Have you lately been receiving weather alerts on your phone in SMS format and wondering where they are coming from? These alerts are being disseminated under the National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA) new Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), an Integrated Alert System which has been set up for disaster management by informing citizens about emergencies and disasters.
Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) takes care of the dissemination of alerts drafted by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Bengaluru on the basis of weather models. People can also receive these alerts on the SACHET mobile app and web browser.
Karnataka has issued 40.1 crore SMS alerts and 7,000 mobile app notifications in the last one month, officials told The Hindu.
The SMS alerts contain information about the forecast for the particular area for three hours, and includes warnings about gusty winds and thundershowers in English as well as Kannada.
The SMS alerts are geo-tagged and sent only to specific areas where the alert is applicable.
As the NDMA has collaborated with Union Ministry of Telecommunication and the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT), all telecom service providers are now mandated to send out these alerts to their customers in the relevant areas.
“The alerts will go to customers who will be accessing their network through mobile towers in the area,” an official explained.
While several weather alert generating agencies have tied up with specific SDMAs across India, in Karnataka, along with IMD, KSNDMC is also involved in generation of alerts.
“The KSNDMC has been issuing alerts for high temperatures, and will soon begin to issue lightning alerts and flood warnings too,” said Manoj Rajan, Commissioner, KSNDMC.
In Karnataka, a unique polygon-based structure will be used for alert dissemination. “We have monitoring stations even in the gram panchayat level. Thus, we can send alerts by drawing a polygon, or selecting a specific gram panchayat or taluk or hobli, or district boundaries to minimise the impact of disasters,” Mr Rajan added.