The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) has built two dedicated digital solutions for the city, Bengaluru Megha Sandesha and Varunamitra, for real-time information on weather and urban flooding.
"In order to disseminate the rainfall and flood forecast and location specific dynamic weather information directly to the public, KSNDMC has developed a mobile application, Bengaluru Megha Sandesha," said a department spokesperson in a statement.
The disaster monitoring department built the apps in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) under the project 'Urban Flood Model' (UFM) for the city.
"The project is to provide technology driven solutions to manage and mitigate the urban flood in Bengaluru city. A hydrologic model has been developed and operationalised for issuing flood and inundation forecast for the city for different rainfall amount and intensity," he said.
As the frequency and intensity of natural disasters have been rising many fold, the current system of disaster management gives more weightage to preparedness, mitigation and early warning than rescue and relief, according to KSNDMC.
The official said that urban floods have been occurring frequently in major cities in recent years, including Bengaluru witnessing floods during the monsoon every year.
"The urban flood normally occurs due to lack of adequate storm water drainage in urban areas and the blocking of storm water drains either by silt deposition or garbage," said the official.
As a result, he said there is little space open for the rain water to percolate into the ground, causing surface runoff and floods.
Functioning as a nodal agency, the department monitors all natural disasters and serves as a common platform to various responding departments with timely scientific inputs to manage and mitigate the disaster fallouts.
The department sends out text messages and social media alerts on rainfall and flood forecasts to government agencies.
Similarly, the department has also developed a dedicated web portal, Varunamitra, based on real time data from 100 telemetric rain gauges installed and maintained by KSNDMC under the UFM project.
Varunamitra provides weather information in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) areas under multiple categories.
They include zone wise Static Flood Vulnerable areas map, daily rainfall and flood forecast map, tabular data of current rainfall, real time weather dashboard and flood information and others.
Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India has funded the project.