Other States

Odisha launches disaster alert system for its coast

Indian fishermen move boats away from the coast following a cyclone warning in Puri

Indian fishermen move boats away from the coast following a cyclone warning in Puri   | Photo Credit: AP

EWDS would warn coastal communities about cyclones, floods

The Odisha government on Monday launched the much-awaited Early Warning Dissemination System, the first-of-its-kind technology in India, to simultaneously warn coastal communities and fisherfolk about impending cyclone and tsunami through siren towers.

Sirens will go off from 122 towers installed along the 480-km-long coast of the State if a button is pressed in the State emergency centre in Bhubaneswar.

‘Innovative system’

“The innovative warning system would alert people about disasters such as floods and cyclone. Fishermen fishing in deep sea can also be reached via mass SMS on their mobile phones through EWDS,” said Bishnupada Sethi, Managing Director of Odisha State Disaster Management Authority.

The EWDS, a collaborative effort of the Central and State governments, has been implemented under the assistance of World Bank.

It comprises technologies such as satellite-based mobile data voice terminals, digital mobile radio, mass messaging system and universal communication interface for interoperability, said Mr. Sethi.

It’s a part of the last-mile connectivity programme under National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project and aims to inform the last man living near the sea in case of an impending cyclone. Six coastal districts —Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri and Ganjam — have been covered under the EWDS.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated the EWDS to the public on the 19th anniversary of the Odisha Super Cyclone.

Mr. Patnaik said, “We have come a long way since 1999; however, we have some grounds to cover as far as forecasting precision and vulnerability mapping in concerned, especially in interior areas where we had loss of lives and property [during the recent cyclonic storm, ‘Titli’].”

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 1:15:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/odisha-launches-disaster-alert-system-for-its-coast/article25365127.ece

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