GIS-based system to assess disaster damage

 The Union Territory of Puducherry is the first in the country to incorporate a GIS-based Decision Support System to help simulate the damage that could occur during a natural disaster, according to Special Secretary P. Mathew Samuel, who is holding charge as District Collector.

The online decision making system also has the capability to estimate the quantum of damage that a natural disaster would produce, he told a stakeholders' meeting for the State Disaster Management Plan here on Friday.

Joint Secretary (Education) L. Mohammed Mansoor said one of the main enhancements the new plan had brought in was engaging villagers.

The idea was to bring in a bottom-to-top approach. Each ward and village has a base plan and training on disaster risk management group. The main aim is to concentrate on disaster mitigation and preparedness, he said. Committees have been set up at village and block levels and each village and block would have a search and rescue team along with other emergency units.

So far, 42 villages have been included in the village-level disaster management plan, he said.