Wednesday, December 8, 2021

India Acquiring Weather Re-Connaissance Aircraft and UAS to Ensure better Cyclone Forecasting

One of the major recommendations made by NDMA in the National Guidelines of Management of Cyclones was the establishment of the Aircraft Probing of Cyclones facility to significantly reduce errors to the extent of 30% in terms of landfall, intensity and storm surge. Govt. of India is taking steps to acquire a Hercules C-130J for this purpose along with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). With this capability all, all countries of the Indian Ocean Region would also be able to benefit greatly. This was stated by Shri Shashidhar Reddy, Vice Chairman, NDMA during his meeting with Delegation from Madagascar headed by Mr Razakanaivo Mamy Nirina, Head of the Disaster Prevention and Emergency Management Unit, Prime Minister’s Office (CPGU), Madagascar in New Delhi today.

Shri Reddy also informed that traditionally there is a very good response mechanism in place. There was a evacuation of more than 6.5 lakhs people when a cyclone hit in Andhra Pradesh in 1990 which was till date the highest ever human evacuation in the context of the natural disaster.

Shri Reddy explained to them some of the salient features of the National Guidelines for the Management of Floods, Cyclones and Urban Flooding. He also informed, it is for the first time NDMA has decided to address Urban Flooding as a separate disaster de-linking it from floods which affect a large tracks of rural area besides “scientific and technological innovations will greatly improve disaster management capabilities of any country”, said Shri Reddy.

He further informed that the NDMA is implementing the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project in 13 cyclone prone coastal States/UTs in India with a view to address the Cyclone risks in the country. For this Government of India has drawn up the Project with the assistance of World Bank with a view to address the Cyclone risks in the country. The main objective of the Project is to strengthen the structural and non-structural cyclone mitigation efforts to reduce the cyclone risk and vulnerability in the coastal districts prone to cyclones and in building capacities for cyclone risk mitigation there. The project also aims to promote a culture of sustainability through efforts towards conservation of coastal eco systems. The Phase I of the Project is being implemented in the States of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa at a cost of Rs. 1496.71 crores. This Project will look at last mile connectivity which is extremely important.

On the response side, India will have 12 Bns of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) which will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and trained manpower to deal with not only with all kinds of natural disasters but also with Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) emergencies. This is a unique force totally dedicated to disaster management which also take up community sensitization during non disaster time.

India has vastly improved its preparedness over the years to deal with disasters like Cyclone, Floods and Tsunami. Shri Reddy cited the establishment of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Early Warning System at INCOIS, Hyderabad which is a state- of-the-art facility set up in 2007. There has been worldwide acknowledgement for the accuracy of the forecast coming out from it.

The Delegation from Madagascar is on a Study tour to learn from Indian experience to deal with Cyclones and other natural disasters. The visit was held within the South-South Cooperation Framework and was part of the GFDRR through the World Bank, a funded program in Madagascar for mainstreaming climate risk and disaster into economic development.

Gary Mortimer
Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.