HAZARDS AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Disaster

Introduction

A sudden destructive event either natural or manmade, occurring over a short or long period of time that causes environmental, human, economic losses are termed a disaster.

In this chapter, let’s learn more about hazards, disasters, how they are managed when they occur, disaster risk management, and many other facts in detail.

disaster
DISASTERS
  • A sudden destructive event either natural or manmade, occurring over a short or long period of time that causes environmental, human, economic losses are termed a disaster.
  • The UNISDR (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) considers the disasters as the resultant of the following factors.
  • The disasters that took place can be classified as follows:
Disasters Types or Examples
Geological
Volcanic eruptions, cyclones, earthquakes
Industrial
Oil spills, Chemical accidents
Water and climate disasters
Flood, cold waves, drought, hurricanes
Biological
Epidemics by a virus, cattles, pest attacks
Manmade
Forest fires, oil spills, destruction of huge constructions

Hazards

  • Hazards are either natural or manmade events that can turn into a disaster with severe negative problems when people are exposed to them.
  • Following shows the classification of hazards :
Hazards Types or Examples
Natural hazards
tsunami, volcanic eruptions, floods, storms, lightning, abnormal rise in sea
Biological hazards
epidemics by virus, cattle, pest attacks
Manmade hazards
droughts, cyclones, earthquakes, flash floods

Vulnerability

  • Vulnerability is the extent to which there is an effect on people or how much damage would they suffer due to the hazards.

Capacity

  • Hazards can occur at any time. If we do not prepare ourselves to deal with it, this can soon turn into a disaster.
  • The coping capacity means the resources which are available to the people that can help people to prevent, deal with and recover from a disaster.
  • This capacity is always necessary and it should be dealt with utmost importance.

Disaster Risk

  • The possibility of suffering damage due to any hazard or disaster can be considered a risk.
  • Depending upon the vulnerability and coping capacity of different people in various communities, the level of risk they have to face also varies.
  • This means that when the communities have to face their hazards and if the coping capacity is less, there is a high chance for disaster risks.

Disaster Risk management

  • These hazards and disasters have become something which can occur at any point in time whether it be natural or manmade.
  • Earlier, the focus of disaster risk management was on disasters and on providing the needed aid for the hour rather than concentrating on reducing the disaster risks.
  • The modern approach focuses both on disaster as well as reducing the risks of disasters.
  • Pre-disaster management called risk management and post-disaster management called emergency management are included in the modern approach of DRM (Disaster Risk Management).

Earthquakes

  • Earthquakes are caused when huge energy is released by the movement of plates under the Earth’s surface.
  • Ritcher scale is used to measure its, magnitude and intensity.
  • They are unpreventable and people who are living in such prone areas are at high risk. It can cause floods, landslides, and even tsunamis.
  • The subterranean regions of the Himalayas are more prone to such Earthquakes.

How to prepare?

  • It is better to use appropriate building materials in constructions that are able to withstand these disastrous situations.
  • Train ourselves with first aid and rescue methods so as to be helpful in necessary conditions.

Tsunami

  • Due to the abrupt deformation of the seafloor, overlying water gets displayed vertically. These are seismicity-generated tsunamis.
  • The water above this area gets misplaced when earthquakes occur beneath the sea level.
  • The energy that is released causes waves that are small in amplitude but having a long wavelength.
  • These tsunami waves cause severe damage to both life and property in coastal areas.

Have you heard about this?

  • On 26th December 2004, Tsunami occurred which took the lives of about 3,00,000 people.

How to prepare?

  • Mangrove plantation along the coastal lines.
  • Development of tsunami forecasting, detection, and warning centers.
  • Training of local administration regarding the forecasting of the tsunami.
  • Coastal zone regulations should be followed strictly.

Cyclones

  • A large scale of air mass that rotates around a strong center of atmospheric pressure is termed cyclones.
  • They rotate in the clockwise direction in the southern hemisphere and the anticlockwise direction in the northern hemisphere.
  • Among the six cyclone-prone areas in the world, India is also included.
  • Cyclones are very destructive in nature as they destroy power, telecommunication, uproot trees, high tidal waves, etc.

Have you heard about the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD)?

  • The forecasting and warning messages regarding these weather conditions are given by Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
  • Using the cyclone detection radars, and INSAT, they can track cyclones.
  • These warnings are made available in local languages in isolated areas by the Disaster Warning System (DWS).

How to prepare?

  • Mangrove and other forests play a key role in protecting us from these disasters as they act as wind barriers.
  • Green belt plantations in coastal areas can reduce their effects.
  • Building structures that can withstand strong winds.
  • Afforestation is always a valid solution for preventing hazards up to a level.
  • Knowing about prone areas like the eastern part of India is essential.
  • Awareness and basic remedies, first aids should be taught to the common people

Flood

  • A flood is a condition where water present in channels spills over causing a disastrous situation for both human settlements and land.
  • 20% of death due to floods in the world occurs in India.
  • The regions which are more prone to floods in India are Ganges, Brahmaputra, states such as Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, etc.

How to prepare?

  • Be attentive to flood forecasting and warning shared. Communicate with the public about this information quickly in an effective manner.
  • By building embarkments that can prevent the floodwater from overflowing to the banks.
  • Improving the discharge carrying capacity in channels that can carry the flood discharges at lower levels.
  • Afforestation and soil conservation in conjunction with check dams.

Drought

  • A serious lack in the availability of water due to deficiency of rainfall or any other reasons which affects the supply of drinking water, adversely affecting agriculture, industry, etc is known as drought.
  • 19% of the total agricultural area of the country suffers from drought every year.
  • Impacts of drought include poor hygiene, shortage of drinking water, damage of various ecosystems, crop failure, increase in air and water pollution, etc.

How to prepare?

  • Rainwater harvesting.
  • Watershed programs should be promoted.
  • Awareness generation on the control measures.
  • Interlinking of rivers, construction of dams.
  • Identification of groundwater level in potential areas in the form of aquifers.

Landslides

  • Due to the action of gravity, part of the slopes gets misplaced downward or outward forming material which is generally known as landslides.
  • This can be caused by an aftereffect of shocks caused during earthquakes, intense rainfall, shifting agriculture in northeastern India, etc.
  • Himalayan mountain ranges, Western ghats, Nilgiri hills are some examples of regions that are prone to landslides.
  • These landslides effects loss in both life and property, changes in the landscape, soil erosion, soil loss, drying up of sources of water, etc.

How to prepare?

  • Developments in highly vulnerable areas should be limited.
  • Identifying areas prone to landslides at the earliest.
  • Afforestation programs should be promoted.
  • Area-specific measures should be adopted.
  • Construction of bunds.
  • Encouraging terrace farming in northeastern India.

Anthropogenic Hazard Management

  • Hazards that are caused by human actions are termed anthropogenic hazards.
  • These are caused due to chemical attacks, industrial hazards, radiological disasters, etc.
  • Nuclear disasters accompanied by the sudden release of hazardous radiation or radioactive elements into the environment can lead to many severe casualties.

How to prepare?

  • The community should be given proper knowledge on how to take action in appropriate situations.
  • Enhancing the security of radioactive sources at the reactors as well as during transportation.
  • Making use of appropriate technologies to monitor and detect such hazards at the earliest.
  • Mock drill practice can help the common people to an extend.
  • The concept or practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts by analyzing and reducing the casual effects is called Disaster Risk Management.
  • Pre-disaster risk reduction
  • Taking proactive measures to eliminate or reduce the risks before any disaster occurs.
  • Preparing and following steps to reduce the effects of disasters.
  • Post-disaster risk reduction:
  • This involves searching, evacuating, rescue, and providing immediate assistance.
  • Providing relief measures such as necessary food, water, medicines, etc to communities.

This involves the recovery of victims, repair or recovery of infrastructures.



Key points to be noted:

note down,write
  • A sudden destructive event either natural or manmade, occurring over a short or long period of time that causes environmental, human, economic losses are termed a disaster.
  • The disasters that took place can be classified as Geological , Industrial, Water and climate disasters, Biological , Manmade .
  • Hazards are either natural or manmade events that can turn into a disaster with severe negative problems when people are exposed to them.
  • Vulnerability is the extent to which there is an effect on people or how much damage would they suffer due to the hazards.
  • The coping capacity means the resources which are available to the people that can help people to prevent, deal with and recover from a disaster.
  • Pre-disaster management called risk management and post-disaster management called emergency management are included in the modern approach of DRM (Disaster Risk Management).
  • Earthquakes are caused when huge energy is released by the movement of plates under the Earth’s surface.
  • Due to the abrupt deformation of the seafloor, overlying water gets displayed vertically. These are seismicity-generated tsunamis.
  • A large scale of air mass that rotates around a strong center of atmospheric pressure is termed cyclones.
  • Cyclones rotate in the clockwise direction in the southern hemisphere and the anticlockwise direction in the northern hemisphere.
  • A flood is a condition where water present in channels spills over causing a disastrous situation for both human settlements and land.
  • A serious lack in the availability of water due to deficiency of rainfall or any other reasons which affects the supply of drinking water, adversely affecting agriculture, industry, etc is known as drought.
  • Due to the action of gravity, part of the slopes gets misplaced downward or outward forming material which is generally known as landslides.
  • Hazards that are caused by human actions are termed anthropogenic hazards.These are caused due to chemical attacks, industrial hazards, radiological disasters, etc.
  • The concept or practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts by analyzing and reducing the casual effects is called Disaster Risk Management.

Questions to practise:

note down,write
  • Question 1: What is the difference between a disaster and a hazard?
  • Question 2: Give a few examples of different types of disasters?
  • Question 3: Which are the different types of hazards?
  • Question 4: What do you mean by vulnerability?
  • Question 5: What are disaster risk and disaster risk management?
  • Question 6: Define Earthquakes and mention some measures by which we can be prepared in such cases?
  • Question 7: What is seismicity generated tsunamis?
  • Question 8: Give some methods or measures by which we can be prepared in the case of tsunamis?
  • Question 9: What are cyclones and point out some measures by which we can be prepared in such cases?
  • Question 10: Define floods. Name some places in India which are prone to floods?
  • Question 11: Define drought and mention some measures by which we can be prepared in such cases?
  • Question 12: What are landslides? Give some methods or measures by which we can be prepared in such a case?
  • Question 13: What do you mean by Anthropogenic Hazard Management?
  • Question 14: Define Disaster Risk Management?

Check your knowledge with our simple quiz!

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