Disasters Current Affairs

Pralay Sahayam: Multi-Agency Disaster Relief Exercise held in Hyderabad

Multi-Agency humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise Pralay Sahayam was recently held in Hyderabad to create public awareness about man-made and natural climate change and urban disasters including flooding.

The two-day exercise was jointly organised by Telangana state government in association with all central and state agencies National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and Armed Forces.

Key Facts

The multi-agency exercise was based on urban flooding scenario in twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It aimed at synergising efforts of all agencies involved and build confidence in populace about capabilities of disaster management agencies to render support in case of such disasters.

Under it, joint operations for tackling urban flooding scenario was carried out by State Government agencies, Police, State Fire & Emergency Services, NDRF, CISF and Armed Forces. The Indian Air Force (IAF) and Army Aviation had employed Mi-17 helicopters, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Chetak Helicopter for aerial evacuation, demonstrating special skills in hovering and winching.

Special Forces such as Army Commandos and Marine Commandos from Indian Navy also carried out highly synchronized Search and Rescue operation in flooded colonies. Dog Squad of NDRF and Telangana State police also carried out search operations for trapped personnel.

The exercise brought out role and function of State Emergency Operations in coordinating conduct of joint operations. Under it, relief activities such as evacuation of rescued people, provisioning of medical care and distribution of essential supplies were also carried out by multiple agencies in coordinated and efficient manner.

The exercise also emphasized significance of early warning systems of agencies like Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).

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New fault in Indian Ocean may trigger earthquakes in future: study

According to scientists, a new plate boundary may be forming on the floor of the Indian Ocean in Wharton Basin as a result of the 2012 earthquake that shook the Andaman-Sumatra region.

The discovery was based on the study of seismic data recorded before, during and after the 2012 quakes and sea floor depth analysis by venturing into the ocean aboard a research vessel.

Key Facts
  • Scientists created a high-resolution imagery of the sea floor by using data which unveiled deformations that had occurred on the tsunamilgIndo-Australian Plate.
  • It showed that the plate had broken along a 1,000 km fracture zone due to 2012 earthquakes, resulting in a new plate boundary and likely to be the site of future fault-slip earthquakes.
  • The analysis showed a new fault system had developed in the area off the coast of Sumatra that was involved in the 2012 earthquakes. The new fault system can trigger more quakes in the future.
  • Slip-strike earthquake occurs when two plates slide horizontally against one another. As a result, earthquake causes deformations that occur in plates distant from fault lines as pressure builds up across a plate.
  • These earthquakes can lead to inter-plate earthquakes and cause a plate to break, resulting in a new boundary and this in turn can lead to even more quakes.
  • This similar scenario is believed to happened in 2012 when two earthquakes struck the Andaman-Sumatran regio (north-west part) of the Indian Ocean which was the largest inter-plate earthquakes ever recorded.

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