Natural hazards and other related aspects of Telangana
- The natural disasters directly impact economies, agriculture, food security, water, sanitation, the environment and health each year.
- Therefore it is one of the single largest concerns for most of the developing nations.
- Different natural hazards because varying levels of physical damage to infrastructure and agriculture with implications for their indirect and secondary impacts.
- Drought causes heavy Crop and Livestock losses over wide areas of land but typically leave infrastructure and productive capacity largely unaffected.
- Floods and Cyclones cause extensive whereas damage to both infrastructure and agriculture, depending on their timing relative to the agricultural cycle.
- While earthquakes have little impact on standing crops excluding localized losses but can cause wide spread devastation of infrastructure and other productive capacity over relatively large areas.
- The precise cost of the disaster in terms of loss of lives, property, loss of development opportunities, etc. cannot be clearly assessed, counted or scaled.
- The costs of disaster are clearly inequitable, falling heavily only on the few. Disasters result not only in loss of shelter but also create hardships, lack of food availability, and temporary loss of livelihood and disrupt socio-economic activities.
- Some of the losses may be redeemable and compensated for through disaster relief and insurance.
- However, apart from economic dimension, such disturbances have their psychological and social dimensions as well, which need to be studied, and documented besides developing.
Types of Disasters
- Due to the increasing frequency of natural and man-made disasters and their severe impact on the individuals, society, economy, natural resources and environment, Government of India constituted a High Powered Committee (HPC) on Disaster Management in August 1999 to prepare comprehensive plans for National, State and District levels.
- The HPC has rightly stressed on the need for a comprehensive and holistic approach towards dealing with all kinds of disasters.
- From a compartmentalized response oriented approach, a coordinated, holistic and participatory approach has been recommended.
- HPC identified thirty one disasters in the country.
- These disasters have been categorized into following five sub-groups depending on generic (origin) considerations and various departments/ ministries dealing with various aspects:
- Water and Climate Related Disasters –
- Floods and Drainage Management,
- Tornadoes and Hurricanes,
- Cloud Burst,
- Heat Wave and Cold Wave,
- Snow Avalanches,
- Sea Erosion
- Thunder and Lightning.
- Geology Related Disasters
- Landslides and Mudflows,
- Dam Failures/ Dam Bursts
- Mine Fires
- Chemical , Industrial & Nuclear related disasters
- Chemical and industrial
- Nuclear disasters
- Accident related disasters
- Forest Fires,
- Urban Fires,
- Mines Flooding Oil Spill,
- Major Building Collapse
- Serial Bomb Blasts
- Festival related disasters
- Electrical disasters and Fires
- Air, Road and Rail Accidents
- Boat Capsizing
- Village Fire
- Biologically Related disasters
- Pest Attacks
- Cattle epidemics
- Food poisoning
Major Disaster Aspects in Telangana
Drought, Flood and Forest Fires are the Major Disaster related aspect of Telangana.
- We have a largely monsoon dependant irrigation network.
- An erratic pattern, both low (less than 750 mm) and medium (750 – 1125 mm) makes 68 percent of the total sown area vulnerable to periodic droughts.
- Severe and rare droughts occur in arid and semi-arid zones once in almost every 8-9 years.
- Drought is a perennial feature in some states of India like Telangana.
- 16 percent of the country’s total area is drought prone and approximately 50 million people are annually affected by droughts.
- In fact, persistent drought with less than average rainfall over a long period of time gives rise to serious environmental problems.
- Drought Prone Districts: Chittoor, Kadapa, Anantapur & Kurnool, Mahabubnagar, Medak, Rnagareddy and Nalgonda
- 20 times drought in 40 years,
- 10 times drought in 20 years.
- 5 times drought in 10 years,
- 3 times drought in last 5 years
- Major Drought Years (1997, 2001, 2002 & 2004) 2002-03 has been the worst year of drought
- State GDP severely affected due to recurring drought
Flood in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
- Inadequate capacity of the rivers to contain within their banks the high flows brought down from the upper catchment areas, following heavy rainfall, leads to flooding.
- Central and coastal Andhra Pradesh spans mainly major river basins of Godavari, Krishna and minor river basins of Nagavali and Vamsadhara on the north and Pennar in the south.
- The Passage of storms/ cyclones in quick succession over a river basin invariably leads to severe floods.
- The problem is exacerbated by factors such as silting of the riverbeds, reduction of the carrying capacity of river channels, beds and banks leading to changes in river courses, obstructions to flow due to landslides, synchronization of floods in the main and tributary rivers and retardation due to tidal effects.
- The flood problems of deltaic regions are attributed to various causes like flatter slope of drains and back flow due to tides.
- On Sep 14 2017, A flood situation prevailed in parts of Hyderabad, following record heavy rains overnight. Daily life was affected badly as many areas of the city were hit by the heavy rains. Keesara in Ranga Reddy district recorded the highest rainfall of 17cm, followed by 11cm in Uppal, 10cm in Malkajgiri and Balapur and 6cm in Medchal.
- On Sep 25 2016, The Indian Air Force (IAF) rescued 24 construction workers who were stranded by floods in Telangana’s Medak district.
- On Sept 28 2016, At least 11 people have died after several days of flooding in the Indian state of Telangana.
- The fast pace of growth and expansion in the name of Development without comprehensive understanding or preparedness has brought forth a range of issues that seek urgent attention at all levels.
- In the absence of such measures growing numbers in our population are at a risk of prospective hazards such as air accidents, boat capsizing, building collapse, electric fires, festival related disasters, forest fires, mine flooding, oil spills, rail accidents, road accidents, serial bomb blasts, and fires.
- The safeguards within existing systems are limited and the risks involved high.
- Nuclear, Chemical and Biological threats are apparent in the present scenario.
- Deliberate international terrorism or accidental secondary fallout can be fatal.
- Creation of specific infrastructure is imperative to avoid a catastrophe in the future.
- However, rapid and effective response needs intensive research and laboratory support.
- Forests face many hazards but the most common hazard is fire.
- Forests fires are as old as the forests themselves.
- They pose a threat not only to the forest wealth but also to the entire regime of fauna and flora seriously disturbing the bio-diversity and the ecology and environment of a region.
- Forest fires are usually seasonal.
- They usually start in the dry season and can be prevented by adequate precautions.
- State Governments are aware of the severe damage caused by fires not only trees but also to forests and ecology of the area.
- Successive Five Year Plans have provided funds for forest fire fighting.
- According to NDMA districts like in Warangal 73 Serious, 169 Medium and 287 small forest fires occurred during 1999-2000.
Telangana State Disaster Response and Fire Service Department
- Prompt response to fire calls and other emergencies like floods, earth quakes etc.
- To issue No Objection Certificate for fire hazardous places.
- Basic Fire Prevention training to security personnel at Fire Hazardous places.
- Creation of public awareness on fire prevention for various sections of society.
- Assistance and advice on conducting Fire Drills.
- To provide awareness in public about the Fire Safety measures.
- To provide standby fire-safety arrangements at large gatherings by charging a nominal amount.
- To provide the ambulance service for rushing the sick and the injured to hospitals at a nominal charge.
- To educate and train people in fire prevention and fire fighting.
- Rescue persons involved in the emergency.
- Improvement of Fire and Rescue Services.
- Strive to save life and property by going promptly to the spot of fire.
- Promote interactions within the department to achieve high Degree of Professional excellence
HEATWAVE ACTION PLAN
- Heat Wave Plan is a Plan intended to protect the population from heat related harm to health.
- It aims to prepare for, alert people to, and prevent, the major avoidable effects on health during periods of severe heat, while the days are sunny in summer, it should not be forgotten that the temperature can get too high, that it can become uncomfortably hot, and for some, it can become dangerously hot putting their life at risk.
- Spells of abnormally high temperatures that occur in different parts of the country during April to June are referred to as heat waves.
- The term heat wave is a description of prevailing temperature conditions relative to daily normal value.
- The IMD (India Meteorological Department) has laid down the following criteria for describing a heat wave or a severe heat Wave or a Warm Night.
- Heat wave is considered only after the maximum temperature of a station reaches atleast 40ºC for plains and atleast 30ºC for hilly regions.
- When actual maximum temperature of a station is more than or equal to 40ºC.
- Heat wave- Departure from normal temperature is 5ºC – 6ºC
- Severe Heat wave – Departure from normal temperature is 7ºC or more
- When actual maximum temperature is 45ºC or more, irrespective of normal maximum temperature, heat wave is declared.
- When actual maximum temperature is 47ºC or more, irrespective of normal maximum temperature, Severe Heat Wave is declared.
- Warm Night is declared if actual maximum temperature of a station is more than or equal to 40ºC and minimum temperature departure is more than or equal to 5ºC.
- Very Warm Night is declared if actual maximum temperature of a station is more than or equal to 40ºC and minimum temperature departure is more than or equal to 7ºC.
- Coordinated action is needed among government agencies at the State level to reduce the devastating health effects of heat stress on local residents.
- A practical plan of targeted interventions can increase information-sharing, communication, preparedness, and response coordination to improve the most vulnerable populations’ resilience to rising temperatures and consequently minimize heat wave fatalities.
Heat Wave Action Plan
- The Telangana Heat Wave Action Plan aims to provide guidelines on the steps to be taken by the administration for minimising the impact of Heat Waves.
- The Plan’s primary objective is to help the population most at risk of Heat related illness to avoid the effects of the heat waves.
Extreme heat planning includes:
- Identifying vulnerable populations and the health risks specific to each group;
- Developing effective strategies, agency coordination, and response planning to shape a Heat wave Action Plan that addresses heat-health risks;
- Implementing the Heat Action Plan and activating heat alerts; and
- Evaluating and updating the Heat Action Plan regularly.
- Successful implementation of the Heat Action Plan in Telangana requires co-ordination between Government Departments; health care professionals including emergency medical personnel, health center staff, and hospital staff; and community groups.
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