CSIR-NGRI working on early warning systems in Himalayan States

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Source: The post is based on the article “CSIR-NGRI working on early warning systems in Himalayan States” published in The Hindu on 9th November 2022.

What is the News?

The National Geophysical Research Institute(NGRI) of CSIR has begun field studies to put in place an early-warning system in the Himalayan States against major and sudden floods, rockslides, landslips, glacier lake bursts and avalanches and to prevent Chamoli kind of disasters in future.

What is an Early warning system?

An early warning system is an adaptive measure for climate change, using integrated communication systems to help communities prepare for hazardous climate-related events. 

A successful EWS saves lives and jobs, land and infrastructures and supports long-term sustainability. It will also assist public officials and administrators in their planning, saving money in the long run and protecting economies.

How is CSIR-NGRI working on an early-warning system in the Himalayan States?

CSIR-NGRI has identified a few locations in the higher reaches of Uttarakhand for the installation of more seismometers and river gauges to take the total number to 100 from 60.

The objective is 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.

These instruments will help scientists take cognisance of the vibrations or “noise” recorded by the seismometers which need not be due to earthquakes but can also be because of vehicular traffic, animal movement, rain, river flows and so on.

These instruments are also crucial for the safety of large infrastructure projects and hydroelectric power plants in this region.

Note: Currently, scientists are able to detect and assess a sudden flow 30-40 km away since the seismic wave is faster than the flow, and hence, the advance warning comes at least half an hour before.

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