(Online Cours) CAPF Assistant Commandant: Environment & Ecology - Disasters & their Management

Online Course for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) Exam (Assistant Commandant)

Environment & Ecology

Disasters & Their Management

Processes like fire, floods, landslides, earthquakes, volcanic activity, cyclone, tornado, drought etc. continue to cause loss of life and damage to property. The magnitude and frequency of these processes depend on such factors as climate, geology, vegetation and human activity. An important aspect of all natural hazards and processes is the potential to produce a catastrophe. Catastrophe is defined as any situation in which the damages to people, property or society in general are sufficient and that recovery and/or rehabilitation is a long involved process. Processes with a low catastrophic potential include coastal erosion, frost, lightening and expansive soils (White and Haas, 1975).

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Natural disasters between 1900 and 1976


 Persons killed

Persons injured or left homeless

Earthquakes 2,662,765 28,894,457
Volcanic eruptions 128,058 337,931
Floods 1,287,645 175,220,220
Landslides 3,006 44,673
Avalanches 3,059 150
Cyclones 434,894 17,648,463
Hurricanes 18,513 1,197,535
Typhoons 34,103 5,437,054
Storms 7,110 3,432,641
Tornadoes 1,175 342,459
Total 4,579,728 232,555,783
  • All the same a rough estimate of the damage and the comparative losses on account of these, have been attempted by the United Nations some years back.

  • Out of a total of some 4.5 million deaths, due to all these disasters, over 2.6 million deaths were caused by earthquakes alone during the period of some 75 years. This should give some idea of the relative danger from the natural disasters. Floods are the next claimant for deaths of some 1.2 million people.

  • These figures may change from year to year but, by and large, the proportion of deaths will remain more or less similar. The third in the matter of causing deaths is the cyclone which caused over 400,000 deaths.

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