IITB professor first responder to the threat of Cyclone Phailin
IIT Bombay professor Kapil Gupta sent out the first alert regarding Cyclone Phailin on October 7th, 5 days before it hit the east coast of the country on Saturday. His alert to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) spurred it into action, eventually contributing to the timely execution of relief efforts and other disaster mitigation efforts of the organization.
Ever since the 2005 Mumbai floods, the IIT professor had been regularly monitoring weather websites run by various countries and organizations across the world. These websites are made possible due to a network of weather satellites, weather bouys (dispersed across the oceans), and other advanced monitoring techniques and equipments.
Kapil Gupta, an NDMA advisor, first noticed the storm as being pegged as “medium alert” on a website run by the US Air Force and Navy at 11:30 pm, on the 7th. This was corroborated by the Indian Meteorological Department the next day.
It is likely that the storm would have raised a red flag sooner or later. However, by noticing it ‘sooner’, the IIT prof can be partially credited in the timely execution of well-conceived evacuation procedures.
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