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DISASTER PREVENTION AND PREPAREDNESS
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(a) National

The Govt. of India suggested in 1969, to the governments of the maritime states to set up "Cyclone Distress Mitigation Committee" (CDMC) in the respective states with the objective of preventing loss of life and minimising damage to properties. CDMCs are to plan the communication systems in the state for quick dissemination of Meteorological warnings and prevention measures. Prevention measures include construction of storm shelters, connecting roads for evacuation of people, construction of wind breaks, dykes, bunds, flood storage reservoirs, afforestation along the coastal belts and improvement of drainage facilities. An advance warning will not be effective unless the public is enlightened about the destructive features and the actions to be taken by them to avoid sufferings. CDMCs have also, therefore, programmes for generating public awareness through information pamphlets, brochures, audiovisual materials, cyclone preparedness meetings, talks and discussions over the radio and television.

(b) International

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has established in 1972, a Tropical Cyclone Project (TCP) with the objective of assisting the member countries to increase their capabilities to detect and forecast the approach and landfall of the tropical cyclones, evaluate and forecast, the storm surges, forecast the flooding arising from the cyclones and to develop schemes to organise and execute disaster prevention and preparedness measures. One such plan that is in operation for assisting the countries adjoining the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea is the panel on the tropical cyclones of World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the Economic and Social Council for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP). The WMO/ESCAP panel has a technical support unit (TSU) and its office is rotated every four years and is at present located in Dhaka in Bangladesh. The present members of WMO/ESCAP panel on Tropical cyclone are Bangladesh, Burma, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The panel co-ordinates the Co-operative activities among the member countries in facing the cyclone problems. Guidelines have also been drawn up for disaster prevention and preparedness jointly by the WMO/ESCAP, League of Red Cross Societies (LRCS) and the United Nations' Disaster Relief Organisation (UNDRO), which are being, implemented by the concerned countries. Recently, a cyclone operational plan for the region has been formulated and accepted by member countries under this panel. RMC New Delhi is issuing advisory bulletin to the member countries, whenever, there is a cyclonic storm in North Indian Ocean.

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