Classification of cyclone hazard prone districts of India
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Hazards associated with tropical cyclones are long-duration rotatory high-velocity winds, very heavy rain and storm tide. India has a coastline of about 7,516 km of which 5,400 km is along the mainland. The entire coast is affected by cyclones with varying frequency and intensity. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is the nodal government agency that provides weather services related to cyclones in India. However, IMD has not identified cyclone-prone districts following any specific definition though the districts for which cyclone warnings are issued have been identified. On the other hand, for the purpose of better cyclone disaster management in the country, it is necessary to define cyclone proneness and identify cyclone-prone coastal districts. It is also necessary to decide degree of hazard proneness of a district by considering cyclone parameters so that mitigation measures are prioritised. In this context, an attempt has been made to prepare a list of cyclone hazard prone districts by adopting hazard criteria. Out of 96 districts under consideration, 12, 45, 31 and 08 districts are in very high, high, moderate and low categories of proneness, respectively. In general, the coastal districts of West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are more prone and are in the high to very high category. The cyclone hazard proneness factor is very high for the districts of Nellore, East Godawari, and Krishna in Andhra Pradesh; Yanam in Puducherry; Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur in Orissa; and South and North 24 Parganas, Medinipur and Kolkata in West Bengal. The results give a realistic picture of degree of cyclone hazard proneness of districts, as they represent the frequency and intensity of land falling cyclones along with all other hazards like rainfall, wind and storm surge. The categorisation of districts with degree of proneness also tallies with observed pictures. Therefore, this classification of coastal districts based on hazard may be considered for all the required purposes including coastal zone management and planning. However, the vulnerability of the place has not been taken into consideration. Therefore, composite cyclone risk of a district, which is the product of hazard and vulnerability, needs to be assessed separately through detailed study.
KeywordsCyclone Hazard India District
We are thankful to NDMA and IMD for identification of the problem for study. We thank IMD and BMTPC for making available the required data for the work. We thank Cyclone Warning Division of IMD, New Delhi, especially Shri D. P. Nayak for data collection and technical support for this work. We also acknowledge Shri R.P. Sharma, Shri Kalu Ram and Shri M.G. Mittal, Assistant Meteorologists of Cyclone Warning Division, IMD, New Delhi for their support during the work.
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