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India to soon get climate ‘Vulnerability Atlas’ to map districts that are at highest risk from extreme weather events

The Climate Research and Services (CRS) office, Pune, of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) is presently developing the first-of-its-kind 'Vulnerability Atlas'.

Soon, dates for major planned events in the country may be finalised after considering the climate vulnerability factor of districts to major weather hazards.

The Climate Research and Services (CRS) office, Pune, of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) is presently developing the first-of-its-kind ‘Vulnerability Atlas’. It will map districts which face the highest risk from extreme weather events such as cyclone, heat wave, cold wave and heavy rainfall, among the 13 such identified hazards.

“This is a very important product being developed and it has the potential to form the basis of issuing impact-based forecasts with respect to climate hazards. The atlas has the potential of becoming a guide in planning major events, for instance elections, in the country,” said D Sivanand Pai, head of CRS, during an event on Tuesday.

The atlas, preparation of which is currently in its final stages, is expected to be unveiled this month and be most useful for multiple government agencies.

“We have been working on developing this product for more than a year. The atlas will basically assess the vulnerability factor at the district level,” said Pulak Guhathakurta, senior IMD scientist who is leading the team developing the atlas at the Climate Application and User Interface at CRS.

Very often, lack of coordination among state and central government agencies, including disaster and relief teams, lead to delay in planning, actions and relief efforts during disaster situations.

Once ready, the atlas will be useful for policy makers, disaster management agencies, agriculture and water resource management teams all over India, added Thakurta.

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