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After Amphan, Nisarga rings a warning bell – editorials


The strong developing tropical cyclonic storm in the Arabian Sea, Cyclone Nisarga, is expected to make landfall in the Raigad district, south of Mumbai, on Wednesday afternoon, the Indian Department of Meteorology (IMD) said. IMD issued a red alert on June 3-4 in Mumbai and Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts. Like Amphan, who mistreated West Bengal and Odisha last month, Nisarga is expected to submerge low-lying areas, uproot trees, destroy uncemented houses and critical infrastructure, and, worse, kill people and animals. The aftermath of the storm will also be challenging. Nisarga comes at a time when Maharashtra is already under the control of the coronavirus pandemic, and there is severe pressure on the health care system and staff.

Both Amphan and Nisarga are trailers of what the future of the east and west coasts of India will be like, thanks to the climate crisis. The climate crisis is making these cyclones stronger and more destructive by increasing sea surface temperature and rainfall during the storm; raise the sea level, which increases the distance that a storm surge can reach; and allowing storms to gain strength quickly. Indian cities need to quickly adapt to this new reality. A top-down climate adaptation and resilience policy will not suffice; The climate crisis will require micro-level planning and adaptation and resilience plans.

To do this, city governments must have political and financial power; and have adequate personnel who understand the climate crisis. For their part, government departments must stop working in silos; To develop a long-term resilience strategy, you must work together because the climate crisis affects all sectors. For centuries, cities have been centers of commerce, culture and innovation. Now they must develop the capacity, the capacity and the will to face the climate crisis.

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