From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NA
Mains level : Extreme weather events in India and their mitigation
Nineteen extreme weather events in 2019 claimed 1,357 lives, with heavy rain and flood accounting for 63 per cent of these deaths, revealed Down To Earth’s State of India’s Environment 2020 report.
Extreme weather events:
- Extreme weather events are out of the ordinary, unexpected, unusual climatic events which wreak havoc and disrupt everyday life.
- Over the years, the frequency of extreme weather events has increased due to global warming and climate change.
- Extreme weather events include hailstorm, heatwaves, dust storm, cloud bursts etc.
Try this question:
Q. Extreme weather events have been the biggest catastrophe in India this year. Discuss.
Data from this newscard can be used to substantiate your mains answer with relevant data.
Loss of lives
- The most lives were lost in Bihar, with people dying from floods and heavy rain (306), thunderstorms (71) and heatwave (292) between May and October.
- In Maharashtra, 136 people died from floods and heavy rain, 51 died from lightning and 44 died from the heatwave between June and September.
- There was a 69 per cent increase in the number of heatwave days between 2013 and 2019 as well, the report said.
- Over 5,300 people died from heatwaves in the past seven years.
- Cold waves increased by 69 per cent within a year, between 2017 and 2018, with the latter year reported having an extremely cold winter, with the most casualties (279) in the past seven years.
Risks of Extreme weather events in India
- Climate change related risks will increasingly affect the Indian subcontinent, including via sea level rise, cyclonic activity and changes in temperature and precipitation patterns.
- Rising sea levels would submerge low-lying islands and coastal lands and contaminate coastal freshwater reserves.Climate change will increase the risks of death, injury and ill-health and disrupt livelihoods in low-lying coastal zones due to cyclones and coastal and inland flooding, storm surges and sea-level rise.
- Melting Himalayan glaciers would reduce downstream water supply in many of India’s important rivers in the dry season, impacting millions
- A warmer atmosphere will spread tropical diseases and pests to new areas.
- Increased river, coastal and urban floods could cause considerable loss of life and widespread damage to property, infrastructure and settlements.
- Erratic rainfall in parts of India could lower rice yields and lead to higher food prices and living costs, while increased drought related water and food shortages linked to rising and extreme temperatures may increase malnutrition and worsen rural poverty. Over 55% of Indian rural households depend on agriculture for a living and, with fisheries and forestry,
Systems in place to tackle extreme weather events are as follows:
3.Early warning to citizens
4.NDMA has issued an action plan for Prevention and Management of Heat Waves.
5.Remote sensing satellites.
Problems with accurate meteorological predictions are as follows:
1.Meteorological predictions are considered for broad geographical areas and timeframes. It is not yet possible to predict a thunderstorm or lightning at a village or a part of a city.
2.The exact times these events will hit, too, cannot be predicted.
3.Alerts and warnings are in the nature of a general advisory, telling the people to expect these events, and to take precautions
Steps taken by the State government are as follows:
- storm has been included in the category of natural disasters for the first time in the State and funds to the tune of ₹2.55 crore have been sanctioned to the affected districts.
- The next of kin of each deceased in Rajasthan will get financial assistance of ₹4 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
- Power discoms have launched action on a war-footing to restore electricity supply in the affected areas, while the administration has ordered a survey of damaged properties.
- In Dholpur district, relief camps have been opened for the villagers whose houses were destroyed.
- The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has announced a compensation of up to Rs 400,000 to the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for each of the injured in the heavy rainfall and storm across the state.
- contingency funds have been released to the respective district administration.