Early cyclone warning system in Andhra Pradesh (India) from 19771997 A case study

Vinod K. Sharma
National Centre for Disaster Management, Indian Institute of Public Administration, I.P. Estate, New Delhi, India.
Tel. : +91-11-331-7309, Fax: 91-11-331-9954,
E-mail: vks@iipad.zen.nic.in

India has a very long coast line of 5700 km which is exposed to tropical cyclones arising in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian sea. The present paper deals with a case study of Andhra Pradesh, a state situated on east coast of India and being most vulnerable for cyclones and hurricanes. The 1977 Andhra Cyclone killed 10,000 people and affected 71 million people with a loss of public property of Rs 17 million. After the cyclone, more emphasis was given to preparedness and mitigation measures by the government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The early warning system was taken as a key to disaster mitigation in the state. There were cyclones of much greater intensities in 1984, 1990 and 1996 which caused enormous loss to agricultural crops and private property, but the loss of human life was greatly reduced. The present case discusses at length the role of cyclone warning stations, state government, NGOs and local communities in disaster mitigation by the early warning system.