RIMES terms Titli cyclone ‘rarest of rare’

Context: The Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) for Africa and Asia, a 45-nation international organisation on disaster warning, has termed ‘Titli’, the severe cyclonic storm that devastated Odisha in October, as ‘rarest cyclone’. Details of the report: More than 200 years of cyclone track history in the Odisha Read More …

Do not disturb this Andaman island

Context: After 12 years, the Sentinelese have again rejected external contact in the most emphatic way possible. In 2006, two fishermen went harvesting crabs illegally off North Sentinel Island and did not return. Last week, American John Allen Chau made a landing with the help of some local people — Read More …

Drought: When, and how, does a state govt declare one?

Context: Large parts of Maharashtra are reeling under drought, aspects of which are being reported in the ‘Dry Wave’ series of this newspaper. While the word ‘drought’ usually brings to mind a period of unusually dry weather, crop damage and water supply shortages, there are guidelines in place for a Read More …

Water ATMs may help in bridging safe water gap

Context: For thousands of communities across India, the process of getting drinking water is now the same as the process of getting cash: they head to an ATM. Facts: With 82 crore people who still do not have access to piped water and 70% of water in the country contaminated by pollutants, Read More …

Indian monsoons influence Atlantic hurricanes: study

Context: Strong monsoons in the Indian Ocean can induce easterly winds that push Atlantic Ocean hurricanes westward, increasing the likelihood they will make landfall in the Americas, according to a study. About the Study: In years where summer rainstorms in India are stronger, Atlantic hurricanes move further westward towards land. Read More …

Earth’s inner core is softer, a study reveals

Context: Contrary to the fact the Earth’s inner core is solid, researchers from Australian National University (ANU) have found that it is comparatively softer. In a groundbreaking discovery, Associate Professor Hrvoje Tkalcic and PhD Scholar Thanh-Son Pham are confident that the earth’s inner core is solid. Facts about the inner Read More …

India’s neglected groundwater crisis

Context: India’s over-exploitation of groundwater is contributing to—as stated by NITI Aayog—“the worst water crisis in its history”.  World Water Development Report: Groundwater is one of the most important water sources in India accounting for 63% of all irrigation water and over 80% of the rural and urban domestic water Read More …

Should India have two time zones?

Context: OVER THE years, various citizens and political leaders have debated whether India should have two separate time zones. The demand is based on the huge difference in daylight times between the country’s longitudinal extremes, and the costs associated with following the same time zone. Those arguing against the idea, Read More …

Why cyclones hit the east coast in October?

Context: Last week, Cyclone Titli became the third major cyclone to hit the Odisha-Andhra coastal zone in the last five years, all in October. What explains the similar timing, and how effective are the mechanisms for prediction and disaster mitigation? Season & frequency Cyclones have always been frequent in the Read More …

Role for CMs in river basin management

Context: To resolve differences among States on sharing water from rivers that are common to them, the Union Water Ministry has proposed creating 13 river basin management authorities. The inter-State basins to be covered under the proposed legislation are: Brahmaputra, Barak and other rivers in the North East; Brahmani-Baitarini; Cauvery; Read More …