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NATURAL DISASTER

I Introduction of the issue and the effect to human society, world, health, culture, legal, etc.
and the challenges faced in managing the issue

Introduction

What is a natural disaster? It means natural event that causes damage to property or the
environment and the effects of a natural hazard, which leads to financial, environmental or
human losses. A situation which has the potential to create an event that has an effect on people
is called natural hazard. They result from natural processes in the environment and some of them
are related such as earthquakes can result in tsunamis, etc. Meanwhile, natural disasters are
consequences or effects of natural hazard. It is defined as the interaction between an event and
human activities that has catastrophic consequences.

There are many types of natural disasters which are listed on the table below.

Natural Disasters Explanation


Drought A drought occurs when an area doesnt have enough rain over a long
period of time. A few months without enough rainfall can begin to turn
a forest into a desert.
Flood Flooding can happen because of heavy rain, when rivers overflow,
when snow melts too fast or when dams breaks. It can be a few inches
of water or it can cover a house. Floods which happen quickly are
called flash flood.
Wildfire Wildfires happen every year in hot and dry areas. They can occur
naturally or be started by an accident. Wildfires can move very quickly
and burn forests down to the ground. Although they can be dangerous
to people and animals, natural wildfires are an essential part of the life
of a forest with new growth following the destruction.

Earthquakes Earthquakes happen along Fault Lines in the Earths crust. When two
of the Earths plates move against one another, they cause the ground
to shake and roll. Severe earthquakes, over 5.0 on the Richter scale,
can cause severe damage to buildings, roads and other things in the
area.
Tsunami A tsunami is a series of huge waves. A tsunami happens after an
undersea earthquake or volcanic eruption. The big waves can travel at
450 miles per hour in open sea. When they reach shallower water the
waves can grow to 200 feet high before smashing upon the shore,
destroying buildings and causing severe flooding.
Hurricane Hurricanes are severe tropical storms. They form in the Southern
Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the Eastern
Pacific Ocean. Hurricanes have winds of at least 74 miles per hour.
The wind, heavy rain and storm surges cause damage to buildings, cars
and trees when hurricanes reach land.
Tornadoes Tornadoes are one of natures most violent storms. They form in the
middle of powerful thunderstorms and appear as funnel shaped clouds.
Tornado winds can be as fast as 300 miles per hour. When they touch
ground they can damage an area a mile wide and 50 miles long.
Volcanoes A volcano is a mountain that sits above a pool of molten rock below
Eruption
the Earths surface. When pressure builds up eruptions occur.
Eruptions can cause lava flows, mudslides, falling ash and rocks,
avalanches, earthquakes and tsunamis. They can cause massive
devastation over a large area.
Avalanches An avalanche is a moving mass of snow. It may contain ice, rocks and
uprooted trees. Avalanches begin when an unstable mass of snow
breaks away from a mountain side and slides downhill. They can move
at up to 245 miles per hour. Over one million avalanches occur every
year. Avalanches can be deadly.

Effects of Natural Disaster:

To Human Society
Natural disaster greatly affects the human society which causes displaced populations.
Many people have to abandon their homes and seek shelter in other regions, when their countries
were ravaged by earthquakes or other powerful forces of nature. Due to this condition, there will
be many refugees in other region which can disrupt accessibility of education and health care, as
well as clean water and food supplies. The natural disasters hugely displaces people in many
other countries than the countries that have war and conflict. On average, 27 million people a
year lost their homes to natural disasters over the last decade. In 2010, that number rose to 42
million. The risk of these disasters is also rising, surpass growth of population. The mass
migration from countryside to cities is putting more and more people at risk, which are the most
disaster prone.

In addition, food often becomes scarce after natural disaster happened. As crops were
destroyed and loss of agricultural supplies due to storm or gradually in a drought, thousands of
people around the world may starve. Droughts tend to hit the poorest subsistence farmers much
harder than large commercial growers. This will lead to rise of foods prices and risk of severe
malnutrition. Natural disasters such as earthquake, typhoon or hurricane can leave tremendous
impacts of hunger, causing lifelong damage to childrens development. Another reason of food
scarcity that farmers face is locusts. Swarm consisting millions of locusts can exterminate large
areas of crops in a day.

Besides, emotional aftershocks may occur which can be particularly traumatic for young
children. Many children develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) where they were
confronted with scenes of destruction, the deaths of friends and loved ones. PTSD is a serious
psychological condition resulting from extreme trauma. If left untreated, they can be prone to
lasting psychological damage and emotional distress. Symptoms may begin immediately, but
could appear weeks, months, or years later. Most begin within three months of the triggering
event. They may often experience flashbacks, depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping, emotional
numbing, hallucinations, exaggerated responses to loud noises and many more.

To World

Severe negative short-run economic impacts may occur due to major natural disasters.
Disasters have longer term consequences for economic growth, development and poverty
reduction. Natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes, hurricanes and floods bring in serious
damage and affects the economy badly. Tangible assets such as buildings and equipment will be
destroyed by natural disasters, hence, worsen the firms production capacity. To firms, these may
brought bad impacts and sometimes deadly which cause them being forced to close down.
Therefore, urban areas across the world needs to be recognized from the risks of geophysical
hazard (a hazard originating from solid earth) better which their potential costs are rising rapidly
with economic development. Notable budgetary will also affected and may under pressure.

Major disasters have the potential to disrupt economies far beyond the local damage to
infrastructures. The disasters that happened in 2011, which are Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and
Thailand floods shows a great example that they had far wider indirect economic implications
rather than seemed to cause localized damage to individual countries. Global technology supply
chains were adversely disrupted caused by those disasters. For example, several major car
manufacturers were forced to shut productions at factories throughout Europe and the U.S.
because lack of available parts from factories in Japan, affecting various supplier of parts
throughout the wider global economy through a supply chain reaction. The deadly floods in
Thailand in 2011 inflicted an estimated $46.5 billion in costs to the economy. While the total cost
due to natural disaster in Asia & Pacific in 2011 too was an estimated $276 billion, representing
75% of the total global damage.

In addition, there are also implications on public policy regarding this issue. We see
confusion, blame and dissatisfaction accurately aimed at emergency services and our political
leaders in the aftermath of each disaster. Disasters are deeply difficult as a policy problem which
later, leave policy improvement unfinished due to uncertainty and happens occasionally.
Furthermore, the stakes are high where people die, political and professional careers are ruined,
communities are devastated, and feedbacks are cruel through inquiries, courts and headlines.

To Health

Moreover, the other effects can be just as damaging aside from the obvious immediate
danger that natural disaster possess. Breeding of waterborne bacteria and malaria-carrying
mosquitos can result from stagnant water causes by severe flooding. Death rates can rise even
after the immediate danger has passed if emergency relief from international aid organizations
and others were not provided adequately. Besides, as PTSD is one of the effects to human
society, a traumatic event can make symptoms worse for people already experiencing a mental
illness. Meanwhile for others, a natural disaster can causes extreme stress, depression, eating and
food issues, generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsion, and many other problems. These issues
may arise as a result of a persons attempts to control the environment after a storm takes away
control.

Control is an exerting influence over ones environment, the actions or behaviours of


another person which is sometimes used excessively by those who fear the unpredictable and
ambiguous, feel they need to prove themselves, or fear losing control. It is typically a reaction to
the fear of losing control. People who struggle with the need to be in control often fear being at
the mercy of others, and this fear may stem from traumatic events that left them feeling helpless
and vulnerable. As a result, they may crave control in unhealthy ways. The experience
of abuse or neglect, for example, can make people look for ways to regain control of their lives,
and sometimes victims revile at other people in their lives.

Communities suffered from natural disasters also inclined to become breeding grounds
for outbreaks of communicable disease. By definition, it means disease that easily transfer from
person to person or animal to person. These happen commonly in refugee camps as problems
ongoing with hygiene and disease related to hygiene. Water, cleanliness, and hygiene conditions
before and after a disaster can greatly affect the level of impact on a communitys health.
Drinking water supply and waste management are especially important factors in controlling
disease, as is the management of toxic substances released by the disaster. Creating new breeding
environments can sometimes even mean new diseases are introduced to populations that have not
suffered from those diseases in the past.

Challenges Faced in Managing Natural Disaster

Firstly, the major challenge to managing this issue is the willingness and political
commitment of various agencies including the government and major donors which is further
worsen by the resources available for the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) approaches. It has been
observed that the poorest countries are also the countries which are most vulnerable to any kind
of a disaster. The ability of the countries as a whole to bounce back is even further limited.
Government resources are not available in amounts sufficient enough to allow for consistency
and continuity of development of long-term preparedness measures. Funding and resources
provided by donor community are bound to specific activities and time. Once projects are
finished, the resources may no longer available.

Furthermore, rapid population growth particularly in urban areas of developing nations is


posing serious problems for disaster management. This phenomenon results in construction of
apartment, buildings that do not follow safety laws. The unplanned growth of urban areas make
response much more difficult. Unsafe building practices in rapidly growing urban placement
form one of greatest challenges for disaster management, for example in India. A major
earthquake in any of Indias densely and heavily populated cities in quake zones would be
catastrophic in terms of fatalities. Climate change has far-reaching implications for managing
disaster risk, as the frequency and intensity of flash floods, landslides, droughts, cyclones, and
storm surges are expected to increase in upcoming decades.

Human responses to natural hazards are assumed to be attributed primarily in the way
individuals think, behave, and interact in the environment. Disasters that are unexpected, occur
suddenly, causing widespread damage, and are understood to be traumatic and associated with a
high degree of psychological disturbance. The survivors are most often seen as having
significantly disrupted lives, which require lengthy periods of recovery.

II. Suggestion/Solution - State what others have done with regards to the issue (Malaysia
and overseas) and discuss the challenges in terms of human society, world, health,
culture, legal, cost, etc if we were to follow what have been done by others.

Due to natural disasters happen unpredictably and occasionally, there are many solutions
and precaution steps were made to withstand them. In Australia, National Strategy for Disaster
Resilience (NSDR) were adopted by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in
February 2011. The establishment purpose of NSDR are to improve understanding of the risks of
natural disasters, educating people of these risks and improving the methods of communicating
urgent messages to communities so they can make informed decisions about their options when
faced with natural disaster. While the strategy focuses on priority areas to build disaster resilient
communities across Australia, it also recognises that disaster resilience is a shared responsibility
for individuals, households, businesses and communities, as well as for governments.

Besides, land use planning were improve which develop national land use planning
criteria by the commitment of government that prohibits inappropriate land use. Building
standards were also being improved, as Building Code of Australia was modernized to include
minimum standards for the durability of property to natural hazards. Recovery funds were
dedicated to preventative infrastructure projects including barrages for unusual tides, levee
banks, sea walls, properly maintained fire breaks and access trails, improved drainage and dams
as to improve the community infrastructure.

Mass population displacements is the most serious consequences of natural disasters are
related to. The buildings are so severely damaged that they are structurally unsafe for people to
stay in their homes. This often occurs due to violent storms or earthquakes, when potentially
damaging aftershocks commonly occur. In many cases, those displaced by disasters may find
shelter in the homes of people they know, while others must go to shelters staffed by disaster
relief authorities such as Red Crescent Societies and government agencies.

There will be an increase in the number and severity of mass population emergencies as
the global population continues to grow and more people live in hazard-prone areas. For natural
disaster preparation and response, public health personnel must play a key role. They need to
have systems in place to identify and track diseases before a disaster occurs. They must also
understand the basic health issues of water and food safety, sanitation, and environmental
hazards.

Public health practitioners routinely provide comprehensive programs of health education


and preventive care that put them in close contact with those living in the community. They can
use their professional skills to develop and evaluate programs for community disaster
preparedness before a disaster strikes. After the disaster, they have the ability to help assess its
affection on the local population. By adapting their knowledge and skills to these large-scale
emergencies, public health professionals can have a significant impact on reducing the negative
health effects of disasters.

Furthermore, the first signs of oncoming starvation can be seen almost a year ahead of
time with advanced early warning systems. Even though, these early warnings are only helpful if
they lead to early action. For instance, early action could have avoided as many as 100,000
deaths regarding the starvation in Somalia. Early interventions are also more cost-effective, not
only save more lives. It was three times more expensive to restock a core herd than to keep
animals alive through supplementary feeding based on a study in northern Kenya. Even in the
Afar region of Ethiopia, restocking sheep and goats costs at least six times more than
supplementary feeding. Restocking cattle costs 14 times more.

In addition, to address malnutrition of people suffered from natural disasters such as


drought, aid organizations have tools at their disposal that were unbelievable a decade ago. For
instance, a peanut paste called PlumpyNut that contains vegetable oil, milk powder, vitamins,
and minerals which costs less than enriched milk formulas. This revolutionized the aid scene
during the food crisis happened in Nigeria few years ago. PlumpyNut has streamlined the aid
operations of several organizations. To treat 10,000 children during a starvation in Nigeria, they
only need 150 staff to treat them compared in 2002, where it took 2,000 staff to treat the same
number of patients in Angola. Mass treatment is possible because of PlumpyNut.

Another solution to natural disaster preparation is where everyone can be informed


throughout mobile technology which empower the citizens. With the spread of mobile phones
throughout the world regardless of their ages, all households and villages may have access to
information about imminent weather patterns and how to react them. For example, a mobile
phone service called Blue Line has been launched by Egypt with German support that
spreading information about water supply and allocation so that villagers in remote areas know
where and when water can be accessed both for themselves and their crops. Similarly, the
Kenyan government with the backing of the World Bank, is using SMS technology to alert local
farmers to upcoming bad weather so they can begin to prepare themselves for times of hardship.

Moreover, there is a systematic approaches called Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). Their
purpose is to reduce the damage caused by natural hazards like earthquakes, floods, droughts and
cyclones, through an ethic of prevention. Disasters often follow natural hazards. A disaster's
severity depends on how much impact a hazard has on society and the environment. The scale of
the impact in turn depends on the choices people we make for our lives and for our environment.
These choices relate to how we grow our food, where and how we build our homes, what kind of
government we have, how our financial system works and even what we teach in schools. Each
decision and action makes us more vulnerable to disasters or more resilient to them.

Disaster risk reduction is the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through
systematic efforts to analyse and reduce the causal factors of disasters. Reducing exposure to
hazards, lessening vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the
environment, and improving preparedness and early warning for adverse events are all examples
of disaster risk reduction. Disaster risk reduction includes disciplines like disaster management,
disaster mitigation and disaster preparedness, but DRR is also part of sustainable development.
In order for development activities to be sustainable they must also reduce disaster risk. On the
other hand, unsound development policies will increase disaster risk - and disaster losses. Thus,
DRR involves every part of society, every part of government, and every part of the professional
and private sector.

The Challenges in terms of:

Human Society

There are challenges that reflect the difficulties that exists in engaging people in routine
health-promotion and risk-prevention activities in general. Knowledge translation efforts
that make theory and evidence on DRR accessible and motivating to the general
population are an important component in building resilience.
High vulnerability of local populations and their inability to anticipate on disaster
occurrence such as flood. These challenges could be tackle through building capacity and
preparedness at local level.
Disbelief of some society and many have not acted on incoming disasters warning thus
resulting to huge disaster loses which needs rehabilitation and DRR then becomes a
major action. For organizations facilitating DRR this is a challenge in terms of
convincing local governments as well as communities to act on DRR before any disaster
event strikes them.

World

Irrespective of the country and its economic status is the lack of coordination between
various DRR actors. There was a study carried out in Bangladesh recently focusing on
DRR interventions being carried out in the field. It was observed that there were some
geographical areas where the concentration of agencies working on DRR was much more
than other areas even if the other area is more vulnerable and it deserves better attention.
The inconsistency in DRR interventions and the lack of standardized approach. It was
observed in the field that different organizations are using different training modules and
reference materials to enhance the capacities of the community on DRR. Some
organization was giving the training for one day on a particular while other organization
were doing the training on same issue but the duration was different. This leads to
differential capacity enhancement of the community.
A weak national funding framework. The government budgetary allocation for disaster
management is nothing to write home about and the private sector might not see the
economic justifications for investment in disaster risks reductions projects.

Health

The medical challenges facing the humanitarian community in the early days of the
disaster. Thousands of people might dead because of their injuries. The scope of
challenges shifted but didnt shrink which are delays in treatment, inadequate post-
operative care, the infection of open wounds, and overcrowded and unsanitary conditions
in the camps created new obstacles for medical providers, which may persist.
Large population displacement created additional public health challenges to areas that
have poorly developed health systems and lack disaster preparedness. Immediate
priorities included - provision of water, sanitation, and shelter; trained staff to address
widespread malnutrition; surveillance for outbreaks; vaccine programmes for preventable
diseases; funding; and inter-agency coordination. These reflect the different components
of a health system.
Destruction of healthcare facilities; initial shortages of food, water, fuel, aid materials and
rescue teams to the affected rural population; many people were evacuated to shelters.
Lacked an effective health system prior to the natural disaster happened and national
authorities were not equipped to manage relief or recovery priorities when a disaster
occurred. Governance structures were destroyed and the required services, health
workers, surveillance, resources, funding and coordination were provided almost
completely by international organisations, creating its own set of complications and
delaying investments into the health system.

III. Identify potential un-ethical problems and come up with suggestions to overcome them
(the dos and donts)

Natural Disasters Potential Un-ethical Problems


Drought Overpopulation: Too many people living in an area using too much
water.
Over cultivation: Planting too many crops which use up too much
water
Deforestation: Cutting down trees which otherwise store water + hold
soil together
Flood Destruction of the grasslands in the highland which normally act to
soak up rainfall and release it slowly into the rivers.
Huge growth of urban areas creating lots of impermeable areas
Pile of garbage in the river.
Wildfire Arson
Slash and burn
Barbeques or camp fires that accidentally leads to the wildfires
Earthquakes Excessive coal mining that causes a major shift in the mass of the
region
Building unsystematic dams
The construction of high rise building

*Others natural disasters such as tsunami, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes eruption and
avalanches happens due to causes of nature itself.

Suggestions to overcome the problem:

Dos:

Create waterways. When the drains in urban areas well-made, so any rain that flows will
be easily discharged and will not accumulate and cause catastrophic flooding.
Routine cleaning of drains. If a lot of garbage in the water channel, the channel must be
blocked and could cause flooding. To that end, clean the channel at least once a week.
Agroforestry: Planting trees in and around farms reduces soil erosion by providing a
natural barrier against strong winds and rainfall. Tree roots also stabilize and nourish
soils. When many trees planted, the rain water will be absorbed well into the ground.
Cope with drought. Improve prediction, e.g. satellite warning. Provide food aid sooner,
especially to small scale farmers.
Water conservation is one of the easiest ways to mitigate the impacts of drought. Simple
everyday tasks, such as turning off the water while brushing teeth or using a glass to rinse
afterwards, can help save gallons of water in a month.
On a larger scale, many businesses and cities use gray water to water larger land areas,
such as parks and golf courses. Gray water is used water that is treated and cleaned.
Before starting a fire in a forest, make sure you check your areas wildfire alert system to
make sure conditions are safe for an open flame. Do not make excessively large fires as
these can quickly get out of control.
To prevent cigarettes from starting wildfires, always dispose of them in places where they
cannot be a source of ignition. Placing a cigarette in a cup of water after use is a great
way to prevent them from causing fires.
Make sure all campfires occur in fully surrounded fire pits and limit the size of all fires.
No matter how something is being burned, it is important to do it in a controlled area.
Buildings can be constructed that are more likely to be able to withstand the shaking of
an earthquake.
Participate in disaster training. Get to know the people in the community better by getting
actively involved in community disaster training.
Stockpile water and foodstuffs. At least three days worth of drinking water and
foodstuffs were stockpiled. You should also have radios and flashlights prepared.

Donts:

Do not throw garbage in the river because it makes the river flow is not smooth.
Do not let environmental degradation. When trees are cut down and not replaced,
deforestation gets worse and communities become more vulnerable to the rains.
Dont left drains unclean. If a lot of garbage in the water channel, the channel must be
blocked and could cause flooding.
Do not spread rumours, nor listen to them. Only official version of the warnings may be
listened to through media.
Do not stay in your house, when advised to vacate by authorities, especially when your
house is located in a low lying area. You may run the risk of being marooned.
Dont throw a burning cigarette anywhere you like.
Do not allow children to play in, or near flood water.
Avoid building houses near steep slopes, close to mountain edges, near drainage ways or
along natural erosion valleys.
Dont left the burning wood sticks in or near the forest.
Do not be scared when a sudden fire occur in the forest, be calm & encourage others and
community to overcome the problem patiently.
Do not panic when natural disaster happened. Although, it is difficult to keep an air of
calm when doom is impending, but it is vital to ensure safety.
Do not ignoring official advised. Officials advised us to pack essentials and drive to the
evacuation center when the disaster warning was given.
Do not packing non-essential things before going to evacuation center. Essential means
exactly thatwater, food, flashlight, warm clothes, medicine, all-weather shoes,
blankets, smartphone and other items that will help if you find yourself without power
and running water for days.

REFERENCES

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people than war in 2013, study finds. Retrieved on December 3, 2016 from
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/17/natural-disasters-refugee-people-war-
2013-study
2. Tulloch, J. (March 16, 2010). Allianz: The cycle of poverty and natural disasters.
Retrieved on December 3, 2016 from https://www.allianz.com/en/about_us/open-
knowledge/topics/environment/articles/100316-the-cycle-of-poverty-and-natural-
disasters.html/
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Vulnerability: The Role and Impact of Population and Society. Retrieved on December
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