Planning & Mitigation | VOL. 14, ISSUE 83, March-April 2014

Status of Disaster Management in India

India’s hazard profile is dependent on the geo-climatic conditions and topographic features, and the underlying vulnerabilities cause annual disasters of varying degrees like floods, droughts, cyclones, tsunamis, earthquakes, landslides, avalanches and forest fire in the country. It is estimated that about 59 per cent of India’s land area is prone to earthquakes and the Himalayas and adjoining areas, northeast, parts of Gujarat and Andaman Nicobar Islands are seismically most active. According to the Natural Disaster Management Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, GoI, 33 per cent of India’s area receives rainfall less than 750 mm making it chronically drought prone, while 35 per cent receives rainfall between 750-1125 mm and is assigned the drought prone status—thus a total of 68 per cent area of the country is prone to drought in varying degrees. Out of 40 million hectares of flood prone area in the county, around 7.5 million hectares are affected every year by recurring floods. While flood occurs in almost all river basins in India, large parts of states such as Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are affected almost every year. About 12 per cent land is prone to flood and river erosion; and hilly areas are at risk from landslides and avalanches. Approximately 71 per cent (5300 km) of the 7516 km long coast of India is susceptible to cyclones....

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