Japan Current Affairs - 2020

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GoI launches “Seismic Hazard Microzonation” to minimize earthquake disasters

The Ministry of Earth Science has launched Seismic Hazard Microzonation project in major cities of India. The project aims to reduce hazards of seismic activities by putting in adequate measures

What is Seismic Hazard Microzonation?

It is the process of dividing earth quake prone areas based on certain factors. The factors include geological and geophysical characteristics of sites. They are ground shaking, landslide, liquefaction susceptibility, rock fall hazard and flooding caused due to earth quakes. Based on the division, mitigation measures are prepared. Hence, it is a preventive method to minimise the losses.

The factors in the microzonation method are estimated based on response from soil layers.

Microzonation in India

So far, the mapping has been done in the State of Sikkim and in other eight cities. The cities are Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Guwahati, Jabalpur, Dehra Dun, Ahmedabad and Gandhidham.

Japan

Japan is the best example where microzonation techniques are well implemented. The Civil engineering practice in Japan is based on microzonation laws. This helps to design infrastructure with seismic resilience.

Need

The technique gives better mitigatory measures as it helps to understand the impact of seismic activities precisely. In certain places, where no reliable prediction model can be implemented, it is essential to adopt preventive measures.

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Global Climate Risk Index 2020

Global Climate Risk Index 2020, published by environmental think tank Germanwatch found Japan to be the most vulnerable country to climate change, followed by Philippines, Germany, Madagascar and India.

Key Findings of Index

(1) Japan: It topped the list of most affected countries in 2018 as it was hit by 3 exceptionally strong extreme weather events during year. It includes- Torrential rainfall from 6-8 July resulting in flash floods and mudslides; Severe heatwave from mid-July to August 2018; Typhoon Jebi in September 2018 broke.

(2) Philippines: It was hit by Typhoon Mangkhut (a category 5 typhoon) in September 2018, which was the most powerful typhoon recorded worldwide in 2018.

(3) Germany: It experienced 2nd hottest year due to a severe heatwave and also witnessed severe drought in October 2018 due to less rainfall, which resulted in a massive decline in harvest.

(4) Madagascar: It became victim to Cyclone Ava in January 2018 and Cyclone Eliakim in March 2018.

(5) India: Globally, it is the 5th most vulnerable country to climate change. India also recorded highest number of fatalities due to climate change and 2nd highest monetary losses from its impact in 2018. The southwest monsoon in 2018 severely affected India, southern state of Kerala was especially impacted which saw the worst flooding in hundred years. Under long term vulnerability, India is ranked 17th. India’s east coast was also hit by Cyclone Titli and Cyclone Gaja in October and November 2018 respectively.

(6) Sri Lanka: It was also affected by severe monsoon rains in May 2018, especially in the south and west coast.

(7) Kenya and (8) Rwanda: Both nations were ranked 7 and 8 respectively. They were also affected by severe monsoon rains, resulting in flooding in several areas and displacement of a large number of people.

Others:-

Canada: In beginning of 2018, Canada saw its lowest temperature in 100 years and then record high temperatures in April 2018, which melted heavy snowpacks, causing the rivers to overflow. It also saw its worst wildfire season.

Fiji: It was affected by 3 cyclones between February 2018 and April 2018- Cyclone Gita, Cyclone Josie and Cyclone Keni, which caused major flooding, leaving many displaced.

About Global Climate Risk Index 2020

The index assessed 181 countries and quantified impacts of climate change through economic losses, losses to GDP (Gross domestic product) and fatalities to arrive at a ranking. This year is the 15th edition of Climate Risk Index. It highlights existing vulnerabilities that may increase as extreme events and become more frequent/ severe due to climate change. It stresses on level of vulnerability of nations to severe climate events, which they should view as warnings for more frequent or severe events in future.

It is based on data from Munich Re NatCatSERVICE which is one of the largest databases on natural catastrophes. The Index has another set of ranking for period 1999-2018 which is based on average values over a 20-year period. In 1999 to 2018 period Puerto was the most vulnerable..

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