National Disaster Management Authority Government of India
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West Bengal

West Bengal - Official website - http://www.wbdma.gov.in/ 

Hazard Profile - Earthquake, Flood, Cyclone

Control Room - 033-22143526, Fax- 033-22141378

CHIEF MINISTER

Ms. Mamata Banerjee

 

List of DCs and SPs West Bengal-

 

List of Commissioner


S/No

District

Office/Fax No

Residence No.

Mobile No.

1

Cooch Behar

03582-227101/227000/225000

03582-227201

-

2

Darjeeling

0354-2254233/2256201

0354-2256182

 

3

Jalpaiguri

03561-230127/03S61-224811

03561-227333

 

4

MaIda

03512-252381/ 03512-253092

253092/252415

 

5

Uttar  Dinajpur

03523-252925/ 103523-252250

250005/252441

 

6

Dakshin  Dinajpur

03522-255201/ 03522-255488

03522-255202

 

7

Murshidabad

03482-251650/250145

03482-250002

 

8

Nadia

03472-251001

03472-252052

 

9

Purulia

03252-222302/222490

03252-222301

 

10

Bankura

03242-250304/251076

03242-250303

 

11

Birbhum

03462-255222/255646/256222

03462-255223

 

12

Burdwan

0342-2662428/2625703/25611899

0342- 2625700/2625702

 

13

Howrah

033-26412961/26413367

033-26412024

 

14

Hooghly

033-26802122/26802048

033-26802040

 

15

North 24 Parganas

033-25523662, 25849202/25626177/25523535

03325523474

 

16

South 24 Parganas

033-24791469/24793456

033-24793456

 

17

Paschim Medinipur

03222-275571/275427

03222-275570

 

18

Purba Maidinipur

03222-275571/275427

03222-275570

 

 

 

 

List of SPs West Bengal

S.No

Name District

Mobile

Office No

Residential No

Fax No

1

Cooch Behar

09775802301

03582-227755

03582-227632

227745

2

Darjeeling

09733008001

03542-257001

2252488, 2254277

2254927

3

Jalpaiguri

09434016610,
08170040001

03561-230492

03561-232024

03561-230140, 230597

4

Malda

09775802302

03512-252520

03512-255699

03512-266223
03512-223801

5

Uttar Dinajpur

09836127277

03523-252461, 255417

03523-2252488, 2254277

03523-253033

6

Dakshin Dinajpur

09474519607

03522-255321

03522-255689

03522-255554,
255560

7

Murshidabad

09434222000

03482-250003, 274174

03482-252003, 251750

03482-250003, 251750

8

Nadia

09051388007

03472-252229

03472-252303

03472-253154

9

Purulia

09434001500
08145500325

03252-222304

03252-223303

03252-223588

10

Bankura

09434000328, 09564100100

03242-250305

03242-250306

03242-250727

11

Birbhum

09051217042

03462-255353,

03462-254001

03462-250806

12

Burdwan

09830489770

0342-2662495

0342-2624400, 2662956

0342-2663808

13

Howrah

08017577777
09674100400

0332-641 2626

0332-2638 2086

0332-26400400, 0332-26382086

14

Hooghly

07407006666

033-2680 4827

033-2680 2325

033-2680 4739, 2680 4682

15

North 24-Parganas

09830522253

033-2542 3055/2538 9202

033-2562 1282

033-2552 3657, 2584 7173

16

South 24-Parganas

09836759227

033-2479 3333

033-24483626

033-2479 1261

17

Paschim Medinipur

09836832777

03222-275609

03222-275608

03222-275609

18

Purba Medinipur

07797219090,
09874020008

03228-269580

03228-269602

03228-269763

19

Alipurduar

08170060001

03564-256244

03564-255052

03564-255984

20

Jhargram Police District

09836832777

03221-255192

03221-255544

03221-255133

 


View West Bengal in a larger map

 

The State is in the Eastern region of India. With the Tropic of Cancer running across it, the State is situated between N 21°30' & 27° 30' and E 85° 30' & 89°45'. The geography of the state is unique in the sense that its northern part is in the Himalayan Range, whereas the extreme southern part touches the Bay of Bengal and is covered by the Active Delta of the Sundarbans Mangrove forest. The greater part consists of detrital and alluvial plains.

The major physiographic divisions of West Bengal can be grouped as follows : (1) Extra peninsular mountainous terrain of Darjeeling Himalayas (2) Piedmont plain of North Bengal

comprising Bhabar-Terai belt (3) Peninsular shield area of South-Western Bengal (4) Gondwana platform (5) Vast low-lying alluvial tract of the southern and eastern part (6) Coastal tract of Bengal basin. The northern mountainous terrain covers Darjeeling and part of Jalpaiguri districts. The south-western Peninsular tract is, in fact, the eastern extension of Chhotonagpur plateau exhibiting rolling topography comprising Purulia, Medinipur, Bankura, Birbhum and part of Bardhaman districts. This hilly-cum-undulating topography is gradually smoothened eastward to give place to upland of laterite and finally to the low-lying alluvial plains which in the further south form the shore line of the Bay of Bengal in the deltaic region. The general slope of West Bengal is towards south, though in the south-western part, an easterly slope is conspicuous.

The river Ganga flowing from west to east (as Padma, through Bangladesh) and to south (as Bhagirathi) constitutes the major drainage of the central southern part of the state. The drainage is controlled by a number of rivers and streams, viz., Damodar-Kangsabati-Ajoy-Mayurrakshi etc. in the western part. In North Bengal, the Tista, the main drainage channel is controlled by Jaldhaka-Torsa-Raidak-Sankosh-Gangadhar rivers, etc. which are in turn, linked with the Brahmaputra river. Besides, Jalangi, Churni, Jamuna, Ichhamati, Bidyadhari, Matla, Raimongal, Gosaba etc. are some of the principal tributaries or distributaries of Bhagirathi draining different parts of the state.

Bengal is proverbially associated with delta. The South Bengal Delta, one of the biggest of its kind is formed by the combined effect of two major rivers, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra along with their tributaries. Major part of the delta is in Bangladesh. An area of approximately 65,000 sq. km. of the Bengal delta is situated in the state of West Bengal. Topographically, the area is gentle to moderately flat with certain microrelict of at places. Drainage is consequent in nature, parallel to sub parallel in the north-western part gradually changing to dendritic to anastomosing towards south-east and anastomosing in tidal flat region.

Structurally, Ganga-Brahmaputra delta can be divided into two parts. An imaginary line may be drawn from Kolkata to Maymansingh in the north-east, to understand the division. The slope in the north-western part of this line is only 2 to 3 degree, but, it increased to 6 to 12 degrees in the south-eastern part. Geoloists gave the name of this line as ‘eosine hinge zone’ or ‘Kolkata- Maymansingh Hinge Zone’.

There are 4 marked seasons : (a) cold, dry weather from December to February; (b) hot, dry weather from March to May; (c) monsoon period from June to September; (d) post monsoon period in October and November. Over 70 per cent of the rain falls between June and September.

The mean annual rainfall varies from 1026mm at Nalhati in the Birbhum District to as high as 5323mm in Buxa in the Jalpaiguri District. The state also has as long as 350 Km of coastal line. The other important characteristic is that Southern West Bengal has the confluence of Fresh water rivers and Tidal water river system.

The total area of the state is 88,752 sq Km having a dense population of more than 80 million people of which about 72% live in the Rural areas covering 85427.26 sq Km, i.e., 96% of the total geographical area and the population density is 903 per square kilometer. The population has been increased by 44.25% from 1981 to 1991 and also the density of the population.

It has 19 Districts covering 65 Sub-divisions, 341 Blocks, 333 Panchayat Samities, 126 Municipalities, 3354 Gram Panchayats, 40782 Mauzas, 37945 inhabited villages, 375 towns and

463 Police Stations (includes 42 G.R.P. for Sealdah, Howrah and Siliguri). The rural areas hold a significantly high human resource, agricultural land and fisheries resource.

Any disaster thus results in a huge loss of lives and property.

Different parts of West Bengal are vulnerable to the natural calamities like Flood, Cyclonic Storms, Earthquake, Landslide, Drought and Embankment Erosion. In fact there are multiple High Risk Multi Hazard Zones.

Theoretically vulnerability assessment and risk analysis are expressed by the notation: Risk = Hazards x Vulnerability x Asset.

In Disaster Management, risk is measured in terms of loss of human lives, loss of capital, property like agricultural land, roads, structures, livestock etc.

Hazard is potentially a damaging physical event, phenomenon or human activity that may cause the loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation. Hazards can include latent conditions that may represent future threats and can have different origins: natural (geological, hydrometeorological and biological) or induced by human processes (environmental degradation and technological hazards). Hazards can be single, sequential or combined in their origin and effects. Each hazard is characterized by its location, intensity, frequency and probability.

Vulnerability is the internal weakness of a system from external threats and in disaster perspective it is the conditions determined by physical, social, economic, and environmental factors or processes, which increase the susceptibility of a community to the impact of hazards. It is the degree of loss (from 0 to 100 per cent) resulting from a potentially damaging phenomenon. It is the degree to which a person, system or unit is likely to experience harm due to exposure to perturbations or stresses.

Risk is the probability of harmful consequences, or expected losses (deaths, injuries, property, livelihoods, economic activity disrupted or environment damaged) resulting from interactions between natural or human-induced hazards and vulnerable conditions.

A hazard becomes a disaster only when it affects human settlements and causes loss of life and damage to property. In order to reduce the impact of such events through mitigation efforts, it is necessary to understand how such hazards become disasters. The extent of vulnerability of the area, people and property to a hazard or the probability of its occurrence defines the extent of risk. Vulnerability analysis and risk assessment therefore are essential forerunners for evolving

appropriate preventive measures and mitigation strategies.

The process of conducting a risk analysis is based on a review of both the technical features of hazards such as their location, intensity, frequency and probability; and also the analysis of the physical, social, economic and environmental dimensions of vulnerability and exposure, while taking particular account of the coping capabilities pertinent to the risk scenarios.

 

Identification of the Hazards for West Bengal

The state of West Bengal is suffering immensely by different hazards from the past. We can divide the types of hazards in the following categories,

• Natural-caused hazards

• Human-caused hazards

• Technological hazards

 

NATURAL HAZARDS

The naturally occurring hazards can occur without the influence of people and have potential direct or indirect impact on the entity (people, property, the environment), which can again be categorized with the following such as the following:

 

Geological hazards: They are of several types of adverse geologic conditions capable of causing damage or loss of property and life. These hazards can consist of sudden or slow

phenomena, but considering the context of the State of West Bengal, followings are of important hazards.

o Earthquake: When rock strata are subjected to stress, they begin to deform or bend. All rocks have a certain rupture strength, which means that they will continue to bend, rather than break, as long as the stress imposed on them does not exceed this rupture strength. When the stress finally becomes too great, the rocks suddenly move along a plane (the fault that may or may not have existed before the deformation began. That sudden movement snaps the rocks on each side of the fault back into their original shape and produces an earthquake.

o Tsunami: Tsunamis (means “harbor wave” in Japanese) are actually series of large waves created by the sudden movement of a large area of seafloor. Most tsunamis are caused by earthquakes, some are caused by submarine landslides, a few are caused by submarine volcanic eruptions and on rare occasions they are caused by a large meteorite impact in the ocean.

o Landslide: A landslide is the movement of soil, rock, or other earth materials, downhill in response to gravity. Landslides include rock falls and topples, debris flows and debris avalanches, earthflows, mudflows, creep, and lateral spread of rock or soil. Frequently landslides occur in areas where the soil is saturated from heavy rains or snowmelt. They can also be started by earthquakes, volcanic activity, changes in groundwater, disturbance or change of a slope by man-made construction activities, or any combination of these factors. A variety of other natural causes may also result in landslides, and they may trigger additional hazards, such as tsunamis caused by submarine landslides. A landslide occurs when the force that is pulling the slope downward (gravity) exceeds the strength of the earth materials that compose the slope.

o Subsidence: subsidence is the motion of a surface (usually, the Earth's surface) as it shifts downward relative to a reference level such as sea-level.

 

Meteorological hazards: these kinds of hazards occur due to sudden change in the atmospheric weather patterns or conditions. They are caused by factors related to precipitation, temperature, wind speed, humidity, or any other more complex atmosphere related factors. In the state of West Bengal followings are the most significant,

o Flood: A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land, a deluge. In the sense of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide. Flooding may result from the volume of water within a body of water, such as a river or lake, exceeding the total capacity of its bounds, with the result that some of the water flows or sits outside of the normal perimeter of the body. It can also occur in rivers, when the strength of the river is so high it flows out of the river channel, particularly at bends or meanders.

o Flash Flood: A flash flood is a rapid flooding of geomorphic low-lying areas - washes, rivers and streams. It is caused by heavy rain associated with a thunderstorm, hurricane, or tropical storm

o Tidal Surge: They are occurred due to the gravitational pull of the moon and sun.

o Drought: A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this happens when the actual rainfall in an area is significantly less than the climatological mean of that area. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region. Although droughts can persist for several years, even a short, intense drought can cause significant damage and harm the local economy. This global phenomenon has a widespread impact on agriculture. Apart from drought due to the meteorological reasons, there are two other types of drought that occur in India, viz, Hydrological Drought (due to a marked depletion of surface water causing very low stream flow and drying of lakes, rivers and reservoirs) and Agricultural Drought (due to inadequate soil moisture resulting in acute crop stress and fall in agricultural productivity). While droughts due to shortage of rainfall are common, agricultural droughts due to lack of sufficient soil moisture have also been noted.

o Famine: A famine is a widespread shortage of food that arises due to the drought and may apply to any faunal species (i.e., all of the animal life of any particular

region or time), which phenomenon is usually accompanied by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality.

o Hail Strom: Hail is a form of precipitation which consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice (hailstones). Hailstones on Earth usually consist mostly of water ice

and measure between 5 and 150 millimeters in diameter, with the larger stones coming from severe thunderstorms.

o Windstorm: A storm is any disturbed state of an astronomical body's atmosphere, especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying severe weather. It may be marked by strong wind, thunder and lightning (a thunderstorm), heavy precipitation, such as ice (ice storm), or wind transporting some substance through the atmosphere (as in a dust storm, snowstorm, hailstorm, etc), in our case, it is the strong wind.

o Tropical Cyclone: A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a low pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and flooding rain. Tropical cyclones feed on heat released when moist air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapour contained in the moist air. Tropical cyclones can produce extremely powerful winds, torrential rain, high waves and damaging storm surge. They develop over large bodies of warm water, and lose their strength if they move over land. This is the reason coastal regions can receive significant damage from a tropical cyclone, while inland regions are relatively safe from receiving strong winds. Heavy rains, however, can produce

significant flooding inland, and storm surges can produce extensive coastal flooding up to 40 km (25 miles) from the coastline.

o Heavy Monsoon Rain: The monsoons, which help balance global temperatures and sustain life on earth, affect a vast area of the globe - from Africa across Asia to the Pacific; northern China and the Himalayas to north Australia; and even Mexico and parts of Central America - directly influencing the lives of over half the world's population. In India, 50% of the arable land is irrigated solely by monsoon rains. West Bengal receives a heavy percentage of the monsoon rainfall, which often leads to heavy floods or flood like situation.