A section of the mainstream media reported that 28 sites in Bengaluru city have been put on a high alert by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) of the state. Times of India, Deccan Herald and several other leading media publication had published reports about an alert issued by the Met Department and Urban Development authorities respectively.
“For the next three days heavy to very heavy rains expected. The civic authorities for the first time has issued flood alerts on about 83 locations in Bangalore”, reads the text inscribed in the graphic created by using a newspaper cutting which is circulating on social media. Twitter user Sushma Tiwaari posted the same graphic with a message alerting other users on social media.
Alt News was alerted by a Twitter user, who claimed that a graphic about a false alert has been circulating on social media. On searching for news reports related to the alert, we found an article published by The News Minute on August 10, 2019.
According to the report, officials at the IMD and the Karnataka State Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) rubbished reports published by at least four English dailies which stated a ‘flood alert’ or ‘heavy rainfall’ alert in Bengaluru in the coming days.
CS Patil, the director and scientist at IMD in a statement given to the media organization said, “What is the basis for those reports? No such heavy rain is there. There is a possibility of light to moderate rainfall in Bengaluru in the next five days”. The same was reiterated by the officials at Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring centre. “I don’t know what is the basis for this. There is no such rainfall forecasted. There are systems to understand, vulnerable points and correctly alert people at an appropriate time. But as of now, for the next one week, there is no heavy rainfall predicted. I don’t know why reports said that Bengaluru flood,” said Subha Avinash, the scientific officer (Hydrology) to TNM.
The reports by the English dailies were based on a meeting held by the Mayor to inform about the precautionary measures taken by the BBMP with regards to the torrential downpours in the city. “In that meeting, the Storm Water Drain Department of the BBMP presented a list of more than 170 vulnerable points in the city including major junctions in the central business districts even spread over eight zones of the city.”, stated the report.
In conclusion, a false alert raised by a section of mainstream media which reported that the Indian Meteorological Department had issued an alert for heavy rains in Bengaluru was circulated on social media to create unnecessary panic in the citizens.
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