During the fag end of 2015, Chennai experienced severe floods resulting in the death of about 500 people and economic losses of about INR 50,000 crores. The flooding stranded the city and was termed a 'man-made disaster' resulting from irresponsible water management and rapid urbanisation. The northeast monsoon of the year left most parts of South India marooned, exposing how vulnerable our cities are to such catastrophes. That's when the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor took a major initiative to develop a real-time, integrated, urban flood forecasting system that was non-existent in our country. Soon after, a team of scientists from various institutes across the country, swung into action to develop the first-ever expert system in India to forecast floods. In a recent study, published in the journal Current Science, the researchers shed light on the development of the automated flood forecasting expert system.
When a disaster strikes, every moment that is saved could help save a few precious lives. Now, a recent study by researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur has proposed a mechanism in which faster, cheaper and personalised response could be provided to the victims during disasters with the use of Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs).
The Ministry of Earth Sciences is set to extend the Monsoon Mission from the predicting the rains of the monsoon to disaster management. The facility will improve monsoon forecasts over the short and extended range. The programme is aimed to help the farming sector manage thier agricultural operations and water reservoirs.
The Indian subcontinent is prone to a large number of natural disasters. The 58% of the landmass is prone to earthquakes and 12 % to floods. 68% of country’s agricultural land is prone to droughts. Apart from these, bad policy making and unplanned development has also contributed to man-made disasters in the country. On the occasion of International Day for Disaster Reduction, learn about the the measures the country has already taken and what more can be done, to reduce the devastation caused by disasters.
What if a shoe could save your life when you are stuck in a building that is burning down? Though it sounds like a science fiction, the OpenShoe project aims to do exactly that! Built on a novel navigation technology called Inertial Navigation System (INS), researchers have built a minute navigation module that can be plugged into a shoe to track every step to the accuracy of a centimeter! Such foot-mounted systems help in tracking objects in the absence of satellite based navigation and would complement the widely used satellite based navigation systems, say the researchers.