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India ranked 77 in disaster risk index of the world

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While Bangladesh is among the top five countries at risk of disaster, India ranks 77th on the World Risk Index — marginally better positioned than Pakistan which is placed 72.

The index is part of the World Risk Report 2016 released on Thursday by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and Bundnis Entwicklung Hilft in cooperation with the University of Stuttgart in Germany.

The index assessed the risk of disaster in 171 countries through the combined analysis of natural hazards and societal vulnerabilities.

Ranking No.1, the island state of Vanuatu displayed the greatest risk in 2016.

The researchers concluded in the report that lack of critical infrastructure and weak logistic chains substantially increase the risk that an extreme natural event will become a disaster.

“When it comes to aid measures following extreme natural events, the challenges mostly lie in the ‘last mile’ of the logistics chain: organising transportation despite destroyed streets or bridges and ensuring fair distribution when there is a shortage of (for example) water, food, and shelter,” explained Peter Mucke, Project Manager of the World Risk Report and Managing Director of Bundnis Entwicklung Hilft.

Crumbling transport routes, unreliable electricity grids, and dilapidated buildings not only hinder humanitarian aid from overseas, but also delay crucial aid for those affected in the event of a disaster, Mucke noted.

“The international community must invest more in the establishment and development of critical infrastructure even before disasters occur,” Matthias Garschagen, Scientific Director for the report and Lead Scientist at United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security, observed.

“Sufficient, high-quality infrastructure, which is well-managed institutionally, can not only prevent the often catastrophic consequences of natural hazards such as flooding or storms, but it can also play a crucial role in the distribution of humanitarian aid supplies in the event of a disaster. Critical infrastructure can thus reduce the risk of natural hazards for populations and absorb economic losses,” Garschagen said.

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Earthquake hits Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli region

Earthquake in Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli: The earthquake hit the region at around 7.44 PM on Tuesday.

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Earthquake

An earthquake of magnitude 4.6 struck Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli region on Tuesday. The earthquake hit the region at around 7.44 PM on Tuesday. No casualties or loss of property has been reported so far.

(This is a breaking news story; more details awaited)

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Earthquake to hit NCR creates fear among people

The scientists reached the conclusion of a devastating earthquake hitting Uttarakhand based on a study conducted in 2017.

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Earthquake

The news of an earthquake measuring more than eight on the Richter Scale may strike Delhi-NCR with Gurugram as its epicentre between April 7 and 15 has been viral on the internet.

Another prediction of a devastating quake to hit Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Nepal is also circulating which has instilled fear and panic among the people of the states.

The argument put forward by Piyush Rautela, Executive Director of Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre (DMMC) is “Frequent mild earthquakes in the hills of Uttarakhand should not be dismissed as common occurrences but treated as pointers to a major earthquake which is long overdue in the central seismic gap of the Himalayan front spanning Himachal Pradesh, Nepal and Uttarakhand.”

Rautela said the damage will be more in the thickly populated urban areas where there has been a rapid and unplanned growth of population and infrastructure.”

A message has been circulating of a warning that an earthquake measuring 9.1 on Richter scale would strike Delhi-NCR between April 7 and April 15 attributing the information to American space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration. But it is a hoax as scientists are yet to find ways to predict earthquakes.

Seismologists, however, are of the view that no proven method exists for predicting earthquakes with any accuracy and the best way to save lives from Earth’s wrath is to beef up construction standards and educate people about seismic risk.

The scientists reached the conclusion of a devastating earthquake hitting Uttarakhand based on a study conducted in 2017.

The surface of the earth sits on several gigantic tectonic plates that move by a few centimeters known as faults that develop each year. Most devastating earthquakes had occurred in the Indian sub-continent. In fact, geographical statistics show that at least 54 percent of India’s land is vulnerable to earthquakes and India has four seismic zones, I, II, III, IV and VII being the lowest and V being the highest.

But for sure preparedness remains the best defense against devastating earthquakes.There must be an investment in preparedness such as early warning systems, tsunami systems, relocation of people from locations deemed to be vulnerable to disasters.

Five districts in Uttarakhand having population approximately 3-3.5 million on the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Tibet borders come in seismic zone V.

A State-wide mega mock disaster management drill was conducted by the Gurgaon district administration in December 2017. The governments of Delhi and NCR region should play a proactive role by checking the authenticity of the prediction by the National mitigation Disaster Management institution and engaging themselves to participate in the mitigation of natural disasters.

The central government should also discourage the construction of a skyscraper on the lines of Japan which also falls in the seismic zone.

 

By Arti Bali

Sr Journalist

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6.8-magnitude quake hits Bolivia: USGS

Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) boffins issued a warning and forecast hazardous waves from the coast.

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Earthquake

A HUGE 6.8 magnitude earthquake has struck Bolivia in the Ring of Fire. It occurred near Tarija in the south of the country at a depth of 344 miles. The USGS estimates there is a 34% chance of damage and fatalities.

Its website states: “Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though vulnerable structures exist.

“The predominant vulnerable building types are adobe block and rubble/field stone masonry construction.”

The South American country is located in the Ring of Fire, a basin of the Pacific Ocean prone to seismic activity.

It occurred 96 miles from the town of Kokopowhich, home to about 20,000 people.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) boffins issued a warning and forecast hazardous waves from the coast.

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