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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia For other uses, see Disaster (disambiguation). Ruins from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, remembered as one of the worst natural disasters in United States history A disaster is a natural or man-made (or technological) hazard that has come to fruition, resulting in an event of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life, or drastic change to the environment. A disaster can be ostensively defined as any tragic event with great loss stemming from events such as earthquakes, floods, catastrophic accidents, fires, or explosions. It is a phenomenon that causes huge damage to life, property and destroys the economic, social and cultural life of people. In contemporary academia, disasters are seen as the consequence of inappropriately managed risk. These risks are the product of a combination of both hazard/s and vulnerability. Hazards that strike in areas with low vulnerability are not considered a disaster, as is the case in uninhabited regions. Developing countries suffer the greatest costs when a disaster hits – more than 95 percent of all deaths caused by disasters occur in developing countries, and losses due to natural disasters are 20 times greater (as a percentage of GDP) in developing countries than in industrialized countries.
The word disaster is derived from Middle French désastre and that from Old Italian disastro, which in turn comes from the Greek pejorative prefix δυσ-, (dus-) "bad" + ἀ στήρ (aster), "star". The root of the word disaster ("bad star" in Greek) comes from an astrological theme in which the ancients used to refer to the destruction or deconstruction of a star as a disaster.
Researchers have been studying disasters for more than a century, and for more than forty years disaster research has been institutionalized through the University of Delaware's Disaster Research Center. The studies reflect a common opinion when they argue that all disasters can be seen as being human-made, their reasoning being that human actions before the strike of the hazard can prevent it developing into a disaster. All disasters are hence the result of human failure to introduce appropriate disaster management measures. Hazards are routinely divided into natural or human-made, although complex disasters, where there is no single root cause, are more common in developing countries. A specific
infrastructure and property. and often a lack of appropriate emergency management. A natural hazard will hence never result in a natural disaster in areas without vulnerability. cyclone. Though it may not be possible to control nature and to stop the development of natural phenomena but the efforts could be made to avoid disasters and alleviate their effects on human lives. Human vulnerability. it is possible to reduce the impact of disasters by adopting suitable disaster mitigation strategies. unplanned growth proliferation non-engineered constructions which make the disaster-prone areas more vulnerable. flood and cyclones are natural hazards that kill thousands of people and destroy billions of dollars of habitat and property each year. poor or no budgetary allocation for disaster prevention. In spite of IDNDR. amplitude and number of natural disasters and attendant problem coupled with loss of human lives prompted the General Assembly of the United Nations to proclaim 1990s as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) through a resolution 44/236 of December 22. It is almost impossible to prevent the occurrence of natural disasters and their damages. locust. floods and cyclones are the major disasters adversely affecting very large areas and population in the Indian sub-continent. resulting in coastal flooding.disaster may spawn a secondary disaster that increases the impact. developing countries suffer more or less chronically by natural disasters. or human impact. This understanding is concentrated in the formulation: "disasters occur when hazards meet vulnerability". by establishing the rich disaster management related traditions and by spreading public awareness the IDNDR provided required stimulus for disaster reduction. volcanic eruptions. The resulting loss depends on the capacity of the population to support or resist the disaster: their resilience. forest fire. earthquakes. landslides. . However. Various disasters like earthquake. 1989 to focus on all issues related to natural disaster reduction. These natural disasters are of (i) geophysical origin such as earthquakes. The rapid growth of the world's population and its increased concentration often in hazardous environment has escalated both the frequency and severity of natural disasters. coupled with deforestation. landslides. there had been a string of major disaster throughout the decade. land slides and (ii) climatic origin such as drought. Disaster mitigation mainly addresses the following: • • minimize the potential risks by developing disaster early warning strategies prepare and implement developmental plans to provide resilience to such disasters. Nevertheless. environmental. flood. volcanic eruptions. A classic example is an earthquake that causes a tsunami. Among various natural hazards. tardy communication. Rising frequency.  Natural disaster Main article: Natural disaster A natural disaster is a consequence when a natural calamity affects humans and/or the built environment. leads to financial. With the tropical climate and unstable land forms. Asia tops the list of casualties due to natural disasters.
should be restored. Preparedness: • • • A set of warning systems should be thought of. etc. vaccination programme should be undertaken. etc. Prevention: • • The land use has to be so planned as to reduce the loss of life and property. 3. Buildings should not be constructed in risk zones. Rescue teams should be deployed to look for those who are missing. electricity. so that people are warned to take safety measures. If there is a danger of epidemics. Medical camps should be set up. financial assistance and employment opportunities. beating of drums. Response: • • • • • • • People should be informed of the disaster in time to avoid its serious consequences. The warning systems may include: radio. transport. Temporary shelters should be provided for the affected. Rehabilitation: • • • • • Essential services such as providing drinking water. The victims should be provided with temporary accomadation. personal messages. television. mock drill training and practice should be undertaken. more loss of life and property can be avoided. 2. monitoring including relief management capability prediction and early warning damage assessment and relief management. preparedness. . Those who have lost their family members should be consoled. On the practical side. The people must be educated to cope with a disaster. on the other hand involves: • • • pre-disaster planning. Thus. loudspeakers. Emergency contact and operation centres should be opened. Expanding on the above steps: 1. Involve local people at all levels of activities. Help the injured and the needy. 4. Disaster management.• • mobilize resources including communication and tele-medicinal services to help in rehabilitation and post-disaster reduction. bells. They should be taught to keep a survival kit. The people should be taught hot to follow healthy and safety measures.
Government is also making effort to provide good facilities during the disaster. 5.voluntary organisation. Health group. All buildings should be earthquake and landslide resistant. Today. 2. different professions and different scientific fields. 3. etc. Baby and pet supplies. the insurance companies.atleast 9 litres per person for 3 days. They all are well trained by some local community members. the . For surviving in and after a disaster. etc. toilet paper. Food . to ensure coordination at the time of a disaster. Personal hygiene items like toothbrush. Food and Welfare group. Water . These groups include First Aid group. and damage property. etc. They also ask people to move from the area affected from disaster to some other safe regions. Some agencies also provide maps of potential disaster sites. Essential medicines. A torch and a radio. 4. All the groups are sent for helping any other local community that is suffering from a disaster. First aid kit. kill people.enough for three days. Disaster reduction is a systematic work which involves with different regions. They are given shelter and every possible facilities by those local management communities. 7.  Management Main articles: Emergency management and Business continuity planning The local communities at the time of disaster or before the disaster make groups for helping the people from suffering during the disaster. soap.• • • Mobilizing support of different co-ordinating agencies such as the local government.  Man-made disaster Main article: Man-made disasters Airplane crashes and terrorist attacks are examples of man-made disasters: they cause pollution. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) etc. The local community should be involved in making and implementing safety norms. and has become an important measure for human and nature sustainable development. In Indian rural areas. people should carry a survival kit which contains the following supplies: 1. 6.
community (group of families) are choosing a leader and developing their Disaster management skills to protect themselves and other local communities as well. .