Disaster Management in India-a New Awakening
India supports one-sixth of the world’s population on just 2% of its landmass. It suffers heavily from natural disasters of every shade and description that hits the poorest of the poor and which is why the considerations of disaster safety deserves prime attention.
A High Powered Committee ( HPC) of the Government of India, in its report submitted to the Government of India in October 2001, outlined the huge scope for Disaster Management by listing some three dozen different types of disasters India must prepare for. These were placed in five categories, namely, water and climate related disasters, geological disasters, chemical, industrial and nuclear disasters, accidents and biological disasters, Annexure1. Of these, earthquakes, floods, cyclones and landslides rank among the most feared disasters in India, and the fear is naturally heightened in the areas affected by multiple hazards, Annexure 2.
According to one estimate, nearly 59 % of India’s land area is prone to earthquakes of moderate to high hazard, nearly 12 % is flood prone2, about 8% is cyclone prone, 2% is landslide prone and a long coastline is exposed to tsunamis and storm surges. Drought, regarded as disaster in slow motion, affect as much as 68% of India’s land area. Of the 35 states and union territories, as many as 27 are disaster prone. And if the perceived threats due to other disasters such as chemical and terrorist attacks are added, every square inch of India is vulnerable, calling for immediate attention and sustained effort.
Source : ASDMA