High water: on growing challenge from tropical cyclones 

Synopsis: Tropical cyclones laden with moisture and accumulated energy pose a growing challenge, as they have the propensity to inflict heavy damage to lives and property. The welcome concern for public health and economic security must lead to stronger institutional responses to natural disasters too.

Why cyclonic storms over northern Indian Ocean have a severe destructive impact? 

The northern Indian Ocean experiences only a minority of tropical storms annually. But their destructive impact on the subcontinent is severe.

It is due to a dense population and poor capacity to absorb large quantities of rainfall dumped in a short period over cities and towns.

Also, financial arrangements to insure the population against material losses also remain weak. 

What steps need to be taken to mitigate adverse impact of such disasters? 

Research evidence shows more cyclones forming over the Arabian Sea when compared to the Bay of Bengal.

Therefore, the Centre and all States cannot afford to allow large-scale losses to communities to continue each year.

Going beyond disaster response, institutional structures and insurance systems for financial protection, must be put in place.

Cities must prepare to harvest every flood that brings vast quantities of water, so vital to sustain mass populations.

Source: This post is based on the article “High water: on growing challenge from tropical cyclones ” published in The Hindu on 28th Sep 2021. 

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