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Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority
An Initiative of Government of Gujarat
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1. Does GSDMA release weather related warnings?
A : GSDMA sends Weather Bulletin all round the year to the Offices of Hon’ble Chief Minister, Hon’ble Minister of Revenue and Disaster Management; Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Revenue); Commissioner of Relief. The office of Commissioner of Relief is in charge of the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) / State Control Room and deals with early warning and emergency response based on the preliminary inputs from the District Emergency Operation Centres (DEOCs) and other agencies such as the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
2. Which are the agencies which are involved in issuing weather warning & emergency early warning for various hazards?
A : As per the prevailing practice in the country, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) is mandated to monitor and give warnings regarding Tropical Cyclone (TC). IMD issues warning to the State Control Room, likely to be affected districts as well as to the general public through the All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan.
Similarly, for the major interstate rivers, flood forecasting activity and warnings are issued by Central Water Commission (CWC). For the state rivers, there is a flood control cell set up by Narmada, Water Resources, Water Supply and Kalpsar Deparment. As a part of “Flood Warning Arrangement” a Flood Control Cell under the control of Superintending Engineer, is set up from 1st June to 31st October or up to one week after withdrawal of monsoon by I.M.D. or as directed by Govt. of Gujarat. Further, the rules and protocol are as per the Flood Memorandum or the Flood Management Plan.
For earthquakes, India Meteorological Department (IMD) is the nodal government agency responsible for monitoring earthquake activity in and around the country. Over and above that, ISR also monitors such activities in Gujarat.
3. How GSDMA, GIDM and ISR are integrated?
A : After the initial support for establishment of Institute of Seismological Research (ISR) by GSDMA, the institute now functions under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat. CEO, GSDMA is a member of the Governing Council and Executive Committee of ISR. ISR sends regular Earthquake Reports/Bulletins/updates to GSDMA as well as other important functionaries of the State Government.
Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management (GIDM) is the research and training wing of GSDMA. GIDM is currently housed in GSDMA and conducts regular training programmes for various stakeholders at the New GIDM Building located at Raisan, Gandhinagar. It is envisioned that these institutes function as individual institutes, whilst providing disaster management related inputs to GSDMA and the State Government.
4. What is the network of emergency response at the State and District level?
A : By the virtue of the Gujarat State Disaster Management Act, 2003; Gujarat has emergency response network at the State and District levels. At the State level, a state of the art State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) has been established at Gandhinagar to respond to emergency situations. The SEOC, with round the clock staff, is also equipped with the communication network to connect to the district and taluka levels for better coordination during the time of emergency situations. At the District level, DOECs and Regional Emergency Response Centres (ERCs) at strategic locations across the State have been established. District Emergency Operation centers have been established / strengthened in 25 districts of the State. These EOCs are managed by the Revenue Department (Commissioner of Relief and supporting staff at the State level and Collector and supporting staff at the District level). The ERCs are to be managed by the Fire & Emergency Services of the respective Municipal Corporations.
5. What are the initiatives taken for disaster management capacity building in the State of Gujarat?
A : GIDM conducts regular training and re-training of different stakeholders, officials from line departments as well as specific targeted groups on various topics related to disaster management. As capacity building measures at the district and sub district level, there are several community based activities like trainings, mock-drills, awareness campaigns under the Disaster Risk Management Programme. In due course, GSDMA has also developed Information Education Communication (IEC) materials in local language on almost every natural hazard and its associated Do’s & Don’ts, in addition to other publications / guidelines.
6. How are NGOs involved in Disaster Management initiatives of GSDMA?
A : There are separate training and awareness programs organized at state and district levels for the involvement of non-governmental organizations and voluntary social welfare institutions working on disaster management at grassroots levels. At the local level, NGO’s are instrumental in the preparation of the village level disaster management plans.
7. What is the difference between roles and responsibilities of GSDMA and Office of the Commissioner of Relief?
A : The role of GSDMA is to act as a nodal agency for knowledge management, long-term disaster mitigation, prevention and capacity building of the State as regards disaster management. The Commissioner of Relief, by virtue of the DM Act-2003 has been made responsible for emergency search, rescue and relief coordination, prepare and update state / district level emergency / contingency plans related to disaster management and carry out mock drills related to various disasters on a periodic basis.
8. Why GSDMA is not involved in emergency response?
A : If GSDMA is also made responsible for emergency response, then there will be overlaps, duplication and also two establishments for the same work. This will lead to confusion, both within the Government and outside as to who is the nodal agency for rescue and relief and for disaster mitigation and preparedness. The entire idea of setting up a nodal agency i.e. GSDMA was thought about to address the needs of risk reduction, disaster mitigation and capacity building initiatives which could not be addressed to by the Revenue Department due to its preoccupation with search, rescue and relief activities which the department has been doing for a long time.
9. What has been done by the State Government in the area of seismic monitoring in the aftermath of the 26th January 2001 earthquake?
A : Gujarat falls in high intensity seismic zones III, IV and V and seismic surveillance in the region is required. Continuous monitoring of the seismic activity in the State is necessary in order to understand the seismic activity in Gujarat. Hence, Government of Gujarat established an Institute of Seismological Research (ISR) of international standard in the State. ISR is involved in pure and applied research in the field of seismology. It has also established a network of 22 Seismological Observatories and 40 Strong Motion Accelerographs across the state for continuous monitoring of the seismic activity. Real time data collected through this network is transferred to a data centre based at ISR through VSAT connectivity. ISR gets to know the occurrences of earthquakes (from minor to major) not only within Gujarat but also within the country because of this network in a span of less than one minute. Apart from seismic monitoring, ISR is also involved in carrying our Seismic Microzonation studies of areas which are highly vulnerable to earthquake for understanding the seismicity of that area. As per international standards, Seismic Microzonation is also essentially carried out before developing a Special Investment Region (for e.g. Dholera Special Investment Region near Ahmedabad) as potential investors worldwide wants to know the seismicity of that particular region before they decide to invest in the region. ISR is also involved in such special projects in consultation / partnership with national and international experts in the field of seismology.
10. Does the State have a repository of resources and manpower available at Village / Taluka / District level that could be used during emergency situations?
A : Yes, the State Government with the help of UNDP has developed ‘State Disaster Resource Network’ (SDRN), a web portal for collection and compilation of resources inventory at the district, taluka, city and village level. Resource network of more than 18,000 villages has been created in SDRN. Data is collected and updated periodically in a prescribed format covering important aspects such as resources available, vulnerable elements at risk, emergency contacts, disaster history and hazards faced to name a few. The information is collected through Village Disaster Management Plan [VDMP] formats at village level. Similar arrangement has also made for Taluka, District and City level Disaster Management Plans. SDRN allows the authorized users in creation and updation of the Village, Taluka, City, District and State level data at regular intervals. The link can be accessed from the GSDMA website and the data can be accessed by all.
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