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Degree of preparedness

Degree of preparedness

As India gears up to safeguard its eastern coast against cyclone Fani, prevention is the reason to prioritise any step in the wake of the approaching cyclonic storm. Prior warning issued by India Meteorological Department puts Odisha on high alert as the storm will approach its coast in a matter of hours, and there is a strong likelihood of the storm to approach the adjoining districts of north-central Andhra Pradesh on May 03. IMD predicts heavy to very heavy rainfall in few places over the coast of Odisha and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh on May 03 and 04 while West Bengal will see light to moderate rainfall in most places and heavy rainfall in isolated places near the coast. This information comes well in time as it can allow adequate safety measures to be put in place. Fishermen are advised against venturing out in the southwest Bay of Bengal at this time. Indian Naval ships at Visakhapatnam and Chennai are put on standby should they need to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake humanitarian aid distress relief work, evacuation, logistic support, and for providing necessary medical aid. The Eastern command of the Navy has thus assumed a high degree of readiness to render requisite assistance. The Bay of Bengal is the birthplace for regional cyclones due to high temperatures, humidity, rainfall, sluggish winds, and a combination of other geographical reasons. Fani is the first tropical cyclone of this season that has developed in this hotbed. As far as natural disasters go, most of them have been precipitated for anthropogenic reasons. Floods happen because of haphazard urbanisation, clouds burst because capitalist development happens with utter disregard for the environment, earthquakes are also not the most inclement of calamities. It is not the geographical process of a sudden violent change brought by nature but the destruction that it causes that makes considering disasters valid. Cyclones cannot be attributed to anthropogenic reasons but cloud seeding is an effective method of mitigating the disastrous impact of a cyclone. Disaster preparedness essentially is a measure of what one can do to avert or mitigate a disaster, not how well rehabilitation happens after disaster strikes.

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