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Cyclones are caused by atmospheric disturbances around a low-pressure area distinguished by swift and often destructive air circulation. Cyclones are classified as extra tropical cyclones (also called temperate cyclones); and tropical cyclones. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO, 1976) uses the term 'Tropical Cyclonea€™ to cover weather systems in which winds exceed a€?Gale Forcea€™ (minimum of 34 knots or 63 kph).
Extra tropical cyclones occur in temperate zones and high latitude regions, though they are known to originate in the Polar Regions. Cyclones that develop in the regions between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer are called tropical cyclones.
The criteria below have been formulated by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), which classifies the low pressure systems in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea on the basis of capacity to damage, which is adopted by the WMO. Storm surges (tidal waves) are defined as the rise in sea level above the normally predicted astronomical tide. The very high specific humidity condenses into exceptionally large raindrops and giant cumulus clouds, resulting in high precipitation rates.
A warm sea (a temperature in excess of 26 degrees Celsius to a depth of 60 m) with abundant and turbulent transfer of water vapour to the overlying atmosphere by evaporation. Atmospheric instability encouraging formation of massive vertical cumulus clouds due to convection with condensation of rising air above ocean surface. When a tropical storm intensifies, the air rises in vigorous thunderstorms and tends to spread out horizontally at the tropopause level.
A tropical cyclone begins to weaken in terms of its central low pressure, internal warmth and extremely high speeds, as soon as its source of warm moist air begins to ebb, or is abruptly cut off. Cyclones vary in diameter from 50 to 320 km but their effects dominate thousands of square kilometers of ocean surface and the lower atmosphere. Remove dead branches or dying trees close to the house; anchor removable objects such as lumber piles, loose tin sheets, loose bricks, garbage cans, sign-boards etc. When a cyclone alert is on for your area continue normal working but stay alert to the radio warnings.
Stay alert for the next 24 hours as a cyclone alert means that the danger is within 24 hours. If you do not have wooden boards handy, paste paper strips on glasses to prevent splinters. If you have to evacuate the house move your valuable articles to upper floors to minimize flood damage. Ensure that your hurricane lantern, torches or other emergency lights are in working condition and keep them handy. Be sure that a window and door can be opened only on the side opposite to the one facing the wind.
If the centre of the cyclone is passing directly over your house there will be a lull in the wind and rain lasting for half an hour or so. Indian coasts are highly vulnerable to tropical cyclones and consequent recurrent loss of life and property. Deepali Roy Assistant Editor Geospatial World Owing to its location along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Asia Pacific region is extremely susceptible to natural disasters. According to the International Disaster Database, between 1980-1989 and 1999-2009, the number of disaster events reported globally increased from 1,690 to 3,886. The Asia Pacific region is being characterised by growing wealth and is emerging as a market to reckon with on the global economic map.
Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Tropical cyclones are the progeny of ocean and atmosphere, powered by the heat from the sea; and driven by easterly trades and temperate westerlies, high planetary winds and their own fierce energy. Tropical cyclones are large-scale weather systems developing over tropical or subtropical waters, where they get organized into surface wind circulation.
When a cyclone makes landfall, rain rapidly saturates the catchment areas and the rapid runoff may extensively flood the usual water sources or create new ones. Once air spreads out, a positive perturbation pressure at high levels is produced, which accelerates the downward motion of air due to convection. The subcontinent with a long coastline of 8041 kilometres is exposed to nearly 10 per cent of the worlda€™s tropical cyclones. Cyclones of severe intensity and frequency in the North Indian Ocean are bi-modal in character, with their primary peak in November and secondary peak in May. During this time do not go out; because immediately after that, very strong winds will blow from the opposite direction. Recognizing this, the Government of India has considered the hazard risk mitigation approach through short term and long term measures, which lay greater emphasis on prevention, preparedness and mitigation.
InDG is a Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India initiative and is executed by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Hyderabad. For long, countries in this region have been facing nature’s fury in the form of cyclones, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides and storms.


These gains can slip out of the hand if they are not protected from the risks and impacts of disasters.
The air circulates inward in an anticlockwise direction in the Northern hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern hemisphere. With the inducement of subsidence, air warms up by compression and a warm a€?Eyea€™ is generated. Of these, the majority of them have their initial genesis over the Bay of Bengal and strike the East coast of India.
The disaster potential is particularly high during landfall in the North Indian Ocean (Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea) due to the accompanying destructive wind, storm surges and torrential rainfall. With this in view, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India conceptualized a comprehensive National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Strategy through several consultations, ending with a National Workshop, in 2003, "Developing Strategy for Cyclone Mitigation in the Coastal and Island Regions of India" .
Further, according to a report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for the Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), people of the Asia Pacific region are four times more likely to be affected by natural disasters than those living in Africa, and 25 times more likely than those living in Europe or North America.
It therefore becomes imperative to reduce disaster vulnerability and protect both the lives and development gains from impact of disasters. On an average, five to six tropical cyclones form every year, of which two or three could be severe. Of these, storm surges cause the most damage as sea water inundates low lying areas of coastal regions and causes heavy floods, erodes beaches and embankments, destroys vegetation and reduces soil fertility.
Thus, tropical cyclones, characterized by destructive winds, torrential rainfall and storm surges disrupt normal life with theA  accompanying phenomena of floods due to the exceptional level of rainfall and storm surge inundation into inland areas. To give effect to the strategic interventions, the Ministry of Home Affairs decided to put in place the "National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project". Also, while the region generated one quarter of the world’s GDP, it accounted for a staggering 85 per cent of deaths and 38 per cent of global economic losses during 1980-2009. While countries in the region are making it a priority and sprucing up their efforts, , good efforts also need to be matched by new multidisciplinary policy approaches, as UNESCAP observes. The main physical feature of a mature tropical cyclone in the Indian Ocean is a concentric pattern of highly turbulent giant cumulus thundercloud bands. More cyclones occur in the Bay of Bengal than the Arabian Sea and the ratio is approximately 4:1. After the formation of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the management of the Project was transferred to NDMA in September, 2006.
One of the key tools in reducing risks and in ensuring that efforts before and after disasters are more effective and efficient, is geospatial technology. It was coined by Henry Peddington because the tropical storms in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea appear like coiled serpents of the sea. Cyclones occur frequently on both the coasts (the West coast - Arabian Sea; and the East coast - Bay of Bengal).
This is the first such effort at the national level with World Bank assistance to cover 13 coastal states and UTs.
An analysis of the frequency of cyclones on the East and West coasts of India between 1891 and 1990 shows that nearly 262 cyclones occurred (92 of these severe) in a 50 km wide strip above the East coast.
The most fatalities come from storm surges and the torrential rain flooding the lowland areas of coastal territories. Less severe cyclonic activity has been noticed on the West coast, where 33 cyclones occurred the same period, out of which 19 of were severe.
In the case of an earthquake, which all infrastructure is within the primary impact zone of earthquake faults? Using geospatial information, officials can pinpoint hazards and evaluate the risk and consequences of potential emergencies or disasters. It is essential to analyse critical infrastructure (facilities essential for the operation and sustainability of health services, food services and government operations) that is or could be damaged or destroyed to restore vital services and government operations. Decision makers can assign response resources to the highest life safety and facility repair priorities. Another critical mission that geospatial technology supports is establishment of emergency supply chain management, says Dr.
A GIS can display areas where services have been restored in order to quickly reallocate recovery work to priority tasks. However, various other technologies are increasingly contributing to various aspects of disaster management. Mohaizi Mohamad, CEO, Geomatika Technology, says that LiDAR technology is needed to create a highly accurate GIS-based topographic layer for automated hydrological systems analysis and flood plan delineation for flood readiness. Elaborating on the benefits of this technology for flood readiness and speeding up the projects related to flood analysis, Mohaizi says that official solutions for flood control are engineering based which are ineffective in combating extensive monsoon floods. He observes that a highly accurate, 10 cm topographic height data is the requirement for hydrological spatial analysis and LiDAR survey is one of the quickest and most accurate methods to produce the requisite digital elevation model (DEM).
Using the LiDAR-derived DEM, hydrologists can predict the extent of flooding and accordingly plan mitigation and remediation strategies. Citing the instance of Malaysia that has been witnessing floods at an alarming level in recent years, Mohaizi informs that LiDAR data was used over the MADA territory in Kedah area in Malaysia for the analysis of data accuracy for flood detection and prevention.


The main purpose of the LiDAR data was to design new drainage system to enhance the existing drainage and irrigation systems for all paddy areas in MADA. Optimum accuracy of LiDAR data can be further achieved through use of real time kinematic (RTK) GPS surveying, says Mohaizi.
RTK surveying utilises short observations times and enables surveyors to move between stations.
The use of a network of reference stations, instead of a single reference station, allows modelling of systematic errors in the region, thereby reducing errors. This technique ensures that all LiDAR data achieve the accuracy of up to 5 cm on clear ground, explains Mohaizi. David Hisdall, Vice President Asia Pacific & Australia, InterMAP points out instances of two tsunamis that hit different countries in the Asia Pacific region.
On 26 December, 2004 a major tsunami hit south western Sumatra in Indonesia, causing damage across the Indian Ocean.
Much of the damage was in locations far from the epicentre, where there would have been sufficient time to be warned of the potential disaster. On March 11, 2011 a tsunami of similar size and magnitude took place off the east coast of Japan. While this event produced even larger waves, it resulted in a loss of life of less than 25,000 people. David says that much of the reduction in loss of life can be directly attributed to preparedness, making warning system an important element in the efforts to save lives in case of occurrence of tsunami. To be effective, safe areas for each community must be selected and evacuation routes prepared and signs posted. This planning requires detailed information based on accurate predictions of where the water will go during an event.
This data is gathered from coastal modelling software that uses accurate 3D information to predict the probable paths that inundation will take once it makes landfall. Following this modelling and route planning, regular tsunami evacuation drills need to be carried out so that the local population is well versed in responding to the warnings. IFSAR technology provides cloud free imagery and high resolution digital elevation data that can aid planners in selecting safe areas and planning access routes. Elaborating on the benefits of IfSAR data in disaster management, David says that since IfSAR is not affected by smoke, fog, cloud or darkness, it allows more complete coverage over large areas, making it a suitable source of geospatial data for selection of tsunami safe areas and evacuation routes. In many areas not just in Asia Pacific but across the world, IfSAR data offer the only viable means of monitoring active volcanoes or mapping strain building up around faults, detecting earthquakes and modelling risk, says David.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is undertaking the micro mapping Disaster Risk Exposure Assessment and Mitigation (DREAM) project. Under the project, the Department will acquire geospatial data with LiDAR and airborne radar interferometry (INSAR) technologies. The project will produce detailed topographic information that will enable the creation of more accurate flood inundation maps. This activity determined each barangay’s vulnerability to coastal erosion, storm surges and coastal flooding. Areas in Metro Manila at high risk during natural disasters may now be known through an accurate hazard map. The Australian government has formally handed over the 3D maps of the capital to the Philippines government. 65,000 geo-hazard maps identifying disaster-prone areas have been distributed to local governments in the Philippines. In addition, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council would also soon come out with multihazard maps in 13 provinces.
The Information and Communication Technology Ministry of Thailand has introduced an online mapping application to let users find flood status of different locations. The system features data evaluation from all state agencies, including the Royal Thai Survey Department and the Department of Highways. The Ministry is looking to further develop the application on top of the government's GIS for future flood planning and drought prevention measures. The conference, held in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organisation, especially focussed on the use of geospatial information in disaster management in the Asia Pacific region. A general problem is that data is available, but centralised repositories recording datasets are often not in place. There is no capacity at national levels to access or use satellite images, and it takes weeks to obtain needed information which is too late for the response window, observed the conference. The application of remotely sensed data for regional risk assessment is needed to translate to the ground level. Authorities (bureaucrats and politicians) who are in power and in a position to help people affected by disaster, do not often know what the data means, much less how it can be used to create appropriate policies.



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