‘Work together for managing disasters‘

Oct 2006 | Comments Off on ‘Work together for managing disasters‘

“No one can hold back the power of nature. But globally we have developed the science and technology to understand these phenomena to effectively plan and mitigate. And I am convinced that only by working together can we face natural disasters effectively and minimize the losses,” exhorted Irwin Itzkovitch, Assistant Deputy Minister, Earth Sciences Sector, Natural Resources Canada.

Presenting the keynote address after inaugurating the Second International Symposium on Geospatial Information for Disaster Management (Gi4DM) held in Goa, India during 25-26 September, Itzkovitch detailed the technological expertise Canada possesses in effectively tackling the disasters – be it prevention of floods, seismic monitoring, tsunami monitoring and warning systems or storm surges management – and said that Canada is ready to share its expertise with the world. There is a big difference between the developed and developing world when it comes to the effects of natural disasters. While there is an enormous loss of property with little loss to life in the developed world, in developing countries there is a tremendous loss to life, Itzkovitch said.

Earlier, Dr Shailesh Nayak, in his opening remarks, said India is witnessing strange phenomena like floods in totally unexpected places like

Rajasthan and cyclones on the Arabian coast. It is necessary to understand this changing weather pattern. Satellites, both weather and remote sensing, have sophisticated equipment to monitor disasters and develop predictive models for managing disasters.

Briefing about the activities of ISPRS TC-4, Working Group 8, Sisi Zlatanova, Chair, WG IV/8 said her group is working with various international organizations like FIG, OGC, ICA, ICT for Environment and AGILE of Europe and added that it is essential to have 100% cooperation and integration of different technologies during emergencies. AS Rajawat, organizing secretary, Gi4DM proposed the vote of thanks.

Dr Shailesh Nayak, Director, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), made a presentation on the Early Warning System for Tsunami and Storm Surge of India, which is being set up at INCOIS, Hyderabad. He said the system includes an exhaustive network of tidal stations, bottom pressure recorders, broadband sensors across the country and is coupled with a strong communication network. Once this is operational, the system would be able to give out a tsunami alert within half-an-hour of the occurrence of earthquake in the region. The system is expected to get operational by September, 2007, he said.

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