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CSIR-NGRI working on early warning systems in the Himalayan States

  • Published
    9th Nov, 2022
Context

The National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) of CSIR has begun field studies to put in place an early-warning system in the Himalayan States.

Details:

  • Problem statement: The smaller number of seismometers makes it difficult to demonstrate the minimum threshold or the maximum distance from which early warning of natural disasters can be provided.
  • In this regard, a few locations in Uttarakhand have been identified for the “densification” of seismometers and river gauges to take the total number to 100 from 60.

Technique: NGRI is utilizing Machine Learning to detect the observations faster because time becomes crucial during a warning.

  • Objective: To closely monitor the river flows in specific areas along the catchment to detect any sudden rise in water levels or flooding threshold that can lead to a hazard.
  • The new system will take cognizance of the vibrations or “noise” recorded by the seismometers, which need not be due to earthquakes. The isolation of the noise from the required signal would increase the sensitivity of the early warning system.

Significance:

  • Reduction of economic losses
  • Mitigating the number of injuries or deaths from a disaster
  • Protecting lives and property
  • Safety of large infrastructure projects and hydroelectric power plants

Important measures are taken to reduce Himalayas’ vulnerability

  • The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) is India’s domestic plan for ecologically sustainable development to be implemented with its own resources.
  • National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system: Eco-systems have an inherent capacity to withstand incremental changes in climate and landscape, leading to a natural carrying capacity of eco-system.
  • The National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Eco-system (NMSHE) aims to Understand scientifically the complex processes affecting this ecosystem.
  • The National Water Policy highlights the provisions for project planning, surface- and groundwater development, irrigation, and flood control.
  • The work of flood forecasting and warning in India is entrusted to the Central Water Commission (CWC).
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