Geo-tagged data helped set up disaster response centres in MP

  • Neeraj Santoshi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jul 17, 2016 19:41 IST
Most of the drownings in Madhya Pradesh were found along the course of Narmada and its tributaries and some picnic spots. (Piyush Malviya/HT file)

The Madhya Pradesh government is using geo-tagged data of the major causes of deaths in the state to set up disaster response centres to rush aid to victims in the ‘golden’ first hour, a top official said on Saturday.

Officials of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and Home Guards analysed the geo-tagged data on deaths due to flood and drowning (2,500 deaths on an average annually), lightning (1,500), and snake-bite (around 2,500), collected over five years.

“The geo-tagged data gave us a fair idea about the concentration of deaths and their spatial distribution. Accordingly, we have set up 372 disaster response centres in such areas from where our volunteers and SDRF can reach those affected as soon as possible,” Director General, Home Guards and SDRF, Maithili Sharan Gupt said.

“These 372 rescue centres also include 51 emergency operation centres at the district level.”

In geo-tagging, geographical identification data is added to various media such as maps, photographs, and videos.

Giving an example, Gupt said most of the drownings were found along the course of Narmada and its tributaries and some picnic spots. “Accordingly, we have set up our disaster rescue centres near such areas,” he said.

With respect to snake-bites, copious during monsoon, Gupt said 150 home guards have been trained in identifying and handling snakes, and administering basic first aid and snake anti-venom.

“We have also geo-tagged the health facilities where anti-venom is available. So whenever we get to know about a snake bite, we will send our nearest trained home guard to the victim and simultaneously direct another to fetch the anti-venom.”

“This way, we can take care of the patient and provide him anti-venom by dividing the rescue work. Most of the snakes are non-poisonous. Many people die due to shock. So reaching out to people bitten by snakes will also address this psychological angle,” he said.

On lightning incidents, he said they have decided to do two things.

“First, we will try to make people aware about the precautions they should take during thunderstorms. This will be done specially in areas where more people have died in lightning incidents. Second, we will try to reach out to people injured in lightning incidents, if people accompanying the person call us on 1079,” he said.

What is Geo-tagging?

Geo-tagging is adding geographical identification data to various media such as maps, photographs, videos.

The data consists of latitude and longitude coordinates and it can also include other details like altitude, distance, name of the place or area.

It helps users find location-specific information and helps authorities and policy makers in knowing the exact location on the ground, compare different features and their interrelations and identify patterns in time and space.

Different details can be superimposed as a layer in GIS base maps, making them more useful for decision-making.

Techno help

2,500 flood and drowning deaths

1,500 lightning deaths

372 disaster response centres set up

51 emergency operation centres at the district level

150 home guards trained in handling and identifying snakes, basic first aid and administering of snake anti-venom

2,000 to 2,500 snake bite deaths

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