Official visit of Delegation of South African Ministry of Social Development to India from August 22-25, 2012
A ten member delegation led by Ms. Virginia L. Peterson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) visited NIDM on August 22, 2012 to have meetings and interactions with representatives of Central Government and State governments in order to know about the disaster management framework of the country and role of NIDM in implementing Government's strategies with respect to disaster management. Meeting was organized by NIDM under the chairmanship of Executive Director NIDM and was attended by faculty members of NIDM, Professionals of SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC) and Representatives from Government of NCT of Delhi. Presentations were made on activities of NIDM and SDMC. This was followed by presentation by representatives from Government of NCT of Delhi and South African Delegation. A detailed discussion was held after the presentations about policies, strategies, Training and capacity building strategy of Government of India. Discussions were also held on strategy and activities undertaken by various governments on reconstruction and rehabilitation in post disaster phase. During the meeting, it was agreed upon to work on future collaborations between South African Government and NIDM in the field of disaster management.
NIDM team's visit to Flashfloods and Landslides affected areas in Asi Ganga Valley, Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand
(Period of Visit: 8-13 August 2012)
The Asi Ganga Valley and the Bhagirathi River Valley in the Garhwal Himalaya of Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand State faced catastrophic flash floods and landslides after heavy rainfall on 3rd August 2012 at about 10pm to 3am on 4th August 2012. The worst affected areas are Gangori, Sangamchatti and Bhatwari. According to an estimate, 7389 people from 1159 families in 85 villages have been affected due to this event. The reports reveal that 28 persons have been killed by these flash floods and landslides while 6 persons are still missing and 12 have been injured.
Besides the human loss, 125 animals have also died. The disaster has fully damaged 101 pucca buildings and 4 kuchcha buildings whereas 77 pucca buildings have been severely damaged in the affected area. Approximately 38.54 hectares of agricultural land has also been damaged by the flash floods and landslides. 98 road routes were closed after the event, however 66 have been opened for traffic now and 32 are still closed. 14 bridges have been damaged and 2 bridges are partially affected. 6 power lines were also damaged causing electricity problems in the area. Water supply lines in the area have also got damaged, resulting in acute shortage of drinking water.
The district administration is responding to the disaster situation with the support from Indo-Tibetan Police Force, Border Roads Organization, National Disaster Response Force, Army, Air Force, National Institute of Mountaineering and NGOs like Shanti Kunj, Bhuvneshwari Mahila Ashram, White Army etc. The victims including the stranded pilgrims and injured have been air-lifted from the affected / cut-off areas and brough to Uttarkashi, Chinyalisaur and Dehradun. Immediate relief in terms of cash and items has been provided to the victims as per norms of the state disaster response fund. The control room in the district headquarters is working 24x7 hours with the 7-desk system in operation. The victims have been provided temporary shelters in 7 educational and hostel buildings. Food items have been air dropped in inaccessible area.
NIDM has sent a team under the leadership of Dr. Surya Parkash, Associate Professor, to document the event, its impact and response. The team has visited the affected areas in Asi Ganga valley and held meetings / discussions with the district and state officials to understand the event and document the lessons learnt.
USAID Delegation visit on 02 August 12
A delegation form United States Agency for International Development (USAID) led by Mr. William S. Berger, Principal Regional Advisor for South Asia, OFDA visited NIDM on 02-08-12 to discuss the various issues of mutual interest for collaboration with National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) & SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC).
The delegation comprised of Mr. Michael Ernst, Regional Advisor for South Asia, OFDA, Mr. Andrea Tracy, Regional Advisor for South Asia, OFDA & Ms. Christine Gottschalk, Asia Team Lead, OFDA, Washington DC. The delegation had a meeting with Dr. Satendra, Executive Director NIDM, Dr. Santosh Kumar, Professor NIDM, Sh. Arun Sahdeo, Consultant NIDM, & Dr. M.B. Rao, Specialist SDMC.
The delegation was apprised of the progress made under the bilateral agreement between USAID and Government of India under the Disaster Management Support Project being implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. A number of issues of mutual interest were discussed for collaboration between the OFDA/USAID with NIDM/SDMC.