Risk Assessment or Business Impact Analysis, Which Comes First?


This is a topic of great debate, and is the chicken or the egg question for contingency planners everywhere. Recently, I was asked to share an infographic that placed the Business Impact Analysis before the Risk Assessment.  While there is nothing wrong with the graphic, and you can see it, Disaster Recovery infographic by Singlehop I am in some disagreement with the placement.

Interestingly enough, I just had a conversation with a colleague, whom I respect, and that works for another large company that provides business continuity and disaster recovery services, on this very topic.

With the creation of the ISO 22301, which does not specifically address the order, but does mention BIA’s first, many businesses are now conducting the BIA first. Here is my personal and professional opinion on why this is both wrong, and a mistake.

Whenever I work with a business, and we are conducting an analysis on their risks and associated impacts, we always do the risk analysis/risk assessment first. I have a great many reasons for doing it in this way, but let me share just a snippet of why we do it this way.

First, let’s look at the Risk Assessment. The Risk Assessment looks at a given hazard.  It measures both, the potential likelihood of the hazard occurring, and the potential impact it may have on the business. This provides you with some system of measurement on how great the risk to your business the hazard will be.

I just want to mention here that there are many methods of scoring the actual measurement to achieve, or arrive at a final hazard score. For instance the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1600 utilizes a method of scoring of High (H), Medium (M), Low (L) for probability of occurrence and the same H, M, L for impact. This provides a score, such as, ML which would be equal to Medium probability of Occurrence with a Low impact.

I use a slightly modified version of the NFPA 1600 model that I developed over the years, but it is generally the same idea. Once we look at all the potential known hazards we take the top 10, top 5, and top 3 hazards respectively to know which hazards are the biggest known threats to the business.  

This process allows us to have a high-level overview of what the greatest risks are to the business, and what the potential impact will be.

Once we arrive here, it is time to take a deep dive into the impact the top threats will have on your business. It also provides us a potential outline of events that are likely to cause major disruptions to the business. This provides us with a scenario to use for context during the Business Impact Analysis.

During the deep dive into the Business Impact Analysis you will look at each individual process, individuals and applications that support each process, the interdependencies between departments and each process has upon each other, the financial impact to the business if this process is disrupted, additional financial impact of fines, penalties, SLA’s, and contractual agreements. Does this process need to be recovered immediately? Can it wait? Should it be on hold indefinitely until operations return to normal? What is the recovery costs associated with each process?

The Business Impact Analysis gets into such fine details of each business process and business unit that it can itself become a disruption. This is why they are done only every couple of years. Usually two years being the norm, but some companies may do them only every five years.

The Risk Assessment, being such a high-level overview can be done monthly, quarterly, or even yearly, with little to no disruption to the businesses normal operations. It also provides an excellent way of tracking emerging and future threats to the business.  

I hope with this you can see where I am coming from, and why a risk assessment should be done both first, and more frequently. Also, as a big proponent of the NFPA 1600 standard, if you have the book, Implementing NFPA 1600 National Preparedness Standard, turning to page 12, and page 19 respectively provides an ordered list where the Risk Assessment comes before the Business Impact Analysis.

The NFPA 1600 Section number 5.3 on Risk Assessments also provides an ordered list of steps that includes identifying hazards, Assess the vulnerability, Analyze the potential impact, and then lastly to conduct a Business Impact Analysis to determine business continuity and recovery strategies.  

I am a big believer in knowing your risks and conducting risk assessments on a regular basis. Performing a BIA with just an overal organizational risk or operational risk falls short of a complete and proper risk assessment.

Also, risk assessments should be tied into your enerprise risk management if you have one and should have controls established for reductions or prevention of risks when possible.



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Where are the Safest States to Live In 2014?

The death toll from monsoon floods in India, Bangladesh and Nepal has climbed above 1,200, as rescue workers scramble to provide aid to millions of people stranded by the worst such disaster in years. All three countries suffer frequent flooding during the June-September monsoon season, but international aid agencies say things are worse this year with thousands of villages cut off and people deprived of food and clean water for days.

Milaap – India’s largest crowdfunding platform

According to the study, Massachusetts is the safest State to live and New Hampshire comes in at number two. Overall the entire North-East of the United States is pretty safe overall based on this study. The study used the following safety factors to determine the relative overall safety of each state. Financial Safety of the State, Driving Safety Rank, Workplace safety, Natural Disaster Rank, and finally, Home and Community Safety. These factors then provide an overall rating of each State giving us the safest and least safest States to live in based on the study.
To see more on this study see 2014’s Safest States to Live.

Ebola Virus – Why Has It Spread So Far, So Fast?


Source: CDC – Ebola Virus

The Ebola outbreak in the West African Countries of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone has so far caused Suspected Case Deaths: 961, with Suspected and Confirmed Case Count: 1779 as of this writing.

The spread of the virus has grown “out of control” and this state will likely remain this way for the next few weeks. Global Government agencies such as the CDC and NGO’s alike are responding to stem the spread of the ebola virus. Though, several agencies are reporting that the current ebola virus is spreading beyond current efforts to contain it.

Why is it spreading so far so fast?

Part of the reason why ebola virus has spread so far so quickly has more to do with the cultural customs and beliefs in the areas where the ebola virus has occurred.

  • First, is the distrust of western doctors and medicine. This is not so in every instance, but does play at least some role. 
  • Another, as with the American citizen that travelled to Nigeria, after he became infected after his wife died of the disease, is a complete denial that they are infected. With an incubation period lasting as long as 21 days, some people are in denial they have become infected.
  • Another reason is the mishandling of the dead. As with many other places in the world, people have customs and rituals dealing with the treatment of the dead. In this case, some family members clean the body for burial without the use of proper protective clothing. If I am not mistaken, it is also proper practice to burn everything, including the dead that are infected with ebola.
  • Lastly, and perhaps the biggest contributing factor is having infected people “break” quarantine efforts. They either leave, or as in some cases have family members “break” them out of the facility.

Granted, these are not the ONLY factors in why the ebola virus is spreading, but do present unique challenges to stem the spread of the disease further.

As you probably know by now, this is the worst Ebola virus outbreak in history, and is also the first outbreak to occur in West Africa. This may also be considered another potential contributing factor in that the ebola virus had not directly occurred in this region of Africa in the past.

I recently wrote another article about Ebola Virus Facts and Information on my corporate blog. It is an excellent resource to share and includes information from the CDC, and WHO.

Since then the CDC has also shared an Ebola Virus Infographic that is good to have a look at.

 



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Ebola Virus – Major Issues Coming to Light on Containment


Source: CDC Ebola Virus

While I took some downtime for my birthday major things were going on in the world that I missed. One of these events surrounds some major developments regarding the containment of Ebloa or the lack there of.

Though current reports still suggest that the current Ebola Virus is not airborne, it is highly contagious requiring close contact to infected persons, bodies and other objects that have been contaminated with another infected persons bodily fluids.

With this being the case – the current Ebola Virus Epidemic IS spreading out of control and unchecked in parts of West Africa. The most significant development that came to light on August 11, 2014 is that WHO Confirms that patients in fact ARE being turned away from overflowing and taxed medical facilities.  

With this situation remaining unchecked, it will only be a matter of time before he virus spreads to other parts of Africa, the Mid-East, and potentially to Europe and the U.S.

More. Far more needs to be done as a global community to control the spread of infection.

Here is a brief excerpt from the WHO Report on Barriers to rapid containment of the Ebola Outbreak:

Lack of capacity makes infection control difficult

This lack of capacity makes standard containment measures, such as early detection and isolation of cases, contact tracing and monitoring, and rigorous procedures for infection control, difficult to implement. Though no vaccine and no proven curative treatment exist, implementation of these measures has successfully brought previous Ebola outbreaks under control.

The recent surge in the number of cases has stretched all capacities to the breaking point. Supplies of personal protective equipment and disinfectants are inadequate. The outbreak continues to outstrip diagnostic capacity, delaying the confirmation or exclusion of cases and impeding contact tracing.

Diagnostic capacity is especially important as the early symptoms of Ebola virus disease mimic those of many other diseases commonly seen in this region, including malaria, typhoid fever, and Lassa fever.

Some treatment facilities are overflowing; all beds are occupied and patients are being turned away. Many facilities lack reliable supplies of electricity and running water. Aid organizations, including Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), which has provided the mainstay of clinical care, are exhausted.

If controls are not put in place soon (and it may be to late already) – the potential for a global crisis increases rapidly.



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WHY YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE A THREE DAY SUPPLY OF WATER


Water is Life by Williami5 via Flicker

Having water is essential for survival. This we know. Over the years however a massive campaign was launched to get ALL Americans to have At Least three days of water stored for emergencies. This then become 72 hours. Over time the message of At Least three days seems to have become lost.

In fact over the last year I have seen some messages put out by local Emergency Management Offices around the country change this message to a week or a months worth of water. This is a good thing.

Though, I have written about this before as a Disaster Tip of the Week as, Is 72 Hours Enough To Prepare For Disaster this message of storing water for emergencies, has still become lost.

Basically, the PR campaign for three days worth of water was so effective that people “hear” they only need three days of water and end up not storing any. Thinking they can get by for three days or it is such a small amount they really do not need it.

So. How much water do you really need? Well. That is a great question. It is normally stated that you NEED 1 gallon of water per person in your home per day. This amount is supposed to take care of all your needs. From sanitation to drinking. Have you ever tried to get by using only 1 gallon of water per day? This amount also does not account for pets and other needs. So, you will need extra for them.

If you live in a warmer climate, plan on being active, have medical or special needs, you are going to require an increased amount for drinking.

Though I will consult people to have greater amounts on an individual basis. As a general rule, I believe 3 gallons per person/ plus 1 gallon per pet, extra activity per day for one week is a good water storage plan.

Yes. That is a lot of water to store. However, when your tap stops flowing you wont regret the “extra” you have on hand. See also Treating Water.



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Medicine and Preparedness: The 22 Medications You Need in Your Personal Stockpile


Mdeicine for Survival

Medicine and Preparedness: The 22 Medications You Need in Your Personal Stockpile NOW!

I have seen and read many posts over the years about adding or using medicines meant for pets during preparedness or survival situations. Now, I am not going to go all out and say that you shouldn’t do this or go this route, but there are several problems with this. I am also going to provide you with what I believe is a better solution.

The first problem that arises is the expiration data and shelf life of medicines. The biggest factor in this is that some medicines can as they degrade become toxic. Other medicines contain preservatives that may allow bacteria to grow once the preservative is no longer effective.

In addition, during survival situations – scavenging comes to mind and where we tend to find most medicines throughout most homes (the bathroom) is not the ideal place to store medicine. The heat and humidity is not ideal and makes the medicines degrade faster.

What is interesting is that the Department of Defense had the Federal Drug Administration test some drugs for what is known as the Shelf Life Extension Program (SLEP). It has been found that the shelf life of some drugs can be extended. Though not all drugs, and the drugs tested were kept in their original containers – unopened and in optimal temperature and humidity conditions. NOTE: When you obtain a prescription drug at the pharmacy and they place it into a medication bottle – that is not the original container.

Some other life-saving drugs have been found to degrade after the expiry date, such as EpiPen’s and Insulin. Nitroglycerin decreases in potency quickly once the bottle is opened. Most vaccines and biologicals such as blood products also degrade quickly after their expiration dates.

If any medicine has become powdery, crumbly, caked, has a strong smell, cloudy, or has dried up it should be discarded and not used.

During normal situations if you have medicine at home and you need to take it and the medicine is expired no evidence has been found that it would be unsafe to take. Though, it would be best to acquire a new prescription as soon as possible.

Research does show that medicines past their expiration date do and will degrade in potency over time. Under ideal conditions and in original containers within the military stockpile medications have been shown to retain as much as 90 percent of their potency. Though most household conditions do not meet these standards.

The second problem is that pet based medicines were not included in these studies. Now some of the medications may be the same thing, but as I said I have a better solution for you.

If you can, start your own stockpile of medicines. This may cost you some money out of pocket but you will have them when you need them. The good news is, most of the medications I will be recommending have been found to have no failures when tested and typically can have a long shelf life.

In addition to the medicines I recommend you should consider obtaining and even storing some of the medicine you may need on a regular basis. This may be easier said than done, since most drug insurance programs limit the amount you can obtain. So, you may have to get creative or even pay out of pocket to establish your supply.

Uncle Sam and Your MedsThe government does even recommend you keep a small extra supply of medicine in case of a disaster. Try telling that to your insurance company though. Some things you can do to get creative in this area:

1.       Tell them you lost your medication while on a weekend trip.

2.       Tell them you need an extended supply for a trip.

3.       Try telling them you need extra in case of an emergency.

4.       Purchase the extra month- 3 months’ worth from the pharmacy.

Some insurance programs will give you up to three months’ worth of medicine if you purchase through a mail order program. Ask them.

 

Once you are successful in obtaining ‘extra’ medicine it is important that you store them properly and rotate them. So, as you get new prescriptions filled, store those and take the ones you were holding onto in case of an emergency.

Now, here is an extensive list of medications to obtain for your own Disaster Preparedness Supply. Please do your own research on usage, dosages and contraindications.

Medication List for Survival

NOTE: These and all medications listed are intended for your preparedness stockpile. If you become sick during normal times and you need medication go to your doctor and obtain a prescription. If you have the medicine and can swap out of your stockpile even better.

ANTIBIOTICS:

1.       Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) 500 mg – 750 mg tabs – 750 mg is a high dosage, but if you can get it go with that one. Otherwise get the 500 mg.  Reasons to have: It can treat a wide variety of ailments but can also treat Anthrax, Plague, Travelers Disease, Cholera, Tularemia, Typhoid, Pneumonia, Infectious Diarrhea, and Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s). In the event of a major outbreak, epidemic, or even pandemic supplies may be short and allocated to certain individuals. I do not recommend for prophylactic use just to have in case of real sickness. Please review contraindications of use on your own.

2.       Bactrim DS (trimethoprim/sulfa methazole) 160/800 mg tabs This is another Cover it all antibiotic agent. Good for UTI’s, pneumonia, bite wounds and MRSA skin infections.

3.       Amoxicillin 500 mg tabs – This is good for Upper Respiratory Infections, UTI, Bronchitis, skin or soft tissue infections, Pneumonia, and Lyme Disease.

4.       Flagyl (Metronidazole) – 500 mg tabs This covers Giardiasis (Beaver Fever)

5.       Azithromycin – If you can get it I recommend adding a couple of 3-day and/or 5-day Dose Packs for each member of the family. Good for Pertussis and Pertussis Prophylaxis, URI, Bronchitis, and several STD’s.

Topical Creams and Ointments:

1.       Triple Antibiotic Ointment (Neomycin, Polymyxin B Sulfates, Bacitracin Zinc, Neosporin,) – A good cure-all for topical based infections. While I like creams and ointments, I had a wound specialist doctor share with me that the Neosporin cream is better than the ointment. It helps promote faster healing and reduces scaring. He seemed to be correct and I primarily use this now.

2.       Lamisil or Tinactin Cream – Antifungal. Athletes foot, Jock itch, Ring Worm

3.       Lotrisone (Betamethasone/Clotrimazole) – prescription strength Antifungal (covers entire body)

4.       Hydrocortisone Cream – Great for skin rashes, bug bites/stings, and itchy skin.

5.       Silver Sulfadiazine (SSD) – For preventing and treating skin infections after second and third degree burns. Targets multiple types of bacteria and yeast.

Anti-Diarrhea:

1.       Imodium (loperamide) – The best solution for diarrhea.

Anti-Vomit:

1.       Zofran (ondansetron) – Anti-Vomiting.

Pain:

1.       Aspirin 325 mg tabsAspirin is often overlooked these days, but 2 tabs or 650 mg works great for relieving most aches and pains.

2.       Ibuprofen – Another good choice for aches pains and minor to moderate injuries. Also, helpful at reducing fever.

3.       Tylenol (acetaminophen) Another good choice for minor to moderate injuries, aches and pains. Fever reducer.

4.       Oxycodone 5 mg – Narcoticis great for major injuries, but will require a prescription and is a heavily restricted narcotic.

5.       Codeine 30 mg – Narcotic – Good for moderate pain but again a prescription is required.

NOTE: For high and prolonged fever, you can give both Ibuprofen and Tylenol together at every six and four hours respectively.

Other Medications:

1.       Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) – is an antihistamine for treating sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, hives, skin rash, cold and allergy symptoms and mild allergic reactions. (severe allergic reactions will require a shot). Will cause dizziness and drowsiness (sleepiness).

2.       Neosporin Antiseptic Spray – easy to use spray that offers both antiseptic properties and pain relief. Topical use only.

3.       FlexSEAL – Spray on water tight bandage. Great for quickly covering minor cuts and scrapes.

4.       New-Skin – Liquid bandage – waterproof.

5.       Hydrogen Peroxide.

As mentioned previously, some of these may be difficult to obtain unless you have a prescription from your doctor. If you have a close trusted relationship with your doctor you may be able to ask and explain why you wish to obtain these. Additionally, you may want to consider adding a doctor to your preparedness group if you have one and have them help you gather the needed supplies for your group.

If you do not belong to a preparing group, now is a good time to start considering one and looking for good people like a doctor or pharmacist to join you.

All the information in this post are based on survival and preparedness and not considered medical advice. As with any medical situation you should always seek out proper medical advice. We recommend consulting with your doctor before proceeding.

You can also download a PDF of our Medications to Stockpile for Preparedness.

 



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Sikkim Earthquake (2011)

Sikkim Earthquake (2011)

When everyone was in peace enjoying their Sunday eve with some tea and snacks, an earthquake triggered named as Sikkim Earthquake or the Himalayan Earthquake with the epicenter as Kanchenjunga Conservation Area near the border of Nepal and Sikkim (a state of India) of a magnitude of 6.9 on 18th September, 2011 at around 18:10 IST. The shocks of this earthquake were felt on North eastern parts of India, southern Tibet, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

On an average about 110 people were killed of which most deaths were from Sikkim state of India, in East Sikkim districts and Singtam. 11 people were reported to be dead from Nepal when the wall of British Embassy in Katmandu got collapsed. Other than this, several buildings and houses were collapsed in Gangtok city. Not only in Sikkim and Nepal various monuments and buildings were destructed in Bhutan, Bangladesh and Tibet and another 7 were declared dead from these countries.

This earthquake hit the Himalayan region just after a few days of an earthquake of 4.2 magnitudes in Sonipat District of Haryana that felt few shocks in Delhi as well. And exactly after a yaer, on 18th September, 2012 cam another earthquake of 4.1 magnitudes that hit Sikkim sparking a few shocks among people reminding them of the original earthquake of 2011. A few considered it as an anniversary of last year’s Himalayan earthquake.

The magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurred inland at 18:10 IST on 18 September 2011, about 68 km northwest of Gangtok, Sikkim at a shallow depth of 19.7 km. At its location, the continental Indian and Eurasian Plates converge with one another along a tectonic boundary beneath the mountainous region of northeast India near the Nepal border. Although earthquakes in this region are usually interpolate in nature, preliminary data suggests the Sikkim earthquake was triggered by shallow strike-slip faulting from an interpolate source within the over-riding Eurasian Plate. Initial analyses also indicate a complex origin, with the perceived tremor likely being a result of two separate events occurring close together in time at similar focal depth.

The earthquake struck near a mountainous, albeit very populous region near the Sikkim–Nepal border; most of the structures were reported to be highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking. Upon impact, tens of thousands of residents evacuated their homes, and many areas suffered from communication and power outages. The strong shaking caused significant building collapse and mudslides; at least 111 people were confirmed killed by the effects of the earthquake, and hundreds of others sustained injuries. As the earthquake occurred in the monsoon season, heavy rain and landslides rendered rescue work more difficult.

Sikkim Earthquake (2011)

India: In India, property damage is estimated to be around ₹1,000 billion (US$16 billion) with the actual report yet to come. Northern India suffered the most from the earthquake, with at least 75 people killed. 60 people were reportedly killed in Sikkim alone. At least 7 people have died in Bihar, while 6 deaths have been reported from West Bengal. Power supply was disrupted in areas near Sikkim, including Kalimpong of Darjeeling district, and adjoining Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts; the outages were in part blamed on an affected electric substation in Siliguri. Water supply was interrupted in Sikkim. National Highway 31, the major highway linking Sikkim to the rest of India, was damaged. Ten of the dead were workers at a hydroelectric project on the Teesta River.

Nepal: In the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu, damage from the earthquake was comparatively limited. Three people were killed when a wall at the British Embassy collapsed, and many others suffered injuries. The shaking effects were more severe in eastern Nepal, which is closer to the epicenter. There, hundreds of homes sustained significant damage, and due to saturated soil from preceding heavy rains widespread mudslides impacted the region. Sunsari experienced power and telephone communication outages. Two people were killed in the eastern city of Dharan. Overall, in Nepal 6 people died due to the earthquake.

Bhutan: There were no reports of casualties in Bhutan, although cracks on walls and ceilings of houses were reported in Wangthangkha village, Lango and the town area in Paro. There were also reports of a landslide right after crossing the Isuna Bridge from Paro towards Thimphu, and falling boulders after crossing Chundzom Bridge. Citizens were asked to avoid traveling on the Paro-Thimphu highway. Telecommunications networks were disrupted, with cellular networks unavailable after the quake. Prime Minister of Bhutan Jigmi Thinley updated in his status as “Phone lines remains clogged reflecting our caring and close knit society. No damage reported from East Bhutan. Four road blocks caused by falling debris are reported on the Chukha – Phuntsholing road. Two homes in Haa report damage with 3–4 people having suffered minor injury. Thimphu Dzong has sustained some cracks in the Utse and one of the four corner towers. Occupants have been moved out to safer parts. Please remain calm and alert.

Early rescue operations included four teams of National Disaster Response Force been rushed to Sikkim and five more teams were being sent from Kolkata. However, South and West Sikkim remained inaccessible delaying rescue operations owing to landslides caused by rainfall. A group of 14 tourists were rescued by the army from north Sikkim. The army had deployed 72 columns including infantry troops, combat engineers, four Dhruv and five Cheetah helicopters. Rain and landslides had hampered the rescue efforts of workers searching for survivors.

Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, on 19 September, announced ₹200,000 (US$3,100) as ex-gratia to a family member of those killed in the earthquake and ₹100,000 (US$1,600) for seriously injured. ₹50,000 (US$780) for those grievously injured and ₹25,000 (US$390) for those with minor injuries was announced by Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling.

Maharashtra Floods of 2005

The Maharashtra Floods are referred to as the floods that occurred in various parts of Maharashtra, India. This included most of the area of metropolis city Mumbai located on the west coast of India beside the Arabian Sea. Because of these floods on an average 1100 people were found dead and many were left homeless. This disaster came just after a month of Gujarat Floods of June 2005. This day is remembered by many as the standstill day for all Mumbaikars (people of Mumbai).

Maharashtra Floods of 2005

A large number of people were standing on roads, lost their homes, while many walked long distances back home from work that evening. The floods were caused by the eighth heaviest-ever recorded 24-hour rainfall figure of 944 mm (37.17 inches) which lashed the metropolis on 26 July 2005, and intermittently continued for the next day. 644mm (25.35 inches) was received within the 12-hour period between 8 am and 8 pm. Torrential rainfall continued for the next week.

The highest 24-hour period in India was 1,168 mm (46.0 inches) in Aminidivi in the Union Territory of Lakshadweepon 6 May 2004 although some reports suggest that it was a new Indian record. The previous record high rainfall in a 24-hour period for Mumbai was 575 mm. Other places severely affected were RaigadChiplun, Khed Ratna 31 July after heavy rains disrupted the city once again, grounding all flights for the day.

On 26 July 2005, around 2:00 pm, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region was struck by a severe storm and subsequent deluge. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) station in Santacruz recorded 944 mm. of rain for the 24 hours ending at 8:30 a.m. on 27 July. The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai [MCGM] control room started receiving phone calls reporting the heavy rain and subsequent water logging in suburban areas.

Local train movement came to a halt by 2:30 p.m. due to the water-logging on the tracks. This caused traffic on roads to increase dramatically with water logging and submerging of certain low-lying pockets of the region, such as Dharavi and Bandra-Kurla Complex.

Thousands of school children were stranded due to flooding and could not reach home for up to 24 hours. The following two days were declared as school and college holidays by the state government.

The rain water caused the sewage system to overflow and all water lines were contaminated. The Government ordered all housing societies to add chlorine to their water tanks while they decontaminated the water supply.

Development in certain parts of Mumbai is haphazard and buildings are constructed without proper planning. The drainage plans in northern suburbs is chalked out as and when required in a particular area and not from an overall point of view.

The Environment Ministry of the Government of India was informed in the early 1990s that sanctioning the Bandra-Kurla complex (a commercial complex in northern Mumbai) was leading to disaster. No environment clearance is mandatory for large urban construction projects in northern Mumbai. Officials in the environment ministry claimed that it was not practical to impose new guidelines with retrospective effect “as there are millions of buildings”.

For the first time ever, Mumbai’s airports ( Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport and Juhu aerodrome) were shut for more than 30 hours due to heavy flooding of the runways, submerged Instrument Landing System equipment and extremely poor visibility. Over 700 flights were cancelled or delayed. The airports reopened on the morning of 28 July 2005.[2] Within 24 hours of the airports becoming operational, there were 185 departures and 184 arrivals, including international flights. Again from early morning of 31 July, with increase in water logging of the runways and different parts of Mumbai, most of the flights were indefinitely cancelled.

Rail links were disrupted, and reports on late evening of 30 July indicated cancellation of several long distance trains till 6 August 2005. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway, which witnessed a number of landslides, was closed the first time ever in its history, for 24 hours. According to the Hindustan Times, an unprecedented 5 million mobile and 2.3 million MTNL landline users were hit for over four hours. According to the .in registrar (personal communication), the .in DNS servers in Mumbai had to be reconfigured because the servers were not operational.

The floods have been the subject of research by scientists and social scientists attempting to understand the causes, impacts, and short/long term consequences. Scholars have studied the floods in Mumbai from the perspectives of climate change, disaster management / mitigation, urban health, vulnerability and adaptation, hydrology, environmental degradation and encroachment etc. Kapil Gupta (2007) assesses urban flood resilience, while Andharia (2006) contrasts the “widespread acts of generosity and altruism” in Mumbai with the general social disorder that was seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Aromar Revi (2005) draws lessons from the floods for prioritising multi-hazard risk mitigation. Parthasarathy (2009) links social and environmental insecurities to show that the most marginalized groups were also the most affected by the floods.

Climate change has played an important role in causing large-scale floods across central India, especially the Mumbai floods of 2005. During 1901–2015, there has been a three-fold rise in widespread extreme rainfall events, over the entire central belt of India from Mumbai to Bhubaneswar, leading to a steady rise in the number of flash floods. The rising number of extreme rain events is attributed to an increase in the fluctuations of the monsoon westerly winds, due to increased warming in the Arabian Sea. This results in occasional surges of moisture transport from the Arabian Sea to the subcontinent, resulting in widespread heavy rains lasting for 2–3 days. The Mumbai 2005 floods also occurred due to moisture surge from the Arabian Sea, and the heavy rains were not confined to Mumbai but spread over a large region across central India.

 

Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami (2004)

On 26th December occurred the Indian Ocean Earthquake with the west coast of Indonesia as the epicenter. This is considered as the most deadly disaster in the history of mankind killing about 280k people from 14 different countries. Indonesia was the most destructed country because of the Tsunami caused by this earthquake followed by Sri Lanka and India. Scientist and weather forecasts consider this as the 3rd largest earthquake read by a seismograph ever.

This earthquake was triggered when the Indian tectonic plate was subducted by the Burma tectonic plate because of which these Tsunamis were triggered causing disaster and killing lakhs of people with the waves of up to 30 meters of height. This shock has a moment magnitude of 9.2 (approx.). This caused the entire planet to vibrate and slip up to 1 cm and caused other earthquakes as well, far away from the epicenter, as far as to Alaska.

The most disastrous earthquake triggered the largest Tsunami in 40 years in the Indian Ocean since 1883. Some reached even up to 3000 miles from Sumatra, Indonesia (epicenter of the earthquake) that is located about 100 miles off the coast of Sumatra underwater at a distance of about 6.2 miles. This was the largest time faulting with a time span of about 10 minutes.

The regions has been struck by numerous aftershocks-note the table and map below. Much like a zipper the quakes initially progressed north along the fault to the Andaman Island Region.

A tsunami is not a single wave, but a series of traveling ocean waves generated by geological disturbances near or below the ocean floor. With nothing to stop them, these waves race across the ocean until they reach shore where they slow down and rise up in height.

Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami (2004)

Most tsunamis are triggered by large undersea earthquakes but they can be caused by landslides, volcanoes or even meteor impacts. The last large tsunami in the region was due to the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, due to the collapse of that volcano during an explosive eruption.

In this case the ocean bottom shifted displacing sea water in the ocean basin. The bigger the earthquake, the more the Earth’s crust shifts and the more seawater begins to move. A quake of this magnitude typically shifts the earth surface by up to 10-20 meters. In this case the rupture was up to 400 miles long, leading to a massive region of the ocean bottom shifting. The waves traveled outward just like those from throwing a rock into the water. Most tsunamis occur in the Pacific because the ocean basin is rimmed by the Ring of Fire, a long chain of the Earth’s most seismically active spots. In a tsunami, waves typically radiate out in directions opposite from the seismic disturbance. In the case of the Sumatra quake, the seismic fault ran north to south beneath the ocean floor, while the tsunami waves traveled mainly west and east.

Tsunamis are distinguished from normal coastal surf by their great length, width and speed. A single wave in a tsunami series might be 100 miles long and race across the ocean at 600 mph. When it approaches a coastline, the wave slows dramatically, but it also rises to great heights because the enormous volume of water piles up in shallow coastal bays. Unlike ordinary waves tsunamis do not break on the coastline every few seconds. Because of their size, it might take an hour for another one to arrive.

There unusual speed and wavelength allow tsunamis to be identified by buoys moored in the ocean. Although seismic networks recorded Sunday’s massive earthquake, there were no wave sensors in the Indian Ocean region and no means to determine the existence or direction a tsunami would travel. Thus, no warnings were issued. A single wave station south of the earthquake’s epicenter registered tsunami activity less than 2 feet high heading south toward Australia, researchers said.

The Pacific Ocean does have a Tsunami warning system.  The international warning system was started in 1965, the year after tsunamis associated with a magnitude 9.2 temblor struck Alaska in 1964. It is administered by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Member states include all the major Pacific Rim nations in North America, Asia and South America was well as the Pacific islands, Australia and New Zealand.

A lot of industries were shut down because their products wiped away with water in Tsunami and the demand also increased rapidly with decrease in the quantity available for use. This boomed the Sri Lankan and the Indian market as well.

14 Billion US Dollars (2004) were collected for the ailment of this disaster. A large team was needed for the cure of patients. A majority of people were then suffering from various types of diseases like Cholera, Hepatitis A and B, Diarrhea, Typhoid and Dysentery. Although there were severe chances of increment in the number of dead people but all this was handled with the help of different agencies, both government and private.

The main concern at that time was to provide proper sanitation facilities, fresh drinking water, healthy diet and required medicines. A few days were spent in burying dead bodies to avoid skin infections and other diseases caused by them. The World Food Program provided food to over 13 lakh people. Countries including Australia, United States, Canada, Norway, Germany etc. along with World Bank donated a lot of money for the ailment of affected people. India and Indonesia were in a lot of trouble because they are not Tsunami prone areas and didn’t had all required resources at once and even didn’t had many of them even today because they are a lot costlier than the afforded price they can pay.

Hudhud Cyclone (2014)

One of the most dangerous cyclones of all time was originated in the Andaman Sea in October 2014 that caused huge damage and loss of lives in eastern coasts of India and Nepal. This cyclone got originated under low-pressure system in the Andaman Sea on 6th October because of the influence of upper-air circulation. It then turned into a cyclonic storm on 8th October and became a destructive severe cyclonic storm on 9th October. IMD classified Hudhud as one of the most dangerous and severe cyclones of all time.

hudhud

It hit hard the coasts of Vizag and near districts like Srikakulam and Viziangaram in Andhra Pradesh. Hudhud underwent rapid deepening in the following days and was classified as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm by the IMD. Shortly before landfall near VisakhapatnamAndhra Pradesh, on October 12, Hudhud reached its peak strength with three-minute wind speeds of 185 km/h (115 mph) and a minimum central pressure of 960 mbar (28.35 inHg). The system then drifted northwards towards Uttar Pradesh and Nepal, causing widespread rains in both areas and heavy snowfall in the latter.

Hudhud caused extensive damage to the city of Visakhapatnam and the neighboring districts of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh. Damages were estimated to be ₹21908 crore (US$3.4 billion) by the Andhra state government. At least 124 deaths have been confirmed, a majority of them from Andhra Pradesh and Nepal, with the latter experiencing an avalanche due to the cyclone.

Halfway around the world, Cyclone Hudhud is causing widespread damage to the east coast of India. Hudhud moved inland earlier this morning, bringing wind gusts of 120 mph that uprooted trees and damaged houses in the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. According to The Weather Channel, at least six people are dead, despite the mass evacuations. Widespread power outages have prevented communication, so the extent of the damage is somewhat unknown. Authorities are asking people not to leave their homes, and damage assessments will begin Monday. The storm has weekend since it moved inland, but high winds and heavy rainfall are expected to continue impacting the area.

According to the IMD, peak wind speeds will drop to 60 kph by Monday afternoon. Hudhud is expected to continue to dump heavy rains in northern and northeastern India and, eventually, snow when it reaches the Himalayan Mountains.

According to the Impact Forecasting catastrophe report, Cyclone Hudhud that hit four states of India and killed 68 people, caused economic losses of around INR700 billion (US$11 billion) with insured losses estimated to be in the region of INR40 billion ($650 million), as commercial, residential and agricultural lines of business were heavily impacted.

As the cyclone ‘Hudhud’ is closing in on the Andhra Pradesh coastline and is expected to make a landfall near Visakhapatnam by tomorrow afternoon, about 1.11 lakh people in five coastal districts have been shifted to safer places.

The government has made arrangements to evacuate 5,14,725 people in all, officials said, while the Army and the Navy have kept their personnel on stand-by for rescue and relief operations.

According to the reports received by the state Disaster Management Commissioner A R Sukumar, 35,000 persons have been evacuated in Srikakulam district, 6,000 in Vizianagaram, 15,000 in Visakhapatnam, 50,000 in East Godavari and 5,000 in the West Godavari district.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has been reviewing the situation with top officials and requested the ISRO to provide satellite images of Hudhud’s course.

In all, 436 villages across 64 mandals in the five districts have been identified as exposed to the threat of cyclone. The government has identified 370 relief camps for the evacuated people in these districts.

A senior official of the disaster management department here said 13 NDRF teams have been deployed in the districts while the Indian Air Force is moving three helicopters from the Yelahanka air base to Visakhapatnam.

Army personnel have been kept ready in Visakhapatnam, while the Eastern Naval Command has kept four ships on stand-by, equipped with rescue equipment and relief materials.

Six aircraft are standing by at the Naval Air Station INS Dega to undertake reconnaissance, rescue, casualty evacuation and air drop of relief materials.

Early on October 10, the JTWC classified the storm as a Category 1 tropical cyclone after it formed a microwave eye feature and was located in an environment favorable for further intensification with moderate wind shear. The IMD upgraded Hudhud to a very severe cyclonic storm later the same day, and the JTWC further upgraded the storm to a Category 2 tropical cyclone.

On October 11, Hudhud underwent rapid intensification and developed an eye at its center. In the following hours, the storm reached its peak intensity with a minimum central pressure of 950 mbar (28.05 in Hg) and three-minute average wind speeds of 185 km/h (115 mph). Maintaining intensity, it made landfall over Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh at noon of October 12, near 17.7°N 83.3°E. The maximum wind gust recorded by the High Wind Speed Recorder (HWSR) instrument of the Cyclone Warning Center in Visakhapatnam was 260 km/h (160 mph). Measured by the Doppler weather radar stationed in the city, the storm’s eye was 66 km (41 mi) in diameter. The strength of the winds disrupted telecommunication lines and damaged the Doppler radar, inhibiting further observations.

Bringing extensive damage to the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, Hudhud gradually weakened as it curved northwards over land. The storm continued its weakening trend and was last noted as a well-marked low pressure area over east Uttar Pradesh on October 14. Unlike most BoB storms that dissipate quickly over land, Hudhud has been the only TC whose remnant ever reached as far north as the Himalayas.