There is not a single country that is immune from disaster, though vulnerability to disaster varies. There are four main types of disaster.
01. Natural disasters:
It includes floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, landslides, fires, tsunamis.
02. Environmental emergencies:
It includes technological or industrial accidents, production, use or transportation of hazardous material, forest fires caused by humans.
03. Complex emergencies:
It involves a break-down of authority, attacks on strategic installations, looting including conflict situations and war.
04. Pandemic emergencies:
It involves a sudden contagious disease that affects health, disrupts services and businesses, and brings economic and social costs.
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Disaster can interrupt essential services, i.e., electricity, water, health care, sewage/garbage removal, transportation and communications.
The interruption can affect the social, health and economic networks of local communities and countries.
Disasters have a major and long lasting impact on human even long after the immediate effect has been mitigated.
Poorly planned relief activities can have a specific and significant negative impact on the disaster victims and also on donors and relief agencies.
So, it is important that physiotherapists join established programmes rather than attempting individual efforts.
All local, regional, national and international organisations are involved in mounting a humanitarian response to disasters. Each will have a prepared disaster management plan. These plans cover prevention, preparedness, relief and recovery.
India and Natural Disaster
India is the most disaster prone country in the world
- Prone to Earthquake – Over 65% land area.
- Prone to Drought – 70% of land under cultivation.
- Prone to Floods – 5% of land (40 million hectares).
- Prone to Cyclones – 8% of land (8,000 km Coastline).
- A major disaster occurs every 2-3 years.
- 50 million people affected annually.
- 1 million houses were damaged annually along with human, social and other losses.
- The annual average damage due to natural disasters has been estimated at 70 million USD during 1985 to 2003.
General effects of Natural disaster.
11 effects of natural disasters are listed below;
- Loss of life.
- Injury to human Being.
- Damage and destruction of property.
- Damage and destruction of production.
- Disruption of lifestyle.
- Loss of livelihood.
- Disruption of essential services.
- Damage to national infrastructure like, Road, Railway, Bridge, Port.
- Disruption of government systems.
- National economic loss.
- Sociological and psychological after effect.
How to judge the Scale of the disaster?
It is Dependent on;
- Lead time available
- Intensity of hazard
- Spatial extent
- Density of population & assets
- Time of occurrences
- Hazard + Vulnerability = Disaster