Our Take

The storm that wasn’t

The storm that wasn’t
So all prophecies of a Hollywood type twister flattening our lives dissipated into thin air. And though right now all fingers are being pointed at the Met department for the storm of a hype, fact remains that it had never forecast anything higher than 70 km/hour force winds which gradually tapered to 50 km/hour and weakened ultimately. The predicted rains were not even a mist. But given the uprooting memories of the May 2 duststorm in UP and Rajasthan, where  fatalities were reported for low preparedness, anxiety-ridden people and government went into a precautionary overdrive, stocking up ration, rushing indoors and shutting institutions. There were ridiculous advisories on watching your skin hair  standing up, an indication of static that could electrocute you if you got wet.
The real issue to address is the pathetic nature of disaster-preparedness. There are hardly any safety drills, awareness drives, cyclone shelters or swift disaster response strategies. Worse, there is hardly a well synced-up chain of action and communication between the MET forecasters and the government. Much of Delhi/NCR went into the stratosphere of fear guided by images and social media chatter. Yes, Delhi has weathered worst storms but timely advisories, which should be internalised rather than forgotten on a sunny day, and cohesive  coping strategies can help us fight the freak outcomes of climate change.


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