility company headquartered in Gurugram, India.
  • POWERGRID transmits about 50% of the total power generated in India on its transmission network.

Evolution of National Grid:

  • Grid management on regional basis started in sixties.
  • Initially, State grids were inter-connected to form regional grid and India was demarcated into 5 regions namely Northern, Eastern, Western, North Eastern and Southern region.
  • First the North Eastern and Eastern grids were connected.
  • Next the western Grid and the northern grid was interconnected with the former grid.
  • In 2013 Southern Region was connected to Central Grid in Synchronous mode with the commissioning of Raichur-Solapur Transmission line thereby achieving ‘ONE NATION’-‘ONE GRID’-‘ONE FREQUENCY’
  • ODISHA’S WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES RAVAGED BY FANI

    Why in News:

    • Severe Cyclone Fani rendered not only several thousand people homeless as it tore along India’s east coast, but also dealt a body blow to wildlife and forest resources in the region.

    Details:

    • The scenic stretch along the tree-lined Marine Drive that bisects the Balukhand Wildlife Sanctuary adjacent to the Bay of Bengal between Puri and Konark, is now a wasteland with hardly any tree left untouched.
    • the cyclone damaged nearly 55 lakh trees, mostly casuarinas, The devastation has left around 400 spotted deer homeless
    • In Bhubaneswar, the cyclone had uprooted decades-old trees inside the Nandankanan Zoological Park
    • The Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary, has also been impacted with thousands of trees uprooted.
    • hundreds of displaced monkeys have entered residential colonies in the periphery of Bhubaneswar.

    Bhitarkanika National Park

    • Bhitarkanika National Park is a national park located in Kendrapara district of Odisha in eastern India.
    • It was designated as national park on 16 September 1998 and as a Ramsar site on 19 August 2002.
    • Gahirmatha Beach and Marine Sanctuary lies to the east, and separates swamp region cover with canopy of mangroves from the Bay of Bengal.
    • The national park is home to saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Indian python, King cobra, black ibis, darters and many other species of flora and fauna.
    • It hosts a large number of mangrove species, and is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India

    Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM):

    • Integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) or Integrated coastal management (ICM) is a process for the management of the coast using an integrated approach, regarding all aspects of the coastal zone, including geographical and political boundaries, in an attempt to achieve sustainability. It is a World Bank assisted project.
    • The ICZM plan involves identification of infrastructure requirements and livelihood improvement means in coastal districts. Conservation of mangroves is among the components.
    • The national component of the project includes mapping of the country’s coastline and demarcation of the hazard line

    NCMC REVIEWS RESCUE AND RELIEF OPERATIONS

    Why in News?

    • Cabinet Secretary Sh. P. K. Sinha today reviewed rescue and relief measures in the cyclone affected areas of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh with the States and Central Ministries/Agencies concerned in the aftermath of cyclone

    Fani:

    • Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Fani was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike the Indian state of Odisha since Phailin in
    • Fani originated from a tropical depression that formed west of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean.
    • Fani originated from a tropical depression that formed west of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean on 26 April. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) monitored a tropical disturbance that formed in the North Indian Ocean.
    • Fani slowly drifted westward, finding itself in an area conductive for Strenghtening
    • Fani moved northward, struggling to intensify as moderate vertical wind shear hampered its Progress
    • After moving away from the wind shear, Fani began to rapidly intensify, and became an extremely severe cyclonic storm.

    How Fani gained intensity:

    • Usually cyclonic systems in the Bay of Bengal usually originate around latitude 10°, in line with Chennai or Thiruvananthapuram
    • Fani, on the other hand, originated quite close to the Equator, around latitude 2°, well below the Sri Lankan landmass
    • The forecast landfall on the Odisha coast is at a latitude of almost 20°. It has traversed a long way on the sea, thus gaining strength that is unusual for cyclones originating in the Bay of Bengal in this Season
    • It was initially headed northwestwards, towards the Tamil Nadu coast, but changed course midway, and swerved northeast away from the coastline to reach Odisha. That has given it even more time on the sea.

    How cyclones are formed:

    • Cyclones are formed over slightly warm ocean waters. The temperature of the top layer of the sea, up to a depth of about 60 metres, need to be at least 28°C to support the formation of a cyclone
    • This explains why the April-May and October-December periods are conducive for cyclones.
    • Then, the low level of air above the waters needs to have an ‘anticlockwise’ rotation (in the northern hemisphere; clockwise in the southern hemisphere)
    • During these periods, there is a zone in the Bay of Bengal region (called the inter-tropical convergence zone that shifts with seasons) whose southern boundary experiences winds from west to east, while the northern boundary has winds flowing east to West
    • This induces the anticlockwise rotation of air
    • Once formed, cyclones in this area usually move northwest. As it travels over the sea, the cyclone gathers more moist air from the warm sea, and adds to its heft
    • A thumb rule for cyclones (or hurricanes and typhoons as they are called in the US and Japan) is that the more time they spend over the seas, the stronger they Become
    • Hurricanes around the US, which originate in the vast open Pacific Ocean, are usually much stronger than the tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal, a relatively narrow and enclosed region.
    • The cyclones originating here, after hitting the landmass, decay rapidly due to friction and absence of Moisture

    How are cyclones named?

    • The practice of naming cyclones dates back several centuries
    • Presently, cyclones are named by various meteorological bodies based on the coordinates on which the storm is
    • The process of naming cyclones is slightly different in the Indian Ocean belt. In 2004, eight Asain countries came together and contributed a set of names to be used for naming cyclones in the
    • Cyclone Fani, was named by Bangladesh. The next cyclone will be named Vayu, a name contributed by

    CYCLONE FANI

    GS 3: Disaster Management

    Why in News?

    Cyclone Fani, is the first severe, cyclonic storm to have formed in April in India’s oceanic neighbourhood since 1976, according to the records of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

    Highlights:

    • According to IMD, it is a consequence of global warming and it is forming due to the warming of the Bay of Bengal basin.
    • Data from the IMD’s cyclone-statistics unit show that the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea have collectively registered 46 severe cyclonic storms in between 1965-2017.
    • Tropical cyclones in the Indian neighbourhood begin as depressions or a gradual build-up of warm air and pockets of low pressure. About 35% of such formations intensify to cyclones and only 7% intensify to very severe cyclones.
    • The IMD ranks cyclones on a 5-point scale.

    India Meteorological Department (IMD):

    • It is the principal agency under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology.
    • It is headquartered in Delhi and operates hundreds of observation stations across India and Antarctica.
    • Regional offices of IMD are located at Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Nagpur and Guwahati. IMD is one of the six Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres of the World Meteorological Organization.
    • It has the responsibility for forecasting, naming and distribution of warnings for tropical cyclones in the Northern Indian Ocean region, including the Malacca Straits, the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.

    The Global Forest Watch (GFW)

    Why in News?

    • The Global Forest Watch (GFW) is released by World Resources Institute (WRI) which reveals that India has lost over 1.6 million hectare of tree cover between 2001 and 2018, about four times the geographical area of Goa. GFW is an open source web application to monitor global forests in near real

    Key findings:

    • In India, five north-eastern states — Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Manipur — were responsible for over 50% of all tree cover loss in the same
    • The main reason for loss of tree cover in the north-eastern states is diversion of forest land and climate
    • The loss of tree cover contributed to 172 MT of carbon emissions in India during this period.
    • The analysis reveals the total tree cover which used to be 12% of the country’s geographical area in 2000 reduced to 8.9% in 2010.

    World Resources Institute:

    • WRI is a global research organization that spans more than 50 countries and focuses on six critical issues at the intersection of environment and development: climate, energy, food, forests, water, and cities and
    • It was established in 1982. Headquartered in Washington,

    THE FACE OF DISASTERS 2019 REPORT

    Why in News?

    • The Face of Disasters 2019 report was recently published by Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS).

    Highlights:

    • The ‘Face of Disasters 2019’ report released by SEEDS as part of its 25th anniversary, analyses past trends, looking at disasters from a broader perspective to capture their varied facts
    • The report talks about the need to look at disaster vulnerabilities that lie under the radar, waiting to strike
    • Eight key areas have emerged that will be critical to consider as we look ahead:
    • Water and the changing nature of disaster risk: A ‘new normal’ of rainfall variability is bringing challenges of too much and too little water, often in parallel.
    • No disaster is ‘natural’: Risks lurking under the radar slip through the cracks because they don’t meet the idea of a ‘natural disaster’.
    • The silent events: The disasters that go unseen leave those affected at even greater risk
    • Land becomes water (and water becomes land): Changes to the coastline are already affecting livelihood sources and will be hotspots for vulnerability in the future
    • The complexity of disaster impact: Beyond official ‘damages’, the long-term and uncaptured disaster impacts have life-changing consequences for affected everyone
    • The urban imperative: Risk is rapidly urbanising and will affect
    • Transformations in the third pole: Himalayan glaciers are melting, with serious implications for the whole region
    • Planning for what you can’t see: Earthquake risk is looming large under the radar, but are we prepared?

    Significance of the report:

    • Analysis of past trends shows us that 2019 will see unusual flooding, as well as heatwaves and drought that are already ongoing
    • The complexity of disasters today requires a proactive and multi-pronged
    • A single mega-disaster can wipe out hard-won development gains and recurrent small- scale stresses keep vulnerable families in a cycle of
    • While this multiple event pattern is repeated every year, only a few really capture the public attention. Other risks continue to intensify under the poverty

    Way Forward:

    • Current trends are reinforcing that disasters have multiple facets and complexities
    • In 2018, India witnessed nearly every type of natural hazard, except a major earthquake and related events
    • Floods, droughts, heat and cold waves, lightning strikes, cyclones and even hailstorms, a wide range of disasters impacted most of the Countries
    • This poses some critical questions and issues and also points to risks that lie ahead. At the core is the idea that disasters cannot be seen in isolation anymore
    • There is a clear need for comprehensive understanding of risks, and hyper-localised plans and allocation of resources to reduce them

    Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS):

    • SEEDS,  a   non-profit    voluntary organization, is a collective endeavor of young professionals drawn from development related fields
    • It originated as an informal group of likeminded persons, getting together for the purpose of creative research projects of academic intrest
    • The group was later formalized in early 1994 and has been active in the field ever since
    • It is involved in research activities in Community Development, Disaster Management, Environmental Planning, Transport Planning, and Urban and Regional Planing
    • Activities are carried out on behalf of government, semi – government and international development agencies. Independent programs on vital issues are also taken up

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