Natural disasters are complicated events of nature within which people are subjected to a multitude of risks and dangers. Floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis are among most frequent phenomenons and can affect the political and economical state of a country.
A natural calamity is defined as an event of nature, which overwhelms local resources and threatens the function and safety of the community. Some of the most common natural disasters that occur around the globe include:
1.Drought – Drought is a serious disaster which impacts the whole of mankind, wildlife, and vegetation greatly. It is particularly a curse for the farmers as it destroys their crops. Continuous drought-like situation also leads to the soil becoming less fertile. In a region that has been severely affected by a drought, mortality may increase sharply due to malnutrition and certain vitamin deficiencies, such as a lack of Vitamin A, can lead to specific consequences such as child blindness. Also long standing malnutrition can easily lead to increased rates of disease and mortality, and limit the general population’s functionality. It is a severe condition which interferes with the quality and functioning of life.
2.Floods – In comparison to other natural disasters, floods cause more damage to life and property. According to a recent study, around twenty percent of deaths caused by floods in the world, occur in India. The causes of flood include heavy rainfall, sediment deposition (river beds become shallow due to sedimentation thereby reducing the water carrying capacity of rivers. Hence, the heavy rain water over flows the river banks.) , deforestation (the land becomes obstruction free and water flows with greater speed into the rivers and causes flood.), cyclones , interference in drainage system etc. Humans and animals both are both affected by flood as several people are rendered homeless, houses are destroyed , industries are crippled, crops are submerged in flood water and domestic as well as wild animals die. Also outbreak of epidemics like malaria and diarrhea etc. are common after floods.
3.Earthquakes – Earthquakes are tremors or sudden shaking or trembling of the earth surface. Earthquakes can cause huge damage to life and property. When an earthquake occurs, all buildings , underground pipelines and railway lines are severely damaged or totally destroyed. Also the impact of the earthquake can be devastating to human life as thousands of people may die during the tremors (a short period). Also tsunamis are caused by earthquake which wreaks havoc on settlement of coastal areas and sinks large ships. Landslides and avalanches are triggered. Also earthquakes can result in fires as the earthquake severely damages the electric power and gas lines.
4.Landslide – Landslides are slipping of masses of rocks or debris downwards on the mountain slopes or banks of the rivers . The main causes of landslide include heavy rain , deforestation , earthquakes and volcanic explosions , building of roads and construction of houses and other buildings. Landslides impact and degrade the environment along with damage to several properties and lives lost.
There are several organizations and groups set up with the primary goal of being prepared for natural disasters who work on a global and local scale rescue work such that when a country or an area is badly affected by a natural disaster, aid is quick to come. Aside from those who have chosen to make disaster relief their life-work, when disasters hit, it’s the individuals who step in who help to make a difference.