Disaster management gets a shot in the arm

New monitoring centre on 30,000 sq ft with Master Control Facility to open today

KSNDMC is moving into the 30,000 sq ft Master Control Facility in Yelahanka, which will help enhance the hazard mapping and vulnerability studies, and strengthening of information technology for management of natural disasters.

The centre, which will be inaugurated on Friday, will receive data on near real time, which will be analysed and sent out as warning, advisories and periodical reports to the public, agrarian community and agro-based sector, fishermen, transport sector, power and energy, irrigation and others.

The centre will be made operational 24/7 from the end of April, next year. The State government has spent Rs 12 crore to set up this facility, which was designed and constructed by Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Ltd within 16 months.

KSNDMC’s director V S Prakash said that in the last three to four years there had been a paradigm shift in the approach to disaster management and towards rescue, relief and rehabilitation.

He said that in the last few years the State will able to put in place a better monitoring system, by generating early morning forecast. This needs to be extended across the State.

The focus of the centre will be management of drought, flood, cyclone, hailstorm, heavy winds, storm surges, tsunami, earthquakes and landslides.

He said the objective of the centre was to give customised information to the community, which will be gathered from telemetric rain gauges, satellite and GPRS-linked weather stations, doppler weather radar, storm surge stations and earthquake monitoring stations. A sum of Rs 30 crore has been spent on purchase of instruments for this new centre.

Looming threat

* The State has experienced 11 floods and 10 droughts in the last decade, incurring losses of Rs 30,000 crore as per CRF guidelines. The total socioeconomic losses are estimated to be about Rs 75,000 crore during the said period
* 80 pc of the State is prone to drought
* 22 pc is prone to moderate earthquake risks with possibility of earthquakes with magnitude of 5 to 6.9
* 24 pc is prone to cyclone and heavy winds
* 359 km coastline is prone to sea-erosion, tsunami threat

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