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Natural Disaster


India is one of the most DISASTER PRONE countries of the world. The geographical location and its natural landscape make it vulnerable to a number of natural disasters. Nearly half of India lies in the tropical zone and the rest half in the temperate zone. The tropical cyclones bring disasters in terms of death and destruction.

A cyclone is a powerful swirling storm that measures from 300 to 500 kms in diameters. The wind in the center of a cyclone below at a speed of 120 kms per hour. Many cyclone have caused widespread deaths and destruction. Cyclonic winds swirl around the eye a calm area in the center of the storm. The eye of a cyclone measures over 30 kms in diameter and has few clouds.

Cyclones are roughly circular or oval in shape and they originate as a wave along the front separating two air masses of different temperature, density and direction. They bring rainfall because a warm moist air is made to rise over a mass of cold air.

The cyclone below in COUNTER CLOCKWISE direction in the Northern Hemisphere and CLOCKWISE direction in the Southern Hemisphere.

A cyclone is an area of low pressure in the center and high pressure outside. They develop over tropical regions of North Atlantic Ocean, North East Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. The cyclones are known by different names over different parts of the world. They are known as TYPHOONS in China, HURRICANES in Central America, WILLY WILLIES in Australia and CYCLONES in India.

Consequences Of A Cyclone

Due to strong cyclone winds trees are uprooted, telephone and electricity lines are snapped, poles are tilted and the entire communication system suffers.

Standing cops in the fields suffer damage. Heavy rains cause flash floods due to which people, animals and properties are washed away.

Weak structures or buildings collapse. Sea waves also become huge and hit the coastal areas badly.

After the death and destruction, epidemic diseases start spreading and thus affect human life.

Cyclone Warning And Forecasting

During the cyclone season the India Meteorological Department (IMD) keeps a close watch on the weather conditions developing over the Arbian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean. They also examine the pictures of the area taken by weather satellites and collect information such as air pressure, temperature, wind speed and direction. On the basis of this, information forecasting is done. Timely warnings issued by IMD helps the administration to prepare contingency plans and evacuate people from the affected area.

Managing Cyclones

If you are living in an area where CBDP exercises have taken place, ensure:

  • Vulnerability list and maps have been updated
  • Cyclone drill including search & rescue, first aid training have taken place
  • Stock of dry food, essential medicines and proper shelter materials maintained
  • Upon a cyclone warning

  • Store loose items inside. Put extra agricultural products/ stock like paddy in plastic bags and store it by digging up a hole in the ground, preferably at a higher elevation and then cover it properly. Fill bins and plastic jars with drinking water.
  • Keep clothing for protection, handy
  • Prepare a list of assets and belongings of your house and give information to volunteers and other authorities about your near and dear ones.
  • Fill fuel in your car/motorcycle and park it under a solid cover. Tie bullock carts, boats securely to strong posts in an area, which has a strong cover and away from trees. Fallen trees can smash boats and other assets.
  • Close shutters or nail all windows. Secure doors. Stay indoors, with pets.
  • Pack warm clothing, essential medications, valuables, papers, water, dry food and other valuables in waterproof bags, to be taken along with your emergency kit.
  • Listen to your local radio / TV, local community warning system for further information.
  • In case of warning of serious storm, move with your family to a strong pucca building. In case of warning of cyclones of severe intensity, evacuate the area with your family, precious items and documents and emergency kit. Take special care for children, elders, sick, pregnant women and lactating mothers in your family. Do not forget your emergency food stock, water and other emergency items. GO TO THE NEAREST CYCLONE SHELTER.
  • Do not venture into the sea for fishing.
  • On warning of local evacuation

    Based on predicted wind speeds and storm surge heights, evacuation may be necessary. Official advice may be given on local radio / TV or other means of communication regarding safe routes and when to move.

  • Wear strong shoes or chappals and clothing for protection.
  • Lock your home, switch off power, gas, water, and take your emergency kit.
  • If evacuating to a distant place take valuable belonging, domestic animals, and leave early to avoid heavy traffic, flooding and wind hazards.
  • If evacuating to a local shelter or higher grounds carry the emergency kit and minimum essential materials.
  • When the cyclone strikes

  • Disconnect all electrical appliances and turn off gas.
  • If the building starts crumbling, protect yourself with mattresses, rugs or blankets under a strong table or bench or hold on to a solid fixture (e.g. a water pipe)
  • Listen to your transistor radio for updates and advice.
  • Beware of the calm `eye’. If the wind suddenly drops, don’t assume the cyclone is over; violent winds will soon resume from the opposite direction. Wait for the official “all clear”.
  • If driving, stop – but well away from the sea and clear of trees, power lines and watercourses. Stay in the vehicle.
  • After the cyclone

  • Do not go outside until officially advised it is safe.
  • Check for gas leaks. Do not use electric appliances, if wet.
  • Listen to local radio for official warnings and advice.
  • If you have to evacuate, or did so earlier, do not return until advised. Use a recommended route for returning and do not rush.
  • Be careful of snakebites and carry a stick or bamboo
  • Beware of fallen power lines, damaged bridges, buildings and trees, and do not enter the floodwaters.
  • Heed all warnings and do not go sightseeing.
  • Relief And Rehabilitation

    Relief and rehabilitation should be immediately provided to the people who suffered due to the cyclones.

    Relief camps should be organized for such people in the community centers or in nearby school buildings. Arrangement should be made to provide them with food and shelter.

    Administrative response at the national, state and the district levels should be very quick.

    Assessment of damages in respect of every individual should be done and the government should provide monetary assistance so that the affected people can start their life again. NGOs should also come forward to help such people so tat they are properly rehabilitated.

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