Disaster Management Current Affairs - 2019

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NDRF: New unit to save heritage structures

The National Disaster Response Force is to establish a specialized unit for heritage structures.


  • The specialized unit is to be established in every battalion of the NDRF.
  • It will help preserve monuments and heritage structures that are damaged and battered by natural disasters.
  • It will also hold the responsibility of rescue and restoration of the structure.

About the Unit

The plan is to form set of personnel in each battalion of NDRF. They will become trained professionals on preserving heritage structures in pre and post disaster scenario.

Strategies of UNESCO: To preserve disaster prone Heritages

UNESCO believes that the Earthquake that occurred in Kathmandu in 2015 and the fire at the Royal Palaces of Abomey, Benin are best examples of vulnerability of cultural heritages. In order to preserve them from disasters, the following initiatives were taken by UNESCO

  • In 2002, the Budapest Declaration was signed on World Heritage. According to the Declaration it is the responsibility of the “World Heritage Committee” to make sure the properties under World Heritage List are passed on to generations of the future as their rightful inheritance
  • The United Nations General Assembly adopted the “Strategy for Risk Reduction at World Heritage Properties” in 2007. It is being implemented by the World Heritage Committee
  • The “Sendai Framework” includes several references to culture and heritage under its “Disaster Risk Reduction” framework

Typhoon Hagibis hits Japan

Torrential rain and tornado-like winds lashed large parts of Japan, as the country was hit by Typhoon Hagibis. The typhoon is being touted as the strongest storm the country faced in past 60 years since Kanogawa Typhoon (1958).

Key Highlights

Typhoon ‘Hagibis’ means ‘speed’ in Philippine language, Tagalog.

Evacuation: More than 7 million people were urged to leave their homes amid severe flood and landslide warnings. Train services were halted, and over a thousand flights grounded. Amid the warnings Formula 1 had cancelled its Japanese Grand Prix as well as two Rugby World Cup games scheduled were also cancelled.

Landfall: After typhoon Hagibis made landfall on Japan’s main island of Honshu, it ripped through Japan including Tokyo’s metropolitan area, caused multiple rivers to overflow, triggered landslides and power blackouts in nearly, 3,76,000 houses, more than 100 people were injured across country.

Current Status: The typhoon has now weakened to an extra-tropical cyclone off Japan’s northeastern coast, and most train services as well as most of the flights of Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. resumed operations after large-scale suspensions.