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12 districts to prepare for various disasters, state to study lightning

- June 13, 2022

Dileep V Kumar, Thiruvananthapuram, June 13

Out of 14 districts in the state, 12 districts were asked to prepare themselves to deal with natural calamities of one kind or another. The alert has been sounded by the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) in its Orange Book 2022. As either the southwest monsoon or the northeast monsoon could trigger such calamities, the districts concerned were asked to coordinate with various departments for disaster preparedness and mitigation measures. A plan is also there to establish a Lightning Research and Monitoring Cell, to conduct a study on lightning patterns that hit the state.

As per the Orange Book, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Idukki, and Wayanad are prone to various natural calamities.

“The state had received excess summer rain. The topsoil has already been dampened. Thus chances are high that further rains might trigger soil erosion or flooding. Also in the 2018 floods, the state lost a large chunk of the topsoil and it’s feared that the rainwater will now run to water bodies resulting in rising water levels and thereby helping flash floods or water logging,” read an excerpt from Orange Book (which is a handbook on disaster management).

The book states that Alappuzha, Thrissur, Kottayam, and Ernakulam will have to prepare specially for the floodsWayanad, Kozhikode, Palakkad, Thrissur, Idukki, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Malappuram, and Kollam will have to prepare for landslide/soil erosion

Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, and Malappuram will have to prepare for coastal erosion

In the case of lightning, KSDMA is of the fear that climate change might induce frequent lightning and absence of awareness might result in casualties.

“Due to climate change, lightning needs special attention. The establishment of the Cell is expected to spearhead the research on lightning. Also, the development of a lightning warning system across the state is on the cards. Another idea is to develop an SMS alert system to help people prepare before the lightning strikes,” said an official at KSDMA.