Indian scientists tap into geoinformatics for mapping natural hazards
Kolkata: Uttarakhand is yet to recover from the massive rain-triggered floods that left thousands dead last year and exposed the gaps in disaster management strategies. Now Indian scientists have devised sophisticated satellite-based and computer-centric technologies to map potential natural hazards to aid in disaster mitigation.
Geoinformatic tools (the application of technology to geographical sciences) such as remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS) were successfully put to use by researchers at the Jadavpur University`s School of Oceanography here to scientifically analyse and prepare zonation maps of Bihar.
The procedure, which can be extended to the entire country, was used to map earthquakes, floods and droughts and an emerging environmental phenomenon - urban heat islands.
"This study reveals the actual zonation of different natural hazards on the basis of which the policy makers can formulate future plans. It can be a pathway for making such efforts for every individual state and then compiled together as a country report, Tuhin Ghosh, joint director of Jadavpur University`s School of Oceanographic Studies, told IANS.
"It can be charted for various climate zones too," he added.
The report, titled `Natural Hazard Zonation of Bihar (India) Using Geoinformatics: A Schematic Approach`, can be read in Springer`s Briefs in the Earth Sciences` series of publications.
Though previous attempts were made for similar studies, Ghosh contended the report compiled by him and researcher Anirban Mukopadhyay is the first to put all the data - of intensity and distribution of hazards - on a common platform, that is, GIS.
GIS is a computer system that integrates, stores and analyses geographical data for informed decision-making, while remote sensing, with the help of open source (freely available) satellite data and sensors, can help one identify, locate and measure objects without coming in direct contact with them.
In addition, these systems save time, are cost-effective and need less human resources when compared to physical surveys for big areas, for example, while developing state-wide reports, said Ghosh.
Lauding the project, environmentalist P. K. Joshi, who has expertise in RS and GIS, said the information gleaned from a blend of such zonation data, with inputs from governmental agencies (like the Indian Meteorological Department) and non-governmental agencies can be conveyed directly to the people through cell phones that are nowadays geoinformatics-enabled.
Though geoinformatics encompass all the analysis done by IMD, there is a definite edge in mapping hazards, Joshi said.
"It can help in retrieval and integration of many more biophysical parameters and provide more robust geo-statistical analysis.
"Integration of other socio-economic data sets is much easier and powerful in a GIS environment which can directly feed the policy and decision makers," Joshi, head and professor, Department of Natural Resources at New Delhi`s The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) University, told IANS via email.
"It could guide in rescue efforts in disasters of huge proportions, like Uttarakhand," he added.
In addition, GIS is a "handy tool" for administrators to comprehend the spatial dimension of hazards, according to Chandan Ghosh, professor and head, Geo Hazards, at New Delhi`s National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM).
And if these maps, in scaled-down and detailed versions, are made available to district administrators, they can facilitate easy identification of roads and landmarks while planning for rescue operations, Chandan Ghosh reckoned.
"From such studies, what is needed the most is the preparation of `live inundation map` or `computer animation of virtual flood situation using rainfall and water flowing from adjoining water bodies`," Chandan Ghosh told IANS via email, adding it could enable officials to visualise a near-real situation of floods and help in marking danger and safe zones.
At the heart of the matter and for large-scale policy making, there is a pressing need for a change in mindsets and accepting and adopting new vistas for efficient disaster management.
"Continuous study, analysis, formulation and updating of hazard zonation can maximise the preparedness strategy and minimise the cost and effort therein. Also, awareness and capacity-building regarding potential natural hazards in every level of stakeholder in the governance, society and industry are important," said Tuhin Ghosh.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- IAF Mirage fighter plane lands on Yamuna Expressway!
- 'Maggi' under regulatory scanner for excess amount of lead, MSG
- Watch: Michelle Obama's 'Gimme Five' fitness video
- When Subramanian Swamy shocked people at a wedding!
- Mumbaikars join hands to save Pakistani teen with rare illness
- DNA: Analysis of Hurriyat chief Syed Geelani's passport issue
- DNA: Analysis of traffic system of Vancouver, Canada
- Mumbai: Diamond export company denies job to Muslim youth
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 21, 2015
- Mirage 2000 fighter jet landing was part of capability demonstration: IAF
- DNA: IAF Mirage 2000 fighter plane lands successfully on Yamuna expressway
- DNA: Osama documents show 'Indian brother in Madinah' financed al Qaeda
- PM Modi speaks at Golden Jubilee celebrations of poet Dinkar’s works
- PM Modi's key campaign team member may join Nitish Kumar
- Woman robbed at gunpoint inside Hyderabad ATM
- RBSE (rajresults.nic.in) Class 12th science and commerce results 2015: Rajasthan Board Class 12th XII exam results 2015 expected to be announced on May 21
- RBSE (rajresults.nic.in) Class 12th science and commerce results 2015: Rajasthan Board Class 12th XII exam results 2015 to be announced today at 4 PM
- CBSE Class 10 Results 2015 to be announced today?
- JAC 12th Inter Arts Result 2015: JAC 12th Inter Arts Result 2015 (jharkhandeducation.net) likely to be announced on Thursday May 21 at 1 PM
- IAF jet lands on Yamuna expressway
- Check Jharkhand Board jac.nic.in: Class 12th Art Results 2015 declared
- Log on to apeamcet.org AP EAMCET Results 2015: Andhra Pradesh EAMCET Marks and AP EAMCET Ranks 2015 declared
- Andhra Pradesh EAMCET results 2015: Andhra Pradesh EAMCET results to be announced on May 21 at www.apeamcet.org
- Fawad Khan doesn’t want intimate scenes with Sonam Kapoor?
- We hire only non-Muslim candidates, diamond export firm tells Muslim youth
- Is MSG in 'Maggi' noodles harmful for you?
- Mumbai firm booked for denying Muslim MBA graduate job on religious grounds, probe ordered
- SSLC (tnresults.nic.in) Tenth 10th Results 2015: Tamil Nadu Board Class 10th X Higher Secondary exam results 2015 to be declared on May 21
- 'IAS officer DK Ravi possibly committed suicide, suffered big loss in real estate business'
- New IPL rules could see Chennai Super Kings lose MS Dhoni