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NATIONAL SEMINAR ON NATURAL DISASTERS IN KERALA: CONCERNS AND CHALLENGES



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St Thomas College Kozhencherry organized a One-Day National Seminar on "Natural Disasters in Kerala: Concerns and Challenges" under the aegis of REYONO journal of interdisiciplinary studies, on 7 March 2019. Though Kerala was in the shadow zone of several disasters, the tsunami of 2004, Ockhi of 2017 and the floods of 2018 of cataclysmic proportions have exposed the vulnerability of the State to several natural disasters. A seminar of this kind emanated at this juncture and was particularly aimed at disseminating knowledge and for creating awareness about the student community which include the affected folks. The National Seminar was inaugurated by Prof. K C Zachariah, Principal of this college. Three lead invited talks followed. Dr. Srikumar Chattopadyay former Director grade scientist of National Centre for Earth Science Studies, Government of India, Thiruvananthapuram spoke on "Floods: A Challenge for Environmental Management" with specific reference to recent Kerala floods. Dr Shaji E Faculty Department of Geology, spoke on "Climate Change Scenario and Water Resource Management." Dr G Sankar ,Former Scientist, University of Chicago, USA & Former Scientist National Centre for Earth Science Studies, Government of India, Thiruvananthapuram spoke on "Landslides and Landsubsidence in Kerala." All the three speakers expressed concerns about the catalytic activities of human beings towards mother nature and environment in changing the climate and inducing natural disasters. They urged the need for effective strategic planning from various stakeholders in the society in preventing such kinds of disasters. Following invited talks, paper presentation competitions were held on various theme topics for which Aneena T Padiyara, Jilu Elsa Alex of Physics department of this college bagged the best paper award for their work on "Mathematical Modelling of Natural Disasters as a Predictive Tool." The seminar was presided by Dr. Asha Susan Jacob, Convenor of the seminar and Chief Editor of Reyono. Dr Praveen Sakalya (Co Convenor), Smt. Ann Susa Thomas (Co Convenor), Dr Saramma Varghese, Dr Mini Rachel Thomas, Dr. Susan Abraham, Dr Leena Abraham, and Sri. Reji K Thariyan spoke on the occasion.