KERALA

Environmentalist calls for alert against calamities

KOZHIKODE, MARCH 24. The environmentalist A. Achyuthan has stressed the need for a continued alert to face natural calamities in the State.

At a seminar on natural disasters organised by the Department of Information and Public Relations at the Regional Science Centre and Planetarium here on Wednesday, Dr. Achyuthan said the State was vulnerable to natural calamities. The tsunami in December had jolted people from complacency that such disasters would not affect the State.

Prone to calamities

He said Kerala was prone to calamities, such as landslip, flood, drought, earthquake, forest fire, coastal erosion and tsunami.

Stressing the need to take up disaster management in advance, Dr. Achyuthan called for efforts to evolve designs for construction of structures that mitigated severity of calamities.

"It is for administrators, planners, architects and engineers to channel their knowledge to evolve and put into practice effective and appropriate systems to meet the challenge,'' he said.

Puthoormadam Chandran, Deputy Director, Department of Information and Public Relations; P.R. Balakrishnan, retired Chief Engineer, Public Works Department; V. Velayudhan, District Information Officer; and E.J. James, Executive Director, Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), spoke. The seminar was inaugurated by the District Collector, Rachna Shah.

There were presentations on "Guidelines for earthquake-resistant buildings'' by N. Ganesan, Professor and Head, Department of Civil Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Kozhikode; "Geo-synthetics as construction material for disaster zones'' by S. Chandrakaran, and "Coastal housing technology'' by P. Syamala, both from the institute; and "Flood risk management and measures for flood hazard mitigation" by R. Gopakumar, Scientist, CWRDM.

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