Recent Floods at Kerala and Kodagu Region of Karnataka

Coordinator: Prof. Sai Baba and Dr. V V Binoy

NIAS has organised Roundtable meeting on “Recent floods at Kerala and Kodagu Region of Karnataka” on September 18, 2018. Experts from various agencies participated in the meeting. The meeting started with Prof. M. Sai Baba, welcoming the participants. Dr. VV Binoy, gave the details of the agenda of the meeting.

The daylong meeting had participation from various agencies, which included: Prof. Shailesh Naik, Prof. VS Ramamurthy, NIAS, Prof Vinod Kumar Gaur, CSIR Centre for Mathematical Modelling and Computer Simulation, Bangalore, Dr. M V Ramanamurthy and Dr. T. Usha, National Center for Coastal Research, Chennai, Dr. M Mohapatra, RCMC, IMD, New Delhi, Dr. E N Rajagopal. NCMRWF, Noida, Dr. N Purnachandra Rao, National Centre for Earth Science Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, Dr. G S Srinivasa Reddy, Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre, Bengaluru, Prof. G L Sivakumar Babu, Indian Institute of Science.

Prof. Shailesh Nayak, Director, NIAS in his introductory remarks emphasised the need for improvement in communication system, response of the government to the information made available and its ability to judge the situation and take appropriate decisions. He has also stated about where there is the need for improvement, is it in communicating, or response or forecasting.

Prof. V.S. Ramamurthy in his address, brought to the attention about the importance of quick responses to disaster to reduce the loss of lives and effective relief responses as well as post disaster management. Need for develop flood modelling systems developed for Chennai to be developed for other states.

Dr. MV. Ramanamurthy, talked about the Chennai urban flooding and C-Flows a Coastal urban flood warning and impact-based risk analysis that had been developed. Field experiments and collection of data is in process in Kerala and the data is to be used to validate the numerical methods available and set up a similar system in Kerala.

Dr. T Usha, gave further the details of C-FLOWS system and demonstrated various features of the system developed.

Prof. V K Gaur, in his address highlighted that one of the reasons of extreme rainfall is the climate change and the need for formulating plausible hazard scenarios and make them available to the public based on past events. He also emphasized the need for involving the academic institutes to energize the younger generation of students and internalize the available knowledge.

Dr. G L Siva Kumar Babu discussed about the triggering causes for the landslides and emphasised the importance of studying and analyzing the threshold rainfall of an area to minimize risk associated. Multi hazard risk analysis is being done to understand the triggers that lead to continuous disasters.

Dr N. Purnachandra Rao, indicated that the topography and geography of Kerala are different from other states and need to take this into consideration while carrying out the flood modeling studies. It was noted that mid-lands of Kerala have registered highest levels of flooding. Brought to the attention of the participants about the detail study done at district level of possible hazards in Kerala including flood and landslides and was made available to all the related government departments in Kerala.

Dr. Srinivasa Reddy, presented the current situation of rainfall and flood status in Karnataka and described the excellent data collection system has been put in place was described. Kodugu region had 40% excess rainfall and found to be distributed in July and August as two peaks. 225 landslide areas were identified, and there was damage to most of the road structures. Horticulture was also affected seriously and would take time to recover.

Dr. E N Rajagopal, highlighted the capability of the deterministic forecast system with 12km radius horizontal resolution and 1-10 day forecast. The cyclonic systems that emerged prior to monsoon has led to the conditions resulting in heavy rain fall.

There were detailed discussions during the roundtable meeting and some of the points emphasised were: Requirement for co-ordination between different government departments to function during a disaster. Methods to make the public aware of the risk of the flood prone areas. Maintenance of slopes during new constructions and developmental aspects was discussed to prevent landslides.

The roundtable discussions were followed by a Panel discussion on “ Recent floods at Kerala and Kodagu Region of Karnataka” on September 18, 2018. Experts from various agencies participated in the meeting. The panellists were Prof. Shailesh Nayak, NIAS, Prof. Vinod Kumar Gaur, CMMACS, Bengaluru Dr. M. Mohapatra, NWFC, IMD, New Delhi, Dr. E. N. Rajagopal, NCMRWF, Noida Dr. G. S. Srinivasa Reddy, KSNDMC, Bengaluru. The meeting started with Prof. M. Sai Baba, welcoming the participants. Dr VV Binoy, listed the important points of the discussion held during the round table meeting. Prof. Shailesh Nayak, Director, NIAS giving the introductory remarks
about the importance of the meeting. The panel discussion was an open forum with public participation. Each member of the panel summarized the discussions held in the day long meeting and salient features were brought to the notice of the participants. There was active participation from the audience.

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