Disaster Management

 Surrounded by vast ocean islands of Lakshadweep are open to storms and cyclones.  Natural Calamities like earth quake, flood, drought have not occurred in Lakshadweep so far.     One of the earliest natural calamities recorded was the great storm that struck the islands in April 1847.  It commenced in Kalpeni about 8 pm. on 15th April, passed on to Andrott and finally reached Kiltan after devastating these two islands.  All the houses in Kalpeni were damaged or washed away.  Out of the population of 1682, 246 were drowned or washed away in Kalpeni.  In 1891 a violent storm burst upon Kavaratti island causing considerable damage to coconut trees.  The storm caused damage in Agatti and Amindivi group of Islands also.  Kalpeni island was hit by a severe cyclone on 1st December 1922.  The waves washed completely over the narrow northern end and the sea poured across the island into the lagoon.  There was no loss of life.  The cyclone was felt in other islands also.  Another major storm that struck the islands occurred in 1941.  In 1963 and 1965 also major calamity occurred causing considerable loss of properties in Andrott, Kalpeni, Agatti and Kiltan.   There was no loss of life.  The last cyclone occurred in 1977 in Kalpeni and Andrott without causing any loss of life.  A large number of coconut trees were uprooted and some houses were also damaged. 

 There is no international organisation/society/agency engaged in the field of  natural disaster prevention and reduction in Lakshadweep.  The revenue Department of Lakshadweep Administration is designated as the nodal department for the whole Union Territory. 

Disaster Management Authority:

The whole Union Territory forms into a single district.  A Disaster Management Committee has been constituted with the Head Quarter at Kavaratti  Each Sub Division has got an island level committee.  Their composition are as follows:-

LAKSHADWEEP DISASTER MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY:-

S.No Name Designation
1 Collector Cum Development Commissioner and District Magistrate Chairman
2 Member of Parliament Member
3 President Cum Chief Counsellor, District Panchayat Member
4 Vice President Cum Counsellors Members
5 Superintendent of Police, Lakshadweep Member
6 Superintendenting Engineer, PWD Member
7 Port Officer Member
8 Director of Medical & Health Services Member
9 Director of Information, Publicity & Tourism Member
10 Director of Agriculture Member
11 Executive Engineer (Electricity) Member
12 Deputy Chief Engineer, Lakshadweep Harbour Works Member
13 Headmaster, Govt. High School, Kavaratti Member
14 Additional District Magistrate Member Secretary

Island level Committee:-

S.No Name Designation
1 Deputy Collector/SDO/ASDOs/ Authorised Officer Convener
2 Chairperson, Village(Dweep)Panchayat Member
3 Assistant Engineer, PWD Member
4 Assistant Engineer/Junior Engineer, Electricity

(Executive Engineer PWD to be members in Amini & Kalpeni)

Member
5 Medical Officer Member
6 Circle Inspector/Sub Inspector of Police Member
7 Information Assistant Memebr
8 Agriculture Officer/Agriculture Demonstrator Member
9 Asst.Director of Fisheries/Fisheries Inspector Member
10 Headmaster Member
11 Veterinary Assistant Surgeon/Farm Manager Member
12 Telecom Officer, BSNL Member

 

  Control rooms have been set up at the Collectorate, Kavaratti and also in the offices of the Deputy Collector/Sub Divisional Officer/ASDOs in all the islands.

Storms and cyclones are the main natural calamity/disaster occurring in these islands.  The Administration has prepared  a  model Disaster Management plan

 Early warning system:-   Cyclone warning to Lakshadweep is provided from the Area Cyclone Warning Centres at Chennai and Trivandrum.  A monitoring Cell functions in the Collectorate at Head Quarter Island Kavaratti, which immediately transmits such messages to all islands.  The TV network also plays vital role.  Communication net work of BSNL, Naval detachment,  Interstate Police Wireless, Lakshadweep Police Wireless, IR Battalion Wireless, NIC, etc. will  be fully utilized  for warning and for communication.

            All the Development Departments are associated under the Disaster Management Plan (including Public Works Department and Electricity Department, consisting of respective engineers, Port, Shipping & Transport Department, Telecommunication-BSNL, Panchayats etc.)  The Administration is also exploring the possibility of setting up a Bharatiya Search and Rescue Team for the Union Territory consisting of Lakshadweep Police, India Reserve Battalion, Lakshadweep Fire Force, Marine Police Force (after its operational commencement).  Medical Department, Tourism and Sports Department (for experts such as Divers etc.),  Port, Shipping & Transport Department etc.  On setting up of BHEEMA, necessary training will be imparted through various Institutes under Govt. of India/States, in the absence of such Institutions in Lakshadweep.  There are no Training Institutions, Professionals and Health Professionals (other than CHS doctors MBBS doctors), Engineers/Planners and Architects, Agricultural Universities etc. in this Union Territory.  Youth Organisations of minor nature only are available, and they are associated with this.  Educational Institutions upto +2 level only are available, and students, and NCC/NSS/Scouts/Guides in these institutions are also associated. The Educational Institutions affiliated with CBSE viz   Navodaya Vidyalaya and one Senior Secondary School follows CBSE Syllabus and the rest of schools in all the islands follow syllabus of Kerala Secondary Education/Senior Secondary Education.  It is understood that CBSE has already initiated action to include basic disaster related material in text books. 

The Administration has two all weather ships with a passenger capacity of about 1080 passengers.   Apart from this there are three small fair weather ships and two inter island ferry vessels and mechanized boats.  Besides there is a helicopter with 10 passengers capacity which mainly used as an ambulance.  All these can be used for rescue work.  Apart from the above vessels, assistance of Naval ships can be requisitioned. 

The Administration has constructed godowns for stocking essential commodities like rice, sugar kerosene oil etc.  These are being supplied through the local cooperative Supply & Marketing Societies.  Buffer stock of essential commodities is stored in all the islands before the onset of monsoon (15th May) to last up to the end of monsoon(15th September).

There is a Referral hospital at the H.Q. island Kavaratti, a hospital at Minicoy, two Community Health Centres one each at Agatti Andrott, 5 Primary Health Centres, one each at Kalpeni, Amini, Kadmat, Kiltan, Chetlat and a first aid Centre at Bitra.   Services of these Institutions can be availed of.

 


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