Australia can expect far more fire catastrophes. A proper disaster plan is worth paying for

There’s nothing ‘natural’ about natural disasters Image: Politicians like to refer to “natural disasters” because it stops you thinking about planning and preparation. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong Full story:


Rising carbon dioxide levels may double floods

The risk of extreme floods or storms could double every 13 years at the rate carbon-dioxide concentrations are building up in the atmosphere. This could spell a “catastrophe” for India, scientists have warned in a study.

The number of intense “hydro-meteorological” disasters could increase by 5.4% annually for an “average” country facing annually nearly one “extreme disaster” (defined as one that causes 100 or more fatalities and/or affects 1,000 or more people).

India faces 5-10 times as many extreme events as the average country, the authors say. “One more extreme event in India [such as the Kerala floods of 2018 that killed at least 400] would strain the ability of the country to cope; a doubling of the numbers in 13 years, using the above estimation, would be…


Study finds limited outreach of disaster-related mobile apps in India

Technology and crowdsourced data have played a role in disaster management in multiple instances in India. However, disaster-related mobile apps have not yet taken off as a resource among users. The outreach of 33 freely available disaster-related mobile apps in India is “very limited” with most of them being educational, a study has said, underscoring the potential of crowdsourcing through Global Positioning System (GPS)-enabled mobile apps in disasters.

Researchers at Keio University, Japan, assessed the current state of 33 Android-platform based apps that are specific to the Indian context, based on defined outreach parameters like the number of downloads, user rating, primary and secondary functions among others. The apps are available on the official Google play store…


Australia can expect far more fire catastrophes. A proper disaster plan is worth paying for

Australia is in the midst of inconceivably bad bushfires. The death toll is rising, thousands of buildings have been destroyed and whole communities displaced. This scale is like nothing before, and our national response must be like nothing that has come before.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday somewhat acknowledged the need for unprecedented action. He took the extraordinary step of calling up 3,000 Australian Defence Force reservists and mobilising navy ships and military bases to aid the emergency response. This has never before happened in Australia at this scale.

But it’s not enough. As this horrific summer of disaster continues to unfold in coming weeks, we clearly need to overhaul our emergency management plan with a workforce that’s large, nationally mobile, fully funded, and paid – rather than using under-resourced volunteers.

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction says weather and climate related disasters have more than doubled over the last 40 years.

Although expensive, the cost of not acting on disaster risk, planning and preparation will be greatly outstripped by the cost of future climate and weather catastrophes….



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