Background Note

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Background Note

Early warning of natural disasters and community centric impact based forecast has emerged vital in management of disasters. This assumes greater importance since the climate change generated extremities are on rise with pollution adding new dimension to it. Indian Metrological Department ( www.imd.gov.in ) under Ministry of Earth Science is the nodal and official weather forecast agency and it regularly and promptly issues desired alerts and advisories to states /target areas. Our Tsunami Cyclone Warning system is one of the most precise cyclone warning system. Indian S pace Research Organization (ISRO) has dedicated weather satellite INSAT3D with complete observation hosted through National Remote Sensing Center ( NRSC) at its National Database for Emergency Management https://nrsc.gov.in/NDEM. There are other institutions like INCOIS, National Oceanographic Institute, Goa, National Atmospheric Research Laboratory, Tirupati, Snow & Avalanche Study Establishments (SASE), Manali and a number of national and international agencies along with various private players contributing to early warning inputs about hazards. However, there seems to be a gap post IMD at state level to community. The dissemination of required hazard alert to effected masses on time is major issue which results in huge loss to life and property.


Climate Change extremities have caused an economic loss of 2245 billion US Dollar worldwide and India ranks 4 th in world and accounts for 20% of same with estimated economic loss of 79.5 Billion US Dollar in last 20 years 1988-2017 as per the UNISDR Report published on the occasion of International Disaster Risk Reduction Day on 13 October 2018. It has been observed that even during recent Kerala Floods in August 2018, there has been huge loss to life and property amounting to more than 35000 INR . Similarly, weather extremities have caused extensive damage in North East, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh , Uttarakhand etc. Recent cyclones Titli and Gaja too have exposed gaps in our system .Though India has done considerable progress in terms of weather forecast and hazard early warning, its outreach to community is still major issue. There is gap in availability of observing systems and technical experts to decipher the IMD’s early warning and take it down to community. The impact based community centric forecast is one the major lacunae in Indian Disaster Management system resulting in recurring losses to life and property . Dissemination of hazard warning upto last mile is next challenge which needs to improved to enhance preparedness .