Aizawl, Aug 25: Mizoram is vulnerable to various hazards including man-made disasters, says Dr. Lalrokima Chenkual, Head Faculty , Disaster Management Centre (DMC), Administrative Training Institute (ATI) during a training today.
Organised jointly by Administrative Training Institute, Aizawl and Informationj & Public Relations Department, one-day training in disaster management was held today at I&PR Auditorium exclusive for media persons to sensitize them of their role in disaster management.
Apart from media persons, ATI Director, Ramdinliani and I & PR Director , Jim K. Chozah also attended the disaster management training during which Dr. Lalrokima Chenkual, Head Faculty , DMC, ATI talked on ‘Vulnerability of Mizoram to various Hazards’ and ‘Role of Media in Disaster Management’.
In his paper ‘Vulnerability of Mizoram to various Hazards’, Dr. Lalrokima Chenkual stated that Mizoram is vulnerable and prone to various hazards including both natural and man-made such as 1) Water and climate related disaster like floods, cyclones, cloud burst, hailstorm, drought and thunder and lightning etc; 2) Geological related disasters like- earthquake, landslide and mud flow; 3) Biological related disasters like biological disaster and epidemics, pest attacks, cattle epidemics and food poisoning; 4) Accidental related disasters – urban fire, villages fire, forest fire, electrical disasters and fires, festival disaster, and air, road and rail accident; 5) State specific disasters like river accident, animal attacks and flash floods etc.
Dr. Lalrokima said that Mizoram is more vulnerable to landslide and fire accidents. Major causes of landslides in Mizoram according to him are road construction, quarrying, poor drainage system, pig sty, deforestation and septic tank leak. He said that during this year till the period ending March there were at least 164 fire occurrences in Mizoram causing huge damage on property worth Rs. 102.79 lakhs.
According to Dr. Lalrokima 45 people had been killed in river accident during 2014.
Citing about the role of media in disaster management, Dr. Lalrokima said media has an important role before, during and after a disaster. It can give analysis of risk sources and pattern, public information of potential dangers and risk, early warning and advocate for risk reduction before a disaster occurred. During a disaster, media also plays important roles in giving public with timely and factual information, advising them about action to be taken (ex. Evacuation, useful techniques), informing on actions being taken by authorities and providing messages concerning the welfare of the marginalized or trapped population. Besides, media also facilitate communication among affected people and their relatives, friends, families in other parts of the country and communicate potential secondary risks to minimize further disasters or damages during a disaster.
After a disaster, said Dr. Lalrokima, media has the responsibility to provide clear and accurate information on what happened, where it happened, who or what was affected, what is being done, where it is safe to go and where people can get help. However, media should avoid live contact with the victims or security personnel or other technical personnel involved or perpetrators during the course of the incident. They should also avoid unnecessary repeated or continuous broadcast of archival footage that may tend to re-agitate the mind of the viewers. Media has the responsibility to disseminate information which is factually accurate and objective Dr. Lalrokima added.
Certain issues like acquainting journalist with disaster equipment, arrangement of spokesperson during a disaster by the government and comprehensive study of video mapping to ensure safe place for house construction were raised during the training.