Disaster Management #OnTheWater

 

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Indian Border Security Force (BSF) personnel use an inflatable boat to rescue stranded villagers in Khutakotia, North Lakhimpur District, some 400kms east of Guwahati on June 16, 2008. Flash floods and mudslides unleashed by heavy monsoon rains have claimed 25 lives and displaced 200,000 people in northeastern India, officials said. A Central Water Commission bulletin said that the main Brahmaputra river and its tributaries were flowing above the danger level in at least six places, with the trend likely to increase. The 2,906-kilometer (1,816-mile) river — one of Asia’s longest — traverses China’s Tibet region, India and Bangladesh before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. Every year the monsoon causes the river to flood, submerging paddy fields, washing away villages, drowning livestock and killing people in Assam, a remote state of 26 million people. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

India is vulnerable, in varying degrees, to a large number of natural as well as man-made disasters. 58.6% of the landmass is prone to earthquakes of moderate to high intensity; over 40 million hectares (12% of land) is prone to floods and river erosion; of the 7516 km long coastline, close to 5700 kms is prone to cyclones and tsunamis, 68% of the cultivatable area is vulnerable to drought and hilly areas are at risk from landslides and avalanches.

A disaster refers to a catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence from natural or man-made causes, which is beyond the coping capacity of the affected community. Disaster Management involves a continuous and integrated process of planning, organizing, coordinating and implanting measures which are necessary or expedient for:

  • Prevention of danger or threat of any disaster
  • Mitigation or reduction of risk of any disaster or its severity or consequences
  • Capacity building including research and knowledge management
  • Preparedness to deal with any disaster
  • Prompt response to any threatening disaster situation or disaster
  • Assessing the severity or magnitude of effects of any disaster.
  • Evacuation, rescue and relief
  • Rehabilitation and reconstruction

With more than 70% of India’s population relying on agriculture directly or indirectly, the impact of extreme weather on human life and other living beings is critical. In the state of Orissa, 49 years have experienced floods, 30 have had droughts and 11 have faced cyclones. These analyses have yielded a 30 year cyclicity of the Indian monsoons. Out of 40 million hectares of the flood prone area in the country, on an average, floods affect an area of around 7.5 million hectares per year.

Floods destructions have always brought miseries to numerous people, especially in rural areas. Flood results in the outbreak of serious epidemics, specially malaria and cholera. Simultaneously, scarcity of safe water also arises. It also has a drastic effect on agriculture produce with water remaining standing over large areas for long spans of time hampering and destroying cultivations.

Management of Floods: The current disaster management guidelines aim at measures for preparedness, prevention, mitigation in the pre-flood stage and on prompt and effective response, relief and recovery during – and post flood stages. Importance on non-structural measures besides structural measures is emphasized in the guidelines.

Some statistics regarding floods in India:

Flood Statistics in India

Urban Flooding

Urban Floods
Chennai: Security and NDRF personnel during rescue operation in Chennai after heavy rainfall on Thursday. PTI Photo by R Senthil Kumar

Flood affected areas and damages in India(1953 – 2004)

statistics-EsmarioMarine

Flood Disaster Management

Current state of boats and equipment used by the Disaster Management Forces (Central / State) for flood relief and rescue:

  • Locally manufactured inflatable boats
    • Low on cost
    • Short lived life span
    • Inferior quality to those available and used internationally
    • Not conducive to heavy duty and all weather application, hence can be seen that very often though the boats exits in terms of asset inventory, many of them are not in operational condition hence rendering them of no practical use or relief what so ever
    • Not the latest in technology and not truly suitable for extreme weather application
  • The number of boats available in fleet does is insufficient to meet even the current requirement
  • Inflatable Rubber Boats cannot be used in all areas
    • For effective rescue during and post floods, the government will also need to invest in amphibious vehicles such as hovercrafts which can be used even in marshy and uneven terrain where boats cannot grant access.

Disaster management:EsmarioMarine

MarineStore.in – A division of Esmario Export Enterprises Pvt Ltd

We are India’s one of oldest firm involved in providing sales and service of boats and marine engines to defence, private and other government sector organizations. The marine engines are used in various applications like disaster management, rescue operations, internal security by marine coastal police, defence forces, and tourism.

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Through MarineStore.in, India’s first and only online store for bringing marine products closer to all individuals, we are working to bring awareness on watersports with which everyone gets connected to the cause of preservation and healthier utilization of waterbodies rather than just treating them as dumping yards. A more evolved involvement by people will bring better infrastructure and holistic development of the marine industry which can further be used for better disaster management planning, internal and external security through waterways, utilization of water channels as mode of transportation and growth in domestic and international tourism.


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