The Term ‘DISASTER’ has been taken from the French word ‘ Disaster’ meaning a bad or an evil star. A disaster is that sudden calamity which brings a misfortune and miseries to humanity. It may natural or man-made disaster. Disaster is a sudden, calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, and destruction and devastation to life and property. The damage caused by disasters is immeasurable and varies with the geographical location, climate and the type of the earth surface/degree of vulnerability. This influences the mental, socio-economic, political and cultural state of the affected area.
Disasters disrupt the normal pattern of life because a disaster is often served, sudden, unexpected and widespread. They pose serious threat to the normal way of life and also affect the process of development adversely. Human life always vulnerable to disasters. Natural disaster is always serve and sudden. Some disasters are geological in nature like the earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, etc. some are climatic disasters like cyclones, floods or droughts.
There are some man-induced disasters like wars or battles, riots, terrorist strikes; rail or road accidents, fire, etc. nuclear explosions and industrial accidents also take place largely due to the follies of mankind.
Almost every country is prone to disaster. Our country is the most disaster prone country. Nearly half of the landmass of India is prone to earth quakes and 3/ 4 of the cultivated area is vulnerable to droughts. Some parts of India are prone to floods and cyclones.
Education and awareness go a long way in disaster preparedness and in safeguarding precious lives and property. Various agencies like district administration, military and paramilitary forces, centers and state level ministries, NGOs, international agencies like the UNO and Red Cross play a significant role in dealing with the situation of a disaster.
EDisasters are no stranger to mankind. They have been constant companions of humanity. Humanity has suffered from the consequences of numerous disasters, recovered from them and life has continued.
With the development of science and technology man has to work towards disaster mitigation and management to the optimum extent possible, otherwise disasters will continue to have a dominating effect on mankind.