Floods Current Affairs - 2019

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Report of Amicus Curiae on Kerala Floods

The amicus curiae Jacob P. Alex appointed by the Kerala High Court to assist it in flood-related cases has submitted the report to the Kerala High Court. The report makes the following observations:

  • The sudden release of water simultaneously from different reservoirs during the heavy rain in August 2018 had aggravated the damage during the floods.
  • High reservoir storage and sudden release of water had resulted in worsening the floods.
  • It appeared that dams in the State did not have an effective flood control zone and flood cushions. The flood cushion or flood control zone is a temporary storage space for absorbing high flow for alleviating downstream flood damage.
  • None of the 79 dams in the State were operated or used for the purpose of flood control and moderation, despite the obligation to utilise them for flood control as per the stipulations under the National Water Policy, National Disaster Management Authority guidelines on the flood.
  • Various alerts (blue/orange/red) were issued not in accordance with the EAP (Emergency Action Plan) guidelines.
  • No proper follow-up action and effective precautionary steps, especially for evacuating people and accommodating them in safe locations, were taken after the issue of red alert.
  • None of the dams had EAP (Emergency Action Plan) despite the mandate of the National Disaster Management Authority to have it by 2009.
  • Most of the major reservoirs were almost full before the extreme rainfall and they did not have the capacity to accommodate the additional flow, compelling the authorities to release a substantial amount of water from reservoirs in a short span of time at the peak of the rainfall.
  • Almost all dams released water only after the water level crossed the FRL (Full Reservoir Level) or reached the MWL (maximum water level).
  • Dam managers should not have solely relied on the IMD prediction for dam management and variation in India Meteorological Department forecast could not be a justification for delayed release of water from dams.

Emergency Action Plan

Emergency Action Plan is a written document prepared by the dam operator and it contained plans to prevent or lessen the impact of a failure of the dam or appurtenant structure.

 

Month: Categories: Environment & BiodiversityUPSC

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Government to set up Cyclone Warning Centre in Kerala

Union Ministry of Earth Sciences has announced to set up Cyclone Warning Centre in Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram. It also proposed to set up C-band Doppler weather radar at Mangalore, Karnataka. This comes in view of recent heavy rainfall and concerns over extreme weather activities in future.

Cyclone Warning Centre

The centre will be equipped with state- of-the-art infrastructure including forecasting tools to provide daily weather alerts, issue weather warnings and coastal warnings or bulletins (for fishermenetc). It is expected to be functional within a month and will cater to the needs of Kerala and Karnataka states. It will further strengthen tpresent forecasting activity in India Meteorological Department’s existing office in Thiruvananthapuram.

At present, IMD has six cyclone warning centres, four along east coast at Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Bhubaneswar (Odisha) and Kolkata (West Bengal), and two along west coast at Ahmedabad (Gujarat) and Mumbai (Maharashtra).

C-band Doppler weather radar

It is proposed to be set up at Mangalore, Karnataka to provide nowcast alerts for severe weather, including thunderstorms triggered by heavy rain for the next 2-3 hours. This radar will cover northern Kerala and Karnataka. It is expected to be installed by the end of next year. Currently, there are two Doppler radars in Kerala at Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram, which cover central and southern districts, respectively. With addition of this new radar, entire state will be covered for monitoring rainfall and severe weather events.

Month: Categories: Environment & Biodiversity

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