Standard of the Week


IS 17164 : 2020



This standard lays down guidelines for the selection of location, capacity, design, structural safety, water supply, sanitation, lighting, ventilation, power back-up, and, maintenance and some other aspects necessary for the design and construction of Cyclone Shelters.

India’s vulnerability to tropical cyclones is well known. Cyclones are destructive because of their associated large spread, long duration high speed rotatory winds, accompanied by very heavy rainfall and storm surge. It is more so when these strike coasts of countries/states bordering the North Bay of Bengal because of the associated high storm surge in this region. Shallow bay, low flat zigzag terrain, high astronomical tides, high density of population, socio-economic conditions, lack of awareness, inadequate preparedness and absence of hedging mechanisms add to the problem. Most parts of coastal India are susceptible to high wind speed exceeding 50 m/s (180 km/h) and short duration gusts of higher speeds, and probable maximum storm surge height varying considerably. Surge varies from place to place and variation is not linear. At some places, variation of surges between two points close to each other is large due to bathymetry and terrain conditions.

The only prescribed measures to save vulnerable populations from the onslaught of a cyclone are to temporarily evacuate the population on receipt of advance warnings and look after them for 2 to 3 days by arranging shelter, food and health-care facilities. Therefore, construction of shelter along vulnerable coastal areas is one of the important cyclone risk mitigation measures. This standard has, therefore, been formulated to provide guidelines to concerned authorities and stakeholders for construction of Cyclone Shelters.

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