Managing the Natural Disasters - Seeker's Thoughts

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Seeker's Thoughts

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Managing the Natural Disasters

India lost 80 billion dollars by disasters events in the last 20 years. Flood takes away lives and castles, but it has reduced the death rate since 1971- 80. However, floods bring economic losses. There are other natural disasters like droughts, which harm lives and have an economic burden on the world itself. 

According to the United Nation’s report, the five major countries which have suffered due to disasters are the United States, India, China, Japan, and Puerto Rico. These countries come in the category of the most vulnerable countries.

India has been ranked as the fourth worst-hit country among others. 

Between 1998 to 2017, global economic losses due to disasters was 2.9 trillion dollars. And 1.3 million people lost their lives and 4.4 billion people were Injured.

Many Rendered homeless, displaced or were in need of emergency assistance. A total of 563 earthquakes, including those related to tsunamis, accounted for 56% of the total death 7,47,234 people. 

The good news is that in spite of these natural disasters, there can be some solutions like planned urbanization to tackle disasters, and sustainable development can help.

The impact of natural disasters

Climate change has triggered disaster frequencies. Increased frequencies and severe extreme weather events have increased economic losses as well. This puts a brake on the nation’s growth and even poverty increases in such areas.

Natural Disasters cost extra burden on the nations, and for estimation of the cost of natural disaster, the report compiled by the United Nation Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) can be considered.

Countries have to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, and disaster will continue to be a major set back as the economic incentive to build and develop hazard-prone locations outweigh perceived disaster risks.  

What is the solution?

Disasters will increase in the future, and to increase the resilience, there should be climate-resilient infrastructure. The urbanization should be planned as well, but countries like India have a huge population, that overcrowding creates a challenge in the planning.

The planned urbanization is critical for sustainability, as flood disasters witnessed in Mumbai and Chennai.

The floodwater can be utilized for depleting water resources through planning.

Since the development of roads and technologies, the urbanization has grown, and some other cities are leading towards the urbanization, the government should plan the cities well.

The responsibility should not be concentrated on the central government only, it should be shared by the smaller units for reaching out far.

The government should not be hesitant to act against the encroachment of lakes, catchment, river courses and floodplains.

Even after the extreme distress in Chennai, for instance, has not persuaded the State government against allowing structures such as a police station being constructed on a lake bed, after reclassification of land.

Granting such permissions is an abdication of responsibility and a violation of the National Disaster Management Authority Guidelines to prevent urban flooding.

As a nation that is set to become the most populous in less than a decade, India must address its crippling cycles of drought and flood with redoubled vigor. Scientific hydrology, coupled with the traditional wisdom of saving water through large innovative structures, will mitigate floods and help communities prosper.
Also read

UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) 

UN office for disaster risk reduction was established in 1999 as dedicated secretariat to facilitate the implementation of international for disaster reduction (ISDR).

 It is an organizational unit of UN secretariat and is led by the UN special representative of the secretary-general for disaster risk reduction (SRSG).

It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is mandated by United Nation General Assembly resolution (56/195) to serve as focal a point in United Nation system for coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among disaster reduction activities of United Nations system and regional organizations and activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields. 

A conclusive Note

Due to climate change the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, there should be integrated disaster risk reduction.

Moreover, investment decisions is the most cost-effective way to reduce these risks’ as investing in disaster risk reduction is therefore a pre-condition for developing sustainable infrastructure, and technologies to tackle the climate change.

Government should focus and bring new high technology for the pro-active approach. Better frame work is needed to be adopted.
Recruitment of More officers in NDRF is also needed. Government should make more policies to handle such disasters events.

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There is a need to do much better job of capturing economic loss data. If the country has a full understanding of what works when it comes to reducing economic losses, saving lives and livelihood, and managing disaster risk, there would be better implementation as well.

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