August 20, 2018

Kerala Floods: India’s Disaster Déjà vu

Shankkar Aiyar, Visiting Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute, writes in the New Indian Express on why every disaster in India has a predictable course. Edited excerpts:


"Kerala, Gods Own Country! Who could curse God’s own country? Of course it would have to be man.  The floods in Kerala, the worst since the 99 floods witnessed in 1924, have already claimed nearly 400 lives and lakhs are homeless. While the 1924 disaster followed an estimated 3,368 mm rainfall across three weeks, the 2018 disaster comes in the wake of just over 2,000 mm of rain since July 1. The images of submerged homes, videos of marooned people recording messages pleading for rescue, the stories of old, young and ailing persons struggling to stay alive are shocking and gruesome beyond belief. The scale of relief operations gives a sense of the magnitude of the tragic disaster.


As of Saturday, 57 teams of the NDRF involving 1,300 personnel, 435 boats, two ships, 38 helicopters, 20 aircraft manned by teams of the Air Force, five companies of paramilitary troops from the BSF, CISF, RAF, ten columns of the Army, 10 teams of the engineering task force, 82 teams from the Navy, and 42 teams from the Coast Guard have been deployed just for rescue and relief. The loss of human and animal life, of livelihood and standing crops/plantations and the scale of post-disaster rebuilding and rehabilitation that will be needed can only be imagined."


Read the full article here.

Topic : State Capacity / In : OP-EDS
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