The Chennai floods in November-December 2015 are a wake-up call for us all. It is high time we stopped all unregulated unauthorised illegal encroachments and constructions over natural watercourses, creeks, estuaries, ponds, lakes and marshlands in our greed to over-exploit our natural resources under the ruse of development.
Awareness on how to deal with disasters can significantly prevent trauma-related issues, as also deaths and injuries caused by earthquakes in seismically active regions.
The Eurasian and Indian plates meet along the central part of Nepal. The subducting Indian plate thrusting into the Eurasian plate makes Nepal a high risk seismic zone. In such a scenario, measures to minimise quake-related damage is imperative.
Long term mitigation planning, and ensuring that all new development is sensitive to potential risks is the need of the hour, given the fact that South Asia is vulnerable to major earthquakes in the future.
Of late, flooding in urban areas has increased due to changes in land use and recurrent extreme event episodes. Although advances in forecasting and relief operations have minimised the loss of lives, yet the damage to property continues to be severe.
Storm surge, the outcome of a tropical cyclone over the northern Indian Ocean, is a major marine hazard. The newly developed model for prediction of storm surges has proved helpful and is being used to disseminate information to countries in the northern Indian Ocean.
The fire in the Seshachalam forest in Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh destroyed 1300-1400 hectares of forest land belonging to Andhra Pradesh, and about 100 hectares of forest land belonging to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam.
The ghost town of Dhanushkodi, Located on a tombolo a little beyond Rameswaram, used to be India’s furthest outpost in the Indian Ocean. However, the super cyclone OF 1964 not only wiped out India’s history but also its geography.
Only in the last decade, 130 significant chemical accidents have been reported in India, which resulted in 259 deaths and 563 major injuries. Safety measures are thus required to be addressed by all stakeholders, in a sustained manner, for the prevention of chemical accidents.