Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Asia–Pacific Analysis: Be proactive on disaster planning

South-East Asia has suffered from neglecting planning for disasters. Governments must heed the warnings and act now, argues Crispin Maslog.

In the closing months of 2011, flash floods caused by the wayward Pacific typhoon, Washi,swept some 1,500 people to their deaths overnight and left at least 2,000 missing in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

Typhoons strike Mindanao very rarely, every 40 years or so. But when it hit Mindanao this time, it lashed with a vengeance. The newspaper reports were dramatic, painting a vivid picture where "swaths of impoverished urban settlements mainly from the hard-hit cities . . . disappeared in the deadly brown torrents of slime and mud". [1]

And in Thailand, a deluge in October triggered by the northeast monsoons was the country's worst in half a century. It inundated 65 of Thailand's 77 provinces, including Bangkok, drowned at least 800 people and unsettled more than 12 million others. The World Bank estimated damage at 1.4tn baht (US$44.8 billion), making it one of the costliest disasters in human history.

The floods that inundated not only the Philippines and Thailand but also Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and most of South-East Asia towards the end of 2011 are not only a sign of things to come, but a warning that governments need to act now — with a serious and sound approach to planning.

Disaster waiting to happen

The sad truth is that the deaths and devastation could have been minimised if governments and international agencies had heeded early warnings.

The flash floods that struck the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in Mindanao were a disaster waiting to happen. Three years ago, the Philippine Imperative for Climate Change (PICC), World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF) and Filipino scientists simulated the effects of extreme weather phenomena linked to climate change.

The simulation findings were shown to Philippine lawmakers in 2009 and to newly elected Philippine President Benigno Aquino III when he assumed office in 2010. But the government dismissed the warnings as "too alarmist", according to the PICC. [2]

The shortcomings in preparedness were matched by deficiencies in response. In Thailand, environmental watchdogs have challenged the government to take responsibility for reacting too slowly to the disaster. "The blame for the floods is 30 per cent with nature and 70 per cent with the mismanagement of the authorities," said a representative of Thailand's Stop Global Warming Association. [3]

Read in detail at :- http://www.cdrn.org.in/show.detail.asp?id=23159

New climate change models for Maldives predict rising sea temperatures

The Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) has completed a nine-month research into developing a model interpreting the future climatic change scenarios for the Maldives that can provide projections which can referred during national and local development planning.

RIMES, based in Bangkok, provides regional early warning services and capacity building to its member states in Africa and Asia – including Maldives- in the end-to-end early warning of tsunami and hydro-meteorological hazards.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Dr Govindarajalu Srinivasan, technical adviser-climate applications and research, who headed the research in Maldives, explained that “we tried to interpret the scenarios of future climate change for the Maldivian context”.

He noted that the existing global climate change models (GCMs) which are the most important tools to study climate change and make projections, do not provide descriptions for regional or local scale.

Therefore, he revealed that the GCMs were statistically downscaled, and prior reports addressing climate change concerns for Maldives were examined to “generate a high a resolution climate change scenario for Maldives”.

Read in detail at :- http://www.cdrn.org.in/show.detail.asp?id=23160

Flash Flood Risk Management : A Training of Trainers Manual (2011)

Flash Flood Risk Management : A Training of Trainers Manual (2011)
Download full doc [3.09 MB] Print publication info Permalink
ISBN: 978 92 9115 223 0
Language: English
Author(s):Shrestha, A. B.; Chapagain, P.S.; Thapa, R.
Keywords: Water resources and management /Floods /Risk /Hazards and disaster /Training /Manuals
Subjects: Hazards and Disaster; Floods; Water management
Unstable geological conditions and steep topography, combined with frequent extreme weather conditions, make the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region prone to many natural hazards. Among these, flash floods � severe flood events that occur with little warning � are particularly challenging for communities, threatening lives, livelihoods, and infrastructure. Vulnerable groups such as the poor, women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities are often the hardest hit. This Training of Trainers Manual is designed to help build the capacity of trainers in flash flood risk management, who can then disseminate the knowledge to a larger number of practitioners. The manual presents an eight-day course including a three-day field trip. Detailed lesson plans for 21 sessions are followed by resource materials that will enable the trainers to replicate the course in their own work areas.

Read in detail at :- http://www.cdrn.org.in/show.detail.asp?id=23162

Coping with climate change

Analysis: Coping with climate change

Photo: WFP Cambodia/Polly Egerton
Recurrent exposure to natural hazards teaches you a thing or two about resilience
JOHANNESBURG, 25 January 2012 (IRIN) - In the past five years, “resilience” (the ability to absorb shocks and recover) has become quite a buzzword in the aid community. Discussions on adapting to a changing climate are increasingly peppered with the “need to build resilience” of people, infrastructure and governments in the face of shocks such as soaring temperatures, rising sea levels, severe storms and flooding.

In a review of its humanitarian operations (HERR), the UK government was among the first donors to place resilience at the centre of its “approach both to longer-term development and to emergency response” and announced its intention to scale-up work on resilience.

Aid experts and NGOs provide various reasons for the growing popularity and emergence of resilience as a concept. Some are sceptical. But they all agree it is a positive approach that will bring the worlds of development and humanitarian aid closer.

What does resilience mean in the aid world?

Some call it just another addition to the growing aid jargon. But mostly people call it a new approach, a “lens”, which has given new meaning to “sustainable development”.

Maarten van Aalst, director of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre and co-ordinating lead author of the summary of the special report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change (SREX) produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2011 explains it thus: Under the conventional sustainable development approach, if a road had to be constructed in a rural area, benefits - such as the impact on the lives of the communities living alongside, creation of job opportunities from the maintenance of the road and development of markets for the farming community - would have been taken into consideration.

This is what Peter Walker, a leading aid expert, calls the “linear” approach. The old development models “made projections into the future from recent trends and assumed that, all other things being equal, life would get better”.

But with a resilience lens on, the government or aid agency responsible for the road will consider the possibility of external shocks or unexpected developments that might affect the road and people’s lives. “What if the area becomes prone to floods or if there is an earthquake, what if food prices increase because the contractors are better off than the local population? [These] would be some of the factors that the project would now consider,” explains Van Aalst.

The SREX defines resilience as “the ability of a system and its component parts to anticipate, absorb, accommodate, or recover from the effects of a hazardous event in a timely and efficient manner, including through ensuring the preservation, restoration, or improvement of its essential basic structures and functions”.

A much simpler definition is offered by Simon Levine, a member of the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA), a consortium of NGOs and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), where he is a research fellow: “It is the ability [of people, systems] to maintain their well-being.”

Paul Cook, Tearfund’s director of policy, says the climate change community in its efforts to integrate “resilience to climate change across all development sectors”, is seeking a definition of resilience or “strengthened development" that is broad and “ensures communities and ecosystems have the capacity to adapt to uncertain change”.

Source:- http://www.cdrn.org.in/show.detail.asp?id=23161

Monday, January 23, 2012

NASA Finds 2011 Ninth Warmest Year on Record

The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880, according to NASA scientists. The finding continues a trend in which nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000.

NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures on an ongoing basis, released an updated analysis that shows temperatures around the globe in 2011 compared to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century. The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience warmer temperatures than several decades ago. The average temperature around the globe in 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline.

"We know the planet is absorbing more energy than it is emitting," said GISS director James E. Hansen. "So we are continuing to see a trend toward higher temperatures. Even with the cooling effects of a strong La Nina influence and low solar activity for the past several years, 2011 was one of the 10 warmest years on record."

The difference between 2011 and the warmest year in the GISS record (2010) is 0.22 degrees F (0.12 C). This underscores the emphasis scientists put on the long-term trend of global temperature rise. Because of the large natural variability of climate, scientists do not expect temperatures to rise consistently year after year. However, they do expect a continuing temperature rise over decades.

The first 11 years of the 21st century experienced notably higher temperatures compared to the middle and late 20th century, Hansen said. The only year from the 20th century in the top 10 warmest years on record is 1998.

Read in detail at :- http://www.cdrn.org.in/show.delhidetail.asp?id=23143

Time to redefine: urban aid sets fundamental challenge

Over the last two days I’ve been reminded, whilst participating in the 27th ALNAP annual meeting, that a shared professional language can be a hindrance as much as a help. This is especially the case when the topic is the challenge of urban disasters, until recently largely overlooked by (and therefore fairly new territory for) development and humanitarian NGOs and donors. Your mission, should you choose to accept: find a colleague working on disaster risk reduction or development and ask about ‘resilience’ or ‘vulnerability’. Does their definition tally with yours? These artificial gaps in our approach only serve to exacerbate problems in the complex, compressed environments of cities.
Meetings like this – with over 130 NGO and government participants from across the globe – are also a good chance to get a feeling of what the aid sector has on its collective mind. Most people here have their eyes very squarely fixed on how international aid agencies urgently need to work in new and different ways with government agencies and local CSOs. The words ‘demand-driven’, ‘collaboration’, ‘information sharing’ and even ‘disengagement’ have popped up more than a few times.
Robert Piper, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal, gave an excellent keynote address on the situation in Kathmandu, Nepal. He really painted a rich picture of what it might mean to tackle the ‘wicked problem’ of urban disaster planning and response in a country with two armies, a complex political setting and ongoing development challenges. The bottom line seemed to be: the underlying issues that perpetuate vulnerability are just as important as responding to immediate disaster situations. Within cities there is also increased likelihood that multiple local actors have established their own development and/or emergency priorities and can organise effectively to resist agendas they perceive to be imposed by international agencies.
This means that, in reality, these concepts – increasing focus on disaster risk reduction and closer working with local NGOs and authorities within cities – appear to challenge some fundamental tenets of humanitarian aid. To engage fully with them, it may mean rethinking who we directly work with (affected populations), andwhen we move in (after a disaster). Is the sector ready to answer these difficult questions? Such a paradigm shift would transform aid as we know it, perhaps expanding into the remit of disaster risk management and development actors.


UNISDR warns against ignoring seismic threats as quakes wreak havoc for second year

For two consecutive years the long-term disasters trend has been bucked by major earthquakes which claimed thousands of lives and affected millions in both 2010 and 2011, according to new statistics published today by CRED and the UN office for disaster risk reduction, UNISDR.

UNISDR Chief, Margareta Wahlström, said today: “The Great East Japan Earthquake and the accompanying tsunami is a reminder to us all that we cannot afford to ignore the lessons of history no matter how forgotten. The many major cities located in seismic zones need to take seriously the probability of return events even if many years have passed since the last seismic event of major magnitude.

“In 2010 we saw this phenomenon as well when over 220,000 people died in Haiti which had not been hit by an earthquake of such strength for almost 200 years. Unless we prepare for the worst then many earthquake-prone urban areas around the world are destined to see even greater loss of life in the future as more and more people move to cities.”

Figures released today by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) at a UNISDR-hosted press conference in Geneva showed that 20,943 people lost their lives in earthquakes last year out of a total of 29,782 people directly killed by 302 disasters. The earthquake fatalities included 19,846 who died in Japan while the remainder were largely accounted for by the October earthquake in Turkey.

The year was marked by the fact that major disasters in terms of human impact and economic losses occurred in high and middle-income countries. These included the Brazil floods (January); the New Zealand earthquake (February); the Japan earthquake/tsunami (March); two waves of severe storms and tornadoes in the USA (April and May); Hurricane Irene in the USA, (August/September); floods in Thailand (August to December); the October earthquake in Turkey and the December storm Sendong (Washi) in the Philippines.

In the case of Brazil, the floods were the deadliest in the country’s history (900 deaths), and in the case of Thailand, the country’s most expensive natural catastrophe ($40 billion).

Read in detail at :- http://www.cdrn.org.in/show.detail.asp?id=23131

Monday, January 16, 2012

Preparing for the “Big One” in Nepal

The United States is helping reduce disaster risks in one of the earth’s most disaster-prone corners, increasing the Nepalese Government’s resilience and strengthening its capacity to respond to its citizens.
Related Content

National Society for Earthquake Technology
USAID disaster risk reduction programs in Asia and the Pacific
Perched atop the Himalayas, Nepal faces multiple natural hazards, including annual floods, landslides, and avalanches, as well as periodic droughts, forest fires and disease epidemics. However, for the 28 million people of Nepal, the risk of earthquakes is what looms largest, in particular, the proverbial “big one”—an earthquake impacting urban areas that would eclipse those of recent memory.
Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu, with an estimated population between 3 million and 5 million, has not experienced a major earthquake in more than 75 years, and there is concern among seismologists that the city could be struck by an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 or greater—at least 10 times as powerful as the January 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti.
Similar to Haiti, Nepal is situated in a seismic zone that is capable of generating catastrophic earthquakes, and like Port-au-Prince, Kathmandu has experienced rapid urban development, including widespread construction of buildings considered too weak to withstand a powerful quake.
The importance of disaster risk reduction (DRR) programs is clearly evident in Nepal. These programs are used to prevent or decrease the impact of a disaster on a population, or to increase the ability of a community to withstand the disaster so it can recover more rapidly after the event. Since Nepal faces a number of hazards, an integrated U.S. Government approach to DRR, based on more than a decade of USAID engagement and now encompassing a “whole-of-government” effort, is being used to demonstrate best practices in disaster preparedness and mitigation.
There is consensus among international donor agencies that a concerted emphasis on disaster risk reduction is a necessary and cost-effective investment, empowering communities to reduce and mitigate disaster risk, increasing their resilience to disaster events and strengthening government capacity to respond.
The international community generally accepts that national governments themselves should play a key role in the design and support of DRR programs. Not only do they have a duty to ensure the safety of their citizens, but they also can help to implement the programs and create the necessary policies and frameworks to maintain them.
“Unless we act now,” said Margareta Wahlstrom, special representative of the U.N. secretary-general for disaster preparedness, “we will see more and more disasters due to unplanned urbanization and environmental degradation … Disaster risk reduction … is a strategic and technical tool for helping national and local governments to fulfill their responsibilities to citizens.”
DRR efforts can mean the difference between rains causing minor damage or mudslides and flooding that destroys lives and livelihoods.

Read in detail at :- http://cdrn.org.in/show.detail.asp?id=23121

Why international disaster law matters

More countries should follow international disaster law to ensure efficient delivery of international aid, say experts.

"Too often, this life-saving assistance is delayed by bureaucratic bottlenecks," Elyse Mosquini, a Geneva-based senior advocacy officer of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), told IRIN.

International disaster law, the legal instruments that provide guidance on how disaster assistance should work, "is the closest thing we have to a rule book on how disaster response operations should be managed across borders", says Oliver Lacey-Hall, Asia head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA).

The IFRC's International Disaster Response Laws, Rules and Principles (IDRL) programme developed the Guidelines for the Domestic Facilitation and Regulation of International Disaster Relief and Initial Recovery Assistance, introduced in 2007.

"The guidelines aim to provide guidance to governments on how to reduce red tape and strengthen accountability," adds Lacey-Hall.

But unfortunately countries do not think about needing external help until it becomes an immediate reality, experts say. Only nine countries have passed IDRL-based domestic legislation - Finland, Indonesia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, the Philippines and US.

Experts say more countries need to act fast and follow their examples.

Lacey-Hall said the recent floods in the Philippines showed that strong disaster laws meant response operations proceeded smoothly.

"Sadly it seems that usually it requires a disaster to focus minds on putting such regulations into place," he told IRIN.

Mosquini urged states to move before the next disaster strikes.

"One only has to look at the increasing number and scale of natural disasters over the past several years to recognize the urgency of action in this area," she warns.

Among the stumbling blocks covered are issues such as visas for aid workers, customs and taxes, and an overall need for coordination.


"There have been a number of cases where visas have taken time to obtain," says Sarah Ireland, regional director for Oxfam East Asia.

Myanmar notoriously refused to give visas to aid workers for weeks following Cyclone Nargis in 2008.

"We want to bring in legitimate resources like people and goods quickly, to get these in within the first two weeks," Ireland said.

Continue reading at :- http://cdrn.org.in/show.detail.asp?id=23122

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Natural disasters should be top risk concern

Natural disasters should be top risk concern

By Enterprise Innovation Editors | Jan 5, 2012

Headline news in 2011 on the devastating impact of catastrophic events have led businesses to reflect on their IT resilience standing. More than ever, they are questioning their preparation for natural disaster not only in their home country; but also how to stay connected and in business with their partners and supply chain around the globe.

IBM shared six tips that individuals and businesses can use to help prepare their IT environments for natural disasters and a wide range of other threats.

According to some estimates, 2011 has become the year of billion-dollar disasters. This is apparent by the series of hurricanes and tornados in the United States' Midwest and Southeast, combined with the earthquakes on the East Coast, Colorado and Peru. Closer to home, there were the tsunami in Japan and the devastating flood in Queensland, Australia, and more recently in Bangkok. With all of these activities, it is a safe assumption that natural disasters should be a top risk concern.

In preparation, many people in high risk areas are rushing to buy emergency supplies like flashlights, water and wood to board up their houses, but it is important to also consider the preparedness of businesses and government agencies.

Given these impending natural disaster and other top causes of disasters like power outages and network failure that disrupt the flow of information, businesses and individuals should also be assessing their business and disaster recovery plans before it is too late.

The following are IBM's tips for disaster preparedness:

Continue reading at :- http://www.cdrn.org.in/show.detail.asp?id=23092

Campaign cities share ideas for protecting world’s ancient sites

Campaign cities share ideas for protecting world’s ancient sites

Photo credit

By Dizery Salim

Geneva, 4 January 2011 – Byblos, with its ancient port dating back 5,000 years, is dotted by Phoenician, Roman and medieval ruins along the waterfront that municipal authorities now fear are in danger from sea storms.

“Heavy waves hit the heart of the harbour directly, damaging it,” explained Lisa Abou Khaled, from the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Disaster Risk Management Unit.

When Byblos city official Tony Sfeir met counterparts from Venice at the Third Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in May – convened by the UN disaster risk reduction office, UNISDR – he realized that the two cities faced the same dangers and obstacles.

Like Byblos, Venice is a UNESCO World Heritage site, has a local economy related to tourism and to port activity, and share similar water-related risks. At the time of the Global Platform, Venice had just been recognized by UNISDR as a role model city for cultural heritage protection for its defence system against tidal floods.

Renowned for its beauty, Venice is frequently flooded because unstable inlets open the lagoon to excess water when the mean sea level rises higher than 80 centimetres. Six times in the past 10 years, the water rose exceptionally high – over 140 centimeters – carrying silt and moisture, which experts say are putting the physical survival of the city at risk.

In June 2011, Mayor Ziad Hawat decided to invite the Italian delegation for a two-day workshop to find ways to protect Byblos’ historical sites along the waterfront.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Climate impacts in Indian Sundarbans more severe

Climate impacts in Indian Sundarbans more severe because of the region’s development deficit, says new study by Indian NGO

It is well known that Sundarbans, one of the most biodiversity-rich habitats in the world, is getting severely pummeled by changing climate. What is now becoming apparent – at least in the Indian part of Sundarbans – is that the impacts of climate change have all the more worsened because of official apathy and complete lack of development planning in this region.

This conclusion has come from a new study and a report thereon, done in Indian Sundarbans, by the New Delhi-based research and advocacy organisation Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). CSE released the study titled ‘Living with changing climate: Impact, vulnerability and adaptation challenges in Indian Sunderbans’, here today in a function organised in partnership with the Bangladesh-based Coastal Development Partnership (CDP).

The release of the study report was followed by presentations and a panel discussion involving some key Bangladeshi experts and commentators on the Sundarbans. The aim behind these sessions was to collate experiences and viewpoints from both sides of the border and arrive at a common understanding of how to shape action to confront a climate vulnerable future.

Climate impacts and the development deficit: what the report finds

Climate change is affecting Indian Sundarbans in a major way. The statistics are revealing:

Sea surface temperature (SST) in the Sundarbans is increasing at the rate of 0.5OC per decade; globally, the rate is 0.060C per decade. Higher SST is leading to sea level rise and adverse impact on the fish stocks.

Sea level is rising in this region at a rate higher than the global average. In the past 25 years, sea level has risen at a rate of 8 mm/year – more than double the global average. This is leading to land loss as well as increasing soil salinity. The Indian part of Sundarbans has been losing land at 5.5 sq km/year over the past 10 years.

The frequency of severe cyclone in the region has increased by 26 per cent over the past century.

These natural calamities and changes are playing havoc with the people’s lives, but what is worsening the situation is the ‘development deficit’ in the region. Sundarbans has remained largely neglected and isolated over the years, and ‘development’ has passed it by – finds the report.

“Socio-economic pressures are changing the environment in the Sundarbans. This has resulted in multiplied impact on lives and livelihood of people and other biological phenomenon,” says Mojaffar Ahmed, president, Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (BAPA).

On one hand, the region is experiencing rapid increases in population, while on the other it is witnessing extreme mismanagement of its fragile and limited land resources, leading to lower agricultural productivity and growing disenchantment of the rural poor. A rising sea level has been eroding and eating away the land, while sea water ingress has been leading to high salinity, laying waste vast tracts of land.

Says Chandra Bhushan, CSE’s deputy director general and the head of its climate change programme: “Development planning in Indian Sundarbans has never included climate change or its impacts within its purview of things – and this is quite evident in the way everything from electrification to land management is being done here. In the case of electrification, despite the vulnerability (due to the fragile topography and frequency of extreme weather events) and skewed cost of the grid, a decentralised distribution network for renewable energy has not been promoted.”

Development planning must cover climate impacts

The report and the meeting that followed called for a new plan for the Sundarbans, in which development policy would include climate change and its impacts. Says Aditya Ghosh, lead researcher of the report: “What Sundarbans needs is a development plan that will not only bridge the development deficit of the region but will tackle the impacts of the changing climate. In this context, a new land and embankment policy is must.”

According to CSE researchers, what would be critical in all this planning is to decide who will bear the cost of this development. Says Bhushan: “There is an incremental cost of development. Climate change has, in fact, increased the cost of development, and this cost has to be paid for by an international mechanism like the Green Climate Fund. However, we must remember that it does not absolve the governments of India and Bangladesh of their roles and responsibilities in Sundarbans.”

Read in detail at :- http://cdrn.org.in/show.detail.asp?id=23087

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Funding crucial for national disaster prevention plans

Funding crucial for national disaster prevention plans

Photo credit

By Dizery Salim

GENEVA, 29 December 2011 - In an era of climate change, countries without national disaster prevention plans will find their cities and municipalities repeatedly engulfed by disasters, warned Philippine Senator Loren Legarda – UNISDR Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in the Asia Pacific – who said governments should not be “content with post-disaster relief and rehabilitation” alone.

Following the onset of Tropical Storm Sendong last week, Legarda urged immediate action from Philippine President Benigno Aquino to put the country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan into motion. She reiterated that message yesterday with an additional call for the president to devote sufficient resources to disaster risk reduction.

At a time when devastating floods had displaced over 300,000 people across 13 provinces in Mindanao, she said the Government – with the president’s leadership – should move quickly to put disaster risk reduction laws into practice, or risk losing more lives and assets.

She pointed to the high number of deaths, now reaching over 1,000, as an indicator of ill-preparedness within communities, which she said highlighted the importance of empowering local authorities to take risk reduction measures. That meant incorporating disaster risk reduction into local government budgets, said Legarda.

“Strengthening the capacity of local government units to address disaster risks and hazards is a major component of the national strategy for disaster resilience,” she said. “A national plan, no matter how good, will remain ineffective if not translated into local plans and action.”

As complaints emerged from the public about lack of guidance from the government, Legarda, who also chairs the Philippine Senate Committee on Climate Change, told the press she would organize regional workshops to explain the country’s disaster risk reduction and management law, known as Republic Act 10121. “I will put all the tools together. I will ask the UN office for disaster risk reduction, UNISDR, which has been helping me to assist in effective disaster prevention in the local level.”

Legarda explained in a press release that the Philippines had a comprehensive land use planning system, and that the Department of Environment and National Resources had produced a hazard map identifying high-risk areas where homes should not be built. But 340 municipalities out of about 1,500 – most of them poor and highly vulnerable to disasters – had yet to update their plans.

She also said those maps had outlined areas to which people could be evacuated safely. But, in the early days of the storm, the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that many residents had refused to leave their homes, raising further concerns about the public’s lack of awareness.

“I don’t think there was any seriousness and understanding of the gravity of Sendong. Even if there had been sufficient warning, there was no preparedness,” Legarda said. “A clear and effective early warning and response system using red flags like in Bangladesh must be established.

Read in detail at :-

Cyclone Thane: City was ill-prepared

Floods: City was ill-prepared

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The heavy downpour and the subsequent flash floods that submerged several parts of the city on Friday night have once again questioned the preparedness of the district administration.
�Though officials of various departments put in their best, the rescue operations at several places were affected by the lack of sufficient equipment.
�‘’The flash floods were an eye-opener for us. Several new places were affected by the floods. We should be better prepared to face a similar situation in future,’’ said District Collector K N Satheesh.
�‘’The Fire and Rescue Services Department should be given more efficient pumps, ropes, inflated boats and other necessary equipment,’’ he said. The Fire and Rescue brigade used inflated boats at several places to bring the people from flood-affected residential areas to safer locations.
�‘’The calamity assessment report to be submitted to the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) will have suggestions to face such a situation in future,’’ he said.
�The Collector also said that the drainage system in the city needs to be improved. ‘’We will also hold a meeting with Corporation officials to chart out ways to improve he drainage system,’’ he said.
�SDMA officials said that they will prepare a detailed plan to manage similar situations in future. ‘’A meeting of top officials of the Authority will be held in a couple of days to discuss the Collector’s report and to chart out a detailed plan to carry out more efficient rescue operations in future,’’ SDMA secretary K B Valsalakumari said.
�‘’We will also identify the vulnerable areas,’’ she said.
Rescue Camps
A good majority of the 14 rescue camps opened by the district administration were closed on Sunday evening after people left for their homes.
At several locations, people used the camp for having food only. In some areas, the officials set up marquees near the submerged areas for the residents who desired to be close to their houses.� �

Read in detail at :- http://cdrn.org.in/show.detail.asp?id=23070

Cyclone Thane: UNDMT Situation Report

We are sharing a consolidated UNDMT Sit Rep from the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office on Cyclone Thane.

According to latest media reports, the impact of the cyclone has resulted in 47 casualties. The cyclone has now weakened and the situation in the affected states of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh is under control.

To view the Situation Report click here :- http://cdrn.org.in/show.detail.asp?id=23069