The planet earth has gone through many changes over these centuries. These changes are majorly due to natural disasters happening throughout times. When we talk about natural disasters, pollution, ozone depletion and global warming are the most common scenarios we witnessed.
Growing industrialisation and exploitation of natural resources have changed the echo system bringing on the verge of imbalance. However, over these decades, humans have also introduced many disaster warning systems helping to predict natural occurrence in advance.
The management aspect of a disaster is classified in different areas: Early Warning System, Rescue Operations, Relief Operations, Rehabilitation and Long Range Planning. There are two aspects of the early warning system- one, which is available with the effective technique for forecasting the disaster, other is the effective communication of the same with the civil authority.
Role of Disaster Warning System
One of the best inventions by experts is the Disaster Warning System used by the IMD to issue cyclone bulletin to the coastal areas. Over the years, DWS was extended to the earthquake and the flood-prone regions. The best thing about DWS is it remains completely unaffected even under the cyclonic condition.
Let us now check different types of natural disasters the planet earth and we human face-
Earthquakes are a firm shake of the earth from the natural cause. In technical terms, an earthquake is a strong vibration on the ground which can either remain for a short span (seconds) or large span (minutes). The primary cause of the earthquake is the disturbance in the earth crust.
According to one theory, the molten mass cooled down billions of years ago, the crust that formed broke into different large plates. These plates are in incessant motion with the speed about 1 cm to 5 cm a year. This mobile jigsaw puzzle is termed as the continental drift, resulting in the formation of mountains, ocean trenches and seismic energy build-up.
In India, an earthquake is caused by the release of elastic strain energy and stress due to the crash between the Indian plate and Eurasian plate. In many cases, the earthquake also takes place due to volcanic activity.
How to be Safe?
In India, the BIS has specified materials used should be burn-well bricks, but not the sun-dried bricks. Every building today constructed in India is an earthquake counter bringing down the movement.
In high-rise buildings, enlarged structures on the top floors must be avoided. Furthermore, avoiding tall independent cores is advised unless they are tied to the main structure.
There are different types of cyclones happening in India and other parts of countries. Of all, a tropical storm is the most destructive one. These cyclones cause damage to property and crops. In the Bay of Bengal, tropical cyclones occur in two seasons- pre-monsoon months, i.e. April-May and post-monsoon months i.e. October-November.
Over the centuries, there have been many cyclone warning systems including the Disaster Warning System that transmits warning bulletins through INSAT-DWS located in hurricane-prone areas.
Floods are common in India, especially in low-lying areas. In the majority of cases, floods happen due to over-spilling of riverbanks due to obstruction in the riverbed, inadequate waterways in roads and change in the river course.
Over the years, advancement in flood forecasting helped to know which area can be flood-prone. High-powered S-band radars help to predict the estimation of rainfall. Moreover, in India, the National Flood Commission was set up to deal with flood issues.
Tsunami is the series of high-inch Ocean travelling due to geological disturbance near the floor of the ocean. The waves are enormous about 100-200 metres causing massive destruction on the way. The primary cause of a Tsunami is an earthquake caused due to volcanic eruption.
In 1965, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) started the first international warning system administered. Also, the computer systems at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, Hawaii complete data from the seismic stations in the US are examples of Warning System.
Disaster Management and Planning
In India, the government has set up Disaster Management and Planning to overcome the loss and assist people during a natural disaster. The Disaster Management Act, 2005, was established to offer institutional mechanisms and monitoring plans under disaster management. There are also some fiscal measures taken by the government to work during disasters.
Q1. Are Natural Disasters Increasing?
Ans: Over the years, natural disasters have increased. Regular earthquakes, massive flooding, cyclones, etc. have increased. According to the office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) which maintains an emergency disaster database, if a natural disaster kills 10 people, then it leaves 100 people injured. Increase in hydro-meteorological disasters, the combination of natural and man-made factors is leading to an increase in natural disasters.
Q2. What are the Natural Disasters that Happened in 2020?
Ans: From wildfires in the US to locusts attack in India and back-to-back cyclones in India, there are many natural disasters in 2020. According to the Global Catastrophe Recap’s First Half of 2020 report, there were more than 207 natural disasters in just the first six months of 2020, causing ＄75 billion loss globally.
Q3. What Natural Disaster is the Worst?
Ans: Every natural disaster causing the loss of both property and human lives is the worst. Be it the earthquake, wildfire or cyclone; each disaster can be the worst in its sense.