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About the Authors

Dr.K.Palanivel, Assistant
Professor, Centre for Remote
Sensing, Bharathidasan
University, Tiruchirappalli has
over 16 years of in depth
expertise in GIS in Water
Resources and further specialized in Spatial
Support Systems (SSS) for Natural Resources
Management and Natural Disasters Mapping
Mitigation and Management. He has published
over 29 scientific papers in referred journals,
edited volumes and conference proceedings and
edited a special volume on Geospatial
Technology for Developmental Planning. He is a
member in number of academic societies.

Dr.J.Saravanavel, Assistant
Professor, Centre for Remote
Sensing, Bharathidasan
University, Tiruchirappalli he
has over 15 years’ experience
and expertise in the field of
Remote Sensing and GIS in
Earth System Sciences with special reference in
Neo-Active Tectonics and its control over natural
resources, environment and natural disasters.
He is a specialist in GIS based visualizations and
published over 25 scientific papers in journals
and books.

Scientist, Centre for Remote
Sensing, Bharathidasan
University, Tiruchirappalli has
over 14 years of in depth
experience in Remote Sensing
and GIS in Surface and Groundwater Resources,
GIS based 3D modelling and GIS based district
level Developmental Planning. He has
contributed significantly to both academic and
research activities in Centre for Remote Sensing,
Bharathidasan University and published over 20
K. Palanivel
J. Saravanavel
S. Gunasekaran

Organized by

Revenue Administration, Disaster Management &

Mitigation Department, Chennai

Irrigation Management Training Institute

Thuvakudi, Tiruchirappalli

Centre for Remote Sensing

Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli


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© 2015, Disaster Management

No part of the material protected by this copyright notice may be reproduced

or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including
photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system,
without prior written permission from the copyright owner.

ISBN: 978-81-8424-961-3

Published by Sunil Sachdev and printed by Ravi Sachdev at

Allied Publishers Pvt. Ltd. (Printing Division),
A-104 Mayapuri Phase II, New Delhi-110064
Dr. T.S. Sridhar, I.A.S.
Additional Chief Secretary
Commissioner of Revenue Administration
Disaster Management & Mitigation Department
Chepauk, Chennai-600 005

The State of Tamil Nadu is located in the
vulnerable part of the Indian Peninsula and
subject to both climate and geological disasters
such as cyclone, flood, earthquakes, tsunami and
drought. Government of Tamil Nadu has been
taking number of significant steps in the field of
Disaster Management to tackle disasters
effectively and provide immediate relief to the
affected people. There has been greater focus on pre disaster
preparedness and capacity building of stakeholders involved in Disaster
Various capacity building activities are being undertaken out of
the13th finance commission funds, and under one such activity funds
have been sanctioned to Irrigation Management Training Institute,
Thuvakudi, Tiruchirapalli for preparation of Modules on Disaster
Preparedness Mitigation and Management and for conducting Training
programmes in their Institute. The Institute has come up with a book on
Disaster Management authored by faculty from Centre for Remote
Sensing, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli.
The book is comprehensive with more scientific data useful for
Disaster Management update their knowledge. I congratulate the
Irrigation Management Institute, Thuvakudi, Tiruchirappalli, Centre for
Remote Sensing, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappali and the
Authors of the Book Dr.K.Palanivel, Dr.J.Saravanavel and
Dr.S.Gunasekaran of Bharathidasan University for taking efforts to
bring this comprehensive book on Disaster Management.

Centre for Remote Sensing, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli-620023 | iv

Preface IMTI
Dr. V.M. Muthukumar
Vice-Chancellor, Bharathidasan University

of Vice-Chancellor

Natural Disasters like earthquakes, cyclones, floods,

landslides, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, etc., cause
heavy loss of life, property damage, etc., and severely
affect the economy in many countries, especially in
the developing countries. For instance, The Asian
Mega Tsunami that occurred a decade ago shook all
the territorial nations in South Asia leaving hundreds
of thousands of people and cattle dead and india had to spend an enormous
amount of money on its relief and rehabilitation measures. Similarly,the
Uttarakhand - Kedarnath episode and the recent Hudhud cyclone that
devastated Visakhapattinam coast proved greater insecurity to human
lives. Nevertheless, higher technologies like Remote Sensing, GIS
(Geographic Information System), GPS (Global Positioning System),etc.,
have emerged as credible tools in providing possible remedies to the
natural disasters.
Ever since its inception, the Centre for Remote Sensing of Bharathidasan
University has been doing exclusive and excellent researches on natural
resources and natural disasters. This book will be a comprehensive source
of most useful information on Disaster Management. I congratulate the
authors, Dr. K. Palanivel, Dr. J. Saravanavel and Dr. S. Gunasekaran, on
their effort in bringing out this book.

17 November 2014 Dr. V.M. Muthukumar


Centre for Remote Sensing Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli–620 023  v

Preface IMTI


The natural disasters viz., Earthquakes,

Landslides, Floods, Tsunamis, etc., have become
the recurring disasters all over the world. In the
Indian subcontinent, though the disasters like
earthquakes, landslides and floods were mostly
confined to The Himalayas in the past, now it
started spreading to all over the Peninsular India.
The major earthquakes of Killari (1993), Jabalpur
(1997), Kutch (2001) and the moderate to low order seismicities occurring
almost in the entire country; the occurrence of landslides in almost all
the mountain regions of the country and floods in parts of Maharashtra
and Gujarat, along most of the Bay of Bengal bound rivers and even
in the desertic tracts of Rajasthan stand as testimony for the same. The
Asian Mega Tsunami 2004 has opened up yet another new chapter in the
hierarchy of natural disasters. The recent Kedarnath-Uttarakhand flood-
landslide episode which shattered the whole Uttarakhand state and the
Asian Mega Tsunami that devastated the coastal states of India a decade
back have taught us lessons that despite the invention and the advancement
in space and computer based spatial technologies and the studies by many
government, quasi-government and academic institutions in disaster
mapping, mitigation and management, the country is yet to go a long way
to have comprehensive disaster management strategies.
The Centre for Remote Sensing, Bharathidasan University, one of the
few centres in the country with proven credentials in advanced academics,
research and extension in Remote Sensing, GIS, GPS, etc., in the focused
areas of Earth System Sciences including the natural disasters, has been
researching in the core areas of seismic vulnerability mapping, landslide
hazard zonation and mitigation, floods, tsunami, etc., for the past two
decades. Distilling the data and the wisdom gathered, the authors Dr. K.
Palanivel, Dr. J. Saravanavel and Dr. S. Gunasekaran thought it fit to bring
out a comprehensive book on ‘DISASTER MANAGEMENT’.

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IMTI Foreword

I compliment the authors for their painstaking efforts and I am confident

that this will provide the basic stimuli for the beginners and a reference
material for all the researchers and the managers in areas of natural

Dr. S.M. Ramasamy

DST Geospatial Chair Professor
Centre for Remote Sensing
Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli and
Former Vice-Chancellor
Gandhigram Rural Institute-Deemed University, Dindigul

viii  Centre for Remote Sensing Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli–620 023

Preface IMTI
Er. B. Rajeswari, B.E.
Chief Engineer, PWD & Director, IMTI

of IMTI Director

Disasters like earthquakes, cyclones, flood,

drought and fire etc., are claiming thousands
of lives every year globally. Flood alone
destroys 5.00 crores acres of paddy fields
in Asia, the value of which is around Rupees
one lakh crores. The recent heavy monsoon
downpour caused submergence of more than
53000 acres of paddy fields in delta districts
of Tamil Nadu. Therefore Disaster mitigation strategies, are felt urgent
need of the hour. Irrigation Management Training Institute, Trichy is one
of the partner institutes joining hands with the Revenue Administration,
Disaster Management and Mitigation Department, Government of Tamil
Nadu, in organizing and conducting Disaster Management Training
Programmes to the officers of various departments.
To facilitate inculcation of knowledge and skills on Disaster
Management techniques to the trainees, a wonderful book on ‘DISASTER
MANAGEMENT’ has been brought out by this institute. Thanks to the
funding agency- the Revenue Administration, Disaster Management and
Mitigation Department Government of Tamil Nadu and the Centre for
Remote Sensing, Bharathidhasan University, Trichy, Faculty members
who offered their intelligence and skills as inputs in making the book.
This book is going to be a treasure of knowledge to those who are
engaged in the noble cause of public welfare and development. I wish
everyone those who involved in disaster management should read this
excellent book and update their knowledge, which would help to save
thousands of human lives and properties.

Place: Tiruchirappalli
Date : 05.11.2014

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Preface IMTI


Natural Disasters have become the growing epidemic all over the world.
Until 20th century, our Indian subcontinent faced few disasters like
Earthquakes and Landslides mostly confined to the active Himalayan
mountain belt and adjacent foot hills and Floods or Drought occurred
rarely in some plains. But, recently, these disasters have started recurring
all over the country. For example, the recent earthquakes in Kutch and
Madhya Pradesh caused greater casualty is one such signal that the whole
Indian Peninsula is prone for seismicity. The seismicity of moderate to
low intensities is regularly occurring in parts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh,
Kerala, Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu too. The cracks that are developed
in the buildings and the collapse of the wells in the coastal belts of
Kerala, visibly felt ground shaking in parts of Madras and Pondicherry
region during earthquakes and also in other parts of Indian subcontinent,
indicate that the seismicity of whole India need to be studied in detail.
Similarly, the Landslides and Debris flows confined to the Himalayan
Mountains for many centuries because of the active tectonic movements,
have subsequently crippling the Western Ghats of Maharashtra and Kerala
and the junction point of Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats, namely the
Nilgiri Mountains. Now almost all the mountain belts of India facing
the onslaughts of Landslides and it is greatly attributed to the haphazard
developments going on in these mountain belts.
Likewise, the floods were synonymous with Himalayan originated
rivers. But, now even the Thar Desert of Rajasthan is getting flooded and
the recent floods in Mumbai, Rajasthan, Kosi river basin of Uttar Pradesh
and Bihar, and Jammu & Kashmir floods showed that the flood phenomena
also started crippling the whole country. It is true even with Tamil Nadu
state that whenever excessive rainfall occurs in Karnataka, the Cauvery
basin gets flood. Again the rain fed rivers like Vaigai and Tamraparani
gets flooded once in five years causing substantial devastations.
Again the Tsunami, which was heard only by our ancestors and seen
in Tamil/Hindi Literature, though the Makran 1945 event was a bigger

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IMTI Preface

disaster, has now opened a new chapter in the Tsunami vulnerability of the
5,000 km long east coast of India. The drought and the cyclones are the
regular visitors in the Indian Sub-Continent.
Under this backdrop, if the state of Tamil Nadu is reviewed, then it has
also emerged as a multi hazard prone province in India. But duly realising
this, the Government of Tamil Nadu under Tamil Nadu State Disaster
Management Agency (TNSDMA), has initiated a number of programmes.
One such activity is conducting of various training programmes in order
to train the man power in understanding various disasters, prepare them
to manage and mitigate the disaster with better understanding and act
accordingly. In this connection, the Irrigation Management Training
Institute (IMTI), Thuvakkudi located in Tiruchirappalli was assigned
the work of conducting training programmes on Disaster Management,
various awareness programmes, etc., by the TNSDMA. To prepare a very
detailed document pinpointing the natural causes and effects of various
disasters, particularly to use as a training manual, the Centre for Remote
Sensing (CERS), Bharathidasan University (BARD) was assigned the task
of writing a comprehensive book on Disaster management by the IMTI,
as our Centre is one of the leading centres in India, carrying out various
Research and Development studies related to different disasters in addition
to various academic and research works.
This book on “DISASTER MANAGEMENT” is designed with more
attention to simply brief the important concepts and the natural geosystem
processes involved in natural disasters. This book will definitely provide
a comprehensive view to its readers about various disasters, their origin,
natural and anthropogenic parameters that are inducing them and the site
specific management/mitigation plans.
The authors acknowledges the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management
Agency, Government of Tamil Nadu, Chennai and Er. B. Rajeswari,
Director, Irrigation Management Training Institute (IMTI), Thuvakkudi,
Tiruchirappalli for allotting this work to our Centre and extending
all the supports to bring out this book successfully. Sincere thanks to
Er. K. Manuraj, Superintending Engineer and Er. P. Jegan, Assistant
Engineer, IMTI, Tiruchirappalli for their support. DST Geospatial Chair

xii  Centre for Remote Sensing Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli–620 023

Preface IMTI

Professor Dr. S.M. Ramasamy, the founder of this Centre for Remote
Sensing and the former Vice Chancellor of Gandhigram Rural University,
Dindigul is gratefully acknowledged for his untiring and ever blooming
fatherly support. Professor Dr. V.M. Muthukumar, Vice Chancellor,
Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli is gratefully acknowledged
by the authors for the constant supports and for providing Foreword to
this book. The authors are unanimously thanking and acknowledging the
Emeritus Professor, the formerly Professor and Head of Centre for Remote
Sensing, Dr. C.J. Kumanan for his outstanding brotherly guidance and
support extended in all possible ways to bring out this book in a good shape
and to complete this work successfully. The ungrudging support provided
by our Head of the Centre for Remote Sensing, Dr. D. Ramesh, Associate
Professor is thankfully acknowledged. Mrs. D. Gayathri, Scientist who has
assisted in developing SDSS (Spatial Decision Support System) in GIS for
both Natural Resources and Disasters, need to be specially acknowledged.
Finally the authors also acknowledge Mr. N. Ramalingam and
Mr. D. Madhavan, Research Scholars and the other Staff of Centre for
Remote Sensing for their valuable support in all possible ways.
Last but not least, though the studies that have been frequently referred
in the book were the author’s works, these have been carried out under
the guidance and leadership of Prof. S.M. Ramasamy through his various
research programmes and projects. So the authors convey their special
acknowledgments to Prof. S.M. Ramasamy for having consented to distill
those ideas in this book.

November, 2014 Palanivel K.

Tiruchirappalli, India Saravanavel J.
Gunasekaran S.

Centre for Remote Sensing Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli–620 023   xiii

Preface IMTI

Message of Vice-Chancellor ............................................................................. v
Foreword .......................................................................................................... vii
Message of IMTI Director ................................................................................ ix
Preface .......................................................................................................... xi

Chapter–I: Introduction ................................................................................ 1

How this Book is Organized? ........................................................................... 5
Chapter–­II: Earth System Processes and Chains ....................................... 7
of Disaster Occurrences
2.1 Earth System Processes ............................................................................. 7
2.1.1 Plate Tectonics – Earth’s ever ending processes ............................. 10
2.1.2 Geomorphic Agents and their Processes ......................................... 15
2.1.3 Earth’s Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulations .............................. 16
2.1.4 Changes in Sun’s output Radiation and Solar Flares ...................... 19
2.1.5 Self rotation, Orbital Revolution around Sun and Universe ........... 19
2.2 Chains of Disaster Occurrences . ............................................................... 20
Chapter–III: Classification of Disasters ....................................................... 22
3.1 Disaster Classification Based on Time Duration to Occur ........................ 23
3.1.1 Rapid Occurring Disasters .............................................................. 23
3.1.2 Slow Occurring Disasters . .............................................................. 24
3.2 Disaster Classification Based on Inducing Parameters . ............................ 24
3.2.1 Natural Disasters ............................................................................. 26
3.2.2 Natural Disasters Induced by Human Interventions ....................... 33
3.2.3 Exclusive Human-made Disasters . ................................................. 35
Chapter–IV: Disaster Vulnerable Area Mapping, Mitigation, ................. 36
Damage Assessment and Management—
Application of Geomatics Technology
4.1 Earthquake ................................................................................................. 37
4.2 Landslide ................................................................................................... 45
4.2.1 Geomatics Based Models on Landslide Hazard Zonation .............. 45
4.2.2 Landslide Mitigation ....................................................................... 49
4.3 Cyclone ...................................................................................................... 49
4.4 Flood .......................................................................................................... 54
4.4.1 Application of Geomatics Technology in Mapping ........................ 55
Flood Vulnerable Zones

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IMTI Contents

4.4.2 Identification of Causative Parameters and Flood Mitigation.......... 64

4.4.3 Feasibility of Flood Water Harvesting............................................. 67
4.5 Soil Erosion ............................................................................................... 69
4.5.1 Mapping of Soil Erosion Areas using Geomatics Technology ....... 69
4.5.2 Geomatics Based Detection of Causative Parameters .................... 71
of Soil Erosion and Mitigation
4.6 Tsunami ..................................................................................................... 76
4.7 Drought ...................................................................................................... 80
Chapter–V: Disaster Information System .................................................... 83
5.1 Requirement for Disaster Information System .......................................... 83
5.2 Designing of Disaster Information System ............................................... 86
5.2.1 Information Retrieval .................................................................... 86
5.2.2 Layer Wrapping ............................................................................. 91
5.2.3 Zooming . ....................................................................................... 91
5.2.4 Other Map Handling Tools . .......................................................... 91
5.2.5 Data Listing ................................................................................... 91
5.2.6 Distance Measurement .................................................................. 92
5.2.7 Data Updation . .............................................................................. 92
5.2.8 User Defined Query Based Map Display ...................................... 92
5.2.9 Display of User Defined Feature Label ......................................... 92
5.2.10 Hierarchy of Data .......................................................................... 93
5.2.11 Co-Ordinate Information ............................................................... 93
5.2.12 Display of Attribute Table Field names and Help Note ................ 93
5.2.13 Special Credentials of SDSS ......................................................... 93
5.3 Provision of Links with Relevant Agencies/Departments . ....................... 94
Chapter–VI: Pre-, During- and Post-Disaster ........................................... 95
Events and Do’s and Don’ts
6.1 Earthquake ................................................................................................. 95
6.2 Landslide ................................................................................................... 99
6.3 Cyclone ...................................................................................................... 99
6.4 Flood .......................................................................................................... 102
6.5 Tsunami...................................................................................................... 105
Chapter–VII: Summary.................................................................................. 114

References . ...................................................................................................... 116

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Introduction IMTI



D isaster—the word used by the French, Greek, Italian and other

ancestors is giving a meaning that, whenever the alignment of stars
in bad position, a bad event will happen (pejorative prefix δυσ- [dis-]
“bad”+ αστήρ [aster] “star”). From the societal point of view, an extreme
event within the Earth’s system that results in death, injury to humans and
damage or loss of valuable goods is called as a ‘Disaster’. Scientifically,
behind every natural disaster that occurred on the Earth’s surface, at least
a single, or a multiple Geological phenomenon or Earth System processes
are there in an active, continuous, systematic and in a cyclic manner. These
natural phenomenon or processes vulnerable to human and other living
being, their property as well as environment are known as ‘Geohazards’.
Whenever a society is facing a huge loss or damage to the life and/or the
human’s property and/or damage to its environment due to geohazards,
then that event is called as a ‘natural disaster’. Hence, all the geohazards
cannot become disasters because only few hazardous events are causing
disasters. For example, lightening and thundering hitting a vacant land,
huge landslides or glacial avalanches in a non-habited interior mountain
belts, heavy flood amidst a forest are all geohazards but these are not
turned to disasters till there is no such destruction to the human’s life or
his property. But, it is very clear from the Geological facts and findings
that, all the natural disasters are the results of the continuous, ongoing and
cyclic Earth System Processes that are happening from the birth of our
mother Earth, i.e., for the past 4.5 billion years.
Now-a-days, our human community have started facing disasters
very frequently. This is because of our own intervention with the nature
improperly through the various developmental activities and implement
haphazardly without understanding such natural Earth System Processes.
For any sort of disaster management activities that includes, disaster

Centre for Remote Sensing Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli–620 023  1

IMTI Introduction

vulnerable zonation or hazardous area mapping, disaster prediction and

mitigation, or monitoring such events during disaster or assessing the
damages caused after a disaster, it would be very opt, if we understand
the Earth System Processes and then plan or involve in such activities. On
such proper planning, during these disastrous natural events, our disaster
management goals would be achieved rightly in-time and safe guard both
our life and property definitely. It is great to know from the science point
of view that all the geohazards, though they are destructive, resulted due
to various natural cyclic Earth System Processes, geohazards are also
constructive. Whenever our interferences with such natural processes are
more and more brutal and selfish without understanding the nature, then
they become destructive to us.
For example, Volcanic is Eruption classified as one of the geohazards
vulnerable to become disasters if we live close to them. But, the past several
such volcanic eruptions only have played a major role in the primitive
formation of this lively atmosphere with all sort of gases and made the
land surface as fertile with the volcanic ash for the plants kingdom to
bloom rapidly and further with other inorganic mineral deposits and hot
springs-geothermal energy resources.
Similarly, due to the several past hazardous flooding events, not only
the fertile palaeo floodplains and deltas were formed which are highly
favorable for our present day agricultural activities, but also the high
potential groundwater aquifers (rock / soil formations that can hold
exploitable groundwater) were formed, which were naturally recharged
and discharged for several thousands of years, and thus holding huge
quantum of safe potable water.
We are blessed with land, water, mineral and several other natural
resources important for our life. These natural resources are developed
due to the several Earth System Processes which would be of highly
disastrous previously, but they were all can be considered as good disasters
for the evolution of human community. We can appreciate the truth of
this statement, when we come to know about the extinction of dinosaurs
during Cretaceous period due to several natural reasons. Now the people

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Introduction IMTI

started understanding the ill effects of the increased rate of population and
the resulted unscrupulous exploitation and pollution of natural resources
without understanding the natural geological processes.
Due to the developing human community and the increased water
requirement, the groundwater resources have been tapped rapidly
and unscrupulously thus declining the groundwater table. Further, the
catchments of these potential aquifers are also concealed or obstructed
by his various developmental activities through concrete or impervious
pavements in towns and cities, as building basements or roads. Thus the
regular natural recharge happened so far in such area during monsoon
is reduced or nullified.As a result, the groundwater table has gone down
to a very deeper level in developing areas, which have initiated several
‘induced natural disasters’ such as crack developing in mega buildings
and heavy structures (Dams, Tunnels), land subsidence, desertification,
groundwater quality deterioration, etc. The land subsidence reported in
Kolkata city (Chatterjee et al 2006) is due to the imbalanced hydrostatic
pressure below the ground having recent sediments, attributed to the fast
decline of groundwater table. Further, this may induce other sequences
of natural disasters such as earthquakes, sea water intrusion and drought
too. Moreover, improper disposal of both industrial and domestic wastes
into the potential river and land systems carelessly without treating them
have resulted the area prone for health hazard and disaster because of the
aggressive surface water and groundwater pollution.
Similarly, the Plate Tectonism, one of the major primary causative
factors for the major disastrous events, is the important rock recycling
processes through the movements of continental and oceanic plates at
different rates and scales. Due to Plate Tectonics, new lithospheric plate
is evolved slowly in one side as a constructive component, and land
deformation, collision and subduction are caused in the other side as
destructive component.
Proper understanding of these Earth System Processes lead us not only
to act conservatively while exploiting and utilizing potential resources and
to preserve them for future use sustainably, but also to understand the
areas vulnerable to different disasters and their inducing parameters.

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IMTI Introduction

Using the available land, water and other earth born resources, we
expand our urban limit very fast with latest technological innovations in
all facets of our civilization, by culling trees and converting agricultural
lands as multi-story residential areas, laying road networks and develop
other infrastructures. Combination of these human interventions have led
to minimize the oxygen input and also increased the release of carbon
dioxide to the atmosphere. This in turn increased the temperature and
climatic imbalance of the area. Thus, the imbalanced climate lead to
frequent rain storms, floods and subsequent drought conditions. Hence,
urbanization should be properly done to safeguard the living environment
which involves some of the important activities, such as, 1) site suitability
evaluation before any built up land development, 2) ensure intensive
afforestation and enhance waste lands for agriculture as alternate
activities for deforestation and conversion of agricultural lands 3) check
for the provision of proper and sufficient drainages and sewers, 4) ensure
installation and proper functioning of waste water treatment plants, 5)
provisions for safe disposal of residues and hazardous wastes, 6) plans for
treated water reuse and proper handling of degradable and non-degradable
waste potentially, 7) installation and monitoring of rooftoprainwater
harvesting structures, etc. Through these activities, it is highly possible for
us to safeguard the environment and prevent the induced climatic disasters
and to assure a secured life.
The unprecedented and ever increase of population have created a heavy
demand for both renewable as well as non-renewable resources and led to
over exploitation of all such natural resources. Hence, in addition to the
‘induced natural disasters’ discussed in the previous page, we are under
the threat of facing several other disasters such as, soil slump, soil erosion,
quicksand and unexpected in the quarries and open cast mine workings,
induced earthquake due to improper underground mine workings, mine
collapse, etc. Hence, it is high time to act properly for the welfare of human-
being primarily by understanding these ever ending Earth System Processes
in general and the local morphodynamic and tectonic processes in particular
and then by preparing proper integrated plans, so as to utilize the resources
sustainably in a conservative fashion and mitigate the disaster effects.

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Introduction IMTI

Proper integrated planning involves an integrated approach from every

point of view that combines different datasets from variety of sources,
including preliminary/primary satelliteimage processing, satellite image
interpretation and mapping which will bring inducing parameter details
so as to understand the Earth System Processes, monitor the situation
continuously, coupling the collateral data available from the Government,
Quasi-Government and Non-Government Organizations, developing
predictive, preventive and process models, and by generating user and
planner friendly Spatial Decision Support Systems, all using the advanced
techniques available now-a-days called ‘Geomatics technology’ in short
or ‘Geoinformatics technology’, also known as ‘Geospatial technology’.
The Geographic Information System (GIS) is an important component
of the Geomatics technology, which is an ultimate platform and boon in
collecting, generating digital spatial and non-spatial databases, providing
linkage between these two important digital databases, developing models
by incorporating several online spatial and non-spatial inputs, analyzing
them and preparing pragmatic action plan maps that are most useful for
the planners and decision makers for quick and easy decision making
during crisis period. Aerial Remote Sensing, Digital Photogrammetry and
Global Positioning System (GPS) are the other important and versatile
tools available in Geomatics Technology.
This book on ‘Disaster Management’ is planned to provide the base
to its readers on certain important concepts of Geosystem / Earth System
Processes, the human intervention in combination with natural processes
that are causing disasters and the application of Geomatics technology
in understanding these processes in detail so as to make pragmatic
action plans for disaster forewarning, mitigation, management, damage
assessment and rehabilitation activities.

How this Book is Organized?

This comprehensive reading material prepared for the Junior and Middle
Level Officers/Civil Engineers of Public Works Department of Tamil Nadu
is organized with seven chapters covering most of the aspects of disasters

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and their management. After the brief introduction in this 1st chapter,
the ever ending important Geosystem processes and the disaster chains
are discussed briefly in the 2nd chapter. The two major types of disaster
classifications are dealt in the 3rd chapter. A variety of applications of
Geomatics technology for disaster management are discussed in the 4th
chapter. The ultimate aim of preparation of Disaster Information System
for the planners for quick and easy execution of strategic plans during
crisis period is briefed in the 5th Chapter. The Do’s and Don’ts prescribed
by theGovernment and research organizations for the common civilians
related to important disaster events are given in the 6th Chapter. The 7th
Chapter summarizes the points that are discussed in the previous chapters
and ended with certain remarkable references for the readers so as to
enhance their knowledge through further readings.
The details regarding the method of satellite image interpretation,
digital database generation, data analysis, modeling and information
system development are discussed in this book in order to facilitate the
readers to understand the advancing and highly useful nature of Geomatics
technology in disaster management activities.

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Earth System Processes and Chains

of Disaster Occurrences

2.1  Earth System Processes

D isaster events can be mitigated or, even fully prevented or, forewarned
through 4 steps. They are: 1) understanding the roots and causes, 2)
determining such vulnerable zones, 3) pragmatic, and precise planning
for implementation, and 4) preparedness activities. If the people involved
are known/aware about the Earth System Processes, it is quite simple to
go through all these 4 steps in order to mitigate/manage with the natural
disasters. It is very interesting and important for the map makers, planners,
decision makers, implementers and monitoring engineers to know about
the birth and the activities of our Mother Earth. In this chapter, let us see
how our Mother Earth has born and its regular, natural dynamic and cyclic
processes briefly.
According to the Nebular Hypothesis, a huge, hot gaseous rotating
nebula consisting of clouds of spiraling dust (Figure 2.1a), consisting of
Hydrogen, Helium and heavier elements ejected by supernova—a giant
explosion, started cooling and contraction due to energy lost by radiation
and the shockwave produced by the nearby supernova. Contraction has led
to the gravity development. Because of cooling and contraction, the nebula
started rotating faster and faster in order to conserve angular momentum
(Figure 2.1b). As a result, a centrally bulged Sun was developed surrounded
by the disc of nebula (Figure 2.1c). But at the boundary region of the
nebula, due to rapid rotation, the centrifugal force becomes equal to the
gravitational force and led to the formation of a strip of outer orbiting
portion of nebula. Similarly, different orbital strips of nebula were formed
due to cooling and continuous contraction of inner portions (Figure 2.1c).

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In the course of time, these strips were accumulated due to collision and
condensed further into spherical planets (Figure 2.1d). This way, all the
planets were formed around the sun (Figure 2.1e).

Fig. 2.1 a, b, c, d & e: Shows the Formation of Solar System

Since our Earth is nearer to the Sun, cooling and the condensation process
took a little longer time than the other outer planets. As a result, the Silica,
Aluminium, Magnesium, Iron and Nicol materials within the Earth had
enough time to separate and settle themselves based on their specific gravity
into three spherical inner layers of the Earth. This process of separation of
materials in to three different layers is referred as ‘differentiation process’.
The three layers thus formed during the development of our inner Earth
are namely, Core, Mantle and Crust (Figure 2.2).
The core, located at the center of our Earth at a depth of 2900 to
6378 km from the surface, under very high pressure (3180 kilobars) and
temperature (5430°C) conditions, is made up of two sub-layers, i.e., Inner
Core and Outer Cores. The Inner Core is in solid form made up of Nickel
and Iron (NiFe). Due to the very high pressure of the Inner Core, the
melting point of ‘NiFe’ is dramatically increased greater than its normal
melting point. Thus, the Inner Core is in solid form, though it is under very
high temperature, greater than the normal melting of Iron and Nickel. The
Outer Core, which is surrounding the Inner Core, is in liquid form with
similar composition (NiFe).

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The Mantle, surrounding the Core, located at a depth of 100 km from the
Earth’s surface and extends up to a depth of 2900 km, is composed of Iron
and Magnesium (FeMa) in plastic or semi-solid/semi-liquid condition due
to the high temperature (3000°C) and pressure (1400 kilobars) conditions.
But, the pressure at Mantle becomes lesser than half times as that of the
Core. The Mantle can be further divided into two namely, Lower Mantle
and Upper Mantle based on the recognizable density variations studied
through the recorded seismic waves, propagated within the Earth because
of the strong earlier Earthquakes.
Above mantle, a very thin layer as a shell, like that of an egg, had
formed on the surface of the Earth, called the Crust (Figure 2.2). It is
classified into two kinds based on the chemical constituents and physical
characters attained during its formation. They are: 1) Continental crust –
made up of Silica and Aluminium (SiAl), 2) Oceanic Crust – made up of
Silica and Magnesium (SiMa). The Crustal plate/Lithosphere, a spherical,
upper most layer, extending up to a maximum depth of 100 km from the
Earth’s surface includes a little upper most portion of the Upper Mantle
and the entire Crust (consist of Continental and Oceanic Plates).

Fig. 2.2: Inner Layers of the Earth

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Asthenosphere is located approximately 100 to 350 km beneath the

Crust, in the Upper Mantle. This is a low velocity zone for the travel
of seismic wave, wherein the mobile basaltic magma is generated and
volcanic chambers are located.

2.1.1  Plate Tectonics – Earth’s ever ending processes

Due to the very high temperature of the Core and very low temperature of
the Crust, ‘convection cells’ are formed inside the Earth (Figure 2.3). As
a result, over the surface of the Crust, three types of margins/boundaries
have been developed. They are: 1) Divergent, 2) Convergent and 3)
Transform margins (Figure 2.4).

Fig. 2.3: Convection Cells below the earth and Their Effects on the Surface

Different combinations of Continental and Oceanic crusts forming

boundary margins over the surface of the Earth and plate tectonic
movements over asthenosphere are clearly shown in Figure 2.4. The
divergent and convergent margins are controlled by the convection cells
below them. At the divergent margin, two adjacent convection currents
are coming up from the deep hot core to the cool crustal surface, wherein,
magma comes out and concealed and thus a new oceanic crustal strip
is formed (Figure 2.4). The long and linear vent formed at the middle
portion, where magma comes out slowly as lava and cooled rapidly due

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to the ocean water above it and thus acquiring little higher elevation than
the surroundings as a ridge is known as Mid-oceanic Ridge (Figure 2.3).
As a complement and consequence, the other two adjacent convection
cells located on either side moves towards each other and sink into the
Lower Mantle. These convection cells moves the crustal plates towards
each other. At one stage, the two crustal plates collide. This margin where
in, the collision of crustal plates is taking place is called as ‘convergent

Fig. 2.4: A Portion of the Earth’s Crust and Upper Most Mantle in 3D View,
Showing Convergent, Divergent and Transform Boundaries

As a result of collisions of plates, Trenches, Folded or Volcanic

Mountain chains and Island Arcs are formed on the other side (Figure
2.4). The Himalayan Mountains are developed as a result of continental-
continental convergence, due to the collision of Eurasian and Indian
plates. The Andaman and Nicobar islands are the Island Arcs, developed
due to the same collision of Indian-Australian Oceanic and Eurasian
Oceanic plates (Figure 2.5). Other than these convergent and divergent
activities, transform margins are also formed at places, where the plates
are slipped each other horizontally. The rate of movement of continental
and oceanic plates is determined by the convection cells below the crust
and the dimension and rigidity of the plates (Figure 2.5).

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Fig. 2.5: Three Different Boundaries on the Earth’s Surface

Because of the movement of these plates, stress accumulation followed

by the generation of seismic waves due to sudden release of pressure
happens through breaking and sliding of plates. Thus several geohazards
are induced naturally and hence there is a great possibility for the
occurrence of disasters to the living community and the infrastructure
developed by humans on these crustal plates, in the form of Earthquakes,
Tsunami, Landslides, Rock falls, etc.
Along or nearer to the plate margins, as a result of collision or
divergence of plates, several volcanic activities are going on and recorded.
These margins located with chains of volcanoes are known as ‘Ring of
fire’ (Figure 2.6).
The scientific study of movements and collision of lithospheric/
crustal plates over the asthenosphere as a result of underlying internal
convection cells is known as ‘Plate Tectonism’. Hence, in total, the crustal
plate is undergoing a natural, rock recycling process either through Plate
Tectonism or Petrological Cycle process is kept on continuing from the
origin of the Earth. Thus, the geologists have started studying the crustal
plate movements (known as ‘Continental Drift’) and deformations with

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Fig. 2.6: Locations of Volcanic Activity (Yellow dots)

Along Plate Margins as Ring - ‘Ring of Fire’

specific lights on such locations, dimensions and stress release timings and
the related seismo-tectonic/geomorphic changes and the resultant effects.
As mentioned, due to the plate tectonic movements, the crustal plates
are crippled under compression or expansion pressure/stress conditions.
Due to continuous accumulation of stress condition because of continental-
continental collision, the crustal plates may undergo lots of deformations,
such as mountain building, fractures development and faulting. During
sudden deformation in the form of faulting, seismic waves will generate
and propagate with high velocities by shaking the crustal rock mass, is
known as ‘earthquake’. The earthquake waves shall destroy the features
and infrastructures that are available on its path of travel and cause major
During the stress accumulation within crustal plates due to collision
of continents, like a plastic the crust will try to adjust the stress/pressure
exerted in the form of local swelling up and deepening down slowly as
a crawling worm. If one area is getting uplifted continuously, then, a
mountain range may get developed. This is known as Mountain Building

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Processes. For example, the Himalayas, which is still under compression

by plate tectonic forces and thus it gains elevation with a minimum of
6mm to a maximum of 12 mm per year. Further, the entire Indian Plate
experiences the whirling or arching and deepening activities (Figure
2.7), perpendicular to the direction of its movement; i.e. along East-West
(Ramasamy and Balaji 1995).

Fig. 2.7: Whirling Effects in Indian Plate

(Source: Ramasamy and Balaji, 1995)

Similarly, different types of fractures/lineaments are formed on the

crustal surface where plate tectonism is active. Further, the areas where

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upliftment takes place, then groundwater level declination and soil

erosion will be induced more. Along the deeps or subsiding areas, a lot
of deposition of eroded materials will take place. Similar such geohazards
such as, sea water intrusion, groundwater pollution and change in the
direction of polluted plume as well as groundwater movement, declining
of sea level, etc., are also expected forever in different parts of our Earth
surface due to natural plate tectonic movements and thus, disasters are
resulted as a consequence, naturally.
The natural vertical adjustments of continental crusts based on their
thickness and density, happened during or after the deformation of crustal
plate due to plate tectonic effects, is studied scientifically as ‘Isostasy’.
Thus, a variety of geomorphic landforms are developed and classified
based on their elevations and the agents.

2.1.2  Geomorphic Agents and their Processes

The major and significant agents of geomorphological processes that
may cause vulnerability to disaster are: Glacier (ice), Tectonism (plate
movements), Denudation (weathering), Aeolian (air), Fluvial (water),
Coastal and Marine and their simple or multiple combination is also
effectively acting upon and shaping up the Earth’s Crust. These geomorphic
agents are still active and thus inducing several disasters on their way of
developing different landforms. Hence, apart from the resources that are
developed through geomorphological processes, it is also highly important
to understand about the geomorphic landforms and their vulnerability to
various disasters.
For example, in thickly glaciated areas, glacial avalanches (sudden fall
of big ice blocks), snow-melt runoff and Lahar (thick slurry-watery clay
soil which can move very fast along hill slopes and engulfing villages and
infrastructures within short period) and crevices (big cracks amidst the
glacier due to slope variation), are the most disastrous features.
A Block Mountain developed due to tectonic geomorphic process has
fault scarps along fault plane and escarpment slopes. These areas are highly
vulnerable for severe soil erosion, landslides, rock falls, rock slumps, etc.

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Similarly, due to denudational processes, different vulnerable slope

features are developed and thus disasters such as soil erosion, landslides,
rock falls and rock slumps may occur.
The Aeolian geomorphic landforms are causing high vulnerability
through sand dunes (cause quick sands, engulf the habitations and potential
agricultural lands), high speed sand storms and desertification of an area.
Flooding, water stagnation, water pollution, formation of quick sand,
whirl pool and erosion are some of the consequences of fluvial geomorphic
Through the coastal geomorphic processes, again, quick sands, coastal
erosion, wavy whirl pool, severe cyclonic storms and flooding are the
disasters that could occur obviously.
The combined action of different above geomorphic agents along with
the Earth’s self-revolution, axis inclination and orbital motion around sun
will play very dangerously in setting the local climates and changing the
speed of geomorphic processes rapidly. To say simply, many disasters are
resulted one after the other as a sequence. The same is dealt as ‘Disaster
chains’ latter in this chapter.

2.1.3  Earth’s Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulations

Apart from the various Plate Tectonic movements and Geomorphological
processes, the Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulations are considered as
the major deciding parameters for the existing local climatic variations
and thus the resultant climate related disasters due to Cyclone, Hurricane,
Typhoon, etc., and ocean accidents and destructions or sinking of passenger
ships and cargo ships. Similar to the deep subsurface ‘Convection Cells’
which have caused Plate Tectonic movements on the Earth’s Crust,
there are three types of cells (Hadley, Ferrell and Polar cells, Figure 2.8)
circulating on the Earth’s Atmosphere in order to balance the heat variation
due to latitude effect. The area falling between the Tropics (Cancer and
Capricorn) and along the Equator is heated up highly during summer
solstice because of the direct hitting Solar Radiations. On the contrary,
the Polar Regions will receive only very feeble heat energy from the high
oblique Solar Radiations.

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The reason is the heat energy lost by reflection, scattering, absorption

and refraction of Solar Radiations during the oblique penetration of Solar
Radiations through atmosphere makes a long journey to the rays to reach
Polar Regions. The local extreme variations in the atmospheric circulations
resulted into disastrous climates with cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes.
Similar effects and accidents are resulted due to oceanic circulations too.

Fig. 2.8: An Idealised View of Three Large Circulation Cells

in the Earth’s Atmosphere

In Figure 2.9, the space photograph taken by an Astronaut from

International Space Station (ISS) is showing the Space Shuttle Endeavour
seen at the back drop of the boundary between the Earth’s Stratosphere
and Mesosphere. Orange colour layer just above the surface of the Earth
is the troposphere, where all of the weather and clouds which we typically
watch and experience are generated and contained. Above this orange
coloured layer is the whitish Stratosphere and then further above is the
bluish Mesosphere. At the right side of the photograph is a drawing
representing the space above the Earth’s surface. This gives an idea on
the height details and different portions of atmosphere and the various

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natural (Meteors, Aurora) as well as human activities (Aeroplane, Weather

Balloon, Space station) happening above the Earth.

Fig. 2.9: Space Shuttle Endeavour Appears to Straddle

the Stratosphere and Mesosphere

In Figure 2.10, the Meteoritic light streak is seen in Mesosphere at the

near center. On its right, a cyclonic spiraling cloud with an eye at its center
parallel to the Earth’s surface is clearly visible. Refracted Moon light
made the upper layers of Atmosphere highly visible with orange colour
at the top right corner, left of ISS solar panel is also clearly visible in
this space photograph taken by an ISS Astronaut (Source: NASA Science
News website).

Fig. 2.10: Meteoritic Light Streak in Mesosphere at the Near Center and Refracted Moon
Light Due to Atmosphere at the Top Right Corner Left of International Space Station

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2.1.4  Changes in Sun’s output Radiation and Solar Flares

There is a possibility of changes in intensity and duration of incoming
solar radiation due to a Variety of geometrical relationships between the
Earth and the Sun, Earth’s rotation and spatial differences in the Earth’s
atmospheric transparency. Due to the changes in intensity and duration of
incoming solar radiation in to the Earth’s surface, there will be a prominent
climatic disorders and this may result climatic disasters.

2.1.5  Self rotation, Orbital Revolution around Sun and Universe

Variations in the Earth’s orbital characteristics, such as, changes in
the Earth’s tilt, variations in the timing of aphelion and perihelion and
Changes to the shape of the Earth’s orbital path are the major reasons for
a variety of geometrical relationships between the Earth and the Sun (Sun-
Earth Geometry). These changes in geometrical relationships between the
Earth and the Sun makes considerable effect on the intensity and duration
of increasing/decreasing changes in solar radiation, in turn it affects the
normal climate and becomes one of the important reasons for climate
change and related disasters. Moreover, several records on palaeoclimatic
changes and palaeo disasters are available on the Earth. Palaeoclimatic
research studies are showing the Polar Reversals (Polar Wandering),
change in the inclination of
Earth’s Axis, change in the
shape of the Earth’s and Sun’s
orbits causing the change in
Perigee and Apogee. Further, it
is also identified that the Earth’s
axis itself rotates and makes
precession (slow movement of
the axis of a spinning body around
another axis). This precession of
Earth’s axis takes 26,000 years. It
is also predicted that the Earth’s
axis of rotation will line-up with Fig. 2.11: Precession of Earth’s Axis—
the star Vega after 12,000 years A Climate Influencing Parameter

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from now (Figure 2.11). These facts are mainly influencing the Earth’s
climate and accounted for the climatic disasters and other related disasters.

2.2  Chains of Disaster Occurrences

Two or more disasters may occur one after the other continuously as a
sequence with or without limited time interval, due to any of the Earth’s
dynamic and cyclic natural processes initially. This is known as a ‘Disaster
Chain’. For example, it is opt to understand, a major disaster chain occurs
in our country during every monsoon accelerated due to heavy rain storm
and then flooding, followed by spreading of epidemic diseases such as
cholera, diarrhea, etc., which is further worsened by water logging, quick
sands and the related accidents.
A landslide induced by an earthquake during May 2008, had arrested
the normal flow of the perennial river named Tangjiashan river of China.
The materials dumped through landslide across this river had acted as a
big earthen dam. This had resulted in to the formation of Quake Lake in
the upstream of the landslide location. Water level of the quake lake had
raised to 738.71m on 6th June 2008 and identified that the bursting point
of temporary earthen dam was reached. This had threatened more than

Fig. 2.12: Temporal Satellite Images Showing the Formation of Quake Lake

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2,50,000 people living in its downstream. More than 600 armed police
and soldiers had dug a 475 m-channel to divert the water. Similarly,
more than 30 such unstable quake lakes formed during that period. If
the quake lake bursts, then the water gets mixed with the debris and flow
very turbulently along the slopes as Lahar which can bury the villages on
its way rapidly. Similar such event was identified along Pareechu lake
in the Tibet region, during April-August 2004 by SAC, Ahmedabad &
HPRSAC, India and the information regarding its breeching time (26th
June 2005) and the possibilities of making strategic plans through satellite
image analysis using GIS (Figures 2.12 and 2.13) were informed to the
relevant organizations by ISRO research team (NRSC-2006).

Fig. 2.13: GIS based 3D Model of the Quake Lake

In the same way, Earthquake damages followed by explosion and fire

accidents due breakage in domestic gas supply/distribution pipes, flooding
due to diversion of rivers or bursting of major reservoir dams are the other
examples for disaster chains. Many of the disasters may induce further
follow up disasters one after the other and thus make the bad situations
very worst in some areas.

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Classification of Disasters

M ost of the disasters occurring on the Earth are resulted due to its
natural, dynamic, cyclic and reviving processes. One of the major
Earth’s natural dynamic processes, briefed in the previous chapter, is plate
tectonics. Other noticeable natural processes are the physical and chemical
disintegration, weathering and mass wasting of rocks. After weathering,
the dislodged rock materials will be naturally carried down t o the low
lying areas through the processes such as, erosion, transportation and
deposition by several agents such as wind, glacier, water and ocean waves
and currents. These natural processes are useful for the formation of many
basic non-renewable resources for the living beings, such as fertile soil,
aquifers, hydrocarbon reservoirs, etc. The heavy mineral placers, such as
Ilmenite, Garnet, Gold, Diamonds, etc., were also formed as a result. But,
during these natural processes, the natural disasters such as landslides,
earthquakes, flood, lahar, snow avalanche, etc., will occur too. Hence, the
disasters occurring due to ongoing natural processes are named as Natural
On the other side, the developmental activities of the human being
through improper intervention with nature have also increased the degree
of occurrence of natural disasters in many folds. They can be classified
as Human Induced Natural Disasters. This chapter gives an idea of how
the disasters can be classified so as to understand the roots/causes which
would be more useful for deciding precise mitigation and management
measures. The two important parameters that could be considered for the
classification of disasters are:
1. Time gap for the occurrence, and
2. Inducing parameters for the occurrence.

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3.1  Disaster Classification Based on Time Duration to Occur

The natural disasters can be easily grouped based on the time duration for
the disaster to occur into two simple classes, they are: 1) Rapid Occurring
Disasters and 2) Slow Occurring Disasters.

3.1.1  Rapid Occurring Disasters

The disasters that could occur within a short period because of which the
area will be destroyed within no time (short period, i.e., few minutes) are
classified as ‘Rapid Occurring Disasters’. Some of the Rapid Occurring
Disasters are: Earthquake, Landslides, Glacial Avalanche, Volcanic
eruption, Asteroid Impact, Tsunami, Dust Storm, etc. In these examples,
though some of the disasters will destroy an area within few seconds, they
can be predicted early based on their velocity (speed and direction) and
nature of origin. Similar such disaster prediction capabilities are developed
by several researchers around the World for almost all disasters. In order to
manage with these Rapid Occurring Disasters, the planners should have a
preplanned setup with well trained-officials/volunteers and the informed-
people about all these plans in advance. Now-a-days, many advanced
mapping techniques on disaster vulnerable zones are developed using
the latest emerging tools available with Geospatial technology. Natural
Hazard Vulnerability maps for all these Rapid Occurring Disasters for the
entire country and the mitigation and/or management measures should
have been prepared well in advance. It should be followed by adequate
and prior training to the relevant people/officials involved.
Further, with the help of the Rapid Occurring Natural Hazard
Vulnerability maps, the Government can implement the prevention plans
suggested for different places. For example:
• Geo-textiling and Nailing of debris/rock hang or its removal along
hill slopes to avoid landslides,
• Neglecting permissions for heavy constructions along sensitive
areas which may induce further disasters,
• Preventing over exploitation of groundwater and continuous
monitoring of hydrostatic pressure imbalance developed through

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the subsurface voids because of fast decline of groundwater table,

which can induce land subsidence and further seismicity or sea
water intrusion into potable aquifers located below coastal cities
and towns and making them saline,
• Concrete grouting of active fault planes running along disaster
prone and sensitive areas and
• Identifying safe and alternate places for further future developments,
Further, necessary provisions should be made for continuous monitoring
of the installed structures and their working conditions so that the Rapid
Occurring Natural Disasters can be mitigated easily.

3.1.2  Slow Occurring Disasters

The disasters that could take some time to occur can be named under
the category ‘Slow Occurring Disasters’. For example, Soil erosion,
Drought, Desertification, Coastal Erosion, Ozone Depletion, Coral Reef
Decline, Imbalanced Green House Effect, etc., can be considered as ‘Slow
Occurring Disasters’. In these examples, though the nature of destruction
is different for each disaster, their effect may be recognized over a period
of time. However, the soil erosion or drought disasters will occur very
slowly and steadily, it is easy to predict early before their occurrence in
terms of target areas and nature of destructions that may happen as a result.
Thus, it is very important to prepare disaster specific vulnerability maps
with inducing parameters based mitigation plans. The mitigation plans
might have been implemented properly, the relevant mitigation structures
should have been maintained periodically and assure these disasters are

3.2  Disaster Classification Based on Inducing Parameters

The natural destruction part of dynamic and cyclic geosystem processes
lead to various kinds of natural disasters like Earthquakes, Volcanoes,
Landslides, Tsunamis, Floods, Land subsidence, torrential rainfall,
drought, forest fire, etc.

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For the past two decades, the human intervention into the Earth ‘s
natural processes increased very rigorously and simply neglecting the
demolition of non-renewable natural resources through such interventions.
Some of the intervening and nature’s destruction activities of humans are:
culling of trees for several constructions, over exploitation of groundwater,
polluting potential lands, river systems, groundwater aquifers and oceans,
etc. As a result, we have been facing a lot of series of natural disasters
induced because of such anthropogenic interventions, such as:
• Landslides, land slips and rock falls along ghat road sections due
to toe removal,
• Rigorous soil erosion in deforested area,
• Anonymous flooding in cities/towns with ill planned drainages,
• Desertification and land subsidence in areas of pollution and over
exploitation of groundwater, etc.
On the other side, because of the only human error, some of the disasters
are occurring such as Stampede, Pollutions, Accidents, etc.
Hence, the disasters can also be broadly classified into three classes,
based on the inducing parameters. They are:
1. Disasters Induced by Natural Processes called ‘Natural Disasters’,
2. Induced Natural Disasters by human interventions, and
3. Exclusive Human-made Disasters.
This particular unit on disaster classification is also providing all
the basic information about the different inducing parameters for their
The transitions between natural and anthropogenic based disasters were
dealt by CeesVan Westen 2000 is shown in the Table 1.

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Table 1: Classification of Disaster in a Gradual Scale

between Purely Natural and Purely Human-Made
Some Mixed Natural/ Some
Natural Human Human Natural Human
Influence Influence Influence
Earthquake Flood Landslides Crop disease Armed conflict
Tsunami Dust storm Land Insect Land mines

Volcanic eruption Drought Subsidence infestation Major (air-. Sea-,

Soil Erosion Forest fire land-) traffic
Snow storm/
Desertification accidents
avalanche Mangrove
Coal fires decline Nuclear/chemical
Glacial lake
Coastal erosion accidents
outburst Coral reef
Greenhouse Oil spill
Lightning decline
Acid rain Water/soil/air
Windstorm Sea level rise
Thunderstorm Ozone
Hailstorm Tornado depletion Groundwater
Cyclone/Hurricane pollution
Asteroid impact Electrical power
Aurora borealis breakdown

3.2.1  Natural Disasters  Volcanic Eruption

Our country had faced a silent volcanic eruption- a natural hazard, during
the end of Cretaceous period, i.e. 67-66 million years ago, which might
have been the reason for the extinction of dinosaurs in India. Moreover,
this eruption had contributed to a climate change to an average reduction of
2 degree Celsius. Recently, the one and the only volcano in Barren Island
of Andaman and Nicobar islands had erupted from September 2010 till
January 2011. But, since the island itself is barren, without any habitations,
this volcanic eruption event was not categorized as Natural disaster. On
the contrary, the Sinabung volcano had erupted recently on February 6,
2014. The pyroclastic flows – i.e., the hot lava flow-had swallowed the
fertile plantation area in the down slopes covering 10 and engulfed
15 residents of the village Sukameriah. The natural-color satellite image

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acquired by Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on the Earth Observing-1

(EO-1) satellite showed the ash plume coming out of volcanic vent and
flow deposits appears as light gray long patch with streaks, seen on the
southeastern slope of Sinabung’s summit (Figure 3.1). Even now, the
remaining more than 30,000 residents of the nearby villages are threatened
daily by this volcano.
Volcanic eruptions are one of the resultant activities of ongoing natural
Plate Tectonic processes of our Earth. The melting of subducted crustal
plates, formation of new oceanic crust along Mid-oceanic ridges below the
thick column of sea water, movement of crustal plates over the hot spot
areas (upcoming convection cells) on the Earth’s surface are some of the
types of Plate Tectonic movements causing such volcanoes.

Fig. 3.1: Natural Colour ALI Data of EO-1 Satellite showing Sinabung’s
Volcanic Eruption and Pyroclastic Flow over Irrigated and Inhabited Areas
(Image Source:  Earthquake
Similar to the volcanic eruptions induced by the natural Plate Tectonic
activities that are still going on the Earth’s surface, the Earthquakes
are also resulted mostly due to the same reason. The Plate Tectonic
movements over an area keeps accumulating pressure exerted over the

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IMTI Classification of Disasters

crustal plate till the tolerance limits of rocks and then brakes along a fault
plane and releases the accumulated pressure suddenly and thus the three
types of seismic waves called ‘Primary, Secondary and Love waves’ are
propagated in all directions (Figure 3.2).

Fig. 3.2: Propagation Patterns of Different Seismic Waves


The areas will be worst affected by total collapse of buildings, where the
intensity of these wave traverses are very high and the resultant disaster is
known as Earthquake. Besides crustal plate breaks, certain other natural
activities such as, volcanic explosion, huge rock fall or landslide, land
subsidence, debris avalanche and snow avalanche, have also generated
earthquake waves and the same have been recorded during their traverse
with various intensities in several places. The location at which the seismic
waves started propagating from the deep subsurface is known as Focus.
The surface spot just above the Focus is known as Epicentre (Figures 3.3
a and b).

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Figs. 3.3: (a) Aerial Photo showing San Andreas Fault and (b ) Block diagram showing
break of crust and displacement along fault plane resulting into fast propagating Earthquake
waves from origin point at the subsurface called ‘focus’ and the point directly above at the
surface called ‘epicenter’.

From this epicenter point, the distances, the degree of damages to the
habitations and the time taken to travel by different seismic waves are
calculated and the power dissipation of seismic waves over distance will
be estimated for different intensities of earthquakes for different places.
Using this information, preparatory plans are drawn to mitigate future
Earthquakes. Hence, most of the earthquakes are induced by the natural
processes only. But, rarely earthquakes have also recorded due to massive
constructions on weak zones, where lineaments and fault planes are
weaker. This is being separately discussed in the subsequent paragraphs
under the title “Natural Disasters Induced by Human Interventions”.  Landslide
The Landslides are resulted due to variety of natural slope failure processes
such as, weathering, soil erosion, rainfall, high speed winds, earthquake
or minor tremor, lack of vegetal cover along hill slopes and hydrostatic
imbalance within the hill slopes. Overall, the rainfall, cyclic and regular
geomorphic processes and their agents which include mountain building
processes can cause landslides naturally. Several types of landslides and
related terminologies based on the type, speed and direction of sliding
materials involved, are: soil creep, land/soil slip, translational slip, rock/
debris slump, rock/debris fall, etc. (Figures 3.4 a, b, c and d).

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Fig. 3.4: Field Photographs Taken in Thirumala and

Ooty Hill Slopes showing Different Types of Landslides:
(a) Rock Fall, (b) Translational Slide, (c) Rockslide, (d) Landslip  Cyclone
“Cyclone” is a derivative of the Greek word “Cyclos”; that means ‘coils
of a snake’. Cyclone is one among the major climatic disaster caused due
to the low pressure development over the Ocean surface naturally. The
low pressure formed due to warming up of ocean water over tropics and
subsequent hot moisture air formed close to the surface will start moving
up due to its light density. As a result, low pressure surface is formed in
that surface area. In order to equalize the pressure, little high dense air from
the surrounding will move towards the low pressure area and again they
get warmed up and raises above. During their raise, since there is very low
temperature prevails at high altitudes, the hot moisture air gets cooled and
condensed to form cloud and then at certain heights moved laterally either
in anti-clock wise direction over the northern hemisphere or clockwise
over the southern hemisphere because of the Coriolis effect (due to Earth’s
self-rotation). This movement forms an eye at the center (Figures 3.5 a and
b). Whenever it gains a rapid circulation then it is known as Cyclone.

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Fig. 3.5: (a) Coriolis Effect (b) Satellite Image of Cyclone

in Northern Hemisphere of Earth  Flood
The natural rainstorm, heavy rain and cyclonic cloud burst brings huge
quantum of surface water as flood and destroys the low lying area by
washing out all the resources and properties all along its flow path and by
Different types of floods classified based on the type of occurrence
are: Flashflood, Dam failure flood, Overland flood, Coastal zone flood,
Estuarine flood, Cloud burst flood, Snow melt flood and Lehar (Torrential
mud flow), Single event flood, Multiple event flood and Seasonal flood.
The satellite sensors designed in both visible, infrared and microwave
bands to capture the flooded Earth’s surface brings all the details useful for
mapping flood vulnerable areas, damage assessment and flood inducing
parameters. The flood inundated areas appears with blue colour in False
Colour Composite (FCC) image of Wide Field Scanner (WiFS) instrument
fitted in Indian Remote sensing Satellite (IRS) is shown in Figures 3.6 a
and b.

Fig. 3.6: IRS WIFS FCC Satellite Images of Parts of Coastal Odisha State showing
(a) Crop Lands and Settlements before Cyclone and (b) Same Area Flooded after Cyclone

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Though soil erosion is a slow occurring natural disaster, the destructive
impacts over a period of time have been highly recognized. The disastrous
effects of soil erosion in terms of, (1) fertility loss and loss of soil itself
in huge quantum, (2) land and forest degradation, (3) surface temperature
increase and desertification, (4) reservoir siltation and pollution, (5) loss
of storage capacity of reservoirs, (6) damages to the turbine blades of
hydro-electric power dam by the eroded soil, (7) severely affecting the
agricultural lands and settlement areas where wind activity is dominant by
heaping up the eroded sand as dune and encroachment of sand dune. All
these soil erosion derived destructions are noticed in many areas within
Tamil Nadu. The Geoinfomatics technology is highly useful to map
(1) areas of active soil erosion, (2) vulnerable areas of soil erosion and
(3) inducing parameters of soil erosion. The erosion prone barren hill
slopes and foot hills of parts of Western Ghats and the silted reservoirs
and tanks seen clearly through the IRS 1A LISS-II satellite FCC images
are shown in Figures 3.7 (a, b, c and d).

Fig. 3.7: (a), (b), (c) and (d) IRS 1A satellite FCC images of parts of Western Ghats and
Vaigai River delta areas showing severe soil erosion along hill slopes and foot hills and
siltation in reservoirs and lakes.

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Classification of Disasters IMTI Tsunami
One of the major threatening natural disasters along coastal areas is
tsunami, the giant sea waves. Tsunami is caused due to several natural
processes such as, submarine earthquakes due to plate tectonic movements,
coastal landslides, submarine landslides, submarine volcanic explosions
and snow avalanches along coast. But indirectly, the sudden temperature
increase in the climate by developmental activities of human being can
cause snow melting and glacial avalanche along vulnerable coast and may
lead to tsunami.

3.2.2  Natural Disasters Induced by Human Interventions  Induced Earth Quake

Reservoir induced seismicity and earthquakes, land subsidence based
earthquakes, tremors and earthquakes due to improper heavy constructions
in soft soil areas are known to us through media now-a-days. In
vulnerable areas to seismicity, if the human development activities are
made improperly without understanding the existing terrain conditions,
then earthquakes will be induced. A best known example is the reservoir
induced earthquake by Koyna dam located in Maharashtra state, which has
been constructed over sensitive criss-crossing fault planes and lineaments.  Induced Landslide

The sensitive toe removal along hill slopes in order to lay ghat roads
have led to several landslides. For example, Marappalam landslide, uphill
Ghat road side landslides all along Tirumala hills, and also along Ooty,
Kodaikkanal and Himalayan ghat road sections have become regular
disaster events, due to the improper human interventions with nature.  Induced Flood

Inadequate and improper drainage networks and poor maintenance of river
bunds, sewers and canal networks, tanks, and reservoirs from siltation,
choking and defunct, improper storage and discharge of reservoir water,
encroachment and blocking of tanks and lakes by agricultural activities

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IMTI Classification of Disasters

and constructions may lead to breeched bunds and induced floods.

The temporal Radar SAT data shown in Figure 3.8 clearly depicts the
movement of flood water breeched out from a lake bund in the upstream
side and inundated areas and period of inundation by flood water in Nepal.

Fig. 3.8: Temporal Radar SAT Data showing Lake Breaching at Shivganj
Inundated Midhepura and Other Downstream Areas in Nepal  Induced Soil Erosion

By nature, soil erosion will happen only in barren elevated areas as a
weathering and transportation processes. But, the human intervention
with nature such as deforestation along hill sides, slopes and also in
plains, human made/induced forest fire, various unjustified infrastructure
developmental activities and improper landuse are inducing soil erosion
intensely.  Induced Drought

Naturally, drought may happen in areas where high solar radiation is
received, such as tropics, where there is a heavy draining of groundwater
through leaky aquifers resulting into deeper groundwater levels, areas of
tectonic emergence leading to deeper water level conditions, etc. But, due
to the improper and unlimited exploitation of groundwater and blockage

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of natural recharge of groundwater aquifers, atmospheric pollution by

human developmental activities and intervening nature and the resultant
increase in local area temperature can also cause drought.

3.2.3  Exclusive Human-made Disasters  Environmental Pollution

Inappropriate disposal of both domestic and industrial wastes by human
into potential lands and river systems led to severe pollution and permanent
destruction of air, soil, surface water, groundwater and other important
resources. Hence, it is high time to understand and stop our brutal activities
which have led to environmental pollution.  Nuclear Accidents, Missile/Armed Attacks

Terrorist attack or defense activities or war forces will handle missiles and
arms for demolition. Further, certain accidents due to human error such
as nuclear accidents will result countless disasters to the humans and the
environment.  Stampedes
Inappropriate access/entry and exit routes capable of handling the crowd
and unexpected fear due to some accidents amongst a crowd may lead
to stampede. In India, stampedes are mostly occurring during religious
gatherings. In order to prevent stampede, it necessary to monitor and spot
put the areas where pressure is building up in a dense moving crowd.
For example, at Sabarimala temple area in Kerala, the areas such as dead
ends, narrow roads, areas with -poor infrastructure facility, -no light,
-no drinking water and -insufficient police force in crowding areas are
identified as hazardous zones for the occurrence of human stampede. So,
it is very important to consider all such situations and areas warranting
primary attention need to be identified and proper prevention measures
should be adopted at the earliest before such religious functions. It is also
important to establish real time information and communication between
emergency departments in preventing human stampede.

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Disaster Vulnerable Area Mapping,

Mitigation, Damage Assessment
and Management—Application
of Geomatics Technology

D isaster management involves several aspects comprising of

disaster vulnerable area mapping, proper understanding of type
and degree of causative parameters involved, mitigation or prevention
planning, assessing damages caused by the disaster and rehabilitation.
It is important to determine the disaster inducing parameters based on
natural processes and anthropogenic interventions. Recent researchers
have attempted to delineate the ratio of combination of these two types of
inducing parameters and thus higher accuracy, suitability and pragmatism
could be achieved in planning for mitigation or even it is also possible to
eradicate the vulnerability of an area from disasters. Having a variety of
terrain combinations with 3 major types of climates, India is also prone
for several natural disasters such as, earthquakes, landslides, cyclones,
tsunamis, floods, etc.
Geomatics technology comprising Aerial and Satellite Remote
Sensing, Digital Image Processing, Digital Cartography, GIS and GPS,
has emerged as a powerful tool in various earth resources surveys,
ecosystems/environmental appraisals and also natural disaster zonation
mapping, mitigation and management. While, the aircraft based B/W
panchromatic pictures have their own credentials in displaying the Earth
system features in their physiographic perspectives 3 dimensionally, the
satellite based Remote Sensing has attention deserving credentials owing
to their synoptivity, multi spectral photo captivity and repetitive imaging
capabilities of the terrestrial surface.

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Besides the other virtues, the repetitive coverage of the satellites

has special advantages in assessing the natural disasters. The image
processing techniques are specially empowered with preferential display
of various Earth surface features. While GPS can offer precise help in geo
positioning, the digital cartography can pictorially bring out spatial maps
on various aspects of Earth surface features including the disasters.
The GIS is vested with a lot of credentials owing to their capabilities of:
• Storing huge volume of geospatial data on various themes.
• Preferential display of thematic maps.
• Displaying the data as charts, histograms, tables, contours, etc.
• Displaying the map data as Digital elevation models, shaded relief
out puts, line site maps, visibility maps, etc.
• Various statistical options like addition, subtraction, multiplication,
division, etc.
• Corridoring, buffering, networking, spatial decision support
system, etc.
Owing to such advanced virtues, the geomatics technology, has gained
unparallel position in various disaster vulnerability mapping, risk analysis,
mitigation, management, etc. (Ramasamy et al.., 2004) This chapter is
dealt about the application of Geomatics technology for making disaster
management plans during crisis through the newer methodologies derived
out of research studies conducted in nationally reputed institutions and
published in leading journals.

4.1  Earthquake
The previous records on earthquakes form as one of the important
database for delineating susceptible zones for seismicities, i.e., low
magnitude tremors (<4 in Richter scale) to higher magnitude earthquakes.
From seismological records, it is evident that more or less about 1,000
earthquakes with intensities of 5.0 or greater in Richter scale are recorded
each year. Interestingly, great earthquakes with magnitude of 8.0 Richter
or higher occur once a year, major earthquakes with magnitude 7.0–7.9

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occur 18 times a year, strong earthquakes having magnitude 6.0–6.9 occur

10 times a month, and moderate earthquakes with magnitude 5.0–5.9 occur
more than twice a day. But, most of the earthquakes occur under the ocean
or in uninhabited areas, and passing unnoticed by common man. But the
seismologists could record and analyze them using seismograms derived
from the instrument called seismograph. Moderate to strong earthquakes
can cause more significant destruction if they occur closer to the earth’s
surface. Till the late 20th century, the Indian scientists had a thought that
the Southern Indian Peninsula was inert to younger earth movements and
seismicity’s (Gubin 1969). But the fast recurring earth tremors recorded
in South India have disproved their opinion. Many researchers have
conducted research study about the ongoing seismicity related to tectonic
processes of South India. Ramasamy (2006) has come out with newer
findings on Palaeo-, Neo- and Active tectonism in south India and brought
many scintillating research observations. From this paper, it is evident that
there is a remarkable coincidence of historical seismicity data with NE–
SW and ENE–WSW trending linear structures such as lineaments, faults,
shear zones and lithological boundaries of South India.
Despite the development of many technologies, we have to still go a long
way for predicting the earthquakes. But, the recent emerging Geomatics
technology can be applied effectively to determine seismic susceptibility
of any area. Accordingly, proper regulatory measures can be planned and
sustainable development can be achieved by appropriate implementations.
False Colour Composite (FCC) of many resource satellites is helpful to
identify and map seismic vulnerable areas.
The details that can be collected through satellite image interpretations
on the basis of certain signatures, imprints or surface indicators over
seismic vulnerable zones, Ramasamy et al., 1995, Ramasamy and
Kumanan 2000 and Ramasamy et al., 2001 are: 1) displacement of rocks
and structural features along fault planes and the direction and distance of
block movements, 2) linearity in vegetation alignment, drainage, river and
soil tone, representing the structural features such as shear zones, foliation
and lineation directions, and the anomalies such as annular lineaments,
radial lineaments, annular lineaments, lineament swarms, tear-off

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lineaments, etc., 3) folds in sedimentary rocks, 4) tectonic geomorphic

anomalies such as escarpment slopes of different kind, water falls along
such escarpment slopes, dissections over structural plateau, fault scarps,
triangular facets and contorted ridges, 5) fluvial geomorphic anomalies
such as incised meandering of rivers, unpaired flood plains, eyed drainages,
parallel and rectilinear drainages, existence of several parallel streaks of
palaeochannels, buried rivers, rejuvenated river, etc., and 6) denudational
geomorphic anomalies such as bazada zones, tor complexes, and several
other erosional and depositional patterns.
Bakliwal and Ramasamy (1987) havemapped the lineaments of tectonic
origin and identified the surface signatures of crustal fractures of deep
seated nature and noted that these fractures have played a significant role
in the tectonic evolution of different sedimentary basins of Archaeozoic to
Cenozoic era in Rajasthan and Gujarat using Landsat MSS (Multi Spectral
Scanner) satellite data. The direct relevance of these lineaments with
magmatism, mineralisation and tectonism have been identified.
In an another research study conducted by Ramasamy and Balaji
(1995), the fractures mapped through satellite data were compared with
the earthquake/tremor records and the anomaly features existing in
Tamil Nadu. They have concluded with the well-defined morphotectonic
evidences interpreted through IRS 1A LISS-1 FCC satellite images that
these fractured areas are prone for seismicity and future earthquakes.
Many such studies conducted by scientists (Singh, and Venkatesh
Raghavan, 1989, Srinivasan 1992, Ravishankar 1987, Ramasamy 2006)
showed that there is a significant coincidence of epicentre data with major
faults and lineaments derived from satellite images as shown in Figures
4.1 and 4.2. Through these studies, it had been confirmed that the South
India is also vulnerable to seismicity.
Figure 4.3 shows the N–S, NNE–SSW lineaments/faults of South India
recognized/evident through the structural linearity and several surface
anomalies such as, mud eruption, which occurred during January 1997,
drainage reversal along the Thoppur and Vaniyar rivers, clusters of palaeo
scars and landslides in the Shevroy and Chitteri hills, drainage deflection in

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Fig. 4.1: Seismic Indicators in South India

(Source: Ramasamy 1995, Ramasamy and Karthikeyan 1998 and Ramasamy 2006)

Fig. 4.2: Seismic Vulnerability Zones in South India

(Source: Ramasamy 2006)

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the Cauvery river, a wide fault valley in the Anamalai–Palani hill ranges,
drainage deflection in the Tambraparani river, and conspicuous chopping
of the Western Ghats in the Cape Comorin region observed in satellite
images by Ramasamy (2006).

Fig. 4.3: Satellite Images showing Different Lineament

Anomalies Pertaining to Seismicity
(Source: Ramasamy, 2006)

In Figure 4.4, several satellite FCC Imageries showing, linear surface

anomalies indicating tectonic activity in Tamil Nadu. In this Figure, (1)
Dyke filled fractures, (2) Fault controlled Pambar river in Tiruttani region
(1 and 2 in Figure 4.4 B), (3) N – S Oriented major lineament/Fracture

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Valley (3 in Figure 4.4C) bisecting Javadi hills in the north, Chitteri -

Kalrayan hills in the center and Kolli - Pachchamalai hills in the south, (4)
Cauvery River’s rectangled southerly deflection along a system of N – S
lineaments (4 in Figure 4.4D) in Stanley Reservoir - Hogenekkal area,
(5) a system of ENE – WSW/NE – SW lineaments expressing Sinistral
Displacement (5 in Figure 4.4E) in coastal parts of Karnataka – Kerala and
(6) satellite band ratioed (Band3/Band4) imagery showing the Lineaments
in parts of Kodaikanal Hills (Figure 4.4 F), were clearly brought out by
Ramasamy et al. (2009).

Fig. 4.4: Satellite Imageries Showing Certain Signatures of Active Tectonism

(Source: Ramasamy et al., 2009)

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Mega Eyed drainages delineated along major rivers of Tamil Nadu

using IRS-1A satellite imagery by Ramasamy and Kumanan (2000)
showed that the South India is crippled under ongoing tectonic movements
(Figure 4.5). Further it is concluded that the area is prone for earthquakes.

Fig. 4.5: IRS-1A Satellite Imagery Showing Mega Eyed Drainages in the Palar River,
1 and 2. Eyed Drainages, 3. River Palar, 4. Javadi Hills, 5. Vellore,
6. Madurantakam, 7. Kovalam Creek; – – Lineaments
(Source: Ramasamy and Kumanan, 2000)

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Apart from these surface indicators of seismicity, the field survey

investigations on subsurface geology provide additional valuable
information for confirming the existence of these active faults. Several
researches showed that there are connectivity between the surface
linearities and the subsurface structures identified from field investigations.
For example, the gravity maxima axes drawn connecting high gravity
contours, minima axes over low gravity areas and sudden variations
in gravity values along a line called gravity breaks will be useful for
comparison with surface linearities.

Fig. 4.6: Bouger Gravity Anomalies of South India

(Source: Ramasamy, 2006)

In the same research study carried out by Ramasamy 2006, the Bouger
Gravity data collected for south India have been plotted and gravity

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isolines were prepared. From these isolines, 3D Digital Elevation Model

(DEM) was generated. The GIS-based 3D visualization of gravity data
(Figure 4.6) showed E–W alternate highs and lows, N–S and NE–SW
gravity anomalies. While the E–W anomalies are matching with such
arches and deeps, and the other ones coincide with the N–S and NE–SW
faults. However, the NW–SE faults are not reflected in gravity data.
Some other research studies have also found out significant changes
on surface temperature and anomalous observations like groundwater
oozing, (Ramasamy 2011) mud eruption and radon gas emissions, and
atmospheric changes over such major lineament and fault swarms that
are criss-crossing an area (Ramasamy et al., 1999) and certain abnormal
behaviors of animals and birds before an earthquake.
All these remote sensing data based anomalies were correlated in
GIS environment to find out the forth coming seismic event in that area.
Using the credentials of Geospatial technology, it is possible to bring out
several such anomalies related to seismicity and bring out information on
seismically vulnerable areas. Hence, it is also possible for forecasting near
future earthquakes to some extent.

4.2  Landslide
Major landslides occur in three main parts of Indian Subcontinent are:
the Himalayas in the North, Western Ghats of Maharashtra in the West
and The Nilgiris in the South. The Himalayan Landslides are induced
due to the tectonic movements, the Western Ghats landslides are caused
by the extensive weathering, slope erosion and the landslides from the
hilltop. The landslides of Nilgiris are resulted by unstable slope due to toe
removal along Ghat road sections, deforestation and other anthropogenic
interventions in the form of unsafe constructions along slopes, improper
drainages, etc.

4.2.1  Geomatics Based Models on Landslide Hazard Zonation

Newer methodologies haves been devised using the special virtues of
Geoinformatics technology. With the help of the maps on landslides

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incidence and different grades of landslides controlling terrain parameters,

several methodologies have been derived to determine landslide hazard
zones. The newer methodologies tried for the Nilgiri areas by Neelakantan
et al., 2005, Muthukumar and Ramasamy 2007,Muthukumar et al., 2007,
Ramasamy and Muthukumar2008, Ramasamy et al., 2008(a),(b) and (c)
and Muthukumar et al. (2009) are:
1. GIS based integrated slope Mapping
2. GIS based Integrated Terrain Analysis
3. GIS based information value method
4. BIS (Bureau of Indian Standard) based method
5. Weights of Evidence method and
6. Index overlay method.
In the first model, various slope maps such as (i) Active and Passive; (ii)
Steep, Moderate, Shallow and Rolling; (iii) Convex, Plain and Concave;
and (iv) Dissected and Undissected slopes have been prepared using DEM,
Topographic contours and satellite data. Based on the number of historical
landslide incidence in each polygon class, weightage values were assigned
and rasterized. Using GIS, raster layers having these four types of slope
classes were integrated, thus fragmenting the area into 48 integrated slope
classes such as Active + Steep + Convex + Dissected, Active + Steep
+ Convex + Undissected and so on. This integrated slope map having
pixels with accrued weightages (Figure 4.7, iA) was rescaled to 0–10. The
same had been classified into 5 dynamic classes such as Very High, High,
Moderate, Low and Very Low vulnerable zones for landslides as shown
in Figure 4.7, iB.
As far as the second method called ‘Integrated Terrain Analysis’ is
concerned, the terrain parameters such as, (1) Lithology, (2) Lineament
Frequency, (3) Lineament Density, (4) Lineament Intersection density,
(5) Slope, (6) Geomorphology, (7) Azimuths of Ridgeline vs. Joints, (8)
Angular relation between dip and slope, (9) Amount of Dip, (10) Regolith,
(11) Landuse and Land cover and (12) Drainage Density, were prepared
and individually superposed with the historic landslides data to identify
the vulnerable zones for landsides based on the number of occurrence

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of lanslides in each polygon class. Then all the layers having vulnerable
polygon classes were integrated to delineate Landslide Hazard Zones
(Figure 4.7, ii).

Fig. 4.7: Landslide Hazard Zones in part of Nilgiri Massif

Derived Out of Different Methodologies
(Source: Muthukumar, 2009)

In the Information value method, more of statistical and quantitative

calculations are involved. The information value of each pixel in all the
individual thematic layer had been calculated by rasterizing the 12 numbers
of controlling parameters, as per the vulnerability to landslides. Based on
the weigtage values accrued by each thematic map and the containing

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features within it, they have been rasterized, added and finally classified
into 5 vulnerability grades for landslides (Figure 4.7, iii).
In the case of weights of evidence method, based on the number of
occurrences of past landslides in each pixel of all rasterised thematic maps
weightage values were given, and raster based calculations were done to
determine the landslide hazard zones (Figure 4.7, iv).
In Index overlay method, ranks should be assigned based on the
importance of layers to induce landslide in an area. This is followed by
assigning weightages to the individual polygon classes in each thematic
layer. Assigning weightage is based on the vulnerability nature of each
polygon for the occurrence of landslide. Then, the ranks of individual
polygon classes were multiplied with the weightage values of particular
thematic layer and rasterized. Then, using pixel based addition in GIS
Raster Analysis, all the pixel values of each thematic layers were added
and rescaled from 1 to 10 and regrouped into 5 landslide vulnerability
classes, such as Very High, High, Moderate, Low and Very Low (Figure
4.7, v).
The Maximum Landslide Hazard Evaluation Factor (LHEF) ratings
were assigned to the controlling parameters and integrated in GIS as far
as BIS method is concerned to prepare Landslide Hazard Zonation map
(Figure 4.7, vi).
Through this study, the author has brought out a spectrum of information
on different methods of deriving Landslide Hazard Zones for a part of
Nilgiri massif by preparing the maps on geological parameters using
Remote Sensing and GIS technology. Further, the optimum method, i.e.,
information value method and the diagnostic parameters for such Landslide
Hazard Zonation mapping had been identified. After analyzing the results
derived out of all these above models, Information Value Method has
been identified as a best suitable methodology for Nilgiris. Because, in
the very high landslide vulnerable area derived out of Information Value
method showed maximum number of landslide occurrences per unit area.
Moreover, through this research work, it has been very clearly determined
that the landslides could be best assessed with Geomorphology and Slope

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factors using Information Value method for the terrains such as The

4.2.2  Landslide Mitigation

Then, the following mitigation strategies were suggested according to
the landslide inducing local terrain parameters or the combination of
• Afforestation all along Active slope areas
• Flattening of Convex slope
• Gully Plugging and Gully filled vegetation in dissected slope
• Netting in Tor Cliff and convex slopes with debris hang
• Cleaning of rubbles and debris along Mid slope Mound
• Garland Drainage above the Mid slope Mound
• Avoiding settlements along slope,
• Retaining wall with weep holes along weak toes/toe cut slopes/toe
removed areas, etc.
Similar type of Geoinformatics based research studies have been
conducted in many parts of Tamil Nadu and also for TirumalaTirupathi
hill in order to delineate Landslide Hazard Zones and remedies have been
suggested (Ramasamy et al., 2011). Hence, the Geospatial technology
can be very well exploited to detect Landslide Vulnerable zones and the
inducing parameters so as to plan for mitigating landslides early.

4.3  Cyclone
Cyclones are intense low pressure areas at the center of it the pressure
increases outwards. The amount of the pressure drop in the center and the
rate at which it increases outwards gives the intensity of the cyclones and
the strength of winds. The following Table 4.1 shows the different stages
of cyclonic storm and the wind speed accordingly.
The direction and movement of air and spiraling rain clouds in a
cyclonic storm can be easily understood from the Figure 4.8.

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Table 4.1
S. No. Stages of Cyclone Wind Speed (Knots)
1. Low Less than 17
2. Depression 17–27 (32–50 km/h)
3. Deep Depression 28–33 (51–62 km/h)
4. Cyclonic storm 34–47 (63–88 km/h)
5. Severe cyclonic storm with 48–63 (89–118 km/h)
a core of Hurricane winds

Fig. 4.8: Diagram Depicting Severe Cyclonic Storm and the Movement of Air and Cloud

A full-grown cyclone is a violent whirl in the atmosphere, 150 to 1000

km across and 10 to 15 km high. The central calm region of the storm is

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called the “Eye” (Figure 4.9). The diameter of the eye varies between 30
and 50 km and is a region free of clouds and has light winds. Around this
calm and clear eye, there is the “Wall Cloud Region” of the storm about
50 km in extent, where the gale winds, thick clouds with torrential rain,
thunder and lightning prevail. Away from the “Wall Cloud Region”, the
wind speed gradually decreases.

Fig. 4.9: Satellite Image of a Cyclonic Clouds and a Vertical Profile Across Cyclonic Eye
(Web Source)

The gales give rise to a confused sea with waves as high as 20 metres,
swells that travel a thousand miles. Torrential rains, occasional thunders
and lightning flashes – join these. Through these churned chaotic sea and
atmosphere, the cyclone moves 300 to 500 km in a day to hit or skirt along
a coast, bringing storm surges with it. Once the cyclones reach higher
latitudes they often tend to change their direction and move north and
then north-east if formed over the northern hemisphere and south and

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south east in southern hemisphere (Figure 4.10). The process is known as

recurvation. Before it recurs, the speed decreases and the system remain
stationary for a day or so.

Fig. 4.10: Recurvation Trajectories of Tropical Cyclones


When two cyclones exist near to each other, they interact and move
anti-clockwise with respect to each other (Figure 4.11).

Fig. 4.11: Satellite Image Showing Two Cyclones Formed Close to Each Other
(Web Source)

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In the Atlantic, tracks often execute a parabola. In India, when cyclones

recur they get broken up over the Himalayas and their further eastward
movement ceases.
Cyclones derive their names through a systematic procedure laid down
by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
The cyclonic wind speed map of coastal India (Figure 4.12)
showed that the entire east coast is highly prone for higher damages due to
cyclone pass.

Fig. 4.12: Cyclonic Wind Speed Map of Coastal India

(Web Source)

Geostationary Satellite images of different kinds are used to study

the characters of cyclone and India Meteorological Department gives
forewarning messages to the people about the area under immediate
attack with wind speed, and the degree of rainfall. The website maintained
by IMD shows all the weather and climate updates such as cloud top

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temperature, sea-surface temperature, land-surface temperature, pressure,

fog, cloud height, water vapour, humidity, aerosol density, ground based
and satellite based rainfall occurrence in millimeter, etc., in the form of
maps, tables and charts apart from the different Indian Geostationary
satellite images like INSAT series and Kalpana-1 satellite images showing
cloud pattern and their movement which are updated once in half-an-hour.
For continuous monitoring and forewarning of weather and cyclone,
Geostationary satellite images are highly useful. Further, mitigation
planning and damage assessment can also be done accurately using high
resolution Panchromatic data, PAN merged FCC data of IRS-P4 and
Cartosat-1 satellite images.

4.4  Flood
Floods have become frequent recurring natural disaster in India now-a-days
due to anthropogenic impacts over climate. It has started posing serious
concern to the planners and administrators, as it causes considerable loss
to human, his properties and other life beings too. Especially, the Floods
of 2005 in Tamil Nadu had caused a major destruction in most of the
coastal, deltaic, and central districts. But, our only urge during such floods
was to clear off the flood water by gushing it into the ocean as quickly as
possible so as to minimize the period of inundation. After the recovery
from floods, such flood affected areas were facing drought situation
because of unavailability of fresh water due to fast depleting groundwater
table by over exploitation and pollution. Thus, the time has come again to
harvest the flood water as the same was normally done in olden days by
our forefathers during Pandia and Chola Kingdoms. Hence, the uniqueness
in the flood disaster is that, it can also be harvested during the process of
One of the very old festivals, being celebrated till now in the banks
of River Vaigai in Madurai and also in parts of Tamil Nadu, is in the
name of ‘Pittukkumannsumaththal’ in order to
regularly desilt the tanks, rivers, lakes and supply canals and strengthen
their bunds, during the Tamil month Aani, i.e., during June-July every

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year before monsoon. Olden days, all the temples have roof top rainwater
harvesting structures and collected in the ponds of temple premises. Flower
garden located with the temple premises called Nandhavanam was made
as catchment for collecting the rainwater in temple tanks and there were
supply canals from the adjacent major rivers/streams to these temple tanks.
All these water carrying structures such as canals, tanks were periodically
desilted and maintained by the kingdoms so as to harvest monsoon rain
water abundantly. They have also had a very good knowledge on harvesting
flood water by creating permanent water diverting and storage structures
such as dams across major rivers with diversion canals covering almost all
villages and agricultural lands (as built across Cauvery river by the King
Rajaraja Cholan, is being called as Grand Anicut with several diversion
canals such as Vennar, Vettar, Arasalar, Kudamurutti, Palangavery), check
dams, weirs, nala bunds, storage tanks and reservoirs using the naturally
existing inter lagoonal depressions and beach ridges. Several canals have
also been laid along palaeochannels which are parallel/sub parallel to the
major rivers from the upstream areas covering all crop lands and villages
as per the requirement.

4.4.1 Application of Geomatics Technology in Mapping

Flood Vulnerable Zones
MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro Radiometer) Terra
satellite data acquired daily during monsoon can be effectively used to
map the flood inundated areas. One such flood inundated map prepared
for the entire Tamil Nadu using this satellite data downloaded during
rainy days between October and December 2005 through GIS integration
is shown in Figure 4.13 (Ramasamy and Palanivel 2006). Areal extent and
duration of submersion could be easily determined through these MODIS
Terra satellite images.
Similarly, panchromatic data collected during pre- and post-flood
seasons and high resolution satellite data with submeter accuracy
will clearly show the damages caused due to flood (Figure 4.14 a&b).
Microwave images are also useful to delineate flooded areas (Figure 4.15

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Fig. 4.13: MODIS Image of AVHRR Satellite Showing Flood

Affected Areas during 2005 in Tamil Nadu

Fig. 4.14(a): Colour coded high resolution IRD 1D PAN data of prior and
post monsoon dates have been merged to delineate flooded villages,
roads and crop land along Brahmaputra river
(Web Source)

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Fig. 4.14(b): GeoEye data—High Spatial Resolution satellite images with submeter
accuracy can provide cadastral level mapping of resources
and their vulnerability to flood and other disasters.
(Source: Google Earth)

Rainfall data collected through TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Mapping

Mission) satellite would form basis for assessing flood in an area
appropriately (Figure 4.16), if the same were corrected or resampled using
the available rain gauge data. In order to accurately map the low lying
areas prone for flood, Shaded Relief Map derived using DEM (Figure 4.17)
resampled with DGPS data would be used. The same can be compared
with the flood polygons delineated using Panchromatic, Visible, Infrared,
Thermal Infrared, Passive Microwave, Active Microwave (RADAR) data
imaged by various satellites, as discussed above, can be used along with
the collateral data from media and other reliable sources.
Presently, optical satellite data from IRS-P6, IRS-P4, NOAA and
TERRA/AQUA satellites is being used. Based on the trend of the flood
wave, microwave data from RADARSAT/ERS SAR/ENVISAT satellites
are programmed (Table 4.2).

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For example, the flood vulnerable map of Tiruchirappalli city

corporation area (Kumanan, et al., 2011) with three flood vulnerable
classes of polygons such as High, Moderate and Low vulnerable zones for
flood, prepared in the similar way is shown in Figure 4.18 (a).

Fig. 4.15(a): Microwave Data of Trichy Urban Showing Flooded Areas

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Fig. 4.15(b): RADARSAT Post Cyclone Image of Odisha

Showing Marooned Villages, Blue Shades are Flooded Areas

Fig. 4.16: TRMM Satellite Image of India Showing Rainfall

of a Particular Day (August 2010)
(Web Source)

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Table 4.2: Satellite Data Useful for Flood Mapping in Various Levels
S. Sensor/ Spatial Spectral Res Swath
Satellite User for
No. Mode Res (m) (µm) (Km)
1. IRS-P6 AWiFS 56 B2:0.52-0.59 740 Regional level
B3:0.62-0.68 flood mapping

2. IRS-P6 LISS-III 23.5 B2:0.52-0.59 141 District –Level

B3:0.62-0.68 flood mapping

3. IRS-P6 LISS-IV 5.8 B2:0.52-0.59 23.9 Detailed level

at nadir B3:0.62-0.68 Mapping

4. IRS-1D WiFS 188 B3:0.62-0.68 810 Regional Level

B4:0.77-0.86 flood mapping

5. IRS-1D LISS-III 23.5 B2:0.52-0.59 141 Detailed level

B3:0.62-0.68 mapping

6. Aqua/ MODIS 250 36 in visible, 2330 Regional level

Terra NIR and Thermal mapping

7. IRS-P4 OCM 360 Eight narrow 1420 Regional level

bands in visible Mapping
and NIR

8. Cartosat-1 PAN 2.5 0.5-0.85 30 Detailed level

9. Cartosat-2 PAN 1 0.45-0.85 9.6 Detailed level
10. Radarsat-1 SAR/Scan 100 C -band (5.3 cm) 500 Regional level
SAR Wide HH Polarization mapping

11. Radarsat-1 SAR/Scan 50 C -band (5.3 cm) 300 District Level

SAR Wide Mapping

12. Radarsat-1 Standard 25 C-Band 100 District Level

13. Radarsat-1 Fine Beam 8 C-band (5.3 cm) 50 Detailed level
14. ERS SAR 25 C-band VV Polar- 100 District Level
ization Mapping

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Fig. 4. 17: Shaded Relief Map showing Low Lying Areas around Tiruchirappali Area

Fig. 4.18(a): Flood Vulnerable Areas in Trichy Urban

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Fig. 4.18(b): High Resolution Satellite Image Wrapped Over Flood

Vulnerable Areas of Ward 8 and 9

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Fig. 4.18(c): High Resolution Satellite Image Wrapped over

Flood Vulnerable Areas of Ward 26, 27 and 33

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Fig. 4.18(d): LU/LC Features Vulnerable for Flood Inundation of Trichy

(Source: Kumanan, et al., 2011)

4.4.2  Identification of Causative Parameters and Flood Mitigation

Once the flood affected and vulnerable areas are identified, then the
causative parameters can be determined to suggest proper mitigation

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measures. This can be achieved by simple integration of GIS layers

showing flood affected and vulnerable zones and other layers showing
Drainages, Groundwater level, Tectonism, Geomorphology, Through a
research study conducted for Tamil Nadu by in Centre for Remote Sensing,
Bharathidasan University (Ramasamy and Palanivel 2006), it was clearly
identified that the terrain systems, geodynamics, landuse/land cover and
aquifer dynamics control such flooding phenomenon.
Aerial Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing, Digital Image Processing
(DIP) and Geographic Information System (GIS) are excellent tools
through which mapping of several geologic parameters such as lithology,
structure, geomorphic landforms, landuse and land cover pattern, siltation
in water bodies, drainages, slope, etc., is possible in the laboratory
through visual image interpretation keys and elements. By incorporating
ground check/field survey data, accurate maps can be prepared and digital
geodatabase can be easily generated in GIS. Similarly, Global Positioning
System (GPS)/Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS), Ground
Penetration Radar (GPR) are other field survey based platforms for mapping
flood affected or vulnerable polygons as wells on terrain parameters and
generating digital spatial and non-spatial databases with higher accuracy.
GIS union overlay can be performed with flood polygons and
the individual controlling parameters such as lithology, structure,
geomorphology, subsurface geology, aquifer characters, drainage patterns,
watershed characters, land use and land cover, etc., so as to understand the
relations between them. For example, the integrated GIS image showing
flood polygons controlled by groundwater level of entire Tamil Nadu is
shown in Figure 4.19(a). In this image, it is very clearly identified that,
the very high and high flood polygons are falling where the groundwater
level is shallow between 0 to 10m bgl (below ground level). That means,
it is understood that if the underground reservoir is already filled with
water during heavy rainstorms, then the additional heavy amount of rain
water is unable to percolate the system and thus it causes floods. On the
contrary, wherever the groundwater level is deep that is beyond 10 m, then
there is less flood. Thus, it is easy to suggest that, pumping and utilization
of groundwater for all purposes by the people and the Government prior

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to monsoon season in the shallow groundwater zone would benefit the

aquifer as well as will prevent the area from flooding.

Fig 4.19(a): Water Level and Floods Fig. 4.19(b): Drainage Density and Floods
(Source: Ramasamy and Palanivel, 2006)

Similarly, the relationship between drainage density and flood

(Palanivel et al., 2007) has also been established for Tamil Nadu using
GIS (Figure 4.19, b). From this it is recognised that the drainage density
will have its direct control over flood, i.e., wherever there are high drainage
density is available, then the flood water gets drained easily through
these drainages and thus there is no or less flood is caused. Reversely,
wherever the drainage density is low, then the excess rain water gets
stagnated and cause flood in that area. In these areas, if we suggest proper
development of adequate drainages and desiltation of existing drainages
from choaking of sediments and removal of water plants/weeds/bushes,
then it would be possible to reduce flooding. In the same way, all the
terrain parameters can be integrated with flood polygons and analysed
using GIS for understanding their control, then,, it is possible to suggest
integrated remedial plans to conserve the area from flood and get benefits
out of storm water in different ways.

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4.4.3  Feasibility of Flood Water Harvesting

The flood water can be very well harvested and preserved during storm
and at the same time, the flood inundation is also avoided at the same
time. In order to do this, it is important to prepare all relevant thematic
maps (as discussed above) of the surrounding areas and understand the
present situation there so as to divert the flood water to the adjacent
water starving downstream areas, through palaeochannels. Similarly, by
depressing the local groundwater level through pumping, the flood water
can be recharged quickly in to the aquifer systems. There are similar other
possibilities can be easily worked out in GIS environment with the help of
terrain parameter maps.  Diversion Canals

The appraisal carried out for the base paper revealed that the active faults
and the related tectonic movements have influenced the flooding in certain
segments. In such zones of active tectonics, drainages are constrained to
various modifications such as deflected drainages, compressed meanders,
eyed drainages, etc. Hence, when the water reaches such anomalous zones
obviously its’ flow dynamics gets obstructed leading to flooding. So in such
zones, water has to be checked/dammed in the upstream of such drainage
anomalies and diverted through diversion channels through optimal routes
so as to carry the flood water to the water starved basins/regions.  Additional Drainages and Drainage Networking

Wherever the floods are controlled by low drainage densities, the same
indicates that the available drainages are inadequate to drain out the floods.
Hence, additional drainages are required. So in such domains, existing
drainages are to be networked and additional drainages are to be created.  Resurrection of Distributary Canals

Again the analysis between the geomorphology and floods has indicated
that the deltaic region bore the major brunt of floods. Some parts of
deltas (Cauvery, Pudukkottai Vellar, Manimuthar and Vaigai) indicated
preferential migration of rivers, abandoning some of their distributaries,

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etc. So in such areas, these abandoned distributaries need to be deepened

and resurrected so that the flood water can be distributed equally and
radially. River Mouth Management

In most of the convex coasts along Tamil Nadu, sand bars are built in
the river mouths due to littoral currents. Such bay mouth bars obstruct
the free flow of water into the ocean and as a result, the low lying coasts
are flooded. Hence deeper studies are warranted for understanding their
dynamics and dredging such bay mouth bars so that during the rainy
seasons the river water could flow freely into the ocean. Depression of Ground Water Levels

The GIS based cursory studies between the water levels and the status of
groundwater exploitation indicated that the zones of shallow water levels
did not allow the percolation of flood water into the aquifer systems.
Hence such zones of shallow water levels and piezometric highs need to be
critically studied/modelled and water levels should be optimally depressed
prior to the monsoon and such pumped out water must be diverted to the
water starved areas so that the flood water percolates into the subsoil
system. Artificial Recharge

Pushing the flood water into the deeper part of the aquifer systems warrant
detailed studies for identifying the suitable sites for artificial recharge. The
parameters like lithology, structure and tectonics, especially the open and
active faults and their densities, geomorphology with special reference
to porosity and permeability, slope, drainage conditions, thickness of
regolith, etc., need to be studied and these will have to be amalgamated
with groundwater levels to identify sites for artificial recharge. In general,
suitable sites for artificial recharge can be rapidly identified by visualizing
groundwater levels three dimensionally using Digital Elevation Models
and identifying the basins from the same.

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In addition to the identification of sites suitable for artificial recharge

for harvesting flood water, site specific mechanisms for artificial recharge
need to be identified, such as:
• Dendritic Furrowing and Flooding
• Pitting
• Percolation Ponds
• Batteries of Wells
• Desiltation of existing tanks
• Enechelondamming, etc.

4.5 Soil Erosion

4.5.1 Mapping of Soil Erosion Areas using Geomatics Technology

The satellite images provide vital inputs in soil conservation from erosion
and siltation (Figs. 4.20 and 4.21). The surface reflectance signatures of
soil erosion areas (Figure 4.22), such as first order drainages, active slope
area where there is no vegetal cover, gullies, active foot hills having loose

Fig. 4.20: Field Photographs Showing Active Foot Hills Covering Thick
Colluvium Deposits, Deep Gullies and Silt Loaded Vaigai River

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sediments derived from the upstream and mass wasting can be seen clearly.
Hence, the areas of soil erosion can be very well interpreted using satellite
FCC images, and graded, based on severity of soil erosion in an area, such
as, Very severe, Severe, moderate, less and very less soil erosion areas.

Fig. 4.21: Aeolian Sand Dunes Formed Near Thevaram

and Andipatti Areas of Theni District

Fig. 4.22: Satellite Images showing Soil Erosion Along First Order Drainages and
Siltation of Downstream Water Bodies in Dindigul and Madurai Districts

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For example, the areas of soil erosion prepared for Madurai, Dindigul
and Theni districts (Palanivel et al., 2013) (Figure 4.23) and for Pudukkottai
district (Figure 4.24, (a)) are shown.

Fig. 4.23: Map Showing Areas of Active Soil Erosion in Madurai,

Theni and Dindigul Areas
(Source: Palanivel et al., 2013)

4.5.2 Geomatics Based Detection of Causative Parameters

of Soil Erosion and Mitigation
In order to conserve the soil, the controlling geosystem parameters
must be known. The obvious controlling parameters are Lineaments,
Geomorphology, Thickness of topsoil, Slope and Landuse/landcover, etc.
So the soil erosion contributory elements/features in the above geosystem
maps of the study area were buffered out as listed in Table 4.3.
Such buffered GIS layers of the Geosystems were superposed over the
soil erosion GIS layer one after the other and the contributory features of
each GIS system layer falling within such soil erosion areas were buffered
out. Such buffered out features of the above layers were integrated and
an integrated GIS layers were prepared (Figures 4.24(b), and 4.25) which
showed the coincidence of different soil erosion inducing features of

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different layers in a variety of combinations. Obviously, these different

combinations of geosystems falling in the soil erosion areas were taken
as the spatial functional model of Soil erosion in the area. Accordingly on
the basis of the combinations of different inducing features, various soil
conservation strategies were suggested such as, gulley filled vegetation,
garland drainages, drain pipes, paved drains, polymer spreading, etc.

Table 4.3: Soil Erosion Inducing Surface and Subsurface Features

Themes Erosion Prone Features
1. Lineament density Lineament density Maxima zones (LNDN)
2. Geomorphology Structural and Denudational hills, Pediment, Lateritic
uplands, Sheet erosion and Gully erosion (GEOM)
3. Thickness of top soil Thickness of top soil maxima zones (TTS)
4. Slope Slope Maxima areas (SLOPE)
5. Landuse/Land cover Barren rocky, Gullied/ravious land, Land with scrub,
Land without scrub, Open forest, Rivers, Settlements,
Mining areas (LULC).

Fig. 4.24(a): Areas of Soil Erosion

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Fig. 4.24(b): Functional Model of Soil Erosion

Fig. 4.25: Functional Model of Soil Erosion for Madurai, Dindigul and Theni Districts

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Improved and tested models using Geomatics technology to calculate

the quantum of soil eroded and coming out of each watersheds (Revised
Universal Soil Loss Equation-RUSLE) and the amount of silt deposited in
water bodies are available. The results of such research studies carried out
by Ramasamy and Palanivel 2010, and Mohammed Sartaj Basha 2011, are
shown in Figures 4.26, 4.27 and 4.28.

Fig. 4.26: Digitally Processed Landsat Satellite Data showing Various

Levels of Siltation in Water Bodies of Varahanadi Watershed
(Source: Ramasamy and Palanivel 2010)

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Fig. 4.27: Quantum of Soil Eroded from Watershed

(Source: SK.MD.Basha, 2011)

Fig 4.28: Siltation in Water Bodies of Varahanadi Watershed

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4.6  Tsunami
Remote sensing images are readily utilized to map the changes that had
happened due to the damages by tsunami of any coastal area (Figure 4.29,
a&b). Apart from this, Tsunami warning systems are installed with the
satellite network between the buoys installed in the ocean and inland
tracking centres to know about the wave propagation details and hence
forewarn the coastal people as early as possible. After the Tsunami 2004,
several research works have been conducted in India in order to understand
the response to the existing natural coastal features which can protect the
land and people from tsunami inundation and damages.
A research work conducted by Ramasamy et al., 2005(b) Ramasamy
et al., 2006(c)for Tamil Nadu coast exhibited that the shape of the coast,
nosing and etching, continuous beach ridges parallel to the coast, offshore
shoals near coast, mangrove forests, wide opened river mouths in to the
sea, etc., have acted as protecting features of tsunami wave impact in to
the land.

(a) (b)
Fig. 4.29 (a & b): Temporal Data (dated 23rd June 2004 and 28th Dec. 2004) of High
Spatial Resolution Satellite Images Showing the Damages and Inundation Caused Due to
Tsunami 2004 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia

The inundated areas demarcated using ENVISAT microwave data were

verified through field checks using the imprints of tsunami inundation over
several features and the relations between the tsunami wave propagation
and the inundation pattern have been identified by Ramasamy et al.,
2006(c) (Figure 4.30). Especially, the responses of geomorphic landforms
have been recorded meticulously.

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Fig. 4.30: Tsunami Inundation (Blue) in Central Tamil Nadu Coast

(Source: Ramasamy et al., 2006(c))

Some of the geomorphic landforms such as, bay mouth bars, spits, river/
creek mouths, mudflats and saltpans were acted as facilitators of tsunami
waves (Figure 4.31, a&b). Wherein, the tsunami run-up and inundation
was high. But, the features like Rivers, Creeks, Rivers/Creeks misfit over
swales have acted as carriers of tsunami wave. On the contrary, the swales,
backwaters, mangrove swamps, palaeo backwaters, palaeo mudflats were
acted as accommodators. The beaches, as they contain sorted, rounded
and unconsolidated alluvium, they have acted as absorbers of tsunami
waves and its energy (Figure 4.31, e). But, it is found that the seaward and
landward beach rides were identified as most safeguarding features from
tsunami waves and hence they are named as barriers of tsunami waves.

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Hence, it is necessary for the planners to understand the responses of

different coastal geomorphic landforms to tsunami waves before adopting
any developmental activity or tsunami mitigation plans.
The anthropogenic intervention in the form of port development in
the form of diverting the Uppanar river flow and construction of sea wall
parallel to the coast of Nagappattinam town, have resulted in to very high
inundation levels in the area (Figure 4.31, c&d).

Fig. 4.31: Tsunami Responses of Geomorphic Features, Tamil Nadu

(Source: Ramasamy et al., 2006(c))

The following Table 4.4 shows certain tsunami mitigation strategies

suggested for coastal areas and the same can be very well implemented by
the planners and administrators so as to safeguard from tsunami and also
for the sustainable development of the coastal areas.

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Table 4.4: Tsunami Mitigation Strategies

Geomorphic Features Mitigation Strategies
1. Facilitators • To be left as such/or dredged
(a) Bay mouth bars/spits • No Vegetation/afforestation in bay mouth bars/spits
and river mouths and • Keep the river/creek mouths open and avoid arresting
creek mouths of rivers/creeks mouths by walls
• Settlements if at all developed, must be only on
southern bank of the rivers in the coastal areas.
• Mangroves development in mudflats
Mudflats and • Regulating measures to minimize the faster growth of
(b) Saltpans saltpans
• Dumping of boulders and creation of protection em-
bankments in between mudflats/Saltpans and the sea
2. Carriers • Keep mouths open
Rivers, Creeks and • Afforestation along banks
Rivers/Streams misfit • Boulder embankment along low lying banks
over Swales
• Avoid settlements in low lying banks of rivers/
• Promotion of mangroves in rivers/streams misfit over
3. Accommodators • Mouths to bekept open
Swales, Backwaters • Afforestation of mangroves in the mangrove swamps
and Mangrove and in peripheral parts of the backwaters and rims of
swamps the swales.
• Boulder embankment along the rim of the backwaters
and mangrove swamps.
Palaeo Backwaters, • Mangroves creations in palaeo backwater
Palaeo Mudflats • Radial outward drainages from the Palaeo backwaters
to the Palaeo mudflats, afforestation and promotion of
bird sanctuary.
4. Absorbers • Existing beach nourishment by afforestation with deep
Beaches rooted trees
• Beach growth propagation by constructing jetties at
suitable locations and nourish such beaches too by
5. Barriers • Intensive Afforestation through casuarina and cashew.
Seaward and
landward beach
(Source: Ramasamy et al., 2006(c))

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Hence, it is very well proved that the virtues of recent emerging

Geospatial technology can be effectively harvested so as to ensure
sustainable and nature adoptive development of any coastal areas which
can protect from the adverse effects of tsunami.

4.7  Drought
Drought is because of the acute shortage of water due to rainfall decline,
temperature increase and improper and inappropriate usage of potential
land for different developmental activities in an area. The phenomenon
of drought, reasons and mitigation strategies are not studied well, when
compared with the research studies conducted for other disasters. That too,
the application of Geomatics technology has also been utilized limitedly
for drought analysis.

Fig. 4.32 (a, b, c &d): Spatial Pattern of NDVI and Rainfall Anomalies
for the Years 1987 and 1997
(Source: Parul Chopra, 2006)

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One of the Geomatics based approach for drought is the research study
conducted by Parul Chopra 2006, for Gujarat area. A very comprehensive
methodology has been brought out to understand the drought risk of
Gujarat using Remote Sensing, Digital Image Processing and GIS
techniques. With the versatilities of Geospatial technology, it would be
highly possible to bring the relations between meteorological, agricultural
and hydrological droughts. By incorporating the rainfall of past 23 years
with the other themes such as, NDVI based Agricultural Drought and Crop
yield, the relationship between rainfall anomaly and the NDVI/Crop yield
anomalies were brought out with drought severity classes (Figures 4.32
and 4.33). Finally, combined drought risk areas have been demarcated
by integrating the agricultural and meteorological drought risk areas
(Figure 4.34) and it shows that proper and timely plans can be drawn
and implemented to minimize the drought condition and to increase crop
production in those areas.

Fig. 4.33(a, b, c and d): Drought Severity for the Drought Years 1982
and 1987 and Wet Years 1988 and 1997
(Source: Parul Chopra, 2006)

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Fig. 4.34(a): Combined Drought Risk Areas Delineated by Agricultural

and Meteorological Drought Risk Areas of Gujarat

Fig. 4.34(b): Histogram Plot Showing % of Areas Facing Combined

Drought Risks of Gujarat

(Source: Parul Chopra, 2006)

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Disaster Information System IMTI


Disaster Information System

5.1 Requirement for Disaster Information System

O ne among the unique advancements and versatilities in GIS is known

as Query Based Information Retrieval System (QUBIS), useful for
preparing strategic plans and instantaneous decision making by the users,
planners and administrators. In QUBIS, the required database will be
kept in a readily retrievable format by pre-processing, analysis and post
processing of several layers as spatial data, prior cooking of non-spatial or a
spatial or attribute data for proper retrieval of precise data and establishing
linkage between spatial and attribute data. Once such database is ready,
then through Application Programming Interfaces (VBA, .NET, Java,
XML, Python APIs, Arc Objects, etc.), all the user required information
can be shown immediately as output map in the display using the layers
available in GIS through a single click or two through mouse or touch
screen by the user. Certain frequently required information by the user can
be readily built and kept as GUI (Graphical User Interface) based buttons
and menus through queries. So that a simple clicking event over these
buttons/menus by the user will fetch the required information through the
link established with database, as it is done through an Information Kiosk
or in ATM centers of banks. On clicking a button, wherein a query is
attached, the relevant data will get retrieved by searching and on satisfying
the query condition, the retrieved data will be displayed in the form of
map, table, and chart or in a combined form of all.
The QUBIS system can be created with various advanced options
on interactive Kiosk mode (touch screen response) for effective, faster,
precise and unbiased planning for disaster management. Thus, the
advanced virtues with GIS in the form of QUBIS can also be tapped for
the benefit of: 1) planners and administrators in order to understand the

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disasters vulnerable zones and inducing parameters, 2) civil engineers

for installation of prevention structures, effective usage and efficiency
monitoring of structures, and 3) social workers and other officials for
proper assessment of damages caused for quick recovery and rehabilitation
activities during crisis.
The Advanced form of QUBIS is Spatial Decision Support System
(SDSS). Wherein, the latest available updated datasets will be used for
on-time analyses, utilizing the proved methodologies available with it, so
as to attain accuracy in the resultant output map. Some of the time-taking
steps involved in conventional GIS database generation, preprocessing,
analysis and post-processing, can be automated with minimum interaction
with user for choosing the relevant data and method/model for analysis. It
can also be built using Web-GIS software with internet connectivity and
the tools available in it or in a local GIS platform having customization
It is possible for the SDSS to generate on-time database from the
raw satellite data automatically or through Digital Image Processing
techniques. For example, digital image processing techniques such as
Atmospheric Haze Removal, Band Ratioing, separation of vegetated area
using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), separation of
water covered area using Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI),
Landuse and land cover classes from Unsupervised classification, etc., can
be used to enhance and classify pixels of satellite images called ‘first level
outputs’. These first level output form input for the vectorization and layer
generation on-time. These vector layers showing present day situation of
features such as forests, agriculture, infrastructure development, called
‘second level outputs’, form input for further analysis in SDSS using GIS.
Similarly, the SDSS can also be designed to handle recent/latest
collateral data collected from different Government/quasi-Government
organizations for its database. In such a way, an SDSS could also prepare
spatial database containing isolines automatically (first level output) by
user defined manipulation techniques with the latest spatial or attribute
data received on-line from some secondary source/agency, such as rainfall,

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groundwater level, water spread area in water bodies, etc. Then from this,
generate preprocessed second level output layers containing grouped
features of direct relevance to the problem such as, areas with maximum
rainfall which is causing landslides, areas having deeper groundwater
level conditions inducing land subsidence disaster, etc.
In the next step, by inputting these second level outputs derived from
various sources directly into the disaster vulnerable zonation model in
SDSS, self-analyses could be performed in GIS background to identify the
quantum of water available in water bodies, areas prone for flood disaster,
vulnerable areas for landslides, etc., as ‘third level outputs’.
These third level outputs containing 100s and sometimes 1000s of
finely divided polygons resulted due to the integration during the previous
modeling phase containing multiple combination of disaster inducing
parameter classes, cannot be shown as such, since it will be looking clumsy
and very difficult for the users and planners to handle or use them. Hence, a
fourth level output can be generated by reclassification of third level output
using post-classification methods, and then finally, display the result in a
neat map layout which could be user attractive and simple to recognize
the relationship between the inducing parameters and the disaster by the
planners, civil engineers and other users. This SDSS based final output
could be the ultimate for strategic planning by the administrators.
Hence, SDSS is an explicit design in GIS with powerful and easy-to-
use user interface to solve ill-structured problems with ability to continue
analytical models flexibly with data, explore the solution space by building
alternatives, capability of supporting and providing a variety of effective
decision making styles and allowing the users for an interactive, user
friendly and recursive problem solving environment.
The other advanced features of APIs, which can be made available with
SDSS includes, 1) Retrieval of information in different tiers within 2 or 3
clicks, 2) Wrapping up of any map over the displayed map for comparison,
3) User defined query builder and display, 4) Calculation of reachability
to the facilities and infrastructures (e.g. Health Centers, Cyclone shelters,
etc.) by the people, 5) Generation of data updation module with security

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features for authorized users, 6) Display of feature label tags on cursor

movement over the displayed map, 7) Provision of instant user guidance,

5.2  Designing of Disaster Information System

All the Satellite, Collateral and Ground Survey based data collected and
digital spatial databases generated called Basic Thematic maps for an
area and various Specific Thematic maps on several disasters and their
related maps such as, Areas affected by previous Disasters, Frequency
and Intensity of occurrence, Vulnerable zones of Disasters, Causative
Parameters, Mitigation Measures and related non-spatial data such as
nature of damage, property loss, life lost, due to disasters, etc., are shown
in a menu, called ‘Main Menu’. This Main menu can also contain the
other options such as Data Updation, Print, Help and Exit for the benefit
of the users. Similarly, all the aspatial data should be linked with spatial
data such as state, district, taluk, block, village, microwatershed and other
layers properly using Unique Identifiers in each layers and aspatial data.
Then, it would also be possible for the users to retrieve and display any
kind of data or information on various levels by keeping the polygons
such as, state, district, block/taluk, village, basin, sub-basin, watershed,
subwatershed, mini-watershed, micro watershed as relevant units for
display. (Ramasamy et al., 2005(a), Ramasamy et al., 2006(b) and Palanivel
et al., 2007) Similarly, if the user is interested to see a particular feature for
the entire area, then the same can also be shown to that particular feature
level. Moreover, with the available database, the advanced efficiencies,
special designs, virtues and credentials of API, GIS and other Geospatial
technologies could have been effectively included in Spatial Decision
Support System as discussed in the following paragraphs.

5.2.1  Information Retrieval

Quickest retrieval can be made on any spatial and non-spatial data in a
maximum of 3 clicks at State, District, Taluk, Block, Village and Mini
Watershed levels and also Feature wise for quick decision making for
disaster mitigation and management planning (Figures 5.1 – 5.13).

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Fig. 5.1: Areas Undergoing Soil Erosion Retrieved

in SDSS for Pudukkottai District, Tamil Nadu

Fig. 5.2: Availability of Health Centre Facility

in Villages Located within 2–6 km Distance

Fig. 5.3: Overall Reachability to Primary Health Centre in Pudukkottai District

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Fig. 5.4: Silted Water Bodies with Siltation Levels Retrieved

in SDSS for IlluppurTaluk, Pudukkottai District

Fig. 5.5: Seismically Low Vulnerable Area Retrieved

in Disaster Information System for Tamil Nadu

Fig. 5.6: Earthquakes Occurred for 2–4 Times in Tamil Nadu Blocks

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Fig. 5.7: Overall Severity of Flood Occurred

in Tamil Nadu Blocks

Fig. 5.8: District Wise Retrieval of Flood Severity

in Tiruchirappalli

Fig. 5.9: District Wise Retrieval of Triggering Parameters of Flood

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Fig. 5.10: District Wise Retrieval of Mitigation Measures for Flood

Fig. 5.11: District Wise Retrieval of Cyclone Severity in Cuddalore

Fig. 5:12: District Wise Retrieval of Drought Severity in Pudukkottai

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Fig. 5:13: Block Wise Retrieval of Landslides Severity

5.2.2  Layer Wrapping

Any spatial layer can be overlaid over the displayed map and viewed
together so as to have an instant comparison and visual analysis.

5.2.3  Zooming
All the displayed digital maps can be zoomed in/zoomed out to the user
desired level, using 5 different map zooming tools available in SDSS.

5.2.4  Other Map Handling Tools

The other map handling tools such as Panning, Go to Previous Map Extent,
Go to Next Map Extent, Get Full Map Extent, Graphical Selection, etc.,
can also kept in SDSS.

5.2.5  Data Listing

Map information and other available data can be listed with two options.
(1) The ‘Identify’ tool can be used to list the attribute details of a particular
spatial feature at any desired location in the displayed map. For example,
data on silted tanks, viz.: perimeter of tanks, average level of silting, etc.,
can be seen by clicking the cursor over a silted tank from the displayed
map. (2) The other one is the ‘List Data’ option available under Statistics
menu which can be used to list entire details of the all features of the

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displayed map. Over the window of attribute table, other options such as
view average, mean, median, frequency, data export, and other various
relevant capabilities can be kept for the users to understand the spatial
variability, occurrence, geometry and other related attributes.

5.2.6  Distance Measurement

By utilizing the distance measurement tool, the distance between any two
objects/features/places/points can be measured.

5.2.7  Data Updation

Both Spatial maps and Non-spatial data can be added, removed, or
modified by the authorized users having User Name and Password, by
getting into the ‘Data Updation’ menu. For example, if 50 water bodies
are identified as ‘Water bodies to be Desilted’ category in the ‘Soil erosion
and Siltation’ theme of Main menu and later on some of the tanks have
been desilted (say 5 tanks) under Government Scheme, then, the same
can be updated. The subsequent view of the said map will show only 45
water bodies in the area for desiltation and 5 are under Already Desilted
category, in different colors. Provision can also be made for the automatic
updation of reachability details on new installation of such facilities and
infrastructures in an area, i.e., once any data on the physical resources
sector is entered or altered by the authorized user then, automatically the
reachability data will get calculated and updated.

5.2.8  User Defined Query Based Map Display

User defined simple and complex queries can be built and the results can
be displayed in this SDSS using the ‘Query Builder’ option available in
Statistics menu.

5.2.9  Display of User Defined Feature Label

For any displayed map, if the user is interested to display the label identity
number or label text for easy map reading in different levels of zooming,
then the same can be achieved by using the option named, ‘Feature Layer

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5.2.10  Hierarchy of Data

The spatial data on all natural resources have been kept in both raw (as
basic maps) and as final GIS based models (resources/conservation maps).
If one wants to develop new models of his own, he can do so using the
raw maps too.

5.2.11  Co-Ordinate Information

For the mouse cursor movement inside any displayed map, longitude and
latitude values are getting automatically displayed continuously in one of
the panel located in the ‘status bar’ kept at the screen bottom.

5.2.12  Display of Attribute Table Field names and Help Note

Then and there, whenever the attribute table is displayed by the user, shown
in a separate window in SDSS, on the cursor movement over the field
names, the full forms of the abbreviated field names will get automatically
displayed at the bottom panel in the status bar. Similarly, apart from ‘Help’
option available in Main Menu, during retrieval or working with SDSS,
the relevant help note can be displayed so as to proceed with the particular
user interaction process.
The model thus has got unique merits and besides many, the user need
not know GIS and the software part, and in 15–20 minutes of training he
can retrieve any data. Further, the user can simply click the ‘Tutor’ option,
which can be kept at the end of Main menu, for getting help to proceed
with information retrieval process or analysis in SDSS and can get more

5.2.13  Special Credentials of SDSS

The model thus has got unique merits and besides many, the user need
not know GIS and the software part, and in 15–20 minutes of training the
official can retrieve any data or information using SDSS.

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5.3  Provision of Links with Relevant Agencies/Departments

The Government Departments, Quasi-Government Departments and Non-
Government Departments are maintaining databases as digital records
and collecting and storing data regularly. These databases are up to-date
and maintained by India Meteorological Department, State Land Use
Board, Pollution control Board, Department of Statistics, Public Works
Department, Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board, etc. Rainfall,
humidity, climate, aerosol and other relevant on-time details can be
collected from internet from the IMD website. Similarly, seismological
records are also available with IMD as well as National Geophysical
Research Institute. Corporate Disaster Resource Network (CDRN) and
India Disaster Resource Network (IDRN) of National Institute of Disaster
Management (NIDM) maintained by National Informatics Centre, New
Delhi provides details online latest inventory on equipment, human
resources from all the districts of states in our country. National Disaster
Response Force (NDRF) working under National Disaster Management
Authority (NDMA), Geological Survey of India (GSI), Indian National
Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), ISRO, NRSC,
Registrar General of India, Survey of India, are the some of our Indian
Government Departments hosting websites providing on-line details on
disaster vulnerability status and other relevant information on disaster
management activities.
Similarly, the foreign agencies such as International Search and Rescue
Advisory Group (INSARAG), Indian Disaster Knowledge Network
(IDKN) functioning under South Asian Disaster Knowledge Network
(SADKN), Federal Emergency Management Network (FEMA), Global
Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS), United Nations Office
for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) are providing real-
time details on disaster vulnerability and status of disasters and damages
of different parts of the world. Hence, it would be obvious to have on-line
link with these National and International agencies so as to get disaster
alerts as well as latest information for Disaster Information System for
disaster mitigation and management.

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Pre-, During- and Post-Disaster Events and Do’s and Don’ts IMTI


Pre-, During- and Post-Disaster

Events and Do’s and Don’ts

6.1  Earthquake

What to do before an Earthquake?

• Repair deep plaster cracks in ceilings and foundations. Get expert
advice if there are signs of structural defects.
• Anchor overhead lighting fixtures to the ceiling.
• Follow BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) codes relevant to your area
for building standards
• Fasten shelves securely to walls.
• Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
• Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low,
closed cabinets with latches.
• Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds,
settees, and anywhere that people sit.
• Brace overhead light and fan fixtures.
• Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These
are potential fire risks.
• Secure water heaters, LPG cylinders etc., by strapping them to the
walls or bolting to the floor.
• Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in
closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.
• Identify safe places indoors and outdoors:

■ Under strong dining table, bed
■ Against an inside wall

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■ Away from where glass could shatter around windows, mirrors,

pictures, or where heavy bookcases or other heavy furniture
could fall over
■ In the open, away from buildings, trees, telephone and electrical
lines, flyovers and bridges.
• Know emergency telephone numbers (such as those of doctors,
hospitals, the police, etc.).
• Educate yourself and family members.
• Awareness Generation Resources for Earthquake Disaster
• Disaster(Earthquake) Resistant Construction Practice.
• Techno Legal Regime for Safe Construction Practice (Model
Amendment in Town and Country Planning Legislations, Regulation
for Land Use Zoning and Building Byelaws for Structural Safety).
• Past Programmes/Projects, Resource Materials on Earthquake Risk

Have a Disaster Emergency Kit Ready

• Battery operated torch with extra batteries.
• Battery operated radio.
• First aid kit and manual.
• Emergency food (dry items) and water (packed and sealed).
• Candles and matches in a waterproof container.
• Knife.
• Chlorine tablets or powdered water purifiers.
• Can opener.
• Essential medicines.
• Cash and credit cards.
• Thick ropes and cords.
• Sturdy shoes.

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Develop an Emergency Communication Plan

• In case family members are separated from one another during an
earthquake (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work
and children are at school), develop a plan for reuniting after the
• Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the ‘family contact’
after the disaster; it is often easier to call long distance. Make sure
everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number
of the contact person.

Help Your Community Get Ready

• Publish a special section in your local newspaper with emergency
information on earthquakes. Localize the information by printing the
phone numbers of local emergency services offices and hospitals.
• Conduct week-long series on locating hazards in the home.
• Work with local emergency services and officials to prepare special
reports for people with mobility impairment on what to do during an
• Provide tips on conducting earthquake drills in the home.
• Interview representatives of the gas, electric, and water companies
about shutting off utilities.
• Work together in your community to apply your knowledge
to building codes, retrofitting programmes, hazard hunts, and
neighbourhood and family emergency plans.

What to Do During an Earthquake?

Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some
earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur.
Minimize your movements to a few steps that reach a nearby safe place
and stay indoors until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is

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If Indoors
• DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table
or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If
there is no a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with
your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
• Protect yourself by staying under the lintel of an inner door, in the
corner of a room, under a table or even under a bed.
• Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and
anything that could fall, (such as lighting fixtures or furniture).
• Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and
protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light
fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
• Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and
if you know it is a strongly supported, load bearing doorway.
• Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside.
Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside
buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building
or try to leave.
• Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or
fire alarms may turn on.

If Outdoors
• Do not move from where you are. However, move away from
buildings, trees, streetlights, and utility wires.
• If you are in open space, stay there until the shaking stops. The
greatest danger exists directly outside buildings; at exits; and
alongside exterior walls. Most earthquake-related casualties result
from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

If in a Moving Vehicle
• Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid
stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
• Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads,
bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

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If Trapped Under Debris

• Do not light a match.
• Do not move about or kick up dust.
• Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
• Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one
is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to
inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

6.2  Landslide

Do’s and don’ts for Landslide

• Keep drains clean.
• Direct storm water away from slopes.
• Inspect drains for - litter, leaves, plastic bags, rubble etc.
• Keep the weep holes open.
• Don’t let the water go waste or store above your house.
• Grow more trees that can hold the soil through roots.
• Identify areas of rock fall and subsidence of buildings, cracks that
indicate landslides and move to safer areas. Even muddy river waters
indicate landslides upstream.
• Notice such signals and contact the nearest District Head Quarters.
• Ensure that toe of slope is not cut, remains protected, don’t uproot
trees unless transplantation/replantation is planned.

6.3  Cyclone

Before the Cyclone Season

• Check the house; secure loose tiles and carry out repairs of doors and
• 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. which can fly in strong winds.

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• Keep some wooden boards ready so that glass windows can be

boarded if needed.
• Keep a hurricane lantern filled with kerosene, battery operated
torches and enough dry cells.
• Demolish condemned buildings.
• Keep some extra batteries for transistors.
• Keep some dry non-perishable food always ready for use in

Necessary Actions
The actions that need to be taken in the event of a cyclone threat can
broadly be divided into:
• Immediately before the cyclone season.
• When cyclone alerts and warnings are communicated.
• When evacuations are advised.
• When the cyclone has crossed the coast.

When the Cyclone Starts?

• Listen to the radio (All India Radio stations give weather warnings).
• Keep monitoring the warnings. This will help you prepare for a
cyclone emergency.
• Pass the information to others.
• Ignore rumours and do not spread them; this will help to avoid panic
• Believe in the official information.
• 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.

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When your area is under cyclone warning get away from low-lying
beaches or other low-lying areas close to the coast?
• Leave early before your way to high ground or shelter gets flooded.
• Do not delay and run the risk of being marooned.
• If your house is securely built on high ground take shelter in the safe
part of the house. However, if asked to evacuate do not hesitate to
leave the place.
• Board up glass windows or put storm shutters in place.
• Provide strong suitable support for outside doors.
• If you do not have wooden boards handy, paste paper strips on
glasses to prevent splinters. However, this may not avoid breaking
• Get extra food, which can be eaten without cooking. Store extra
drinking water in suitably covered vessels.
• 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.
• Small and loose things, which can fly in strong winds, should be
stored safely in a room.
• Be sure that a window and door can be opened only on the side
opposite to the one facing the wind.
• Make provision for children and adults requiring special diet.
• 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.
During this time do not go out; because immediately after that, very
strong winds will blow from the opposite direction.
• Switch off the electrical mains in your house.
• Remain calm.

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When evacuation is instructed?

• Pack essentials for yourself and your family to last a few days. These
should include medicines, special food for babies and children or
• Head for the proper shelter or evacuation points indicated for your
• Do not worry about your property.
• At the shelter follow instructions of the person in charge.
• Remain in the shelter until you are informed to leave.

Post-cyclone measures
• You should remain in the shelter until informed that you can return
to your home.
• You must get inoculated against diseases immediately.
• Strictly avoid any loose and dangling wires from lamp posts.
• If you have to drive, do drive carefully.
• Clear debris from your premises immediately.
• Report the correct losses to appropriate authorities.

6.4  Flood

What to do before a Flood?

To prepare for a flood, you should:
• Avoid building in flood prone areas unless you elevate and reinforce
your home.
• Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to
• Install “Check Valves” in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from
backing up into the drains of your home.
• Contact community officials to find out if they are planning to
construct barriers (levees, beams and floodwalls) to stop floodwater
from entering the homes in your area.

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• Seal the walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds to

avoid seepage.

If a flood is likely to hit your area, you should:

• Listen to the radio or television for information.
• Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of
a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for
instructions to move.
• Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas
known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with
or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.

If you must prepare to evacuate, you should:

• Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture.
Move essential items to an upper floor.
• Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so.
Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment
if you are wet or standing in water.

If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:

• Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can
make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is
not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front
of you.
• Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car,
abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.
You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.

6.4.1  Urban Flood

Before Floods
• Do not litter waste, plastic bags, plastic bottles in drains.
• Try to be at home if high tide and heavy rains occur simultaneously.

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• Listen to weather forecast at All India Radio, Dhoordharshan. Also,

messages by Municipal bodies from time to time and act accordingly.
• Evacuate low line areas and shift to safer places.
• Make sure that each person has lantern, torch, some edibles, drinking
water, dry clothes and necessary documents while evacuating or
• Make sure that each family member has identity card.
• Put all valuables at a higher place in the house.

In the Flood Situation

• Obey orders by government and shift to a safer place.
• Be at safe place and they try to collect correct information.
• Switch of electrical supply and don’t touch open wires.
• Don’t get carried away by rumours and don not spread rumours.

• Switch off electrical and gas appliances, and turn off services off at
the mains.
• Carry your emergency kit and let your friends and family know
where you are going.
• Avoid contact with flood water it may be contaminated with sewage,
oil, chemicals or other substances.
• If you have to walk in standing water, use a pole or stick to ensure
that you do not step into deep water, open manholes or ditches.
• Stay away from power lines electrical current can travel through
water, Report power lines that are down to the power company.
• Look before you step-after a flood, the ground and floors are covered
with debris, which may include broken bottles, sharp objects, nails,
etc. Floors and stairs covered with mud and debris can be slippery.
• Listen to the radio or television for updates and information.
• If the ceiling is wet shut off electricity. Place a bucket underneath the
spot and poke a small hole into the ceiling to relieve the pressure.

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• Use buckets, clean towels and mops to remove as much of the water
from the afflicted rooms as possible.
• Place sheets of aluminium foil between furniture and wet carpet.

• Don’t walk through flowing water—currents can be deceptive, and
shallow, fast moving water can knock you off your feet.
• Don’t swim through fast flowing water—you may get swept away or
stuck by an object in the water.
• Don’t drive through a flooded area—You may not be able to see
abrupt drop—offs and only half a meter of flood water can carry a car
away. Driving through flood water can also cause additional damage
to nearby property.
• Don’t eat any food that has come into contact with flood water.
• Don’t reconnect your power supply until a qualified engineer has
checked it. Be alert for gas leaks—do not smoke or use candles,
lanterns, or open flames.
• Don’t scrub or brush mud and other deposits from materials. This
may cause further damage.
• Never turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Stay away from
ceilings those are sagging.
• Never use TVs, VCRS, CRT terminals or other electrical equipment
while standing on wet floors, especially concrete.
• Don’t attempt to remove standing water using your vacuum cleaner.
• Don’t remove standing water in a basement too fast. If the pressure
is relieved too quickly it may put undue stress on the walls.

6.5  Tsunami

Do’s and don’ts for Tsunami

• You should find out if your home, school, workplace, or other
frequently visited locations are in tsunami hazard areas along sea-

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• Know the height of your street above sea level and the distance of your
street from the coast or other high-risk waters (Local administration
may put sign boards).
• Plan evacuation routes from your home, school, workplace, or any
other place you could be where tsunamis present a risk.
• If your children’s school is in an identified inundation zone, find out
what the school evacuation plan is.
• Practice your evacuation routes.
• Use a Weather Radio or stay tuned to a local radio or television
station to keep informed of local watches and warnings.
• Talk to your insurance agent. Homeowners’ policies may not cover
flooding from a tsunami. Ask the Insurance Agent about the benefits
from Multi-Hazard Insurance Schemes.
• Discuss tsunamis with your family. Everyone should know what to
do in a tsunami situation. Discussing tsunamis ahead of time will
help reduce fear and save precious time in an emergency. Review
flood safety and preparedness measures with your family.

If you are in an area at risk from tsunamis

• You should find out if your home, school, workplace, or other
frequently visited locations are in tsunami hazard areas.
• Know the height of your street above sea level and the distance of your
street from the coast or other high-risk waters. (Local administration
may put sign boards). Also find out the height above sea level and the
distance from the coast of outbuildings that house animals, as well as
pastures or corrals.
• Plan evacuation routes from your home, school, workplace, or any
other place you could be where tsunamis present a risk. If possible,
pick areas (30 meters) above sea level or go as far as 3 kilometres
inland, away from the coastline. If you cannot get this high or far, go
as high or far as you can. Every meter inland or upward may make
a difference. You should be able to reach your safe location on foot
within 15 minutes. After a disaster, roads may become blocked or

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unusable. Be prepared to evacuate by foot if necessary. Footpaths

normally lead uphill and inland, while many roads parallel coastlines.
Follow posted tsunami evacuation routes; these will lead to safety.
Local emergency management officials can advise you on the best
route to safety and likely shelter locations.
• If your children’s school is in an identified inundation zone, find
out what the school evacuation plan is. Find out if the plan requires
you to pick your children up from school or from another location.
Telephone lines during a tsunami watch or warning may be
overloaded and routes to and from schools may be jammed.
• Practice your evacuation routes. Familiarity may save your life.
Be able to follow your escape route at night and during inclement
weather. Practicing your plan makes the appropriate response more
of a reaction, requiring less thinking during an actual emergency
• Use a Weather Radio or stay tuned to a local radio or television
station to keep informed of local watches and warnings.
• Talk to your insurance agent. Homeowners’ policies may not cover
flooding from a tsunami. Ask the Insurance Agent about the benefits
from Multi-Hazard Insurance Schemes.
• Discuss tsunamis with your family. Everyone should know what to
do in a tsunami situation. Discussing tsunamis ahead of time will
help reduce fear and save precious time in an emergency. Review
flood safety and preparedness measures with your family.

If you are visiting an area at risk from tsunamis

• Check with the hotel or campground operators for tsunami evacuation
information and find out what the warning system is for tsunamis. It
is important to know designated escape routes before a warning is
• One of the early warning signals of a tsunami is that the sea water
recedes or retreats several metres, exposing fish on shallow waters
or on the beaches. If you see the sea water receding, you must

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immediately leave the beach and go to higher ground far away from
the beach.
• Protect Your Property.
• You should avoid building or living in buildings within 200 meters
of the high tide coastline.
• These areas are more likely to experience damage from tsunamis,
strong winds, or coastal storms.
• Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a tsunami.
• A list will help you remember anything that can be swept away by
tsunami water.
• Elevate coastal homes.
• Most tsunami waves are less than 3 meters. Elevating your house
will help reduce damage to your property from most tsunamis.
• Take precautions to prevent flooding.
• Have an engineer check your home and advise about ways to make it
more resistant to tsunami water.
• There may be ways to divert waves away from your property.
Improperly built walls could make your situation worse. Consult
with a professional for advice.
• Ensure that any outbuildings, pastures, or corrals are protected in the
same way as your home. When installing or changing fence lines,
consider placing them in such a way that your animals are able to
move to higher ground in the event of a tsunami.

What to Do if You Feel a Strong Coastal Earthquake?

If you feel an earthquake that lasts 20 seconds or longer when you are in a
coastal area, you should:
• Drop, cover, and hold on. You should first protect yourself from the
earthquake damages.

When the shaking stops.

• Gather members of your household and move quickly to higher
ground away from the coast. A tsunami may be coming within

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Avoid downed power lines and stay away from damaged buildings and
bridges from which Heavy objects might fall during an aftershock.

If you are on land:

• Be aware of tsunami facts. This knowledge could save your life!
Share this knowledge with your relatives and friends. It could save
their lives!

If you are in school and you hear there is a tsunami warning:

• You should follow the advice of teachers and other school personnel.

If you are at home and hear there is a tsunami warning:

• You should make sure your entire family is aware of the warning.
Your family should evacuate your house if you live in a tsunami
evacuation zone. Move in an orderly, calm and safe manner to
the evacuation site or to any safe place outside your evacuation
zone. Follow the advice of local emergency and law enforcement

If you are at the beach or near the ocean and you feel the earth shake:
• Move immediately to higher ground, DO NOT wait for a tsunami
warning to be announced. Stay away from rivers and streams that
lead to the ocean as you would stay away from the beach and ocean if
there is a tsunami. A regional tsunami from a local earthquake could
strike some areas before a tsunami warning could be announced.
• Tsunamis generated in distant locations will generally give people
enough time to move to higher ground. For locally-generated
tsunamis, where you might feel the ground shake, you may only have
a few minutes to move to higher ground.
• High, multi-storied, reinforced concrete hotels are located in many
low-lying coastal areas. The upper floors of these hotels can provide
a safe place to find refuge should there be a tsunami warning and you
cannot move quickly inland to higher ground.

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• Homes and small buildings located in low-lying coastal areas are

not designed to withstand tsunami impacts. Do not stay in these
structures should there be a tsunami warning.
• Offshore reefs and shallow areas may help break the force of tsunami
waves, but large and dangerous wave can still be a threat to coastal
residents in these areas.
• Staying away from all low-lying areas is the safest advice when there
is a tsunami warning.

If you are on a boat:

• Since tsunami wave activity is imperceptible in the open ocean, do
not return to port if you are at sea and a tsunami warning has been
issued for your area. Tsunamis can cause rapid changes in water
level and unpredictable dangerous currents in harbours and ports.
If there is time to move your boat or ship from port to deep water (after
a tsunami warning has been issued), you should weigh the following
• Most large harbours and ports are under the control of a harbour
authority and/or a vessel traffic system. These authorities direct
operations during periods of increased readiness (should a tsunami
be expected), including the forced movement of vessels if deemed
necessary. Keep in contact with the authorities should a forced
movement of vessel be directed.
• Smaller ports may not be under the control of a harbour authority. If
you are aware there is a tsunami warning and you have time to move
your vessel to deep water, then you may want to do so in an orderly
manner, in consideration of other vessels.
• Owners of small boats may find it safest to leave their boat at the pier
and physically move to higher ground, particularly in the event of a
locally-generated tsunami.
• Concurrent severe weather conditions (rough seas outside of safe
harbour) could present a greater hazardous situation to small boats,
so physically moving yourself to higher ground may be the only

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• Damaging wave activity and unpredictable currents can affect

harbours for a period of time following the initial tsunami impact
on the coast. Contact the harbour authority before returning to port
making sure to verify that conditions in the harbour are safe for
navigation and berthing.

What to do after a Tsunami?

• You should continue using a Weather Radio or staying tuned
to a Coast Guard emergency frequency station or a local radio or
television station for updated emergency information.
• The Tsunami may have damaged roads, bridges, or other places that
may be unsafe.
• Check yourself for injuries and get first aid if necessary before
helping injured or trapped persons.
• If someone needs to be rescued, call professionals with the right
equipment to help.
• Help people who require special assistance—Infants, elderly people,
those without transportation, large families who may need additional
help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the
people who care for them.
• Avoid disaster areas.
• Your presence might hamper rescue and other emergency operations
and put you at further risk from the residual effects of floods, such
as contaminated water, crumbled roads, landslides, mudflows, and
other hazards.
• Use the telephone only for emergency calls. Telephone lines are
frequently overwhelmed in disaster situations. They need to be clear
for emergency calls to get through.
• Stay out of a building if water remains around it. Tsunami water, like
floodwater, can undermine foundations, causing buildings to sink,
floors to crack, or walls to collapse.
• When re-entering buildings or homes, use extreme caution. Tsunami-
driven floodwater may have damaged buildings where you least
expect it. Carefully watch every step you take.

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• Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy shoes. The most
common injury following a disaster is cut feet.
• Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights when examining buildings
.Battery-powered lighting is the safest and easiest to use, and it does
not present a fire hazard for the user, occupants, or building. DO
• Examine walls, floors, doors, staircases, and windows to make sure
that the building is not in danger of collapsing. Inspect foundations
for cracks or other damage. Cracks and damage to a foundation can
render a building uninhabitable.
• Look for fire hazards. Under the earthquake action there may be
broken or leaking gas lines, and under the tsunami flooded electrical
circuits, or submerged furnaces or electrical appliances. Flammable
or explosive materials may have come from upstream. Fire is the
most frequent hazard following floods.
• Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing
noise, open a window and get everyone outside quickly. Turn off the
gas using the outside main valve if you can, and call the gas company
from a neighbour’s home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it
must be turned back on by a professional.
• Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken
or frayed wires, or if you smell burning insulation, turn off the
electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step
in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician
first for advice. Electrical equipment should be checked and dried
before being returned to service.
• Check for damage to sewage and water lines. If you suspect sewage
lines are damaged under the quake, avoid using the toilets and call
a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company
and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water from
undamaged water heaters or by melting ice cubes that were made
before the tsunami hit. Turn off the main water valve before draining
water from these sources. Use tap water only if local health officials
advise it is safe.

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• Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may
have come into buildings with the water. Use a stick to poke through
debris. Tsunami floodwater flushes snakes and animals out of their
• Watch for loose plaster, drywall, and ceilings that could fall.
• Take pictures of the damage, both of the building and its contents,
for insurance claims. Open the windows and doors to help dry the
• Shovel mud before it solidifies.
• Check food supplies.
• Any food that has come in contact with floodwater may be
contaminated and should be thrown out.
• Expect aftershocks. If the earthquake is of large magnitude (magnitude
8 to 9+ on the Richter scale) and located nearby, some aftershocks
could be as large as magnitude 7+ and capable of generating another
tsunami. The number of aftershocks will decrease over the course
of several days, weeks, or months depending on how large the main
shock was.
• Watch your animals closely. Keep all your animals under your direct
control. Hazardous materials abound in flooded areas. Your pets
may be able to escape from your home or through a broken fence.
Pets may become disoriented, particularly because flooding usually
affects scent markers that normally allow them to find their homes.
The behaviour of pets may change dramatically after any disruption,
becoming aggressive or defensive, so be aware of their well-being
and take measures to protect them from hazards, including displaced
wild animals, and to ensure the safety of other people and animals.

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IMTI Summary



I n this reading material, definitions and related details of geohazards

and disasters, salient and positive/constructive effects of disasters,
what the people normally does not know, and the credibility of Geomatics
technology are discussed in the first chapter.
The natural Earth system processes that are regularly inducing disasters
such as plate tectonics, Geomorphic agents such as glacier, river/fluvial,
Aeolian/wind, coastal waves and currents and the regular natural processes
such as weathering, erosion, deposition, and their significances and
vulnerability to disaster occurrences, atmospheric and oceanic circulations
and disasters, Sun’s output radiation changes, solar flares and the resultant
disaster possibilities, rotational properties of Earth, its revolution around
the sun and the revolution of entire solar system in the Universe and the
relation between these processes and disasters are dealt briefly in the
second chapter.
Based on the duration for the occurrence of disaster in an area, the
disasters can be classified broadly into two, i.e., Rapid Occurring Disasters
and Slow Occurring Disasters. Based on the inducing parameters, the
disasters can be classified broadly in to three, i.e., Natural disasters,
Natural disasters induced by Human interventions, and Exclusive human-
made disasters. The different types of disasters, and their classifications on
these two bases, are discussed in the third chapter in brief.
Newer methodologies developed through various research works on
disaster vulnerable zone mapping, causative parameter identification
and suggestion of proper mitigation measures using the advanced tools
available with Geomatics technology are discussed in the fourth chapter.
All the methodologies discussed in this chapter are tested properly by
incorporating collateral data, field survey and accuracy assessment,

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Summary IMTI

applied for different areas by several authors and more realistic results
attained through these researches are provided to the readers here.
The importance and the necessity of Query Based Information Retrieval
System and Spatial Decision Support System for the Government officials
and people involved in Disaster management activities are detailed in
fifth chapter. The designing of menu, tools, options to handle huge digital
spatial and non-spatial database, to perform user required automated
analyses, to update the database by the authentic users, to provide help for
the users about the operational modality and to display in various levels by
keeping the smallest feature as display unit have been discussed briefly in
this chapter using a model SDSS on Disaster Management.
The responses to the disasters by the people and the official involved in
prior-, during- and post- events are discussed along with do’s and don’ts
for each disaster in sixth chapter.
Thus, this reading material on Disaster Management delivers a good
amount of interesting and useful information as a complete spectrum to
the officials and its readers from Public Works Department, Government
of Tamil Nadu.

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IMTI References


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