‘Disaster Recovery is Directly Related to Democracy’


Rehabilitation expert Mihir Bhatt trades notes with US Senator HILLMAN FRAZIER who had a key part in the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts

Mihir Bhatt, director, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, India’s leading action research organisation working in five states, met Mississippi State Senator Hillman Frazier, who played a key role in addressing the impact of Hurricane Katrina in the US, with a direct focus on citizens and budgets. Frazier discussed ways to improve Indo-US collaboration in reducing risks in communities.
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Tsunami funds for tourism lobby questioned


Thiruvanathapuram (KSMTF Press Release): Plans by Kerala Tourism and the Harbour Engineering Department to construct an artificial reef in Kovalam, by using funds from the Central Government assisted Tsunami Rehabilitation Project, have come under fire from the fishing community. Reports indicate that a New Zealand based marine consultancy firm ASR ‘Amalgamates Solutions and Research’ Ltd will be paid 4 crore rupees to construct a 500 metre long artificial reef adjacent to Kovalam beach. The city based Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) is reported to be in support of the project.

Tourism department officials claim that the primary purpose of the artificial reef will be to break waves, thereby mitigating the potential impacts of another Tsunami. Therefore the Tsunami Rehabilitation money being tapped into. Tourism Department officials also claim that the reef will help promote tourism activities such as water skiing, surfing and
swimming. Another plus is that the area encircled by the reef can be used as a fish breeding ground. The reef is to be constructed with geo-textile bags which will have a length of 50 metres and 5 metres in width.

‘This is a clear cut case of Tsunami funds being diverted for the benefit of the tourism lobby in the state’, said T Peter president of the Kerala Swatantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation (KSMTF).

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Tsunami warning system unveiled


Hyderabad (Express News Service)
India on monday unveiled its own tsunami early warning system put together by scientists, barely three years after it wreaked havoc along the country’s southern coastline. The National Early Warning System for Tsunami and Storm Surges in the Indian Ocean was inaugurated by Minister of Earth Sciences Kapil Sibal in a ceremony attended by Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, top scientists and senior government officials.

The tsunami warning centre, which took shape at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), would issue alerts for the killer waves within 30 minutes of an earthquake. “We had promised to put in place a tsunami warning system soon after the December 2004 tsunami devastated many coastal parts of the country. We deliver the system today,” Sibal said after the inauguration.

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Dozens killed in worst Vietnam floods in decades


THANH HOA, Vietnam (Reuters) – More than 50 people were killed or missing after a typhoon, floods and landslides cut power and closed roads in what officials in two Vietnam provinces on Sunday described as some of the worst flooding in decades.

The government storm prevention committee said 37 people were killed and 15 missing. State-run Vietnam Television reported 55 dead and missing in the aftermath of typhoon Lekima, which slammed into several provinces on Wednesday night.

Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces in north-central Vietnam were hit hardest by torrential rains and strong winds.

“This may be the worst flooding since 1945,” said Phan Dang Khoa, a Communist Party official in Thach Thanh district of Thanh Hoa where a dyke broke on the Buoi river, causing extensive flooding.

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