Government considers early warning system to assess effects of heatwave
In order to lessen the effects of heat stress when summer arrives throughout the nation, the federal government is developing a heatwave early warning system that will notify people in certain places at least five days in advance.
The National Disaster Management Authority, which will distribute the alerts to different state and center level disaster alert dissemination agencies, and the Ministry of Earth Sciences are collaborating to develop location-based heatwave warnings with a five-day lead time this summer.
"The NDMA and IMD already have a substantial number of individuals, ministries, and state-level agencies on file. Those who haven't signed up yet may do so at our website to get a warning about heatwaves five days in advance, which will then last for the next five days. Do's and Don'ts for a Heatwave will also be included, according to M Ravichandran, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences.
According to recent research from the Indian Meteorological Department and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, which was published on March 8 in the peer-reviewed journal Advancing Earth and Space Science of the American Geophysical Union, it may be possible to issue heatwave warnings in India up to seven days in advance, which can play a significant role in mitigating the effects of extreme heat.
The prevention of the effects of heat stress will be the main emphasis. The message will be sent to the broader public by the authorities since, in accordance with the law, we are not permitted to issue a warning message to a user who has not registered with us, Ravichandran added.
In accordance with the standard alerting protocol, organizations like the Met Department, Central Water Commission, and Forest Survey of India, among others, give alerts to dispersing organizations including mobile networks, radio and television stations, and other mass communication channels. The disaster management authorities keep an eye on the process.
Director General of the Weather Bureau M. Mohapatra said, "We have introduced items this time that are aimed to prepare people for heatwaves, notably color-coded advisories. "All state authorities and the common alerting protocol will get them. Local language video bulletins are also available.
At a meeting on March 6, Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested that awareness materials be created for a variety of stakeholders, including citizens, medical professionals, municipal and panchayat authorities, disaster response teams like firefighters, and schools, among others, to help increase preparedness during the hot season. Modi also requested that the weather bureau offer daily predictions in a way that is simple to understand and spread.
The Met department's long-range projection of above-average temperatures across most of the nation and a greater frequency of heatwaves in March, April, and May led to the decision to expand the distribution of heatwave warnings.
According to recent study, the frequency and severity of heatwaves are increasing in India, according to M. Rajeevan, a former secretary in the ministry of earth sciences. According to a 2016 study that was published in Science Advances in 2017, the period from 1985 to 2009 saw 50% more heatwave incidents in southern and western India than in the preceding 25 years. According to earlier Indian research, a minor rise in mean temperature and the length of a heatwave generates a measurable rise in the fatality rate.
According to an expert, Gujarat has a smaller-scale heat warning system that is operational and has been successful in saving many lives.
According to Dr. Dileep Mavalankar, director of the Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad witnessed one of its worst heatwaves in 2010, with temperatures above 48 degrees Celsius for over a week and 800 fatalities. The first heat action plan for India was subsequently created by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation in collaboration with the institution and the non-profit Natural Resources Defence Council in the US.
With this strategy, we are able to save at least 40% of summertime fatalities each year, according to Dr. Mavalankar. Temperature projections under Ahmedabad's action plan cause an automated heat warning to be issued to the state's nodal official, who then issues a heat alert. To assist reach individuals at risk of heat exhaustion, notifications are simultaneously issued to the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority, the state's surveillance unit, NGOs, community health organizations, and the All-India Disaster Mitigation Institute.
Media announcements are made after. At this time, the homeless are relocated to shelters, and temporary cooling centers are erected up all throughout the city for persons doing outside labor.
"Every agency now understands what to do when the temperatures hit a specific level, and everything operates like a well-oiled machine. The documentation of heat-related mortality improves in Ahmedabad once a suitable system is in place, and this information further aides in death prevention, according to Dr. Mavalankar.