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Daily Category  (Disaster Management)

Indigenously built, first pair of weather radars installed over Himalayas

CONTEXT:

Union Minister for Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan Friday commissioned two of the ten indigenously built Doppler weather radars which will closely monitor the weather changes over the Himalayas.

                         IMG_256

NEWS IN DETAILS:

New Forecast System: A joint venture with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Union minister launched a Multi-Mission Meteorological Data Receiving and Processing System.

  • This new system will capture, process and make available for use satellite data within seven minutes as opposed to 20 minutes taken by earlier systems.

Located at: Services of X-band Doppler radars were virtually inaugurated on the 146th foundation day of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday at

  • Mukteshwar in Uttarakhand and
  • Kufri in Himachal Pradesh

Covering Regions: Covering the central and western Himalayas, these dual polarised radars will gather atmospheric variations and pick signals of extreme weather events.

Highly Prone Areas: Both Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are highly prone to

  • cloud bursts,
  • landslides,
  • heavy rain and
  • snowfall.

Advance plans and initiate rescue measures: Timely weather forecasts and warnings would ensure the governments make advance plans and initiate rescue measures, state officials said.

Weather and climate play a significant role in both agriculture and tourism — the two main sectors contributing towards the state’s economy.”

Strengthen IMD’s forecast: From just 13 radars in 2013, the country now has 29 radars operational. This will strengthen IMD’s forecasts further.”

Future agenda: The IMD must now utilise the latest digital technology and work towards developing mobile-friendly weather applications, especially in regional languages.

India Meteorological Department (IMD)

111

Formed in 1875

It is the national meteorological service of the country.

HQ: New Delhi

It is the chief government agency dealing in everything related to

  • Meteorology,
  • Seismology, and
  • Associated subjects.

Ministry: Under the supervision of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Indian Government.

Source: Indian Express

Dzukou Valley wildfire doused

CONTEXT:

The two-week long forest fire in Dzukou valley on Nagaland-Manipur border has been doused and no fresh fire or smoke was visible on Monday, the Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA) said.

                                     Dzukou Valley Fire Doused After 2 Weeks Of Air Force, NDRF Operations

DZUKOU VALLEY WILDFIRE:

The wildfire broke out in the Dzukou Valley under Kohima district in southern Nagaland on December 29 and crossed over to the northern Manipur side, forcing both the state governments to request the NDRF and the army to help contain the wildfire.

According to the officials, the inferno has destroyed much of the forest areas, seasonal flowers, flora and fauna and harmed the rich biodiversity of the valley, which is also a famous trekking site.

NSDMA said it will assess the damage caused to the forest, environment and other flora and fauna in Dzukou valley.

The Manipur government will also conduct similar exercise at their end of the Dzukou range.

Forces involved: The Indian Air force, the NDRF and other central forces who were involved in the operations to douse the fire.

ABOUT DZUKOU VALLEY:

Dzukou valley  is also a sanctuary for the endangered Blyth's tragopan - Nagaland's state bird - and other species of birds and animals.

Rare Dzükou Lily is found only in this valley.

This valley is ‘Valley of flowers’ of the Nagaland State.

The Asian Highway 1 and also the NH-2 passes through its foothills.

Often caught in a boundary dispute between Manipur and Nagaland, it has been prone to wildfires.

Source: The Hindu

India to get UN tag of international disaster response force for NDRF

CONTEXT:

India could soon be a part of the United Nations (UN) mandated international disaster rescue operations as the country’s federal contingency force, NDRF, is expected to obtain a globally recognised standardisation later this year.

                        NDRF won't get its own air wing: Centre

BACKGROUND:

Just like we have the Bureau of Indian Standards in the country, the UN agency INSARAG standardises disaster response teams across the world. It is an international gold standard.

The authorisation of NDRF will be done by the Switzerland-headquartered INSARAG (or the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group).

PURPOSE OF THIS CATEGORISATION/ AUTHORISATION:

 It is possessed by some of India’s neighbours like China and Pakistan.

If there is a call from the UN to respond to some disaster you will be called upon…you will be an international response force.

Bilateral v. UN Mandated: It is not that we have not been doing that (going for international rescue operations) but when NDRF went to Japan and Nepal in the past it was a bilateral decision between two countries but with this standardisation it will be a UN mandated task.

Great prestige: It will be a matter of great prestige for India that its force is known as an international response force.

Cascading effect to SDRF: This could lead to a cascading effect where NDRF can become a national accreditation agency for state disaster response forces and that also could be UN supported.”

  • In Chile and China, the UN has certified their provincial teams so that state teams can also travel across the world for disaster response operations

Tag of great disaster response oriented country: it can add to the profile of India being a great disaster response oriented country where the protocols and standard operating procedures are of world standard.

INSARAG (INTERNATIONAL SEARCH AND RESCUE ADVISORY GROUP):

INSARAG was established in 1991 following initiatives of international USAR teams that responded to the 1988 Armenia earthquake and the 1985 Mexico City earthquake.

United Nations was chosen as the INSARAG secretariat to facilitate international participation and coordination.

INSARAG activities are guided by United Nations General Assembly resolution 57/150 of 16 December 2002

It is a network of more than 90 countries and organisations under the UN umbrella to deal with urban search and rescue related issues.

NATIONAL DISASTER RESPONSE FORCE: