MAESLANTKERING- A SMALL STEP TOWARDS A SAFER NATION

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Photo : spur.org

My head was aching severely, feeling very weak, could hardly stood up from my stretcher and before I could say anything, a man in his early 40s, dressed in white made me lie again, all could I hear from those gather around was about “Monstrous Kerala floods”.

Water: “The life giver, Universal solvent, one of the most basic physiological needs of an individual”, turned out to show its treacherous side to the inhabitants of a south Indian state, Kerala.

Not only monetary or economically but the floods swept away the most precious possession of the people “their family”. The loss encountered is too giant to be noted but some of the rivalry it took with the innocents is as follows:

  • A total death toll of 483 people.
  • About an area of 10,000km has been severely affected (including roads and homes) which has been termed as beyond repair by the disaster management authority.
  • The Cochin airport (termed as the busiest in the world), south railway and Onam celebrations all were called of owing to the calamity.

Causes of floods: Let’s dive in to the pool of all the possible causes of this havoc to understand it better and to prevent such future consequences.

As a layman approach generally people blame heavy rains (formally above the safety level) as the only cause of floods, this is not the case so some other factors that cause floods are:

  • Storms: When storms are caused by underwater earthquakes they lead to flood.
  • Absence of vegetation: Poorly cultivated areas have larger chances of ceasing floods as there are no roots of trees present to stop the course of water.
  • Broken dams: Dams that are broken from a long time slowly turn to river to release their water which emerges as flood.

Introducing technology of supercomputers to prevent floods:

Supercomputers are not only national assets but possess a lot of potential as a flood barriers, they were first used by engineers of Netherlands and has been successful in preventing floods as large as 100 times, the process is known as Maeslantkering.

Concept Of Maeslantkering:

The surge barrier is enormous in size (considered as one of the largest moving object on the earth), and is placed exactly at the point which is considered as the safety level it has big glass walls connected around it, whenever any danger is predicted regarding flood or storm, it is placed at exact that point, in order to not hinder the passage of ships it has big gates equipped with electromagnetic sensors when any ship came, the door opens automatically and the ship passes.

When water crosses its safety level, the risen water is filled up in the big cylinders attached to its side walls.

REASONS WHY MAESLANTKERING IS BETTER THAN OTHER SYSTEMS OF FLOOD CONTROL:

Unlike other flood control devices it is more safer and economical as being placed on the dry areas its part do not get damaged due to corrosion nor it is difficult to maintain as its modus operandi is “supercomputers”.

Further as the technology behind it is AI (Artificial Intelligence), it works at unbeatable speed and give accurate prediction of flood far before the arrival of actual calamity.

Diagrammatic view of Maeslantkering

The opening present at the bottom opens when any ship arrives and closes at soon as it passes.

The sides are provided with huge tanks so that at the time of floods water gets filled in it.

Conclusion

Like foreign countries maeslantkering has a lot of potential to prevent floods in India too but above all the technology is humanity, in this difficult time of Kerala the entire India stood for the help and donated about 130 crores rupees (via chief minister’s distress relief fund) which is indeed commendable.

Author BioN. Neha, from Gorakhpur, India.A participant of International Essay Competition, December.

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