As rainfall triggers landslides in Himachal, Uttarakhand is put on high alert: NDMA issues advisory

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Following reports of landslides in Himachal Pradesh triggered by cloudbursts and heavy rainfall, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a warning to Uttarakhand to stay alert. In a similar vein, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued an advisory listing the dos and don’ts to be followed in landslide-prone areas.

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On its website, the NDMA notes that even though disasters can’t be stopped, their impact can be “minimised” by preparing ourselves better. “The Government of India has made plans to identify the areas where landslides occur repeatedly. This is achieved through Landslide Hazard Zonation (LHZ) maps which shows or demarcates areas by different colours,” it states.

“Do’s and don’ts to ensure #safety from #landslides,” NDMA’s post on Twitter read.

Before

*Grow more trees that can hold the soil through roots.
*Listen to radio alerts.
*Keep drains clean, inspect drains for – litter, leaves, plastic bags, rubble etc.
*Keep the weep holes open.
*Try to avoid construction and staying in vulnerable areas.
*Identify areas of rock fall and subsidence of buildings, and cracks that indicate landslides and move to safer areas. Even muddy river waters indicate landslides upstream.

During

*Stay alert, awake, and active (3A’s) during the impact or probability of impact. Do not panic.
*Try to stay with your family and companions.
*If you notice any unusual sounds like trees cracking or boulders knocking together;
– Move away from landslip path or downstream valley quickly;
– Notice such signals and contact the nearest tehsil or district head quarters.

After

*Try to avoid construction and staying in vulnerable areas.
*Do not panic and loose energy by crying.
*Do not touch or walk over loose material and electrical wiring or pole.
*Do not built houses near steep slopes and near drainage path.
*Do not drink contaminated water directly from rivers, springs, wells but rain water if collected directly without is fine.
*Do not move an injured person without rendering first aid unless the casualty is in immediate danger.

According to NDMA’s guideline on Landslides and Snow Avalanches as given on its website

Emergency kit should comprise

Battery-operated torch
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, Aadhar card and ration card
Thick ropes and cords
Sturdy shoes

NDMA also advises that people in vulnerable areas should watch out for flooding if close to river, help others who need help especially elderly people, children and women, seek advice from local authorities for rebuilding damaged houses, roads etc. It further notes that one should report any damage of roads, power and telephone lines to concerned authorities.

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