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Last Updated Sunday January 14 2018 06:08 PM IST

Struck by Ockhi, Kerala looks to overhaul its disaster management authority

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Struck by Ockhi, Kerala looks to overhaul its disaster management authority Cyclone Ockhi had caused widespread damage to southern coastal villages in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. PTI Photo

Thiruvananthapuram: In the wake of the damage and destruction caused by Cyclone Ockhi, the government is planning to revamp the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority.

The government is looking at including more experts and carrying out a complete overhaul of the authority, a senior official told Onmanorama.

"There will be changes in the functioning of the authority. At present, the top priority for the government is providing relief to the disaster-affected. Once that is over, we will start the procedures," the official said.

The India Meteorological Department is providing weather forecasts regularly, but the authority couldn't pass on the information to the public and undertake necessary precautionary measures. The main issue plaguing the authority is the lack of experts in disaster management in its ranks.

Struck by Ockhi, Kerala looks to overhaul its disaster management authority The government has decided to purchase more equipment for disaster management operations and recruit more staff for the authority.

The chairman of the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority is the chief minister and the vice-chairman is the revenue minister. Apart from one scientist, all other members are government officials, who have responsibilities of other departments too.

This structure will be changed, and those who are experts in disaster management and relief activities will be included during the revamp process.

The public too will be involved in disaster management activities. The vigilance groups along the coastal belt will be spruced up and will be trained to manage natural disasters. Measures will be taken to ensure that all the fishermen get weather alerts.

The government has decided to purchase more equipment for disaster management operations and recruit more staff for the authority. It has also decided to stop the deputation system, and deploy permanently those interested in working in the field of disaster management and relief works in the authority.

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