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CDM-01 Foundation Course in Disaster Management : [26]

Block-1 Understanding of Disasters : [4]

Unit-1 Disaster Meaning, Factors and significance Unit-2 Understanding Disasters: Causes and Effects Unit-3 Disasters: A Global View Unit-4 Disaster Profile of India- Regional and Seasonal Unit-5 Earthquake Unit-6 Flood and Drainage Unit-7 Cyclone Unit-8 Drought and Famine

Block-2 Typology of Disasters-I : [4]

Block-3 Typology of Disasters- II : [4]

Unit-9 Land Slide and Snow Unit-10 Fire and Forest Fire Unit-11 Industrial and Technology Disaster Unit-12 Epidemics Unit-13 Planning Unit-14 Communication Unit-15 Leadership and Co-ordination Unit-16 Warehousing and Stock Pilling

Block-4 Essentials of Disaster Preparedness : [4]

Block-5 Disaster Management and Awareness : [4]

Unit-17 Human Behaviour and Response: Individual, Community, Institutional Unit-18 Community Participation and Awareness Unit-19 Public Awareness Programmes Unit-20 Information Organization and Dissemination Unit-21 District Administration Unit-22 Military and Para- Military Forces Unit-23 Ministries and Departments at Centre and State Level Unit-24 Non-Governmental Organization Unit-25 International Agencies Unit-26 Media

Block-6 Disaster Management: Role of Various Agencies : [6]

CDM-02 Disaster Management: Methods and Techniques : [33]

Block-1 Increased Understanding of Disasters- I [4]
Unit-1 Earthquake Unit-2 Flood and Drainage Unit-3 Cyclone Unit-4 Drought and Famine

Block-2 Increased Understanding of Disasters- II [4]

Unit-5 Landslides and snow Avalanches Unit-6 Fire and Forest fire Unit-7 Industrial and Technological Disaster Unit-8 Epidemics

Block-3 Preparedness and Mitigation [6]

Unit-9 Disaster Mapping Unit-10 Predictability, Forecasting and Warning Unit-11 Disaster Preparedness Unit-12 Land-Use Zoning for Disaster Management Unit-13 Preparing Community through IEC Unit-14 Disaster Mitigation Search, Rescue and Evacuation Shelter for Victims Livestock and Relief Measures Clearance of Debris and Disposal of Dead Control of Fires Damage Assessment

Block-4 Relief Measures [6]

Unit-15 Unit-16 Unit-17 Unit-18 Unit-19 Unit-20

Block-5 Community Health and Casualty Management [5]

Unit-21 Unit-22 Unit-23 Unit-24 Unit-25 Unit-26 Unit-27 Unit-28 Unit-29 Unit-30 Unit-31 Unit-32 Unit-33 Community Health During Disasters Emergency Health Operations Drinking Water Food and Nutrition Hygiene and Sanitation


Reconstruction and Rehabilitation [5]

Rehabilitation: Social and Economic Aspects Reconstruction and Rehabilitation as Means of Development Agriculture and Irrigation Housing to Resist Disasters Including Relocation Retrofitting Repairing and Strengthening of Houses Monitoring Evaluation Review


Skill Assessment [3]



Ilisasters. which are often sudden and intense, result i n destruction, ill-jury and death disrupting tlie normal life as well as the process of development. This high lights the i~iipo~-iance of disaster manage~iientand tlie need to learn about it. The Foundation the Course in Disaster Management, among othe, .ilspects, is intended to fan~iliarise learners with the meaning, factors, significance, causes and effects of disasters. Besides providing the Regional and Seasotlal profile of natural disasters in India, the Course also presents a global view of disasters. In keeping with the peculiarities of various disasters, the Course deals with tlie vulnerability, impact and effects, nature of damage, predictability, forecasting aspects of disasters such as Earthqi~ake,Flood and Drainage, Cyclone, Drought and Famine, Landslide and Snow Avalanclie, Fire and Forest Fire, Irid~~strial and Technological disasters, and Epidemics. In order to create and sustain awareness of disasters the community and to upgrade tlie information, knowledge and skills of the Goverrimental atid Non-governmental Organisations' personnel dealing witli disaster mitigation and management, the Course lays emphasis on disaster preparedness. Here we shall be dealing specifically with tlie essentials of disaster preparedness viz. Planni'ng, com~nunication,leadership and co-ordination, and \\arehousing and stock piling. To strengthen the resilience and self-confidelice of local cv~nmunities atid to enable them to develop Co~nmunityAction Plans to deal witli pre ancl post disaster situations, the Course focuses on human behaviour and response, tccliniq~~es for effective community participation and beliefs and myths regarding dis;lstcrs. Further, it aims to present relevant illformation pertaining to disasters and the cl'lbctive dissemination of tlie same. I t is a known fact that various agencies play . ililli.~.entand significant roles in dealing with disaster situations. Therefore, we shall tlcsc~.ibc't11c roles of District Administration, Military and Para-military forces, hlinis~ries and Depal-iments at tlie Centre and State levels, Non-governmental ( )~.~arlisatiobs. International Agencies atid Media.



1.0 I .1 1.2

Objectives Introduction Meaning of Disasters

1.2.1 Definitions
' 1.2.2 Distindion between I-lward and Disastrr

1.2.3 Distinction between Natural and Man-made Disasters

1.3 1.4 1.5 l .G 1.7 1.8 1.9

Nature of Disasters Aggravating factors of Disasters Significance and Repercussions Let Us Sum Up Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this unit, you should be able to:, discuss the meaning, definitions and types of disasters, describe the nature of disasters, highlight the aggravating factors of disasters, and explain the significance and repercussions,


A disaster is the result of an immediate situation or the rcsult of a long set process which disrupts nonnal human life in its established social, traditional and destruction of environ~nentwhich is caused , economic system. This is due to tl~e by extraordinary natural destructive pl~enomena 01. human-induced hazards resi~ltingin human llardship and suffering beyond recovery ~~nless extertial aid is brought in.


'The terns 'Disaster' owes its origin to the French word 'Desastre' which is the combination of the article - 'des' and 'astre' meaning 'star'. In earlier days a disaster was considered to be due to some u~ifavourablestar. Nowadays, the term Disaster' is commonly used to denote ally odd event, be natural or man made, which brings about immense misery to a region. So that it becomes difficult to cope with the situatioli through local resources.



The dictionary meanings of Disaster are as follows:

1 ) Disaster is a sudden or great ~nisfortune, calamity. (Concise Oxford Dictionary)

2) Disaster is a sudden calamitous evelit producing great material damage, loss

and distress. (Webster's Dictionary)



[Iisasters. wliicli are often sudden and intense, result in destruction, ill-jury and death disrupting the normal life as well as the process of development. This highlights the impor-tance of disaster management and the need to learn about it. The Foundation Course in Disaster Management, among othe dspects, is intended to familiarise the learners with the meaning, factors, significance, causes and effects of disasters. Besides providing tlie Regional and Seasonal profile of natural disasters in India, the Course also presents a global view of disasters. In keeping with the peculiarities o r vario~~s disasters, tlie Course deals with the v~lnerabiiit~, impact and effects, nature of damage, predictability, forecasting aspects of disasters such as Earthquake, Flood and Drainage, Cyclone, Drought and Fa~nine,Landslide and Snow Avalanclle, Fire and Forest Fire, Industrial and Technological disasters, and Epidemics. In order to create and sustain awareness of disasters the community and to upgrade the information, I<nowledge and skills of the Governmental and Non-governmental Organisations' personnel dealing with disaster mitigation and management, the Course lays emphasis on disasler preparedness. Here we shall be dealing specifically with tlie essentials of clisaster preparedness viz. Planning, com~nunication, leadership and co-ordination, and \ \ archousing and stock piling. To strengthen tlie resilie~ice and self-confidence of local communities a ~ i d to enable them to develop Community Action Plans to deal with pre t~ncl post disaster situations, the Course focuses on hurnan behaviour and response, tccl~~iiq~tes for effective co~nmunityparticipatio~~ and beliefs and myths regarding tli.;,~stc~-s. Further, it aims to present relevant information pertaining to disasters and the cl'li.cti\~edisseriiination of the same. It is a known fact that various agencies play rlil'ii' and significant roles in dealing with disaster situations. Therefore, we shall ~ I C \ C I - I ~ C tlic roles of District Administratio& Military and Para-military forces, Alinistl-~es and Departments at the Centre and State levels, Non-governmental ( )ryni~:l[ions. International Agencies and Media.

U~~tlerstn~~ of cli~~g

Disaster is assessed on the basis of

1) Disruption to nornial pattern of l

and w also 4e sudden, ~~nexpected

2) Human effects such as loss of and adverse effects on liealtli.

3) Effects on Social Str~lct~11.e such buildings, comni~~nications and o

4) Com~iii~nity needs SLICII as shelte care.

Tlie severity of a disaster situation property or both.

A formal definition of disaster may wliicli threatens a society or a relat with ~iiajor~111walited consequences a rally had Iiitlierto bee11c ~ ~ l t ~ ~ accepted

1.2.2 Distinction Between Ha

Hazard and disaster are closely rel disaster is its colisequence. A liazard both life and property. A disaster is t

A liazard is a potential for a disaster. area affecting tlie normal life sys unpopulated area, say an ~rnpop~~l However, it will be considered a damaged. A hazard ]nay be regarded of disaster exists, because tlie human risk. .

Disasters are extreme events whicli create severe disruptions to human actions, e.g., transport accidents and eartliqualtes. A liazarcl is wlien ex litinian settle~iient and could cause lo resources or infrastructure.

1.2.3 Distinction Between N

Disasters are classified ~ ~ n d variou er bani fi~nctionalangle. Although bo res~11tin dalnage to life and prop classifying into rnajor gronps:
1. Nat~rral Disasters


Wind related

Storm, C

ii) Water related

iii) Earth related

Flood, Drough

Earthq~ Volcilni

Disaster: Meaning Factors and significance

ng collapse.

, Sabotage, Safety.

fires are often manmade\ IIIiatliquor, Epidemics.

Noise), Soil degration, Loss of evel rise, Toxic Wastes, Nuclear


ing effects on the people and their knowledge about their occurrence, measures. However, study of hanism requires the study of the e, this impacts on the environ~nent pproach involvil~gthe social and ying disasters have adopted the

nd emphasis is given to the spationerability. Geographers have also choices are made between different

ers in guiding the socio-economic nd in causing the destruction of ologists to search for the tl~reshold n no longer provide the basic

cotisidered in terms of patterns of rs on community. In addition, o factors such as a psychologically

ef, migration management, health 80 per cent of disasters occur in evailing poverty increases human

s, the treatment of severe physical diseases' whose of co~n~nunicable ption of public health measures

'Ulitlerstantlittg of

6 ) Technical Approach

Tlie natural and physical scientists given to geological, geotiiorpliologic

Clleclt Your Progress 1

Note: i) Use the space given bel ii) . Check your answers wi


What do you meall by hazard an

2) Discuss briefly the niajor types o

3) Briefly describe any four approa


Tlie severity of tlie in~pactsof ea damage, 01' costs whicli are clepend of the affected com~nunity. In fact increased by the fol lowing aggravati


All disaster studies show that the w and arc able to recover quicltly. Ho

is only due to poverty that poor people as such as tlie flood plains of rivers. s as victinis and rarely the wealthy; and ing power to buy food rather than an o move from tlieir homes to other parts survive. Such crisis induced migration of immediate assistance and long term

Disaster: Merning

Factors and significance

e in losses from a disaster and increase eople and structures where a disaster ng number of people will compete for nities) which can lead to conflict. This ration. This type of growth occurs ch may aggravate the to disasters.

are closely related to tlie major aracterized by rural poor or people i l l etropolitan areas in search of economic d Ik\\cr options for availability ofsafe Ilerc again, competition for scarce


closely linked to rapicl and unclieckecl ilies to settle on tlie slopes of steep

in all societies lead to :on increase in all societies are constantly changing ese transitions are often disruptive and echanisms and available technology. n that become sedentary, rural people nd urban people who move from one these examples are typical of a shift eties.

vated by environmental degradation. which coptributes to soil erosion and a~nps decreases tlie resistance of tlie m surges.

forestation, overgrpzing, the stripping depletion of both tlie surface and l;ecked population.

Clndel-stancling of

Lack of Awareness and Informa

Lack of awareness and proper Disaster. This ignorance may not awareness of what measures can b Perhaps sonie people did not Icno Other population may not Icnow distress. In most disaster prone so iders erst an ding about disaster threa specific steps they should tale imm
War alirl Civil Strife

War and civil strife are regarded disasters. The causal factors of w resources, religious to ethnic intole


Disaster has significance and repe retards the clevelopment process no the neiglibouring regions or countr

In global terms, disasters have ser already facing a range of enviro econo~nic and social stability of tli gap between developing and devel

In national terms, the impact of d economy and the developlnental national assets in various forlns. away from ongoing subsistence a satisfactory recovery.

In local terms, tlie requirements of into consideratio11the expected oc I-esourcesto strengthen tlie local co
Checli Your Progress 2

i) Use the space given be ii) Check your answers w

1 ) Discuss briefly tlie aggravating

ng . the ,disasler problems?


Disaster: Meaning Factors arttl significance

ficance and repcl.cussion of disaster

ypes of the disasters and the distinction . 7'lie nature of disasters and the asters have been esplainccl. 'The Unit of disasters. The sidnificance ancl and local levels have been i~ldicaled.


n beings with regard to the e+olution of

ge [mass of'a mixture of snow and ice

y of plnrlts and a~~imals.

e high sea and moving to the coastal rrential rain and Iloods.

n of physical damage.

s to prevent and reduce'the impact of', phase include relief, ~+ehabilitation, tion ancl mitigation,


s evenl.

rea, c o m p ~ ~ n i01. t ystructure. is likcly to




Carter, W.Nick, 1991. Di.scrsier M Asian Development Banlc, Manila.

Mishra, Girisli K, and G.C. Mall Rel ianEe Publishing House, New D Pralcasli, Indu, 1994. Dzsuster Gliaziabad.

Tlio~iias, Babu, 1993. Dis~isicr Re,s Auxilia'ry for SocialAction, New De

Turner, Bar~yA, and Nick, F. Pidg I ~ ~ ~ I I ~ I Oxford. IILINII:



Y O L answer I~ S ~ O L I I C I include tlie

A liazal-d is a natural event

A hazard becornes a disaste system and the comm~~n situation.

2) Y O Lanswer I~ should include tlie Wind relaled disasters. Water related disasters. Earth related clisasters.

3) YOLII. answer sho~~lcl include tlie

The Geographical approach

The Anthropological approa 'The Sociological approach

The Developmental approac Checl<Your Progress 2

1 ) Your answer should include tlie

Povel-ty Population growth Rapid ~lrbanisation

Transition in CLII~LI~-ZII practi

Environnlental degl-adation

b c l c of awareness and infor War ancl civil strife

g points:,

r quickly f?om a disaster situation.

ive in areas that are prone to disasters.

rchasing power to buy food.

g pofnts:

e wideni~lgof the socioeconomic gap ations.

ult in m+jor setbacks to Ihc national ess.

~~ts of the c o n ~ m ~ ~ ~ need i i t y tealistic sis of the expecl.ed disasters a11cl the


Objectives Introdyction Disasters : Global and Regional Context
3.2.1 Global Context 3.2.2 Regional Contest

Efforts to Mitigate Disasters Worldwide Let Us Sum Up Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit, you sliould be able to: ,
e a e

discuss disasters i n the global context briefly describe the disasters in a regional context identify tlie efforts world over to mitigate disasters.



Disasters have always been ~nankind'sconstant companion. Gen'erations of people have had to withstand disaster. They suffered from the consequences and recovered from them, and life continued. But somehow, over tlie ages, Ilie scenario has changed quite a bit. Of course, there lias not been much reduction in tlie traditional disaster threat. Natural disasters lilte earthquakes, cyclones, . volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, wildfires, floods, landslides and droughts continue . to strike. So do their basic man-made counterparts, such as major accidents. these problems to a certain extent, we liave While we have learned to cope'witl~ neither eliminated nor contained them. So, whilst their effects may liave been modified, they continue to inflict unacceptable pressure 011 a world population which is already finding it difficult to make ends meet. 'The largest sufferers are the least developed nations and economically weaker sections of the society. Increasing population Ilas forced people to live in disaster-prone areas whicl previously, would not have been regarded as habitable. This fact tends to apply particularly in developing countries. For example, human settlement lias been allowed to develop in the flood-prone areas of major river systems, also on low-atoll islands which are subject to inundation from the sea.
N ~ W disaster


threats have also developed in the modern world. Increased socidl violence has drastically affected many nations and communities. Instances df hijacking, terrorism, civil wirest and conflict with conventional arms lia\le 1 . become co~nmonplace. Instances of cross-border terrorism in parts of Incl~a co~lti~iuing for many years and the organized simultaneous multi-target terrorist attacks in USA on Septenber 1 l"', 2001 are the most despicable instances p f , willful rnanmade disasters. These inflict heavy burdens on gov~nlmentsand! societies, Inore so in developing countries whose existence is already precarioi~s because s f poor economic and social conditions. New threats have also come from what are general ly termed as liazarclous materials or substances. The gas leak tragedy of Bhopal in 1984 rcznlts parainount in this category, with its estimated to1 l of 2,500 killed and 1.00,000 seriously affected in health. Hazardous materials are shifted aro~~lld the transpol-t r systems of the world in increasing quantities and sometimes they are dumped in

areas which are vital to tlie world's future. These materials constitute a disaster threat which is potentially worse than to those posed by many of tlie natural phenomena.

Disrsters: A Global View

Tlie threat from atomic and nuclear sources poses another modern problem for disaster management. Tlie explosion in 1986 at the Clie~.ri&yl nuclear power plant in in the then Soviet Union highlighted the extent and severity of tliis problem. Apart horn those liilled and affected by radiation sickness, somc 1,35,000 people had to be evacuated from tlie area. Wli'ilst tlie tlireat from nuclear accidents is disturbing enough, tlie disaster ~iianagement proble~nsarising fi-o~iipossible nuclear war are almost beyond comprehension, Tlie possibility is high tliat even if a country is not directly involved in n ~ ~ c l e aconflicts, r it could well suffer from the radioactive side-effects. Tliel'efore, it can be said that tlie new disaster threats contain some unwelco~iie and unacceptable chasacteri.stics, in that tliey may liave extremely far-I-anging effects and, at tlie same time, be difficult to countet-.


3.2.1 Global Context

It has often been pointed out that most of the world's worst disastel-s tend to occur betwcen tlie TI-opic of Cancer and the Tropic OF Capricorn i.e., in the tropical areas. Coincidentally, Iliis is tlie area which contains tlie poorer countries of tlie world. A inajor significance of this is, of course, that such countries find themselves facing repeated setbaclis to progress. Indeed, some countries seem clestined to remain in tlie category of developing nations Seen in this primarily because of the severity a~iclrnagnitude of their disaste~.~. light, Cherel'ore, disaster can be a strong aggravating factor in Ilic cliffe~.enccs between wealthy nations and poor nations.
On tlie other hand, tlie simple fact is tliat the more nations clevelop and tlie niore

asscts tliey build up, tlie more they stand to lose. It follows tliat any action Illat can be taken to reduce disaster-related loss must be seen as logical and desirable i n cost-benefit teniis. This applies to all countries, ricli or poor, and it underlines tlie need for all countries to try to develop and maintain an effective disaster riiaintenance capability appropriate to their needs. It also underlines the necessity for cooperative and coordinated international actioti in order to strengthen all aspects of disaster niaiiage~iient,wlicrever tliis is possible. Unless disaster can be mitigated and ~ilanagedto tlie optimum extent possible, it will continue to liave a debilitating effect in tlie fi~ture. Tlie wol.ld is alreacly facing a range of environ~nentaland subsistence crises. Disaster mitigation should be regarded as all impo~tant tool in succcssf~llycoping with these crises. Also, the political, economic and social stability of the worlcl de~)e~ids significantly on bridging the gap between developing atid developed nations. Tlie mitigation and containment of disaster effects on tlie cleveloping nations, IIOW and in the future, is an important step towards bridging tliis gap.

In the global context, it is significant to note tliat among the major disasters, tlie
tloods account for the largest number of deaths, persons affected ancl cla~nage inilicted. 111fact, nearly 30% of all deatlis, daniage a~icl affected population call be traced to flood disasters. On tlie other .hand, drougllts do not result in too Inany deaths and most of the persons also escape tlie serious eFhcts by migrating but tlie damage is nevertheless significant, tliat is, arou~id20% of all tlie disaster. relared dariiaees.

.. r..

Untlerstanding o f


Tile st~tdy of the global statistics of disasters over the last few decades reveals. that there is a significant and steady rise in the impacts of disasters (deaths, damage, persons affected). This appears for two reasons, viz., ( i ) increased incidence of man-made disasters' due to industrialisatio~i and ecological degradation; and (ii) increased technological capability to detect and monitor 'natural disasters.

3.2.2 Regional Context

Tile Soutll Asian region faces various Icinds of natural hazards. The countries ill this region are densely pop~~lated and are low-income economies making sustainecl efforts for economic gl-owth. Recurrent natural disasters offer setbacks to their efforts at development and aggravate poverty conditions in the region. The South Asian countries have diverse agroclimatic regions, each subject to particular natural disasters. Long coastal regions are prone to cyclones, arid ant1 semi-arid regions to persistent droughts, the Himalayan mountain terrain and pal-ts of the continental crust to earthqualces and landslicles and the near-perennial rivers of the region to periodic floods. The coastal regions of India, Bangladesh, Myammar arlcl Sri Lanlca are severely affected by cyclones arising in the Bay of Bengal. I n tlie recent past, Bangladesll and India pa~-ticularlyhave been ravaged by severe cyclones that have ltillcd laklis of people and damagedldestroyed property worth thousands of crores ol' nipees. The super cyclone that hit Orissa in 1999 resulted in ~~nprccedentecl destruction and loss of lives. Earlier in 1970, the then East Palcistan (New Bangladesh) was hit by a very sever.e cyclone. Floods are almost an annual feature of the region ancl cause heavy losses. The major rivers of the region like the Ganga, the Brahmapulra and the Indus are all prone to flooding either due to heavy rains ol! clue to fast melting of snow in the Himalayas. Floods occur with unfailing regularity in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanlca. Bangladesh and Nepal, while there are occassional flash floods in Bhutan. In India, more than 40 million hectares of land is flood prone. Seismic disturbances are common all over the region. Nepal alone has experienced 23 ma.jor earthquakes between I890 ancl 1975. Earthcluakes 01' lesser magnitude also strike every year. Palcistan too has a long history of earthqualces. In 1935, an ea~-thqualceat Quetta Icilled 35,000 people. Around 56% of India's total area is susceptible to seismic disturbances. India sufltrcd from two major earthqualces recently in Ma11arasht1.a (1993) and in G~!jarat (2001) that have taken a massive toll of Ii~~man lives ancl property. Bangladesh is of the also susceptible to occassional seismic disturbances though the magnitl~cle disturbances here is of a considerably lower scale than the rest of the region. The inherently variable nature of tropical rain such as tlie monsoon is responsible for the frequent occurrence of drougl~ts. In fact, it is not Llncommon for one part of a large country like India to be experiencing drougl~ts while a different part of the sanie country is reeling under the impact of iloods. Two-t11i1-clsof lnclia comes ~ ~ n d e arid r and semiarid regions and dry subhumid conditions. Tllesc areas are all prone to clrougllts. The Western parts of the country sufferecl fmm major drought in 1987. The Palcistani states of Sincl and Punjab are the country's drought-prone areas. Sri Lanka's northern and easterll parts also s~rfl'erfrom droughts occasionally. Landslides are an increasingly comnlon occurrence in the hilly areas of the region. Landslides cause extensive damage to roads, briclgcs, hu111an dGcllings, agriculti~ralla~lds, orchards, forests, resulting in loss of propcrty as well as life. Economic degradation of hill areas has also been increasing due to grcatcr frequency of occurrence of landslides. 111 India alone, the cost of restoration works and associatecl econornic losses due to landslicles has been estimatccl .conservatively at Rs.200 crores per annum. It shoulcl be notccl that India faccs the largest number of disasters among the countries of Soutll and Southeast Asia.

Check Your Progress 1 Note:

Disasters: A Global View

i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii). Checlc your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.

I ) Name a few severe disasters that occurred in Lndia or elsewhere in the world.

2) Discuss disasters in tlie GlobaI context.

3) Briefly describe tlie disasters i n the regional context of South Asia.


Natural Disasters are no longer reckoned as the "Wrath of God". Modern science and technology have helped us to understand the mechanisms that resi~lt in such catastrophic events and also in devising means to minimise their i l l effects. In tlie era of advanced satellite and other remote sensing techniques, the magnitucle ' of damages wrecked by natural calamities can be reduced considerably by , building a "Culture of Preventio~l" tliroi~gl~ awareness, knowledge and , appropriate use of such technologies. We lnay not be able to elitninate the ! occurrence of such disasters but certainly, action can be taken to reduce their impact. Sych actions are ternled as mitigatory.




Tl~e most sig~iificant global effort made in recent times to mitigate tlie effects of disasters was the launcliing of tlie IDNDR programme by the United Nations.

Understanding of

International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR)

Recognising tlie rapidly rising WOI-ld-wide toll on l i ~ ~ ~ n arid a n economic losses due to natural disasters, tlie UN General Assembly in. 1989 made a decision to launch a far reaching global programme to save human. lives and reduce tile ililpact of natural disasters. With this aim in mind, the decade 1990-2000 was declared International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR). The objective of IDNDR was to reduce through concerted international action, especially in the developing countries, the loss of life, property damage and social and economic disruption caused by natural disasters such as eal-thqual<es, windstorms, tsunamis, floods, landslides, volcanic erruptions, wildfires, dr.ougllt and desertification and other calamities of natural origin. By the year 2000, as per the plan of the IDlVDR, it was intended that all countries should have:
1, comprehensive national assessnients of risks from natural hazards, and tliese assessments taken into account in development plans ;


2. mitigation plans at national andtor local levels, involving long tern1 prevelition and preparedness and community awareness, and ;
3. Ready access to the global, regional, national and local warning syste~ns and broad disseniinatiori of tlie same.

The major conference of the IDNDR programme held in Yokohama (Japan) in May 1994, evolved a plan of action for disaster reduction called the Yokoha~iia Strategy. It gave guidelines for Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation. The Plan of Action was to be based on points like develop~nentof a global cult~lreof preveiition as an essential component of an integrated approach to disaster reduction, adoption of a policy of self-reliance in each vulnerable cou~itryand comm~lnitycomprising capacity building as well as allocation and pa~ticipation in the disaster reduction efficient use of resources, co~n~nunity process, and improved risk assessment, broader nionitoring and timely communicatio~iof forecasts and warnings. Furtheriiiore, tlig strategy called upon all countries to express political cornm~itmentto reduce their vulnerability tlirough appropriate means. It also recommended that donor countries slio~~ld upgrade the priority on disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness ill their assistance prograiiilnes and budgets. International strategy for Disaster Reduction appreciating tlie good worl< done under the aegis of IDNDR and the need to continue the effort on tlie global level, the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDK) has been adopted as tlie successor to IDNDR. The ISDR has beell programmed to take advantage of the network and experience gained under IDNDR. Wliile the main achievement of IDVDR was to create awareness among the people and policymakers worldwide, ISDR is aimed at upgrading this awareness into realistic action plans. For implementing the ISDR, tlie main focus will be on: Continuing tile efforts lo increase awareness,


Obtaining commit~ne~it from p ~ ~ b la~ltl~orities, ic Creating disaster resistant communities, and , Reducing socioecono~iiic losses.

Monitoring and Hazard Assessment of Seismic Disturbances


Though eartliquakes are as yet unpredictable hazards, monito~.ingof seis1n.i~ disturbance helps to delineate hazard zones and also help in pl-eparation of risk maps. Risk maps are then used to plan construction works atid implement , lnitigatio~lmeasures.

~ ~ v e l -countries al including Inclia, which are threatened by eartl~qualcehazard, 'operate national and local networks for earthquake monitoring and surveillance. 'The first global networlc, laiown as World Wide Networlc of Seismic Statio~ls (wWIVSS) was established in the early sixties. Later on, a few of these were converted to Seismic Research Observatories (SRO). Now a modern global ~letworlc called Incorporated Research Institutes for Seismicity (IKIS) has bee11 estnbl ished by USGS t h r o ~ ~ g l l the o~~ world. t
Checlc Yonr Progress 2

Disasters: A Global View

Note: i) 1Jse the space give11 bclow for your answcrs. ii) Checlc your answcrs wilh those given at thc end orthe Ilnit. I) Discuss briel'ly the effbrts to mitigate disasters worldwide.

2) Explain the terms IDNDR and ISDR.

3) Briefly describe 1.he importance of monitoring and llnzard assessment of seismic disturbances.


No country in the world is frec from disasters. They have been occurring since time ilnme~norial and mankind continues to be at their mercy. With advances in science and technology, newer man-made threats liave been aclded to the traditional natural hazards. In the South Asian Region, however, it is tlie natural


Ilnderstanding of Disasters

disasters tliat continue to be the most dominating factor. The developrne~ltal progress of these nations is also hampered by the continuous onslaught of " disasters. However, never before has there been such awareness about i~ilportance of disaster mitigation practices. International prograrnlnes are aiding the mitigation efforts worldwide in order to help people cope with disasters as best as possible under the given circ~~mstances. In this Unit, the discussion has been focused, primarily on tlie global and regional aspects.


Assessmeat: Survey of a disaster area to make estimates of damages and recommendations for necessary re1ief action. Rislc Analysis: Systematic procedure to assess tlie liltelihood of an event ,occurring and its socio-economic impact. Rislc Mapping: Maps that identify types or severity of hazards, and their likely impacts in areas that may be affected by disasters. Seismic Rislc Map: Clia~z that depicts areas likely to experience an earthquakes of various magnitudes.


Carter, W. Nick, 1991. Dis~rsterA4unngemenl: A Disaster Manc~ger',~ Hc~ndbook, Asian Development Bank, Manila. Mishra, Girish K,and G.C. Mathnr (Eds.), 1993. Naturul Disasler Reduction, Reliance Publishing House, New Dellii. Prakash, Indu, 1994. Disuster Munugenient Rashtra Praliari Prakashan, . Ghaziabad. Thomas, Babu, 1993. Disaster Respon,se : A Ilandbook for Enzergencies, Cliurcli's Auxiliary for Social Action, New Delhi.


Check Your Progress 1

1) Your answer sliould ~nclude the following points: Ea~~liquake in Gujarat in 200 1. Super Cyclone in Orissa in 1999. The tragedy of Bhopal in 1984. The explosion in 1986 at tlie Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the then Soviet Union. that hit the then East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh) in 1970. The cyclo~le

2) Your answer should include tlie following points:

Most of the world's worst disasters tend to occur between the T ~ ~ o pof ic Cancer and the Tropic of Cap-iconl.

Any action that can be taken to reduce disaster-related loss ~nust: be seen as logical and desirable in cost benefit terms. A~nongthe disasters, floods account for the' largest numbel of deaths, persons affected and damage inflicted.

3) yo111 answer should include the followirig points: Coastal 1-egions are prone to cylones, arid and semi-arid regions to persistent droughts, tlie Himalyan mountain terrain and parts of the continental crust to est-thqualces and landslides and tlie near perelinial rive1.s of the region to pesiodic floods.


Disasters: A Global View

Checlc Your Progress 2

1) Your answer slio~lldinclude tlie following points: Modern science and technology have helped in designing means to n~inimise the efrects o r disaster. I'lic most signilicant is the launching of the IDNDR progrnlnme by the United Nations. IDNDR lias now betn succeeded by tlie programme called tlie International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).
2) : Your answer sliould include the following points:

IDNDK is 1ntel.nation:ll Decade Tor 1Uatural Disaster Reduction '(1990-2000) which was launched by U 1 U General Asse~nblyin 1989 reduce tlie impacts of natural disasters. ISDR is Inter-national Strategy for Disaster Reduction and it lias been designed as the successor to IDNDR in order to consolidate the progress made during IDNDR.

3 ) Your answer slioulcl include the following points:


Monito~.ii~g of scismic disturbances helps to delineate lia~arclzones and also lielp in prepasation of risk maps. liisl\: maps are often usecl to plan construction worlcs and implement mitigation Incasurcs.


Objectives Introdyction Disasters : Global and Regional Context
3.2.1 Global Context 3.2.2 Regional Contest

Efforts to Mitigate Disasters Worldwide Let Us Sum Up Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit, you sliould be able to: ,
e a e

discuss disasters i n the global context briefly describe the disasters in a regional context identify tlie efforts world over to mitigate disasters.



Disasters have always been ~nankind'sconstant companion. Gen'erations of people have had to withstand disaster. They suffered from the consequences and recovered from them, and life continued. But somehow, over tlie ages, Ilie scenario has changed quite a bit. Of course, there lias not been much reduction in tlie traditional disaster threat. Natural disasters lilte earthquakes, cyclones, . volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, wildfires, floods, landslides and droughts continue . to strike. So do their basic man-made counterparts, such as major accidents. these problems to a certain extent, we liave While we have learned to cope'witl~ neither eliminated nor contained them. So, whilst their effects may liave been modified, they continue to inflict unacceptable pressure 011 a world population which is already finding it difficult to make ends meet. 'The largest sufferers are the least developed nations and economically weaker sections of the society. Increasing population Ilas forced people to live in disaster-prone areas whicl previously, would not have been regarded as habitable. This fact tends to apply particularly in developing countries. For example, human settlement lias been allowed to develop in the flood-prone areas of major river systems, also on low-atoll islands which are subject to inundation from the sea.
N ~ W disaster


threats have also developed in the modern world. Increased socidl violence has drastically affected many nations and communities. Instances df hijacking, terrorism, civil wirest and conflict with conventional arms lia\le 1 . become co~nmonplace. Instances of cross-border terrorism in parts of Incl~a co~lti~iuing for many years and the organized simultaneous multi-target terrorist attacks in USA on Septenber 1 l"', 2001 are the most despicable instances p f , willful rnanmade disasters. These inflict heavy burdens on gov~nlmentsand! societies, Inore so in developing countries whose existence is already precarioi~s because s f poor economic and social conditions. New threats have also come from what are general ly termed as liazarclous materials or substances. The gas leak tragedy of Bhopal in 1984 rcznlts parainount in this category, with its estimated to1 l of 2,500 killed and 1.00,000 seriously affected in health. Hazardous materials are shifted aro~~lld the transpol-t r systems of the world in increasing quantities and sometimes they are dumped in

areas which are vital to tlie world's future. These materials constitute a disaster threat which is potentially worse than to those posed by many of tlie natural phenomena.

Disrsters: A Global View

Tlie threat from atomic and nuclear sources poses another modern problem for disaster management. Tlie explosion in 1986 at the Clie~.ri&yl nuclear power plant in in the then Soviet Union highlighted the extent and severity of tliis problem. Apart horn those liilled and affected by radiation sickness, somc 1,35,000 people had to be evacuated from tlie area. Wli'ilst tlie tlireat from nuclear accidents is disturbing enough, tlie disaster ~iianagement proble~nsarising fi-o~iipossible nuclear war are almost beyond comprehension, Tlie possibility is high tliat even if a country is not directly involved in n ~ ~ c l e aconflicts, r it could well suffer from the radioactive side-effects. Tliel'efore, it can be said that tlie new disaster threats contain some unwelco~iie and unacceptable chasacteri.stics, in that tliey may liave extremely far-I-anging effects and, at tlie same time, be difficult to countet-.


3.2.1 Global Context

It has often been pointed out that most of the world's worst disastel-s tend to occur betwcen tlie TI-opic of Cancer and the Tropic OF Capricorn i.e., in the tropical areas. Coincidentally, Iliis is tlie area which contains tlie poorer countries of tlie world. A inajor significance of this is, of course, that such countries find themselves facing repeated setbaclis to progress. Indeed, some countries seem clestined to remain in tlie category of developing nations Seen in this primarily because of the severity a~iclrnagnitude of their disaste~.~. light, Cherel'ore, disaster can be a strong aggravating factor in Ilic cliffe~.enccs between wealthy nations and poor nations.
On tlie other hand, tlie simple fact is tliat the more nations clevelop and tlie niore

asscts tliey build up, tlie more they stand to lose. It follows tliat any action Illat can be taken to reduce disaster-related loss must be seen as logical and desirable i n cost-benefit teniis. This applies to all countries, ricli or poor, and it underlines tlie need for all countries to try to develop and maintain an effective disaster riiaintenance capability appropriate to their needs. It also underlines the necessity for cooperative and coordinated international actioti in order to strengthen all aspects of disaster niaiiage~iient,wlicrever tliis is possible. Unless disaster can be mitigated and ~ilanagedto tlie optimum extent possible, it will continue to liave a debilitating effect in tlie fi~ture. Tlie wol.ld is alreacly facing a range of environ~nentaland subsistence crises. Disaster mitigation should be regarded as all impo~tant tool in succcssf~llycoping with these crises. Also, the political, economic and social stability of the worlcl de~)e~ids significantly on bridging the gap between developing atid developed nations. Tlie mitigation and containment of disaster effects on tlie cleveloping nations, IIOW and in the future, is an important step towards bridging tliis gap.

In the global context, it is significant to note tliat among the major disasters, tlie
tloods account for the largest number of deaths, persons affected ancl cla~nage inilicted. 111fact, nearly 30% of all deatlis, daniage a~icl affected population call be traced to flood disasters. On tlie other .hand, drougllts do not result in too Inany deaths and most of the persons also escape tlie serious eFhcts by migrating but tlie damage is nevertheless significant, tliat is, arou~id20% of all tlie disaster. relared dariiaees.

.. r..

Untlerstanding o f


Tile st~tdy of the global statistics of disasters over the last few decades reveals. that there is a significant and steady rise in the impacts of disasters (deaths, damage, persons affected). This appears for two reasons, viz., ( i ) increased incidence of man-made disasters' due to industrialisatio~i and ecological degradation; and (ii) increased technological capability to detect and monitor 'natural disasters.

3.2.2 Regional Context

Tile Soutll Asian region faces various Icinds of natural hazards. The countries ill this region are densely pop~~lated and are low-income economies making sustainecl efforts for economic gl-owth. Recurrent natural disasters offer setbacks to their efforts at development and aggravate poverty conditions in the region. The South Asian countries have diverse agroclimatic regions, each subject to particular natural disasters. Long coastal regions are prone to cyclones, arid ant1 semi-arid regions to persistent droughts, the Himalayan mountain terrain and pal-ts of the continental crust to earthqualces and landslicles and the near-perennial rivers of the region to periodic floods. The coastal regions of India, Bangladesh, Myammar arlcl Sri Lanlca are severely affected by cyclones arising in the Bay of Bengal. I n tlie recent past, Bangladesll and India pa~-ticularlyhave been ravaged by severe cyclones that have ltillcd laklis of people and damagedldestroyed property worth thousands of crores ol' nipees. The super cyclone that hit Orissa in 1999 resulted in ~~nprccedentecl destruction and loss of lives. Earlier in 1970, the then East Palcistan (New Bangladesh) was hit by a very sever.e cyclone. Floods are almost an annual feature of the region ancl cause heavy losses. The major rivers of the region like the Ganga, the Brahmapulra and the Indus are all prone to flooding either due to heavy rains ol! clue to fast melting of snow in the Himalayas. Floods occur with unfailing regularity in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanlca. Bangladesh and Nepal, while there are occassional flash floods in Bhutan. In India, more than 40 million hectares of land is flood prone. Seismic disturbances are common all over the region. Nepal alone has experienced 23 ma.jor earthquakes between I890 ancl 1975. Earthcluakes 01' lesser magnitude also strike every year. Palcistan too has a long history of earthqualces. In 1935, an ea~-thqualceat Quetta Icilled 35,000 people. Around 56% of India's total area is susceptible to seismic disturbances. India sufltrcd from two major earthqualces recently in Ma11arasht1.a (1993) and in G~!jarat (2001) that have taken a massive toll of Ii~~man lives ancl property. Bangladesh is of the also susceptible to occassional seismic disturbances though the magnitl~cle disturbances here is of a considerably lower scale than the rest of the region. The inherently variable nature of tropical rain such as tlie monsoon is responsible for the frequent occurrence of drougl~ts. In fact, it is not Llncommon for one part of a large country like India to be experiencing drougl~ts while a different part of the sanie country is reeling under the impact of iloods. Two-t11i1-clsof lnclia comes ~ ~ n d e arid r and semiarid regions and dry subhumid conditions. Tllesc areas are all prone to clrougllts. The Western parts of the country sufferecl fmm major drought in 1987. The Palcistani states of Sincl and Punjab are the country's drought-prone areas. Sri Lanka's northern and easterll parts also s~rfl'erfrom droughts occasionally. Landslides are an increasingly comnlon occurrence in the hilly areas of the region. Landslides cause extensive damage to roads, briclgcs, hu111an dGcllings, agriculti~ralla~lds, orchards, forests, resulting in loss of propcrty as well as life. Economic degradation of hill areas has also been increasing due to grcatcr frequency of occurrence of landslides. 111 India alone, the cost of restoration works and associatecl econornic losses due to landslicles has been estimatccl .conservatively at Rs.200 crores per annum. It shoulcl be notccl that India faccs the largest number of disasters among the countries of Soutll and Southeast Asia.

Check Your Progress 1 Note:

Disasters: A Global View

i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii). Checlc your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.

I ) Name a few severe disasters that occurred in Lndia or elsewhere in the world.

2) Discuss disasters in tlie GlobaI context.

3) Briefly describe tlie disasters i n the regional context of South Asia.


Natural Disasters are no longer reckoned as the "Wrath of God". Modern science and technology have helped us to understand the mechanisms that resi~lt in such catastrophic events and also in devising means to minimise their i l l effects. In tlie era of advanced satellite and other remote sensing techniques, the magnitucle ' of damages wrecked by natural calamities can be reduced considerably by , building a "Culture of Preventio~l" tliroi~gl~ awareness, knowledge and , appropriate use of such technologies. We lnay not be able to elitninate the ! occurrence of such disasters but certainly, action can be taken to reduce their impact. Sych actions are ternled as mitigatory.




Tl~e most sig~iificant global effort made in recent times to mitigate tlie effects of disasters was the launcliing of tlie IDNDR programme by the United Nations.

Understanding of

International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR)

Recognising tlie rapidly rising WOI-ld-wide toll on l i ~ ~ ~ n arid a n economic losses due to natural disasters, tlie UN General Assembly in. 1989 made a decision to launch a far reaching global programme to save human. lives and reduce tile ililpact of natural disasters. With this aim in mind, the decade 1990-2000 was declared International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR). The objective of IDNDR was to reduce through concerted international action, especially in the developing countries, the loss of life, property damage and social and economic disruption caused by natural disasters such as eal-thqual<es, windstorms, tsunamis, floods, landslides, volcanic erruptions, wildfires, dr.ougllt and desertification and other calamities of natural origin. By the year 2000, as per the plan of the IDlVDR, it was intended that all countries should have:
1, comprehensive national assessnients of risks from natural hazards, and tliese assessments taken into account in development plans ;


2. mitigation plans at national andtor local levels, involving long tern1 prevelition and preparedness and community awareness, and ;
3. Ready access to the global, regional, national and local warning syste~ns and broad disseniinatiori of tlie same.

The major conference of the IDNDR programme held in Yokohama (Japan) in May 1994, evolved a plan of action for disaster reduction called the Yokoha~iia Strategy. It gave guidelines for Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation. The Plan of Action was to be based on points like develop~nentof a global cult~lreof preveiition as an essential component of an integrated approach to disaster reduction, adoption of a policy of self-reliance in each vulnerable cou~itryand comm~lnitycomprising capacity building as well as allocation and pa~ticipation in the disaster reduction efficient use of resources, co~n~nunity process, and improved risk assessment, broader nionitoring and timely communicatio~iof forecasts and warnings. Furtheriiiore, tlig strategy called upon all countries to express political cornm~itmentto reduce their vulnerability tlirough appropriate means. It also recommended that donor countries slio~~ld upgrade the priority on disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness ill their assistance prograiiilnes and budgets. International strategy for Disaster Reduction appreciating tlie good worl< done under the aegis of IDNDR and the need to continue the effort on tlie global level, the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDK) has been adopted as tlie successor to IDNDR. The ISDR has beell programmed to take advantage of the network and experience gained under IDNDR. Wliile the main achievement of IDVDR was to create awareness among the people and policymakers worldwide, ISDR is aimed at upgrading this awareness into realistic action plans. For implementing the ISDR, tlie main focus will be on: Continuing tile efforts lo increase awareness,


Obtaining commit~ne~it from p ~ ~ b la~ltl~orities, ic Creating disaster resistant communities, and , Reducing socioecono~iiic losses.

Monitoring and Hazard Assessment of Seismic Disturbances


Though eartliquakes are as yet unpredictable hazards, monito~.ingof seis1n.i~ disturbance helps to delineate hazard zones and also help in pl-eparation of risk maps. Risk maps are then used to plan construction works atid implement , lnitigatio~lmeasures.

~ ~ v e l -countries al including Inclia, which are threatened by eartl~qualcehazard, 'operate national and local networks for earthquake monitoring and surveillance. 'The first global networlc, laiown as World Wide Networlc of Seismic Statio~ls (wWIVSS) was established in the early sixties. Later on, a few of these were converted to Seismic Research Observatories (SRO). Now a modern global ~letworlc called Incorporated Research Institutes for Seismicity (IKIS) has bee11 estnbl ished by USGS t h r o ~ ~ g l l the o~~ world. t
Checlc Yonr Progress 2

Disasters: A Global View

Note: i) 1Jse the space give11 bclow for your answcrs. ii) Checlc your answcrs wilh those given at thc end orthe Ilnit. I) Discuss briel'ly the effbrts to mitigate disasters worldwide.

2) Explain the terms IDNDR and ISDR.

3) Briefly describe 1.he importance of monitoring and llnzard assessment of seismic disturbances.


No country in the world is frec from disasters. They have been occurring since time ilnme~norial and mankind continues to be at their mercy. With advances in science and technology, newer man-made threats liave been aclded to the traditional natural hazards. In the South Asian Region, however, it is tlie natural


Ilnderstanding of Disasters

disasters tliat continue to be the most dominating factor. The developrne~ltal progress of these nations is also hampered by the continuous onslaught of " disasters. However, never before has there been such awareness about i~ilportance of disaster mitigation practices. International prograrnlnes are aiding the mitigation efforts worldwide in order to help people cope with disasters as best as possible under the given circ~~mstances. In this Unit, the discussion has been focused, primarily on tlie global and regional aspects.


Assessmeat: Survey of a disaster area to make estimates of damages and recommendations for necessary re1ief action. Rislc Analysis: Systematic procedure to assess tlie liltelihood of an event ,occurring and its socio-economic impact. Rislc Mapping: Maps that identify types or severity of hazards, and their likely impacts in areas that may be affected by disasters. Seismic Rislc Map: Clia~z that depicts areas likely to experience an earthquakes of various magnitudes.


Carter, W. Nick, 1991. Dis~rsterA4unngemenl: A Disaster Manc~ger',~ Hc~ndbook, Asian Development Bank, Manila. Mishra, Girish K,and G.C. Mathnr (Eds.), 1993. Naturul Disasler Reduction, Reliance Publishing House, New Dellii. Prakash, Indu, 1994. Disuster Munugenient Rashtra Praliari Prakashan, . Ghaziabad. Thomas, Babu, 1993. Disaster Respon,se : A Ilandbook for Enzergencies, Cliurcli's Auxiliary for Social Action, New Delhi.


Check Your Progress 1

1) Your answer sliould ~nclude the following points: Ea~~liquake in Gujarat in 200 1. Super Cyclone in Orissa in 1999. The tragedy of Bhopal in 1984. The explosion in 1986 at tlie Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the then Soviet Union. that hit the then East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh) in 1970. The cyclo~le

2) Your answer should include tlie following points:

Most of the world's worst disasters tend to occur between the T ~ ~ o pof ic Cancer and the Tropic of Cap-iconl.

Any action that can be taken to reduce disaster-related loss ~nust: be seen as logical and desirable in cost benefit terms. A~nongthe disasters, floods account for the' largest numbel of deaths, persons affected and damage inflicted.

3) yo111 answer should include the followirig points: Coastal 1-egions are prone to cylones, arid and semi-arid regions to persistent droughts, tlie Himalyan mountain terrain and parts of the continental crust to est-thqualces and landslides and tlie near perelinial rive1.s of the region to pesiodic floods.


Disasters: A Global View

Checlc Your Progress 2

1) Your answer slio~lldinclude tlie following points: Modern science and technology have helped in designing means to n~inimise the efrects o r disaster. I'lic most signilicant is the launching of the IDNDR progrnlnme by the United Nations. IDNDR lias now betn succeeded by tlie programme called tlie International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).
2) : Your answer sliould include the following points:

IDNDK is 1ntel.nation:ll Decade Tor 1Uatural Disaster Reduction '(1990-2000) which was launched by U 1 U General Asse~nblyin 1989 reduce tlie impacts of natural disasters. ISDR is Inter-national Strategy for Disaster Reduction and it lias been designed as the successor to IDNDR in order to consolidate the progress made during IDNDR.

3 ) Your answer slioulcl include the following points:


Monito~.ii~g of scismic disturbances helps to delineate lia~arclzones and also lielp in prepasation of risk maps. liisl\: maps are often usecl to plan construction worlcs and implement mitigation Incasurcs.



Objectives Introduction Disasters in India: Regional Profile

4.2.1 4.2.3 Flood Cyclorie 4.2.2 Drought 4.2.4 Earthquake 4.2.5 Laridslide

Disasters in India : Seasonal Profile Up Let Us S u ~ n Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to Cliecl<Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit, you sliould be able to:
e e e

describe the types of natural disasters occuring in India; explain their regional and seasonal distributions; and Iiigliliglit tlie more vulnerable areas of tlie country.

A natur'al disaster is an event of riatllre wliicli causes sudden disruption to tlie normal life of a society and causes darnagc to property and lives, to such an extent, that norlnal social and econoniic ~necllanisms, available to tlie society are inadequate to restore normalcy. There is no way of preventi~ig them. Ear-tliqualtes, cyclonic stor~ns,snow-stortiis, lieavy rains, drouglits, landslides, etc. have occurred in tlie past and will continue to occur in T~tture. In this Unit, the discussion will provide an overview of tlie type of disasters occuring in l~iclia.


T1ie Indian subcontinent is Iliglily vulnerable to a number of natural disasters. Droughts, Floods, Cyclones and Eartliqual<cs are ~no~jor natural clisasters in the count~y, tliougli Landslides, Avala~iclieand Uusli fire also occu~. in tilost of thestates of I-Iinialayan region. Out of 35 total States11 '11io11 I cr.ritories, al~iiost all, . are prone to disasters of one type or tlie otlicr. The areas o~aibe ti different disaster., plienomena in India.are shown in Figure 1 Due to i~nique and widely varying geographical and geological conclitions of the country, vit-tually all types of natural disasters take place with various intensities a~id in different regions.

4.2.1 Flood
~ ; l ~ ooccur d s when large volume of water from heavy rainfall and/or river spill is not able to drain off quickly through normal channels. As explained in an earlier Unit, floods are the most frequent and most widespread natural disaster resulting in death, destruction, degradation and displacement. Whether sudden onset or slow developnietlt, floods take long to subside and they leave prolonged illeffects. India is the second most flood affected country where flood is a comlnon natiual disaster especially durillg the later part of the monsoon period. Severe floods occur allnost every year in one part of the country or the other causing loss of life, large scale damage to property and untold misery to lnillions of people. Floods are estimated to affect 6.7 million hectares of land annually. The statistics of 10 years (1979-89) indicates that on an average in India about 30 lnillion population are affected by flood every year The effects of flood on the affected population are manifested in the forin of inundation marooning, drowning, loss of habitat roads, cornmunications, destruction of crops, industrial shutdown, loss of wages, diarrohea diseases, respiratory infections etc. and most of the affected population is among the poorer sections.

Disaster Profile of India Regional and Seasonal

In India the most affected states due to floods are Bihar, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, the states in the northeast, Orrisa & West Bengal. They are also serious in states like Andlira Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan & Tamil Nadu
Ca~~ses of Floods Flooding is mainly caused by :
1 ) Inadequate capacity within the banks orthe river to contain high flows,

2) River banlc erosion and silting of river beds,

3) Land slides leading to obstruction of flow ancl change


the river course,

of floods in the main and tributary rivers, 4) ~~nclironization 5) Retardation of flow due to tidal and backwater effects, 6) Poor natural drainage,

7) Cyclones and s t o m surge,

8) Cloud burst and flash floods.

Flood Probleni : Regional Distribution The nature of flood problem varies from one river system to another (Figure 2). For a proper appreciation of the problem, the country can be.divided into die following broad regions:
1) Bralimaputra Region;

2) Ganga Region;
3) NOI-th-West Region; &

4) Central India and Deccan Region

Understanding of

A brief description of these flood prone river regions is given below:


Brahmaputra River Region

Tlie predominant problem in this region is the flooding caused by spilling of rivers over their banlts, drainage congestion and tendency of some of the rivers to change their courses. In recent years, the erosiori along the banlts of the Brahmaputra lias assumed serious proportions. Considering the individiral states in tlie region, tlie flood problem is acute in Assatn where inundation is caused by over-bank spillage along tlie Brahmaputra, the Barrack and their tributaries such as. the rivers Tista, Torsa, Jaldlial<a and subansiri which are in floods every year and inundate large areas. These rivers also carry considerable amount of silt and have a tendency to change their courses. Tlie lakes get filled up during the monsoon and spread over larger marginal areas. In Tripura, there are proble~ns of spilling and erosion by rivers.

Ganga River Region

The flood problem is ~nostlyconfined to the areas on the northern i.e, the left bank of the Ganga river. The damage is caused lnostly by the norther11 tributaries of the Ganga which spill over tlieir banks and often change tlieir courses. Even though tlie main Ganga is a mighty river carrying huge discharges of 57,000 to 85,000 cusecs, the inundation and erosion problems are confined to relatively few places in the States of Uttar Pradesli, Biliar and West Bengal.' In Uttar Pradesli, the flooding is fiequent in tlie eastern districts, mainly due to spilling of the Rapti, tlie Sharada, tlie Gliagra and tlie Gandak. The erosion is experienced i l l some places on the left bank of Gangs, on the right bank of the Ghagra and on the right bank of the Gandal<.


In Bihar, the floods are largely confined to the rivers of North Bihar and are more or less, an annual feature. The rivers such as the Burlii Gandak, the Baghniati and the Ka~nla Balan and other slnaller rivers of tlie Adhwara Group, the Kosi in the lower reaches and the Mahananda at the eastern end spill ovcr tlieir banlcs causing considerable damage to crops, housing and roads Icading to dislocation of traffic.
I 1 1 Soitth and Central West Bengal, the Mahananda, tlie Bliagiratlii, the A-ioy, tlie Da~nodar cause flooding due to the illadequate capacity of river clianncls. Tlicre is also the problem of erosion of the banks of some of tlic rivers and o n the left of Ganga both upstream and downstream of the Faraltlta barrage. and right ba111<s

Northwest Rivers Region

Compared to the Ga~iga and the Brahmaputra river regions, the flood problem is relatively small in this region. The major problem is that of inadequate surface drainage which causes inundation and waterlogging over vast areas. At present, the problem in tlie States of Haryana and Punjab are mostly of drainage and waterlogging. Floods in parts of Rajastlian were rare in tlie the past. The Ghaggar river used to disappear in the sand dunes of Rajastlian after flowing through Punjab and Haryana, In recent years it lias becon~e active in the Rajasthan territory also, occasionally submerging large areas. Tlie floods occur pel-iodically in the Jhelum and .its tributaries in Kashmir Valley causing a rise in the level of the Wullar lake thereby submerging marginal areas ~ , Chenab and its tributaries like Tawi are of the lakq-and banlts. ~ i r n i l a r l the often in spate endangering several densely populated areas like Jammil and Aklinoor.

Central Inclia and Deccan Region

This region covers all the soutliern states namely Andhra Pradesh, Karnatalca, Tamil Nadu and Icerala and the states of Orissa, Maharaslitra, Gujarat and pads of Madliya Pradesh. The region does not have very serious flood problein because the r~la-jor rivers have largely well defined stable courses and are able to carry flood discharges safely except in the deltaic areas especially in some of the rivers of Orissa State. Tlie flood proble~nin Andlira Pradesli is confined to spilling by tlie s~iialler rivers and the submergence of marginal areas along tlie Kolleru Lalce. In addition, there is a drainage problem in the deltaic tracts of the coastal districts. areas The Tapi and tlie Narmada are occasionally in high floods affccti~ig lowel. reaches in Gujarat.

Disaster Profile of India Regional and Seasona


In Orissa, damage due to Hoods is caused by Malianadi, Bralimani ancl Baitarni whicli liave a con1mon delta where tlie flood waters intermingle and wlien in spate si~nultaneouslycause considerable havoc. The problein is accentuated when the flood sychsonises with high tides. The silt deposited constantly by rivers, often results in rivers overflowing their banks or breaking tlirougli new channels causing heavy damage. Tlie lower reaches along the S t ~ b a r n a r e l h are affected by floods and drainage congestion.

Goclaval-i and Krislina rivers on the east coast liave acute drainage problem and face floods particularly in the wake of heavy rains From cycloiiic storms. Tlie damage. small rivers of Kerala wlien in spate, cause co~isiderable



Drought is widespread in India. 11 is primarily a deficiency in rainfall but over exploitation of ground water aggravates the situation. Large evaporation resulting from poor water retention capacity of soil adds to the problem. It is also the result of poor water management strategy, cleforestation and indiscri~ninate industrial cxploitation of water resources. Drought is a creeping plienomenon, whicli makes an accurate prediction of its onset a difficult task. A dl-ought may take place in a season or in a run of years and its impact on society may linger For Inany years. Its impact depends largely on society's vulnel-ability to drought at that particular time. Human or social factors often aggravate the ef'fects of drou.gI1t. Drought is quite a perennial feature in India especially in Gijarat, Rajasthan, and parts of Madliya Pradesh, Maliarashtra, Karnataka, Andlisa Pradesh and Tamil N a d i ~Certain areas in Orissa also suffer Drouglits peren~iially.Due to the highly variable occurrence of monsoon rains, there are usually areas of deficient rains even in good monsoon years. Factors Promoting Drought in India Tlic Factors promoting drought are the delay 01- less rains due to whicli tlicre is water scarcity. Depletion of forest, overgrazing soil erosion, extension of cultivation to ~narginallands and lowering of water level etc. directly contrib~lte to-ancl aggravate the i l l effects of drought.

Understanding of Disasters

When the monsoon rainfall deficit for the country as a whole is 10% normal or worse, and 20% or more area of the country, suffers from rail1 deficit, it is reckoned as a "drought year" for the'country as a whole. In the scientifically recorded history of India the following are recognized as the drought years on the national scale:


Among these the two exceptionally bad years were 1977 and 1899. In 1977, the monsoon rainfall deferency was 29% below normal and 67% area of the country suffered from rain deferency. In 1899 while the monsooll rains were 26% below ~iormal, as much of 83% ofthe area of the count~y suffered drought conditions.



111diahas a very lolig coastline of 5700 kms, a major portion of which is exposed to tropical cyclones arising in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea (Fig. I . C ) . Once taking birth over the sea areas, the cyclones move either western and or northwestward. Cyclones are characterized by very strong winds, tor~.entialrains and associated floods which cause extensive damage to human lives and property in the coastal areas. The.damage is ~nuch Inore if cyclone strikes the coast at the time of high tide resulting in very substantial storm surge inundating the coast. Tlle combi~~ation of torrential rains and exceptionally strong winds ~naltescyclones very destructive and the storm singe bringing in saline seawater in huge quantities compou~~ds llle problem. The India11 coastal regions are among the six major cyclone-prone regions of the n India cyclones occur usually between April and May, and between world. E October and December. These are called the Pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seaso11s.

The eastern coastline is more prone to cyclones as it is hit by about 80% of total cyclones generated in the region. Sometimes, a cyclone hitting the east coast,
travels over the peninsula with reduced strength and emerges in the Arabian Sea to become a cyclolle once again.



Earthquakes are considered to be one of the most dangerous and destructjve . natural hazards. The impact of this phenomenon is sudden with little or no warning, making it just impossible to predict it. Therefore, the best strategy is to make preparations against damages and collapses of building and other manmade structures, About 50-60% of total area of the country is vulnerable to seismic activity of varying damage potential (Fig.1 .D). Most of the vulnerable areas are generally located in Himalayan and sub; Himalayan regions, extending from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, Kutch and in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Some of the more damaging earthcluakes (India) are listed below.

More Damaging Earthquakes in India

Disaster Profile of lndia Regional and Scasonal

( year


Magnifude on Richter Scale


1 1905
1930 1934

1 Hirnachal Pradesh

1 8.0

1 2000


Meghalaya North Bihar



1 1935

1941 1950

I Baluchistan (then India) 1 7.5 I Andaman Islands I



1 1000




1500 N.A.




1 1988

I Assam
Marathwada Uttranchal

1 7.2
6.4 6.8

I N.A.
10000 N.A.




A~nong the nat~~ral hazards that strike the mountainous areas almost perennially, landslipes occupy a position of major concern. The Hi~nalayanrange constitutes a young and therefore, a fragile mountain system. It is not a continuous seriez of curvilinear parallel folds extending in length to landmass but co~nprises about 2400 km. Its width is aroutid 340 km. The Himalayas in general are fiagile in nature due to tectonically displaced and folded as well as crumpled rock formation and due to periodic earth tremors ill this belt. The Hi~nalayas abound in seismic 1111-usts and faults which have profound effect on slope stability. In order to save the Himalayas from :he increasing negative impact of slope instability there is a need to have an integrated approach of various branches of ^sciences like geology, geomorphology, geotecl~nical engineering, meteorology, hydrology, remote sensing for finding a viable sol~ition to mitigate the landslide hazards. This I~as beconie especially important for keeping open. The road network in the Himalayan region.
Causes of Landslides

A slope may yield a wide variety of mass movemenls. Slope failures are nprmally due to sheer stresses which increase with the inclination and height of :& slope and occur when sheer stress exceeds the sheer strength. When the forces of equilibrium alter marginally the landslide is slow and if the disturbing forces undergo significant chai~ge, the movement of Inass is fast. The rock fall ,and debri; flow in Himalayas are caused due to heavy precipitation and saturation during rainy season and consequent development of hydrostatic pressure in highly jointed, fractured and weathered rock mass. Extensive erosion by the meandering rivers also causes progressive failure of the overlying ntaterials.


Understanding of Disasters

Check Your Progress 1

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit,
1) Describe briefly the disaster phenomenon in the Indian subcontinellt.

2) Discuss the flood problem in India with special reference to regional distribution.

3) What do ,you mean by Drought? Discuss briefly the factors promoting drought in India.


Seasonal variation in disasters is observed lnostly in cases of flo,ods and cyclones.

According to the lndia Meteorological Department, the south west monsoon season is considered to be'frok Olst of June to 30th of September. About 80% of the annual rainfall occurs during the southwest monsoon. Floods in India are mainly caused by heavy rainstorms during this season. Consequently, southwest monsoon season is, generally, regarded as the flood season in India. The average rainfall of India is 110 cm. Floods can arise from abnormally heavy precipitation, dam failures, rapid,snow melts and river blockages.



_ .


~loods also occur in coastal areas when a cyclone hits the coast and brings with it very huge quar~titiesof saline sea water. Hence cyclone related stroln surge floods occilr in the cyclone season.

Disaster Profile of India Regional and Seasonal


Cyclones are tlie most destructive kind of storms that strike thecoastal belt of India with varying degree of fury. Their frequency in tl;e Bay of Bengal is roughly fourfold higher thanthat in the Arabian Sea. Most of the'cyclor~es occur in the months of April, May, October and November, i.e., in the pre-monsoon alld post-monsoon months.

As already mentioned droughts occur when there is delay or shortfall in the monsoon rains. The situation aggravates if the monsoon season continues to behave erratically and give insufficient rains. Therefore, the maximum impact of the drought is fell in the sutnmer and tlie subsequent months.

Check Your Progress 2 Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at tlie end of the unit.
I) Which are the prominent seasons for floods?

2) Discuss the occurrences of cyclones in India.

3) What are the causes of droughts?

Understanding of Disasters


Because of its large size and the special characteristics of geography and geology, India has considerable variety and frequency of disasters. It is particularly vulnerable to floods and cyclones causing maximum damage in terms of life and property followed by eal-tliquakes,droughts and landslides. There is a set pattern of regional and seasonal occurrence of these disasters particularly the floods and cyclones.



Flasii Flood : Sudden and extreme volume of water that comes on rapidly over a relatively small area causing inundation; can result in very heavy loss of life and destruction of propel-ty. Slope Instability: When slopes are having unstable rock structure 01. loose soil, slope become unstable and cause soil erosion and landslides. It depends on character of rocks, soil type and vegetation on the slope. Synchronization: (of flood in main and tributary rivers). The control of flow of water in the maill river and its tributaries by mechanical Ineans.


Carter, W.Nick, 199 1 . Disaster Managamenf: A Disasler Mcrncger's ffnr2dbook, Asian Development Bank, Manila.
Government of India, 1947. Vulnerability Atlas ofInicl'u.

Mishra, Girish K, and G.C. Matliur (Eds.), 1995. Nutural Disnsfer Reduction, Reliance Publislii~ig House, New Delhi. Prakash, Indu, 1994. Disaster Manugemen/, Raslitra Prahari Prakaslian, 'Ghaziabad. Tliomas, Babu, 1993. Disaster Response : A Hanclhook for Emergencies, Church's Auxiliary for Social Action, New Delhi.



Check Your Progress 1

1) Your answer should include the following points:

Flood Drought Cyclone Earthquake Landslide

2) Your answer should include tlie followillg points:

Floods occur when large volu~neof water fro111 heavy rainfall and/or river is not able to drain off quickly through normal chan~iels. Floods take long to subside and they leave prolonged i l l efredts. For a proper understanding of the problem, the country call be divided into tlie following broad regions:

i) Brahmaputra River Region; ii) Ganga River Region; iii) North-West Rivers Region; iv) Central India and Deccan Rivers Region.

Disaster Profile of India Regional and Seasonal

3) Your'answer should include the following points:


Drought is primarily a deficiency in rainfall over a certain period of time. It results because of the change in environ~nentalpatterns resulting in poor water retention capacity of soil. It is also the result of poor wafer management strategy, deforestation and indiscriminate industrial exploitation of water resources. Factors promoting drought in India are as follows:

Delay or less rains which causes scarcity of water. Depletion of forest, soil erosion, extension of cultivation to marginal lands, Lowering of water table.

Check Your Progress 2

I ) Your answer should include the following points: e Most floods ocean dul-ingthe monsoon (June to September)

Storm Singe, which is cyclone related, occurs in cyclone seasons, i.e. pre-mollsoon (April to May) or post-monsoon (October to November) seasons

2) Your answer should include the following points:


Coastal belt of India is affected by cyclones Bay of Bellgal and Arabian Sea are the source of cyclones Occurrences are mainly in the months of April, May, October and. November

3) Your answer should include the following points:

Delay/Sliortfall in the monsoon rains. Erratic or insufficient rains Over exploitation of ground water sources

1 L

Objectives Introduction General Characteristics Pre-cursors : Instr~~mental and Non-Instrumental Vulnerability llnpact and Effects Nature of Damage Let Us Sum Up Key Words References Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit, you sliould be able to:
o o o

describe an Earthquake; disc~~ss tlie general characteristics of earthquakes; briefly describe the Instri~mental and Non-Instrumental precusors; understand tlie vulnerability of different regions of the country through seismic zoning; a~ialyse tlie impact and effects of an earthquake; and discuss tlie nature of damage.


Eartliquakes are co~isideredto be one of the most dangerous and destructive ~iaturalIiazards. The co~nmencement of this phenomenon is usually sudden with little or no warning. It is not yet possible to predict earthquakes and to make preparation against dan~agesand collapse of buildings and other man-made structures. In effect, eartliquake consists of a sudden shaking (vibrations) of ground caused by disturbances in the earth's crust. An earthquake generates a set of horizontal and vertical vibrations of the ground which result in destruction of structures. Eartliq~~akes may be defined as a natural phenomenon Which tends to create panic due to tlie trembling vibrations or sudden undulation of a portion of earth's crust caused by splitting of a mass of rock (Tectonic) or by volcanic or other disturbances. This Unit provides a general discussion about earthquakes. We will first explain tlie general cliaracteristics of earthquakes. Besides this precursors : (instrutnental and lion-instrume~ital)and v~~l~ierability of the different regions of tlie country will be discussed to analyse the impacts and effects of earthquake. Lastly nature of damage caused by earthquakes will be described.


Earthquakes occur sudden by wit11 little'or no warning, However, following a I major earthquake, the after-shocks may solnetimes indicate the likelihood of a further earthquake. On some occasions, an earthquake may be preceded by a less


Typology of

Disasters -

intense tremors or foreshocks. The basic cliaracteristics of an earthqualce are the following: It is [lot yet possible to predict magnitude, time and place of occurence ofan em-tliquake.

The onset is usually sudden. Earthquake prone areas are generally well ident5e.d and well lt~iownon the basis of geological features and past occurrences of earthqualtes. Major effects arise mainly from ground movement and fracture or slippage of rocks underground. The obvious effects include damage (usually very severe) to buildings and infrastructures alongwitll considerable casualties. About 200 large magnitude earthqualte (M>G.O) occur

o o

a decade.

The world's earthqualte problem seems to be increasing with the increased population, high rise buildings and crowded cities.

The exact spot underneath tlie surface of the earth at wliicli an earthquake origillates is known as "focus" wliile thc poilit lying on tlle ground surface vertically above the focus is defined as "epicenter" o f the earthquake. The seismic shoclts originating at a depth of about 50 ltm or less below the surface are termed as sliallow focus eartl~qualtes;otherwise these are ltnown as deep focus ea~tliquakes. The energy released at the focus, due to the elastic rebound of rocks, creates the earthquake and is a measure of the power oftlie earthqualte. The power (energy) of an earthquake is reeltoned in terms of its "tnagnitude" which is measured on an open-ended Richter. But it is not a linear scale and not even a logarithmic scale. Tliis will be clearly ilnderstood from the following Table 5.1 which gives the equivalelice of eald~quakemagnitude (on Richter Scale) and the equivalent energy release by tlie explosion of a certain Inass of TNT whicli is the well ltnown measure of explosive power in any blast. The Richter scale derives its name from the scientist who proposed it.

Table 5.1
Magnitude of Earthquake (on Richter Scale) Approximate Equivalent TNT mass in terms of explosivc power

1 .O
3 .O

170 gin 180 kg 5700 tonne (180 x 10"m) (570 x 1o7gm)

6.0 (like Latur, 1993)

8.5 (Like Assam 1897 & 1950)

28700000 tonne (287 x 10" gm)

From the above, it should be clear that tlie energy released by an earthquake increases enormously as the magnitude on Ricllter Scale rises. Another way to appreciate the enormous destruction potential of an 8.5 magnitude earthquake is' to know that the energy released is approximately equal to 10,000 Hiroshimai type Atom Bombs. It may be noted from Table 5.1 that each infeger increase of magnitude on Richter Scale represents about 33 times increase in the energy released. The primary waves (or P-waves) from the focus are transmitted due to longitudinal vibrations set up within the earth. These waves have the velocity of

[lie orcler of several Itilometers pel second and cause tlie pl.eliminary trcriiors on tile surface of tlie earth. Tliese waves create an effect of horizontal pilll and push and are also called pull and push waves. .l'Iie secondary (or S-waves) o n the other hand are transmitted due lo transverse vibrations. These are known as surface or slow waves. Even though tlie amplitude and size are small compared to other waves, these are tlie most destructive since they create vertical LIP and down movements in tlie gr-ound s~llface as against liorizontal oscillation due to longit~~dinal waves. While the "magnit~~de" of an ea~fliquake defines the energy released by tlie even1 (lie "intensity" of the earthquake will depend on the particular place where it is measured. Obviously tlie intensity will decrease as tlie clistsuice from the epicenter increases.




Wc havc already stated it is not yet possible to predict eal-thquakes. I-Iowever, sometimes there are some indication tliat would i~iclicate that ~ e r l i a ~ an s eal-thqualte woilld occur. Silcli indications are called "". These could bc eitlicr instrumental, i.e., those tliat are mcasured by instrume~its or non-instri~me~ital, i.e., those which can only bc perceived and not n~easurecl. Needless to say, the non-instrumental precursors are more subjeclivc.

Some of tlie generally recognized p~.ecursol-s are listed below:

Table 5.2

1 lnrtr,u~nentnlPreeursorr
I Fore-shocl<s& after shocks
Statistical pattern of shocks. Uplift or subsidence of growid. Changes in gravity.


Non-Instrumental P~CIUI-SO~S


( Sudden rise or fall of water level in wells and

Mud and sand shows up in surface waters. Changes in flows of natural springs, Increase in salinity of wales.

I Faults. displace~nentsin Earth's Crust I Advmce and retreat ol'seas.

Tilt and strain of underground rock formations. Unusual bellaviour of animals.

I Changes in electric resistance of

I Emission of Radon gas from the


I U~iusualsounds from inside earth.

Evaluation of Precursors


Tlie above Table shows that precursors have been ~ ~ s e f isome l l time or tlic other, although none by itself is cxpected to help the prediction of earthquakes. The . problem is how t o know wliicli precul-sor shoulcl take precedence at a 1 9 givcn

Typology of Disasters - 1

,time and place. More often than not, false or untenable conclusions seem to hold the sway, and the pros and cons do not lead to any agreement regarding the usefi~lness of these precursors for prediction of earthquakes. Solne studies have been riiade to assess which of these precursors are readily activated before or during v a r i o ~ ~ earthqualtes. s However, it has not yet been possible to draw operationally sable criteria for predicting earthqual<es on the basis of precursors (iristr~~rnental and lion-instrumental). More observation and studies are required.
Check Your Progress 1 Note: i) Use tlie space given below for Y O L Ianswers. ~ ~ with that given at the elid of the Unit. ii) Cliecl<Y O L I ans'wer
I ) What do you understand by an Eat-tIiqual<e?

2) Disc~rss tlie general characteristics of an Eartliq~lalte.

3) List some of tlie Instr~~mental and non-Instrumental Prec~~rsors.

Disasters res~rltfrom vulnerable societies being exposed to a hazard. There can be physical vulnerability, social v~~lnerability and economic vulnerability disaster. released to an ea~-thqualte

P]iysical vulnerability relates to old and non-engineered buildings, infrastructure. Tile vulnerability of builclings is dependent on their designs, shape, materials used, construction tecliniques, maintenance and proximity 01 buildings. The weightage attached to each factor will vary according to the characteristics of tlie particular cal-tliquake. Ilifrastr~icture may be considered in three broad groups: transpol-t systems (roads, railways, bridges, airpol-ts, port facilities); utilities (water, sewerage and and flood protection structures such as dams and electricity telecomn~~~nications) embankments Vulnerability analysis is especially conce~.iiedwitli the vislc faced by critical facilities (somctin~estermed "life-lines") which are vital to tlie fi~nctioning of especially sucl~as incase of cartliqualtes. These societies in disaster sit~~atioris facilities include hospitals, dispensaries and emergency services. Special consideration is given also to protect heritage buildings of great cultural and historical importance.


i I

Social Vulnerability

Records of past earthqualte disasters suggest that the following groups of people are particularly at risk and require special attention:

Single parent families; Women, particularly when pregnant or lactating; Melitally and pliysically handicapped people; Children; and The elderly and the infirm


1 I

Poor people are less concerned with infrequent hazards. If' there are ~ ~ O L I I I S whose livelihoods are at risk, living or working in densely pop~~lated areas, wit11 low perceptions of risk and without institutional support, the cu~iiulativeeffect would be high social vulnerability.
Economic Vulnerability

It measures tlie risk of hazards causing losses to economic assets and processes. It foc~~sscs on evaluating tlie direct loss potential (i.e., damage or destruction ol' physical and social infrastructure and its repair or replacemc~ltcost, as well as crop damage and losses to the means of production); indirect loss potential (i.e., the impact 011 cost of production, employn~ent, vital services and income-earning activities); and secondary effects (epidemics, inflation, illcome disparities and isolation of outlying areas). Witli the insights provided by ecoiio~nic vulnerability analysis, it is possible to estimate direct and indirect losses and to design ways and means to ~nitigatethem in relation to the estimated costs of relieflrecovery actions and itlitigation measures required.


In general tenns, typical impacts and effects of earthquake disasters tend to be :

Loss of Life. 11ij~1ry Damage to and destruction of property including crops.

I 1

Typology of Disasters - 1


Disruption of production. Disruption of lifestyle. Loss of livelihood. Disruption to essential services. Damage to national infrastructure and disruption to administrative and organizational systems. Sociological and psychological after-effects.

The following proble~nareas need particular attention in case of Eattliquake disasters:


Severe and extensive damage, creating tlie need for urgent counter measures, especially search and rescue, and ~nedical assistance. Diffic'~11ty of access and movement. Widespread loss of o r damage to infi'astructure, essential services and life support systelns. Recovery requirements (e.g., restoration and rebuilding) may be very extensive and costly. ' Occurrence of ea~-tliqualcesin areas where s u c l ~ ~ e v e nare t s rathcl- rare may cause problems due to lack of public awareness.


Damage due to eartliqualces depends on various factors listed below: a) Nature of Earthquakes: It includes various parameters like ~nagnitude, intensity, duration and grouhd acceleration due .to ex-tliquake. I-liglier tlie will be tlie resultant clamngc. value of these parameters, liiglie~

b) Geological and Soil Conditions: Geology and Soil conditions play a very important role in the amount of damage due to any eartliqualte. I n hilly areas
daniages are severe due to various afterefi'ccts of eartliqualtes sucl~as lanhslides, blockage of connecting rpads, diversion of river flows and damage to dams. The intensity of eartliquakc is directly relatecl to the type of supporting soil layers. The s t r ~ ~ c t i ~built r e s on the solid rock and fir111soil generally perform better. There are cases ill which tlie intensc vibrations from the earthqualce "liquifiecl" the soil and b~~ilcli~igs tiltecl on to the ground because tlie foundation became loose. c) Quality of Construction: Construction quality is very important for safety of buildings. Building designs must be such as to ensure tliat the building has the adequate strength, and will remain as one unit while subjected to vibrations and significant cleformation, otherwise it will suffel. great dalnage. The great loss of life and property due to poor construction practices can be seen in major earthquakes. d) Sociological Factors: Various sociological factors such as density of population, time of occurrences, com~nunity prepareclness are very impo,rtallt for limiting the resultant damage.

A short list of the more damaging earthquakes tliat occured in India since the very great earthquake of 1897 in Assall1 has already bee11given ill Unit 4.


Tlie nature of the damage that can occur as a result of any earthquake may well be imagined. Everything based upon tlie stability of tlie earth is rudely disturbed. If the tilt or displacement of tlie ground disrupts tlie equilibriu~n,, s)ructures fall. damage is noticed in the case of Gravity spares nobody. Therefore, tlie maxi~num tall buildings. If these are not designed to withstand any substantial ground movenient, they will fall. Tall buildings and roofs are tlie first casualties. In the wake of their collapse, most damage to life is done to those who are inside tlie Iiouse. Many will be hit by falling debris or get trapped inside tlie collapsed building. Persons trapped under tlie debris, shouting pathetically for help, gruesome sight. Sometimes steel beams have to be cut before the constitute a tri~ly victims can be rescued. Essential services such as water - mains, drainage systems, and electrical transmission lines are seriously damaged. Brolten water - mains cause flooding of the area and leave no watcr for drinlting or for fire-fighting. The sparking of high tension overliead electric cables cause fires, setting ablaze whatever combustible material is in the vicinity. Leaks fro111cooking gas cylinders or supply lines also cause fires. Disrupted drainage lines spread noxious fluids and give rise to diseases ancl epidemics. Geological faults in tlie Eat-tli's crust become activated and accentuate displacement of tlie ground, producing gaping fissures in'wliicli Iiu~nan beings and animals are known to have been engulfed. Telephone and telegraph poles fall are seriously hampered or down and tlie services go out of order. Commi~nicatio~is altogetlier stopped. Railway lines are twisted out of shape and rail communication to and from the affected area is brolte~ioff. In some cases tlie only access to tlie affected area is by helicopter. Large dams in tlie vicinity nay be affected, and in somc cases may even burst and waves e called tsunamis lash tlic shore and cause severe floods. On the coast, I i ~ ~ g bring down houses and other structures and dislocate fishing and navigation. Creation of new islancls is a rare plienomenon but does occurs due to some ea~tliqualtes,which originate 'below tlie sea bed. The new islands were co~nposed of loose s:mcl ancl clay mostly and are eroded due to sen waves aud tides. Check Yorr r PI-agl-ess 2
Note:- i) CJsctlie space given below for your answers. ~ with that give11at llie end of the Unit. ii) Checlc Y O L I answer


I ) Briefly disci~ss the types of vul~ierability due to earthquakes.


Typology of Disasters - 1

2) What are tlie impacts and effects of a11Earthquake? Discuss

3 ) On what factors does the nature of damage depend in an Earthquake?


This Unit discussed tlie phenomenon of earthquake and defined tlie relevant terms. It throws light on the general characteristics and precursors. It also highlighted tlie vulnerability situation, impact and effects of an eartliquake. Lastly, nature of damage due to earthquake has been described.



The point on tlie Earth's surface directly above the focus of an earthqualte. A measure of earlhqualte's power that describes the amount of energy released. A structure tliat has been constructed without proper engineering design ancl supervision. Trinitrotoluene (an explosive material).


Non-engineered : TNT


Green, Stephen, 1980. Inter~zationalDisasler Relief : Towurds A Responsive System; McGraw Hill Book Co~npany, New York. Ross, Simon, 1987. Hnzurd Geography; Longmans, L1.K. Asliutosli Gautam, 1994, Earthqziake - A Natural Disaster; Ashisli Publishing House, New Delhi. Vlad im ir Sclienk (Ed .), 1996. Earthqz~ukeHazar,d und Risk; Kluwer Academic Publishers, London.

Govern~~ient of India, 1997, Vulndernbility Atlas of Indiu





Check Your Progress 1

1) Your answer should include tlie following points:


Earthquakes are considered to be one of the most dangerous and destructive natural hazards. This phenomenon is usually sudden with little or no warning. It consists of a shaking of ground caused by disturbances in tlie earth crust. It is not possible to predict earthquakes and to make preparation against damages and collapse of buildings and other man-made structures.




2) Your answer should include the following points:


It is not yet possible to predict the magnitude, time and place of occurrence. The onset is usually sudden. Earthquake prone areas are generally well identified on the basis of geological fetures and past occurrences of earthquake. Major effects arise mainly from ground movement and fracture or slippage of rocks underground. The obvious impacts include damage to buildings and infrastructure alongwith considerable casualties.

e e



3) Yout: answer should include the following points:

Instrume~~tal Precursors occurrence of foreshocks and aftershocks Statistical pattern of shocks.

Uplift or subsidence of ground. Changes in gravity.

Non-instrumental Precursors Sudden rise or fall of water level in wells and lakes. Mud and sand shows up in surface waters. Changes in flows of natural springs. . Unusual behavior of animals.

Check Your Progress 2

I ) Your answer should include the following points:

Physical vulnerability Social vulnerability

Economic vulnerability

Typology of Disasters - 1

2) Your answer sl~ould include the following points:


Loss of life, liveliliood, economic loss and illjury. Damage to and destruction of property. Damage to and destruction of crops. Disruption of production, life style and esse~itial services. Sociological and psychological after-effects.

e e

3) Your answer sliould include the following points:


Magnitude of an Eal-thquake. ~eological and soil co~iditions.

Quality of construction. Sociblogical factors.


6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10 6.1 1 Objectives Introduction Causal phenomena and characteristics Vulnerability Predictability, forecasting and warning Preparedness Mitigation with special ~~efereiice to flood plain zoning Adverse effects Let us sum up Key words References Answers to check your progress exercises



~ k e reading r this unit, you should be able to :



explain what disasters caused by floods & drainage congestion are like; discuss causes, predictability and vulnerability describe the adverse effects; and highlight preparedness measures'and mitigation possibilities.

Floods liave ravaged portions of India from times immemorial. Though floods are one of the very few well recorded natural phenomena, the catastrophic damages caused by them attracted focussed attention in recent decades. With ~en~, increasing populatioll pressure and accelerated ecorlomic d e ~ e l o ~ ~ l the adverse effects of floods are being increasingly felt now. Floods cause great distress whenever they darnage crops and property and endanger lives. The term Flood is generally defined as a relatively high flow or stage in a river and tile inundation of low land which might result therefrom. In a broader sense the term flood is also used to convey all outflow due to jamming or blocking of rivers by landslides and inadequate drainage to carry away surface water speedily. Coastal flooding are also covered. In essential terms, flood denotes imbalance between the inflow and oiitflow of water. I-Ience, areas are stated to be flooded when water due to rainfall and/or riverspill is unable to drain off within a quick span of time. Strictly, this type of situation is a drainage congestion problem. Most often drainage forms a part of floods and the term flood is often used to describe either type of situations. In India vast stretches of land are submerged under water and other adverse effects are caused, such as destruction or damage to houses, property, bridges roads and other means of communications, lives lost etc. year after year. Dense population, weak infrastructure and rapid urbanization aggravate the problem.


Flood are natural phenomena characteristic of all rivers. As is known, the rainfall in,*Indiais largely dependant on the monsoons and cyclonic depressions, Most of the rainfalf is received during the southwest monsoon season (June to

I'y pology of Disasters - 1

September) during which heavy spells of rain are often experienced in the catchment of rivers over periods of a few days at a time. It could therefore be said that high rainfall coupled with inadequate channel capacity leads to flooding. Choking of river beds by natural causes or artificial obstructions aggravate the problem. Flood damages are the combined result of the natural, phenomenon of floods coupled with the human activity in the flood plains. The fertile river silt has promoted large-scale settlements and cultivation of lands near the riverbanks and adjacent areas or even in the river bed region. While these activities are increasing on one hand, on the other the river continue to experience varying magnitudes and intensities of floods which cause damages, sometimes in disastrous proportions. In a way flood damage is the price paid for the human occupation and exploitation of the flood plain of the river. Even single events in a heavy toll of death as also property loss. could resi~lt As mentioned, the basic cause of flooding is the high rainfall. Apart from that, the size of the catchment also usually governs the character of the flooding. On large rivers with big catchments basins, such as the Ganga or the Brahmaputra, the riverflow in the lower reaches is relatively slow to change; in contrast to this, tlash floods, most commo~lly associated with small catchments lead to vely high build LIP very quickly. They leave very little time between the start of the flood and the peak discharge. Coastal floods are associated with tropical cyclones, storms surges and tidal conditions. The general cliaracteristics of floods are as discussed so far but it must be noted that floodings are the co~nplex results of interaction of a number of connected pheno~nena and that the flooding characteristic of each river is different from the other. They cannot be easily classified even in types or groups. But in every case, the people and the activities in the flood plains are adversely affecte3d. If there would have been no occupation of the riverfront or econo~nic activities nearby, high floods might come as also subside without ~nanlcindbeing affected or bothered m~1c11. We, however, are concerned wit11 flood losses. Flood losses may be defined as the destruction or impairment, partial or complete, of the value of goods and services or of health, resulting from the action of flood waters and the silt and debris they carry. India is one of the highly floodprone countries of the world. Flood damage statistics, compiled from reports from the State Governments indicate that on an average (based on data for 1953-1990) about eight nil lion hectares of land are affected by floods in India, involving about thirty three million people. In a high flood year, the figures will be many times more. Our neighbour Bangladesh also suffers seriously from floods. The floods of 1988 which caused high losses in India also caused serious flood proble~ns there, affecting 45 million people and crop damage on two million hectares of land.

From the earliest days, mankind has learnt to live with nature. As people settled in environs with fertile soils and by the side of waterfronts, for raising food or on' strategic considerations such as trade, commerce, co~nmunicationor defence, they also realisecl that these regions that sustained them are also disasterprone. They soon learnt lessons and started taking precautions so as to reduce their risks. The evidence noted in the form of houses built on stilts on the banks of major rivers are of this nature. In course of time the population pressures increased and the vigilance of the people also slackened. Thus mankind's viilnerability started increasing. ('The concept of vulnerability has been explained in Unit 5, Section 5.4).

The vulnerability to flooding is influenced by many factors. The principal factors can be classified to fall under three groups. 1) climatological, i.e. intensity and frequency of rainfall.
2) hydrological and environmental conditions, i.e. how much water can be absorbed, evaponvhed or drained off.

3) local geomol*phology of the flood plain, i.e. how much would the flood waters spread sideways.

In addition, coastal flooding also depends on the coastal configuration and tidal conditions. In simple terms it can be stated that the factors contributing to vulnel-abilityfrom floods are : , a) nature of settlements on floodplains
b) reduction of water absorbing capacity (or moderating capacity) of land

c) lack of awareness of flood hazard d) risky infrastructure elements: nonresistant construction e) livestock, crops and other stocks that are unprotected
f ) boating and fishing activities and infrastructures, and

g) unprepared administration and population

Check Your Progress 1 Note: (i) Use the space given below for your answers. (ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.

Explain the meaning of flood and drainage.


Discuss the factors which influences type and degree of,floods.

Typology of Disasters - 1


List out tlie factors contributing to vulnerability fi-om.floods.


Experience lias shown that loss of lives and propet-ty can be reduced significantly by giving reliable advance information about the oncoming floocls. Tlie people could be moved to safer places in an organised manner as soon as tlic warning is received. Cattle and valuable property could be transferred to places of safety. Forlunately advances in science and technology liave macle it possible to predict floocls. Forecasting tlie lilcely future stages 01: or flow of incoming flood and its sequence at selected points along tlie river can be very effective in rcducing flood damages. Reasonably reliable food l'orecasting and warning couplecl with effective follow up measures constitutes tlie most i~nportantmeasurc of flood management. The Central Water Commission is tlie noclal agency of tlie Government of India for flood forecasting and tliey liave been involvcd in scientific flood forecasting on niost interstate rivers regularly. 'There are over 150 Flood Forecast Stations all over tlie country managed by tlie Central Water Commission (C.W.C.). In addition,, tlie various State Governments liave Llieir own f o o d forecast stations to meet their respective particular needs. The flood forecasts are communicated L o the cancel-necl user authorities, at administrative and engineering levels, who liave to deal witli floocl management. On receipt of tlie .forecasts tliese agencies disseminate tlie warning to tlie officials concerned for taking steps like strengthening the flood protection measures and to those -concerned witli informing the public at risk and evacuating them/organising relief measures, if necessary. Generally tlie State Governments set LIPcontrol rooms at tlic State ancl local levels which receive tlie forecasts and disseminate tlie warnings to all concerned as also monitor tlie situation till the eniergency passes off ancl situation becomes normal. Tlie State authorities study Llie situation at different locations and inclicate tlie danger levels in respect of all rive~lswitli which tliey are concel.ned. As some advance notice is ncccled and to maintain vigilance cven before tlie dangcr level at tliat location, an alert is issued wlicn rhe river level is is ~.cacliedby tlie ~.iver one mctrc below the danger level. This is called tlie warning Icvcl. The warning and clangel. levels arc ~.cquircdto be ~~erioclicnlly reexruiiined and revised as well laid rules arid necessary. 'l'lie district administration liave ~ ~ s u a l l y instructions about the various steps to be taken when thc warning is received. Different means of communication channels and equipments are l~tilisedto disseminate the warnings quiclcly. Tlie management of flood forecasting ancl warning services requires skilled and responsible personnel. Tlie forecasting procedure irivolves trained liydrological and meteorological specialists while the warning and its widc dissemination are handled by tlie district ad mini st ratio^?:,'


In river systems wl~icliextend beyond the political boundaries of India, there ortell comes the need to receive ~ ~ s e fdata i ~ l to indicate field conditions there so tllat flood forecasts become usefill and reliable. In yet other cases there is a need to slial-c sucli forecasts as also hydrometlogical data on sliarecl river systems for m~,tualbenefit and to be cooperative. India has sucli coopcrativc arrangements, existing or under contemplation, with tlie neiglibouring nations as are mutually agreeable. Meteorological data exchange on a regional basis is also an existing practice.
Val-ious approaches to deal with floods are available. As each situation is clifterent, different a<justments or combinations thereof are chosen. Basically, liowever. tlicse approaches fall i~nder tile following three groups:I) modify the tloods i.e. do11fallow water to accunlulate 2) modify the susccptibility of'the people to flood damages

3) modify tlie loss burden inflicted by floods

Modification of floods would involve s ~ ~ cIneasurcs li as weather modification, cntchmcnt and landuse modification, physical control worlcs sucli as reservoirs, embankments etc: Modification of tlic susceptibility of Ilie people to floods would involve steps like flood forecasting and warning, flood proofing, and floodplain management. Moclifyillg tlie loss burden would ilivolve steps like elnergency evacuation, flood fighting, p ~ ~ b l ihealth c aspects as also flood insurance, and disaster relief. Strilctural measures sucli as storage reservoirs ~ilerelyfor flood relief could be very ~lnecono~nical, whereas ~i~i~ltipi~rpose'sclieme for rnany other benefits in addition to flood control are economically viable. However, in sucli cases, there is tlie lilcely problem of clashing priorities and conflicting requirements. Si~iiilarly embankment schemes are not i~n~nixed blessings. Maintenance of these costly structures also involves difliculties and constraints sucli as inndequatc provision of fi~nds. Thesc have led to a greater emphasis bejng laid on non-structural mcasures sucli as flood ibl-ecasting ancl flood plain managcmcnt which are tlie basic elements of flood preparedness.

, 1

Disaster preparedness could be defined as the detailed planning for the prompt and efficient response i~nlnediately as soon as the anticipated event materialises. This effort has to be very comprehensive inclusive of public education and awareness campaign aheacl, provisions for the issuance of ti~nely-warnings, development of orderly evacuatioli plans, and preparations for providing the evacuees with food, clothing and shelter on emergency basis. The moment the disaster strilces will also mark the start of the emergency response period. The immediate onsite responses are spo~~taneous aciions of local residents but their efrectiveness could be irnpl-oved by advance training. Tlic speed and efficiency of the community reaction to save lives and mitigate suffering and losses is determined by adequate planning, training and rehearsals.

In the context of floods, it is well known that floods damage human settlelnents, necessitate evacuation to safer areas, damage crops and disrupt farming, wash away infinstructure items like irrigation, com~~iunication etc. and malce land unusable. Disaster preparedness should also deal with all these aspects and other connected matters.
'l'liesvary basic step in vulnerability reduction will be to identify silch l~ighrisk ,areas, prepare risk maps showing the likely risks at different probability levcls of floodings and niake this Im'owledge available widely.

Typology of is asters - I

Tlle National Flood Co~n~nission (1980) set LIP by tlie Government of India made a co~nprehensivestudy of the flood management scene in India and made Inally valuable recommendations or flood management including flood disaster and cyclone disaster mitigation steps needed. The Government of India and the various State Govts. are also engaged in identifying and implementing the Inany steps needed to be taken in different parts of India to take care of local conditions. These steps i~lclude those on flood disaster preparedness.


Advance warning and evacuation, shifting away of valuable moveable properties and such measures cannot do much to prevent property damage or crippling economic impacts associated with flood disasters. This is a sphere where mitigation measures can be of great help. All actions taken to reduce the risks to lives and property and disruption from a natural llazard either by modifying the llazard or reducing the vulnerability are called mitigation measures. Modification of tlie hazard in flood related disasters is possible through some structural measures like construction of storage reservoirs, particularly with provision of flood reserve. However there are many nonstructural measures which offer great scope for mitigation. Adoption of a suitable flood plain zoning and regulation ~nechanis~n is one such effective measure. The concept of flood plain zoning and regulation is based on the recognition that the floodplain is an integral part of tlie river system, even tllougl~ the river uses it only occasionally to pass down flood flows. Wlienever the floodplain is free from water, it is beneficially used as a part of the land system Tor agriculture of other economic activities. The purpose of the land regulation is to enable a land use which takes advantage of the benefits offered by the floodplain while simultaneously reducing the damage potential likely during the inevitable periods of.flooding thereof. Flood plain management would cover land use regulation, statutes, zoning ordinance and Government purchase of property ind relocation. In 1957 the Central Flood Control Board accept, in principle, tile enactment of legislation for demarcating flood zones and preventing indiscriminate developme~ltof flood plains, occupation or cultivation of lands of rivers and drainage channels. As a view was taken that the matter lay witl~in the competence of the State Govts. a model bill could be circulated by the Central Govt. Accordingly the union Govt. circulated a draft bill in 1975. The National Flood Commission pursued tlie issue with the States. Their Report (1980) recommended that flood plain management measures should be undertaken wherever the necessary legislation existed and suitable legislation enacted in other States. The guidelines circulated by the Central Water Commissio~ion flood plain zoning envisages the following:i) Demarcation of areas liable to floods on large scale maps ii) demarcation of areas likely to be inundated for different flood frequencies (say 1 in 25, 1 in 50 and 1 in 100 years) iii) delineation of the type of use to which tlie different zones as demarcated in flood plains could be put to. Different priorities for different types of uses are envisaged. Important buildings used as.,defence installations, public utilities like hospitals, coln~nercialcentres, should be located above the level corresponding to 1 in 100 years flood. Next in order of priority Govt. offices, public libraries, residence etc could be built above

the 1 in 25 year flofd level, witli the stipulation tliat tliey be built on stilts or IiigIier levels. Parks, playgrounds parking places could be allowed even in areas liable to frequent floods. There are other types of precautions like stipulating that buildings in areas liable to flood should be double/multi storeyed. Tile National Water Policy adopted in 1987 deals with all aspects of water including flood management. It has recommended that "an extensive networlc of .flood forecasting station sliould be established for timely warning to tlie settlements along witli regulation of settlements and economic activity i n flood zones, to minimise tlie loss of life and property on account of floods. While physical flood protection works like embankments and dykes will continue to be necessary, the eniphasis should be on non-structural measures for minimisation of losses, such as flood plain zoning so as to reduce the recurring expenditure on flood re lief '.

In short, flood plain regulation or zoning aims at dissemination of information on the locations, extent of area and tlie'liltely intensity and frequency of flooding at different probabilities, so as to regulate indiscriminate and unplanned developnient inthe floodplains to reduce loss.


All over the world, and throughout history, natural disasters have imposed human suffering and extracted heavy toll of losses. Recent instances have revealed tliat it is not merely the developing countries tliat have so suffered. The loss in some of the Iiiglily developed Nations' is mind boggling notwithstanding the Iiigli standards of construction and extensive protection measures that tliey had undertaken. Apart from the casualties, injuries and disablement, many sections of tlie population get arrected by tlie floods. Croppcd area gets submerged. eroded and strewn with sand leading to loss of crop production and consequential disruptions. Many houses are destroyed completely; otl~ers are damaged. .Da~iiage and loss to public and private ~ltilitics and industrial disruptions occur. Breakdown of economic activities occurs with corresponding loss of wealtli. Apart from these adverse socioeconomic impacts on tlie affccted conimunity, floods also bring about significant geornorpliological changes in river channels, flood plains and coastal areas. Ofien, floods change land forms tlio~~gli tlie processes of erosion shifting arid sedimentation.

Check Your Progress 2 Note: (i) Use the space given below for y o ~answers. ~r (ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1 . Explain lnitigatioii measures.

Typology of Disasters - 1

2. Discuss the guidelines circulated by Central Water Com~nission of floodstplains zoning.

3. Briefly discuss adverse effects,of flood.


Natural disasters have very often exacted a heavy toll of death, destruction and - human suffering. Among the types of natural disasters, floods occupy a prominent position. While floods and flooding have always been experienced from the earliest days, the damage and economic disruption due to floodings have been on an upswing which trend is alarming. We seem to be paying too high a price for our unwise and indiscriminate use of land in the flood plains. This is even more regrettable when we realise that it is possible to reduce the loss significantly by means of wise regulation and recourse to some mitigative measures such as flood plain zoning. India is one of the most flood prone countries of the world. India's own past experience has shown that our flood losses could be minimised by a set of desirable disaster mitigation steps. India has been a pioneer in flood forecasting. There are sourld policy initiatives evolved through much experience and experimentation. However the progress in executing such desirable measures needs to be accelerated.


The area from which a lake or a water flow.




Coastal flooding

Flooding caused near the sea face or in the delta region nearby the-ligh winds, tides, waves from highwindstsurges etc. Volume of water poured out. Flooding by impeded flow wl~ere the river bed is higher than the surrounding land, due to obstructions to flow or embankments without adequate drainage provisions etc.

Discharge Drainage congestion :

Floodplain 1 in 100 years flood Urbanization


The area of land encroached by the flood water


The type of flood that is likely to occur once in abo.ut 100 years. Growth of big cities; shift of population from rural areas to big city areas,


Sharma, Vinod K., 1995. Disaster Management : Indian Institute of Public Administration; New Delhi . Report of the National Com~nission on Floods, 1980, Ministry of Irrigation and Power, New Delhi, Government of India, 1997, Vulnerability Atlas of India.


Check Your Progress 1 1) Your answers should include the following points :

The term flood is generally defined as a relatively high flow in a river and the inundation of low land which might result there from. Areas are stated to be flooded when water due to rainfall andlor river spill is unable to drain off within a quick span of time. This type of situation is a drainage congestion problem. In essential terms, floods are due to imbalance between inflow and outflow of where Drainage is very important for maintaining good outflow.
2) Your answers should include the following points:

The principal factors call be classified under three groups. climatological, hydrological and environmental conditions, local geomorphology of the flood plain.
3) Your answers shoul,d include the following points :

nature of settlement on floodplain, reduction of water absorbing capacity (or moderating capacity) of land, lack of awareness of flood hazard risky infrastructure elements : nonresistant construction, livestock, crops and other stocks that are unprotected, boating and fishing activities and infrastructures, unprepared administration and population.
Check Your Progress 2

1 ) Your answers should include the following points :

Structural measures such as construction of reservoirs and embankments but these are very costly. Non-structural measures such as .flood forecasting, and flood plain zpning are very effective.


Typology of Disasters - I

2) You! answers should include tlie following points :


The guidelines circulated by the Central Water Commission of flood plain zoning envisages the following :i) demarcation of areas liable to floods on large scale maps, ii) demarcation of areas liltely to be inundated for different flood frequencies (say 1 in 50 and 1 in I00 years), and iii) delineation of the type of use to which the different land zones as demarcated in flood plains could be put to.

3) Your answers should include tlie following points :


Apart from the casualties, iri.juries and disablement, Inany sections of the population get affected by tlie floods. Cropped area gets submerged, eroded and or strewn with sand leading to lose of crop production and consequential disruptions. Many houses are destroyed completely, others are damaged Damage and loss to public and private utilities and industrial disruptions occurs. Breakdow~i oT economic activities occurs with co~respondingloss of wealth. Geomorphological changes such as tlie rivers changing course or land forms changing due to erosion, shifting 01. sedimentation caused by floods.

o e


Objective Introduction Charactel-istics Forecasting and Warning Systems Preparedness Risk Reduction Measures Effects Let us sum up Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to check your progress exercises

After studing this Unit, you should be able to : discuss the characteristics of cyclone as a natural disaster, highlight the effects of cyclone, identify the components of cyclone forecasting and warning systein, and describe the preparedness and risk reduction measures.

e e e

Cyclones are one of the most disastrous natural hazards in the costal areas of the tropics and are responsible for deaths and destruction more than any other natural calamities. Cyclones bring witli them extremely violent winds, heavy rain causing floods and storm surge causing coastal inundation. Cyclones form over the warm ocean waters (sea surface temperature of the order of 26'C or 2 7 ' ~ )little away from the equator within tlie belt of 30' N and 30' S. In our area, cyclones form in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. As they move westward or northwestward, those forming in tlie Bay of Bengal come to the Indian territory while those forming in tlie Arabian Sea generally go away from India but sometimes they turn around to hit Gujarat.

Tropical cyclones are large, rotating, atmospheric phenomena extending horizontally from 150-1 000 km and vertically from surface to 12-14 km. These are intense low-pressure areas witli a spiral sliape. Fierce winds spiraling anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere blow around the cyclone centre. Cyclones generally move 300-500 km in 24 hours over the ocean. Cyclones develop from areas of low atmospheric pressure and go through the stages of depression and deep depression before attaining the category of cyclone. They can intensify further to attain categories of severe cyclo~~ic storm, very severe cyclonic storm and ultimately super cyclone when the winds in the storm are of tlie ferocious speed of 220 kmph or more. Each category is recognised on the basis of wind speed as indicated below:

Typology of Disasters - 1


Maxirnum Wind Speed in the Storm

<30 kmph


Low Pressure Area (L) Depression (D) Deep Depression (DD) Cyclonic Storm (CS) Severe Cyclonic Storrn (SCS) Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS) Super Cyclonic Storm


30 to 50 kmph 50 - 60 Icmph 60 - 90 kmph 90 - 120 Iunph

120 - 220 Icmph



>220 Icmph

A well developed cyclone consists of a central region of light winds known as its "Eye". Thc eye has an average Diameter of about 20 to 30 km, but it can be 40 to 50 km in large cyclones. The eye is an almost cloud-free zone and it is surrounded by a ring of clouds with very strong winds and heavy rain. This area is known as zone of maximum wind. Surrounding this region, winds spiral in the coi~nterclockwisedirection'in the northern hemisphere, extend outwards to large distances, with speeds gradually decreasing towards the outer boundary of the cyclone. On an average, about 5-6 cyclones form in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea every year, out o r which 2 or 3 may be severe. More cyclones form in the Bay of Bengal than in the Arabian Sea. The ratio is 4:l. Tropical cyclones in these seas generally form between 5' N and 20' N. There are two distinct seasons of cyclones in our area. One is from April to June (Pre-monsoon) and the other is from October to mid-December (Post-monsoon). May, June, October and November are known for severe cyclonic storms. Almost the entire east coast is vulnerable to cyclones with varying frequency and intensity. In the west coast, the north west coast (coast north of Mumbai) is more vulnerable as compared to southwcst coast (South of Mumbai).

Check your Progress 1 Note: (i) Use the space given below for your answers. (ii) Check your answer with those given at the end of the unit.
I) What is a tropical cyclonc?

2) While developing from an area of low atniosplieric pressure, a cyclone goes


through different stages of growtli before attaining the category of super cyclone. List these stages of development.

3) What are the months in which cyclones occur in India?


Cyclone forecasts are provided through six cyclone warning centres located at Calcutta, Bhubaneswar, Visakliapatnam, Cliennai, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. These centres have their distinct area wise responsiblities covering both the east and west coasts of India and the oceanic areas of tlie Bay of Bengal and tlie Arabian Sea, including Andanian & Nico bar and Laks hadweep. Cyclone warnings are issued to tlie All lndia Radio (AIR) and tlie Doordarslian for broadcast/telecast in different languages. Cyclone warnings are also given to control room and Crisis Management Group in the Ministry of Agriculture, Gover~i~nent of India, who are finally responsible for coordinating variolls activities of Centre and State Governments and other agencies in respect of cyclone war~iings. Forecasts and warnings are simultaneously commu~iicated to tlie States and the Districts likely to be attaclied. Ports, airports and other user agencies also receive the forecasts and warnings at the same time. Cyclones are tracked with tlie help of INSAT, powerfill cyclone detection radars and conventional meteorological observations including weather reports from ships. At present cyclo~iedelectio~i radars are installed at (i) Calcutta, (ii) Paradip, (iii) Visakhapatnam, (iv) Macliilipatnam, (v) Cliennai, (vi) Karaikal on the east coast; and (vii) Goa, (viii) Cocliin, (ix) Mumbai and (x) Bli~!j alolig the west coast, Present~cyclo~ie surveillance system in lndia is such that no cyclo~ie in tlie region will go undetected at any time of its life cycle. of cyclone war~iingsare tlie forecast of future path .The important co~nponents ;and intensity of a cyctone and the associated hazardous weatlicr. For tlie 'preparation of f ~ ~ t u position, re (path) of tropical cyclones and for estimation of storm surges, modern computer based techniques are used in addition to co~iventio~ial methods. Intensity forecasts are made by using satellite tecliniques. Cyclo~iewarnings are provided in four stages. In its first stage, T".e-Cyclone Watch" is maintained regularly during the cyclone seams and is intended to

Typology of Disasters 1

provide an early warning if conditions mature for a cyclonic disturbance to take birth on the seas. In the second state, a "Cyclone Alert" is issued 48 hoi~rs before the anticipated time of commencement of adverse weather along the coast. In the 3'd stage, a "Cyclone Warning" is issued 24 hours before the cyclone's anticipated landfall and is updated frequently. Warnings for the ports and fisheries start much earlier. Ports are warned day and night througli a specially designed port warning system. Informatory messages on cyclones are issued to All India Radio and Doordarshan much earlier, as soon as a tropical cyclone is detected in the Bay of Bengal or in the Arabian Sea. Lastly, the 4"' stage of warning comprises the "post-landfall scenario" which commences about 12 hours before anticipated landfall and continues so long as cyclone-force winds (60 kmph or more) are effected in the affected areas overland. Cyclone warnings are disseminated through the following means:

Telegrams with highest priority, Telecast through Doordarshan, Broadcast through AIR, Bulletins to the press, Broadcast through Department of Telecomlnunications, Coastal Radio Stations for ships in the high seas and coastal areas, INSAT based Disaster Warning System, and Point to point direct channels to the Central and State Government functionaries and other user agencies. ,


In addition to above, cyclone warnings are disseminated through telepriniers, telex, facsimile and telephones wherever such facilities exist with the recipients. The warning bulletins are issued normally at hourly intervals, but more frequently when needed. Likely areas threatened by cyclone, heavy rainfall, magnitude of destructive winds and probable inundation of coastal areas by storm surges are some of the elements included in the bulletins. On receipt of warnings, the Government ofiicials and other authorities take appropriate measures to safeguard lives if necessary by evacuating people from vulnerable areas to safer places. Landline telegram, telex and telephones are often aniong the first casualty during a cyclone situation because the overhead lines and undergroulid cables are affected by strong winds and heavy rain during cyclone. To overcolne this difficulty, a satellite based dependable and unique com~nunication system known as Disaster Warning System (DWS) has been developed in India. Through this system, rapid and direct dissemination of cyclone warnings in local languages is made via INSAT satellite to designated addresses in the vulnerable areas. At present, Disaster Warning System is working along coastal areas where about 250 DWS sets have been installed in places such as blocks, taluq offices and police stations. Disaster warning sets are also located in the H. Q. of Coastal States and Districts. The system has been successfully utilized in cyclone situations and found to be very usefill. About 100 more DWS sets are to be installed in the coastal areas.

The preparedness means measures which enable government agencies, private organizations, communities, and individuals to respond rapidly and effectively to disaster situations. The preparedness measures include the formulation of viable disaster mitigation plans.


actions liave to be planned ahead of disaster. It would consist The of a plan of action to be implemented on the receipt of the Cyclone Alert message from Cyclone Warning Centre. A cyclone alert is issued generally 48 hours beforc tlie possibility of tlie area being affected by cyclonic weather such as strong winds, heavy rain and storm surges. The Action Plan would indicate how evacuation of people would be efkcted and the places where they could be evacuated to. The identification of strong buildings which would withstand the f~lry of [lie storni is an important segment of preparedness action plan. The safe storage of non-perishable food and other essential needs, adequate collection of stoclts of drinking water and medicines, has to be made. Most of the maritime states have prepared Cyclone Disaster Preparedness handbooks or manuals, wliere action plans of various organizations liave been indicated in the case of cyclone threat. It is desirable that as an essential component of preparedness, the action points indicated in the manuals are rehearsed at the beginning of each cyclone season and updated in the light of experience gathered.


To deal with cyclone situation a contingency plan has been evolved by the Ministry of Agriculture, who is the nodal agency at the Centre to co-ordinate the activities of various Central departments and the affected State/States to cope up with tlie natural disaster in general. Training programmes for the disaster management officials and (NGOs) are arranged by tlie disaster Non-Government Organisations management faculties of several management and public adniinistration institutions in India. The Certificate Course in Disaster Management conducted Gandhi national Open University (IGNOU) is available bi-annually by tlie I~idira to all in more and abroad in a distance learning mode. IGNOU is also planning to introduce Post Graduate Diploma Course in Disaster Managelllent.


Thc prevention of tropical cyclone formation is not witliin the realm of possibility. I-Iowever, tlie loss of human lives and destructioli of properties can be niinimised by adopting prescribed short and long term measures for risk reduction. While cyclone warning system is the most important constituent of short term risk reduction measures against cyclone disaster, the risk assessment of tropical cyclone falls under long term measures. As prevention of formation of tropical cyclone is not in tlie realm of possibility, definite structural and non-structural preventive measures of long term nature can be undertaken to mitigate the suffering of cyclone affected people. Structural measures like construction of cyclone slielters, embanltments, dykes, reservoirs and coastal afforestation are some of the long-term risk reduction measures for cyclone disasters. Creation of proper awareness, training and education of people in the vulnerable communities, introduction of insurance are some of the useful non-structural measures..

Severe tropical cyclones are responsible for large number of causalities and consideirable damage to property and agricultural crop. The destruction is confined to the cohstal districts and tlie maximum destruction being witliin 100 km from tlie centre of tlie cyclone and on the right side of the storm track. Principal dangers from a cyclones are : (i) very strong winds, (ii) torrential rain, and (iii) high storm tides. Most casualties are caused by coastal inundation by


Typology of Disasters - 1

storm surge. Maximum penetration of storm surges varies from 10 to 20 km inland from the coast. Heavy rainfall and floods come next in order of devastation. They are often responsible for much loss of life and damage to property. Death and destruction directly due to winds are relatively less. The collapse of buildings, falling trees, flying debris, electrocution, aircraft and ship accidents and disease from contaminated food and water in the post-cyclone period also contribute to loss of life and destruction of property. Floods generated by cyclone rainfall are more destructive than winds. Rainfall of the order of 20 to 30 cm per day is common. As mentioned, the worst danger emanates from the storm surge. In the storm centre, the ocean surface is drawn upward by 30 cms or so above normal due to the reduced atmospheric pressure in the centre. As the storm crosses the continental shelf and moves coastward, the mean water level increases. This abnormal rise in sea level caused by cyclone is known as storm surge. The surge is generated due to interaction of air, sea and land. The cyclone provides the driving force in the form of very high horizontal atmospheric pressure gradient and vely strong surface winds. As a result, the sea level rises and continues to rise as cyclone moves over increasingly shallower water as it approaches coast, and reaches a maximum on the coast near the point of landfall (Point of crossing coast). Surge is maximum in the right forward sector of the cyclone and about 50-100 Km from the centre coinciding with the zone of maximum wind. Winds in this sector is from ocean to land. Due to improvement in cyclone warning system and adequate and timely steps taken by the government and other agencies, it appears to be some stabilization (in spite of large population growth especially in coastal areas) on the loss of human lives, although loss of properties shows an appreciable increasing trend. The increase in the loss of properties is due to increased but unplanned human activities. E-enginee;ed and non-engineered canstructions along the coast also contribute to the damage.suffered by property. In support of the above statements we present some data on recent cyclones in the table 7.2 below. It may be seen that although the May 1979 and May 1990 cyclones,.which occurred in the same coastal area of Andhra Pradesh and had the peak wind speeds of the same order, yet the loss of human lives in the case of the 1990 cyclone was of the same order comparison to that of 1977 cyclone but the economic losses were many times more in the 1990 cyclone.

Table 7 . 2

( Cyclone

Peak Wind Speed

Human Loss Lives

Loss of Property (Millions Rupees)

Month & Year

Chirala Machilipatnam
I210 1700 11700

. ( May 1979
November I984


November 1977

260 ,9887

May 1990


October 1999

Check your progress 2


Note: (i) Use given below for your answers. (ii) Check your answers with those at the end of the unit.
1) What are the characteristics of the "eye" of a cyclone?


2), What are "Cyclone Alert" and "Cyclone Warning"?

3) Write a few lines on Disaster Warning system?




1 1 1 this Unit, we have discussed the highly disastrous phenomenon of cyclone. The characteristic features of cyclone and their occurrence in the Indian seas have been described. The well-developed and operationally-proven forecasting and warning system has been discussed. Special mention has been made of the .-,LNSATbased Disaster Warning System for cyclone warning. Preparedness p l a s and Risk Reduction measures have been enumerated. Finally, the destructive effects of cyclones have been described.


INSAT Inundation
: :

Indian National Satellite (Geostationary) Flooding.

Typology of DBasters - I


Time of cyclone hitting the coast. Also the place where cyclone hits 1:lie coast. Generally sloping ground (under sea water) i n a coastal region; the continental shelf is generally talten to extend in tlie sea upto a depth of 183 metres (600 feet).

Continental Shelf :

Anthes. R. A, (1 982): "Tropical Cj~clones, their cvolzition, structure and eflec/,s". A~nerican Met. Soc. Met. Monograph, Vol. 19.41. Government of India (1 997): Jfu/ulnerahilityAtlas ofIndia Mandal, G. S. (1995) Nutural Disusrers, in "Disaster Management (V.K. Sharma, Ed.), IIPA, New Delhi Mandal, G. S. (1 993): "Natziral Disaster. Reduction". Reliance Publ isliing House, New Delhi. Pisharoty, P. R., 1993, Tropical Cj)clone,Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, Munibai.


Check your Progress 1

1) Your answer should include the following points:


Cyclone is a large, rotating atmospheric phenomenon. It may extend 150 s width and 12- 14 k ~ n s in height. to 1000 k ~ n in It has fierce winds and gives torrential rains. It occurs over seas and comes to coastal areas where it creates devastation.

Your answer should include tlie following points: The stages of development of a cyclo~ie are as follows: Low Pressure area (L) Depression (D) Deep Depression (DD) Cyclonic Stor~n (CS) Severe Cyclonic Storm (SCS) Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS) Super Cyclone (SC) 3) Your answer should include the following points: ApriI, May and June (Pre-monsoon season) October, November and December (Post-monsoon season)
Check your Pfogress 2

1 ) Your answer should include the following points:


Eye is the calm, cloud free, centre of cyclone. Its size varies from 20 to 50 Itms in dianieter.



It i s surrounded by a ring of clouds with heavy rain and very strong winds.

2) Y O Lanswer I~ should include the following points;


Cyclone Alert is the advance warning issued 48 IIOLI~S before the anticipated commencement of adverse weather on coast. Cyclone Warning is issi~ed24 hours before the anticipated lanclfall of cyclone and is updated frequently.

3) Your answer shoi~lcli n c l ~ ~ d the e following points:


Disaster Warning System (DWS) is operated via INSAT Satellite. Through it, warnings are sent in local language from Cyclone Warning region. Centres to designated recipients in the vi~lnerable It is very reliable b e c a ~ ~ s the e n o r ~ i ~ a commi~~iicatio~i l cliannels brealtdown during cyclone but DWS, being a satellite operated service, w01-I<s.

8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8;5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 8.10 8.1 1


Objectives Introduction Distinction Between Drought and Famine characteristics of Droughts Predictability, Forecasting and Warning Vulnerability Mitigation Typical Effects Let Us Sum Up Key Words References Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit, you should be able to :
a a a a

discuss the ~neani~ig and charactel-istics of drought and famine, explain the factors affecting vulnerability to drouglit, highlight the drought preparedness and mitigation measures, describe the typical effects of drought.

Drought can be defined as lack or shortage of water for an unusually long per.iod. It can occur at any place causing anything from inconvenience to deaths through famine. When the rains fail, the effect can be disastrous; no drinking water, crops die, 1 1 industrial communities, drouglits call cause water scarcity and people starve. 1 closing down of various eco~lomic activitics. I 1 1 this Unit, the focus of discussion will be drought, its characteristics, predictability, forecasting and warning System. An attempt will be made to describe vulnerability, mitigation and typical effects of drought situation.


Drought results in shortfall in agricultural production and hence, may cause food shortages. However due to reduced purchasing power of the, poorer sections of the society and if timely help is not available from the co~nlnunity or . government, the situation can lead to famine. Reduced production of food is only one of several problems; secondary effects i~lclude reduced rural employment; which results in loss of income and reduction of purchasing power for buying food. Drought causes crop 'failure, but mismanagement of the drought mitigation measures can cause famines. Droughts There are three different types of droughts namely meteorological, h$drological .> and agricultural, -.


. I

Meteorological drought, describes a situation where there is a reduction in rainfall for a specified period (day, month, season or year) below a specified amou11t - ~ ~ s u a l ldefined y as some proportion of the long term average for specified time period. Its definition involves only precipitation statistics. Hydrological d r o u g l ~ tinvolves a reduction in water resources (stream flows, lake levels, ground water, underground acquifers) below a specified level for a given period of time. Its definition involves data on water availability and off take rates in relation to the nor~nal requirements of the system (domestic, industrial, agricultural) being supplied. In case of rivers fed by snowmelt, irrigated areas downstream may experience reduced water availability as a result of reduced snowmelt caused by below normal temperatures during the summer months. Areas drawing water from i~ndergroundacquifers through wells and borewells may experience hydrological drought as a result of geological changes which cut off parts of the acquifer. Overutilization of the acquifer may also result in its exhaustion. Agricultural drought is the impact of ~netcorological andlor hydrological droughts on crop yields. Crops have particular temperature, moisture and nutrient require~nentsduring their growth cycle in order to achieve optimum ,production. If moisture availability falls below the required amount during the growth cycle, crop growth will be impaired and yields reduced. Howcvcr, droughts have different impacts on different crops, e.g., sesame often thrives in dry (season) years. Bccal~seo r the co~nplexityof the relationships involved, agricultural drought is difficult to measure. A fall in yields nlay be due to insufficient moisture but it may also stem from, or have been aggravated by, such factors as the ilnavailability of fertilizers, lack of weeding, the presence of pests and crop diseases or the lack of labour at critical periods in the growth cycle. the conditions. Also these factors can interact with each other and con~plicate Famines arc caused by either or both afthe following reasons: a) decline in the availability of food b) reduction in people's access to, or their ability to acquire food. It was generally believed that the only cause of famine is a decline in food availability due to a reduction in production resulting from adverse weather, diseaselpest infestation or through a cutting off of sources of supply. I-Iowever, over the last century there has been a growing realisation that famines can also occur in areas where overall food availability has hot declined, but as a result of a reduction in the ability of certain disadvantaged or economically weak groups within the populatio~lto acquire food, for instance as a result of a loss in their income or a sudden rise in the price of food. Decline in food availability may be csli~sed by a range of "natural" and human-induced-fact ors. Natural factors are :

Drought and Farnir~c

agricultural drought floods


1 I

unseasonal cold spells/frosts crop disease pest infestation

Human induced factors are :

* conflict preventing farmers from planting, weeding, harvesting and selling or

possibly, involving the

destruction of standing crops.

external economic shocks, e.g., sudden increases in the price of agricultural inputs (power, fertilizers, pesticides, good seeds) or appreciable fall in the sale price of agriculture~produce. Unchecked hoarding

Disruption in movement of food grains from one part of the country to the other either due to natural hazards or dislocation due to'civil strife. internal macro economic conditions, e.g., poor agricultural pricing policies discouraging farmers from growing food crops (as against cash crops).


A drought is characterized by scarcity of water. As an agricultural drought affects most as compared to a meteorological or hyd;ologicnl drought, it is the agricultural drought which is of colnlnon concern. Infact when the word drought is used, it commonly connotes agricultural drought.
Main characteristics of drought (agricultural drought) are: It builds over a period of time (may be even a year or two) with illcreased scarcity of water "generally due to insufficient or erratic monsoon rains.

It does not have a well-defined start. It is a creeping phenomenon. Generally it does not have a sharp ending although sometimes a prolonged spell of drought can come to a sudden end through a fairly long spell of specially heavy rainfall as in case of depression or cyclone. Drought can be localized covering a district or a group of districts. On the other hand, it can be widespread covering a few states. Area affected by a drought usually takes an elliptic shape instead of a circular coverage. Although drought can occur anywhere if there is prolonged scarcity of water, the regions most prone to droughts in India are :

West Rajasthan Marathwada Telangana Rayalseema Madhya Pradesh Some parts of Orissa (Kalahandi and adjoining districts) Some parts of Icarnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Bihar and U.P.

Drought is more troublesome when it occurs over the rainfed areas of the country.



Drought and Famine

drought is very I I I L I C ~linked with the performance of tlie monsoon, the predictability of drought is also linked to the monsoon. But monsoon, by its inherent nature is highly variable in time and space which means that rainfall is neither uniform nor evenly distributed. For good agriculture, well distributed and evenly spaced spells of monsoon rain are required. But in actual circumsta~ices, it is rarely so. However, the good feature is that monsoon rains arrive towards the end of May or early June even if there is a delay of few days alid the monsooli never fails the entire country. Thus, widespread drought is not a very frequent occurrence in India. ~hi"s inherent characteristic of the monsoon rains (which provide about 80% of the annual rainfall in India) empliasizes that the predictability of droughts in India - either on local scale of district or a group of districts or on larger scale of a state or group of states - is achievable 011 a working basis of monitori~lg the rainfall - especially the monsoon rainfall - over the target region and taking into account the antecendant rainfall history of last one or two monsoon seasons.


We have already referred to the intimate link between the performance of monsoon and the incidence of drought. Therefore, it should be obvious that forecasting of drought is almost wholly linked to the ability to forecast monsoon, i.e., to forecast its timely onset and the season's rainfall. It is within the capability of science to indicate broadly the date of onset of monsoon over Icerala and to give a forecast of the overall rainfall for the country as a whole during the monsoon season which lasts from June to September. It is also possible to issue day to day forecasts of the progress of monsson over different parts of the country. Therefore, tbe occurrence of rain over all parts of the country is closely monitored and analysed keeping in view the rainfall history of the previous years. Thus, it is possible to idicate the lilcelihood of drought over an area and to monitor its subsequent condition. However, it has to be kept in mind that as already stated, drought does not have a sharp starting point. It builds over a period of time when apart from the availability of rains, factors such as water use and availability of additional water resources (from rivers, tubewells) has to be taken into account.

Of the main natural disasters, droughts are unique in tern~sof length of time between the first indications from, for example, rainfall monitoring that a drought : is developing and the point at which it begins to impact significantly upon tlie population of the affected area. The requirement of the length of such "warning time" varies significantly between societies. Early warning system indicators are :

Meteorological Agricultural

1 :

Remote sensing

However, the Agriculture and R e v e n ~ ~Departments e o f . the States remain watchfill during tlie dry weather seasolis and the situation is monitored regularly especially for those areas which are known to be drought prone due to local climatic conditions, scarcity of ground water and absence of irrigation facilities.
As drought is forecast and monitored, on the basis of the availability of water (mainly thro~~gh I~OI~SOO and I ~ from underground soLlrces to some extent), meteorological forecast and warning systems and satellite monitoring of underground water sources and tlie condition of growing crops constit~~te the basis of drought monitoring and warning system.

Check Your Progress 1

Note: i) Use the space given below for YOLII. aliswers. ii) Checlc your answer with that given at tlie end of the Unit.

1) Briefly describe the distinction between drought and famine.

2) Discuss the cha~.acteristic feati~res of a drought.

3) Discuss briefly tlie predictability of dro~~glits in India.


- - --


Factors contributing to vulnerability to dro~~glits are the following: monsoon rains are deficient, lands, lion-irrigated agriculti~ral


source of water for irrigation dries up, low moisture retention in soil, deficiency of ~noisture at critical stage of crop growth, farmers can't adapt to drought or do not get alternative seeds, and lack of alternate sources of income for those rendered jobless due to drought.

Drought nrid Famine



Vulnerability, from economic angle reduces the demand within the economy generally, increases defaults on loans in rural sector and reduce govt. revenues. Drought affects national budget as it costs heavily to govt. for organizing relief measures. Droughts result in reduced income of farmers and agricultural labourers, reduced spending locally on agricultural inputs and equipment and non-agricultural items and services like price of livestock as farmers are forced to sell because of inputs. increases in the cost of foclcler and agriculti~ral

inability of Inore vulnerable sections within the population to afford increased food prices results in tlie following:
e e

I I 1 l I l I

switch to cheapel: arid sometimes less preferred food. reduction in overall food intake leading to malnutrition and starvation. borrowing to maintain food intake. Poor hygiene, disease. selling assets to raise funds. engaging in alternative income earning activities locally. migrating in search of employmelit opportunities. migration to where relief food is being distributed.


Drying-up of water sources leads to reduction in water quality, the need to travel fi~rtlier to collect water and possibly migration to better water sources. Increase /I] conipetitio~lfor access to dwindling water sources [nay lead to increase in incidences of local disputes/conflict. Drought also leads to substantial reductio~iin industrial production especially in tlie industries requiring considerable amount of water such as plastic, paper, textile and petroleum industries. Lack of I~ydroelectl-icpower generation and poor health of workers also affect industrial production and increase tlie eco~iomic vulnerability. Education is another sector vlunerable to drought. It leads to loss of education, due to fall in school attelldallces by children lacking energy and/or money for fees, plus tlie need for them to assist other family mernbers in water' collectio~l and inco~ne generating activities. Social costs of migration are also very heavy on account of break-up of communities and families.

The commonly adopted mitigation strategies are as follows:Check dams to store water. Watershed management.
, : a


Cattle management. Proper selection of crop for dro~~glit affected areas. Leveling, soil conservation techniques. Reducing deforestation and firewood cutting in the affected area. Checking of migration and providing alternate eniployment for people in government sponsored relief schemes or village cooperatives and non-governmental programmes.

.. -

e e

* Education and training to the people.


Participation in com~ni~nityprogrammes, e.g., pani-panchayat in Makaraslitra, Sukho~najri experiment in Punjab, and Anna Hazare's work in Rale gaon Sidhi Village in District Ahmednagar of Maharashtra.

a) Jmproveme~~t in Agriculture through modifying cropping patterns and introducing drought-resistant varities of crops.

b) Management of Rangeland wit11 improvement of grazing lands, improved grazing patterns, introduction of feed and protection of shrubs and trees.
c) Development of Water resource system with improved irrigation, develop~nent of improved storage facilities, protection of surface water from of drip irrigation system. evaporation, and introd~~ction d) Animal Husbandary activities call help in mitigation with the use of improved and scientific methods, increasing outputs without destroying the echo-system.
The first step in drought mitigation is to identify areas that are at risk. In this situation, historical records can be analysed. After the identification of vulnerable areas, priority zones sliould be established. Then comprehensive and integrated development programlnes should $e initiated.


Effects of Drought PRIMARY
Loss of Crops, Loss of agricultural production Loss of Livestock and other animals Loss of water for drinking and hygienic use Loss of hyproductive power generation Loss of industrial production

SECONDARY (Short & Long term)

Famine Spread of disease and death Loss of Livelihood Changes in Settlement patterns and in social and living pattellis Major ecological changes including; - Increased desertification - Decreased scrub growth, and - lncreased wind erosion of soils

Primary effects of drouglit mainly result from lack of water. However, the secondary effects of drought follow and result Irom the primary effects. In such circumstances, people begin to migrate in searcli of better grazing lands for their herds or to the cities to seek alternate source of income, If the dwindling supplies of food are not replaced, famine can occur, further accelerating the migration. The migration may in itself contribute to the spreading of the scope of the disaster, specially if grazing animals are moved wit11 their masters. Long-term drougl1t .


\ Check Your Progress 2

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answer with that given at the end of the Unit.

results in permanent changes in settlement patterns and in social and living patterns. Among the ecological changes the desertification cycle is of the most conccrn. The whole process gradually spreads, bringing more and rnnore land ~lnder deserl conditions.

I ) List the situation that create or'aggravate droughts.

2) Briefly discuss the ~nitigation strategies or actions that can lessen the drought


3) Drougllt impacts can be highly varied and widespread and are potentially one of the most destructive hazards. Discuss.


,This Unit has given an idea about the phenomenon of drought and its characteristics. The link between drought and famine has been discussed. It brought out the importance of predictability, forecasting and warning of the problems of vulnerability and drew attention to the droughts. If lligl~lighted need for systematic mitigation strategies. Lastly, it gives clear understanding on : the typical effects of droughts.



Animal Husbandry Desertification

breeding and care of domestic animals. '~'eclinically, it occurs whcn thc soil reaches a certain level o r dryness and tlie land gradually of a desert. takes on the c~iaractkristics measures which can minimize the effects of hazards when they do occur. Mitigation measures may be of either "structural" or "non-structural" nature. grassland maintained for cattle grazing.




Bliatia, B.M., 1967, F~mzi17es in hldia, Asia Publishing Hoirse, New Dellii Bagclii, K.S., 1991, D ~ o z ~ g Prone ht India: Problenw and I'e~vpectives,Vol. I & 11, Agricole Publishing Academy, New Dellii. Kulshrestlia, S.M., 1997, Drought M~rrrcrgem7ent it1 Z~~dicr, Joint COLAICARE Tech. Report No. I , Institute of Global Environment and Society, USA. Tapeshwar Singli, 1995, Drozght Dismter u ~ i dAgriczllturnl Developnzent i~z Indin, New dellii, People's Publishing House.


Check Your Progress 1

1) Your answer should include the following points:


Drought results in sl~ortfallin agricultural production and hence may cause food shortages. Due to the reduced purchasing power of tlie poorer sections of l.he society and if tin~elyhelp is not available fiom ihe community or governments, tlie situation can lead to famines. Drought causes crop failure, but mismanagement of the drought mitigation can cause farnines.

2) Your answer should include tlie following points:


It builds over a period of time with increased scarcity of water generally due to insufficient or erratic monsoon rains. It is a creeping phenomenon. Drought can be localized covering a district or a group of districts, or be widespread cover-up a state or a group of states.

Area affected by a drought usually taltes an elliptic shape instead of a circular coverage.

3) Your answer should include tlie followi~ig points:

As drought is vely much linked with tlie performance of tlie monsoon, the . predictability of dro~~glit is also linlted to tlie monsoon. But ~nonsoon,by its inherent nature is highly variable in time and space wliicli nieans that rainfall is neither ~~niTorm nor evenly distributed.

For good agriculture, well distributed and evenly spaced spells of monsoon rain are required. But in actual circumstances, it is rarely so. The encouraging feature is that even if there is a delay of itw days and tlie monsoon never fails tlie entire coui~t~y.

The seasonal forecast of lnalisooli rainfall helps in tlie predictability of dro~~glits.

Check Your Progress 2

1 ) Your answer should include the following points:

monsoon rains arc deficient.


lion-irrigated agricultural lands. source of water for irrigation dries LIP.


low moisture retention in soil. deficiet~cy of rnoistiire at critical stage of crop growth. fanners can't adapt to drought or do not get alter~iative seed. lack of alternate soiirces of income for those rendered jobless due to drought.

2) Your answer s h o ~ ~ include ld the following points:

The commonly adoptecl initigatio~l strategies are as follows: construction of check dams to store water. watershed management and water rationing. cattle management and proper selectio~iof crop for droi~ghtaffected areas. leveling, soil conservation techniques. Reducing deforestation and firewood cutting in the affected area.

Education and training ofthe people.

3) Your answer should include the followi~ig points:


The effects of drought can be divided into primary and secondary. prima~y effects of drought mainly results in loss of crops, livestock and other animals, water for drinking and hygienic Llse, loss of hydroelectric power geiieration and loss of moustrial production. Secondary effects of drought follow and result from tlie pri~iiaryerrects. More prominent secondary effects are: poor liealtll, disease a~iclloss of liveliliood. In such circumstances, people begin to migrate in searcli of better grazing lands for their herds or to tlie cities to seek alternate source of income. If the dwindling supplies of food are not replaced, famine can occur, furtlier accelerating tlie migration, which coned lead to social conflict.



Ob-jectives Introduction 9.2 Landslide and Snow Avalanche : The Phenomena 9.3 Characteristics and Causes 4 V~tlnerability 9.5 Risk Reduction Measures 9.6 Preparechess 9.7 Effects and Impacts 9.8 Let us sum up 9.9 Key worcls 9-10 References and Further Reading 9.1 1 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises


'After studying this itnit, yo11 will be able to:

discuss the phenomena of landslide and snow avalanche, their characteristics, causes and effects, explain tlie preparedness and risk reduction measures.

In this unit, we shall discuss landslides and snow avalanches which are hazards peculiar to mountain areas. Occusring i n remote park of difficult mountain terrain which is not easy to access, these patticular hazarcls affect communities which are often isolated and without milch outside suppo~t. l'liese communities also have Ilie handicap of being economically and educationally clisadvantaged. These facts highlight the importance of studying landslides and snow avalanches and leaving about the prepareclncss aspects.




Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1971) defines these phenomena as follows: Landslide: Rapid downward movement, under tlie influence of gravity, of a mass of rock, earth, or artificial fill on a slope. Also, tlie tnass that moves or has 1110veddownwards. SIIOW Avalanche: Large mass of snow, ice, earth, rock, or other ~naterialiu swift motion down a mountain side or over a precipice. The Encyclopaedia Brittanica - Micropaedia (1985) gives fairly cletailed descriptions of the two phenomena as follows: Lsndslidc: Also called landslip; Dowliward ~nass movement of eattli or rock on i~nstable slopes including many for~ns resulting from differences in rock structure, coherence of material involved, degree of slope, amount of included water, extent of natural or artificial undercutting at the base of the slope. relative



rate of movement and relative quantity of rnatesial involved. Many terms cover these variations : creep. earthflow, niudflou, solifluction and clebris avalallclle are related forms in which Inass niove~ncntis by flowage.
If shearing movement occurs on a surface on co~lsoliclatcdrock, the clislocatecl mass is a debris slide. ClifL nlay become so slcep tl~rough t ~ ~ l d u r c u t t iby n~ rivers, glaciers or wavcs that masses of rocks will fall ticcly and constitute a rock-all type of landslide.

Snow Avalanche: Large mass of snob or roc]\ tlcbl is that nloves rapidly dow11a mountain slope sweeping ancl grindi~lgcvcrything In its path. An avalanche begrins whell a Inass of material overcomes frictional rcsistancc of' the sloping surface. ot'ten after its foundat~onis loosencd by rai~ls rapidly mcltcd by a warm ant1 dry hind. Vibrations caused by loud noises si~chas artillery lire, tlli~~icler or blasting can start the mass in motion.

Some snow avalanclies develop during heavy snowstorms and slide wllile snow is still falling but Iiiore often they occul- al'tcr the snow has accumi~latcclat the given site. Tile Wet avalanche is perhaps the no st clangcro~~s bccausc of its I:irgc ~vcigllt, heavy texti~rc and the te~ldcncyto solidiSy as so011 as it slops moving. The dry type is also very dangerous because its entraining ol'great amounts o f air mal,es i t act like a fluid; this kind of avalanchc niay Ilow LIP the opposite side of' a narrow valley. Avalrulclies carry a considerable amount oi'rocl\ debris along with snow and therefore are sig~lificant geological agents; in acldition to transporting unsorted materials to the bottoms of slopes, they may, if repeatcd, cause an important amount of erosion.

From tlie above definitions and descriptions, it will be seen that landslides and 1 involve thc shift snow avalanches arc phenomena of oiountain regions a n d boi I and sudden ~iiovemcntof large masses of material fiillilig or slippi~lgdown a hilly slope. While landslide involves rock, soil and mild: s ~ l o wavalanchc primarily involves snow. While landsliclc [nay occur evcn in smaller hills or rocky terrains, snow avalanches occur in high mountains will1 abundance of snow. Landslides involve loosened or wakened rocks and mucl whereas snow avalanche brings down accumulated or overhanging s ~ i o w mass :~ltliougllit may collect sock and other debris on its way. Both the plielioniena can be triggered by their own weights or by vibrations and also due to loud noises. Eat-Ihqi~akes or eve11 minor tremors are I<nownto have triggered landslide5 and sriow avalanches. Incidence of landslides are colnlnon in the various hilly regions ol' India but these Kerala), and in the are more in tlie Himalayas, in the Wcsteln Ghats (includi~lg Nilgiris. Tliere are occasional reports of landslides in the Vindliyachals ancl the Eastern Ghats as well. Landslides are more frequent during or after heavy rains. In India, snow avalanches occur in the I-limnlayan ranges and more so in the mountain regions of Kashmir, Himacllal Pradesh and the hills of West U.P. 'This is because the dense forest and vegetation cover in the eastern and nostheastern Himalayas act as binding force and inhibit the slippage of snow mass.


Characteristics Landslides: These can be classified in two categories according to the type of movement and the type of material. The movement can be either slow or fast. Obviously, the more rapidly moving landslides pose grater hazards to life and property in their path. Fast speeds also leave little time for warning or escape. It
s t

1 5 a total disaste~if a fast landslide occurs at night and passes through or hits a vlllagc or hamlet. Apart from tlie speed, tlie ~novenicrit of a lalidslide can also be classified as n ilow or f a l l or topple. A ilow is niostly like a thick viscous Iriixturc of niud and broken rocks. Water is really not necessary for a landslide tlow but this type of landslides generally occurs during or after licavy rains. In lalldlside fall, masses of rock and other material fall down f o m cliffs or collie do\vn li~~rlling along tlie slopes and bouncing tlirougli tlie air. A topple type lan(1slide involves an overturning movemen1 which, if not bloclcecl by bigger and s~able socks, results in a landslide.

L.antlslide and SIIOW rrltl



111a lanclslide, tlie nioving material can be broken LIP fir-lhcr as the landslicle progresses or it may remain intact if it is strong enough. l'he landslide, in which tile moving material is strong and remains more or less intact, is callctl a slump.


Sllow Avelnncl~e: Thcse ]nay be classitied as "dry snow type" or "wet s~iow type" and each of these types can be hl-ther subdivided into "direct action" 01"delayed action" avalilnches. Thus, we lnay have ~ O L Icategories ~ of snow avalanches, viz., (i) Dry snow direct action avalanche, (ii) Dry snow delayed actioli avalanche, (iii) Wet snow direct action avnla~iche,and (iv) Wet snow tlclnyed action avalanche.

Dry snow avalanches involvc lies11 (dry) snow sliding over a s ~ ~ r f a oi'oltl cc snow wliicli has congealed and become fixed and stable. Wet snow avaliuiches occur wlien rainfall or warm wcathcr follows inimecliately afier a spell of heavy suowfhll. In sucli a casc, tlie snow avalanclic consists primarily ol'mclting snow mixed witti water but lakes along with it any other material cnroute. Wet snow avalanclies also occur during spri~ig season when licavy accumulations of snow become loose with the start o r llic melting proccss with tllc advent ol' warm spring season. Avalanches that occur during or just after a snowi'all take the falling snow along ivitliout giving it a clialice to stabilize itself at tlie location ofthe snowfall. Such snow avalanches (whether dry or wet type) are called Direct Action atalanclies. On the other hand, those cases where snow woulcl have accum~~lated over a period of time before an avillanclie (clsy or wet) starts. arc called Delaycd Action avalanches.
A snow avalanclic comprises three "zones". viz., (i) Stnrtirlg Zone, (ii) Runout Zone. and (iii) Track. Tlic Starting Zone is also ci~lleilRclcasc Area or Funnation Zone or Origin Zone or Accum~~lation Zone, or liupturc Z o ~ i e or Fracture Zone or Catchment Basin. It is tlie area where the snow iivalanche begins. Depending on the shape o f the slope or cliff iuid Ilie preferred areas of snowfall clepe~iding on tlie osientatioa 01' tlie mountains. there are ercas with likelihood 01. start of snow avalanches. Tliesc arc callcd snow avalsnclic "sites".



1. I

'The Runout Zone is also called Deposition Zonc. It is tlre lowest cnd or the Destination Area of a snow avalanche where the avalanche will sun out, i.e., the snow niass carried by tlie snow avalanche will ulti~natelycome to a stop. This stoppage lnay come about either because the terrain has beconie flat inhibiting fi~rthermovement or because an obstacle stops tlie moving mass. The middle past or path between the Starting Zone ancl thc Runout Zone is called the Avalanche Track. It is also known as Slicle Path or Avalanclic Path. Each snow avalanche seems to possess uniquc characte~.isticsdepending on factors such as topography of the mour?tain, climate, and weather conditions such as snowfall, rainfall, ancl speed and direction of the prevailing wind. Sonletimes, snow niass can even come down flying froin a cliff through air and fall over an unsuspecting community resulting in serious disaster.

Tyl~ologyof Disasters - I1

Landslides: As landslides involve movement of nlass of rock, m ~ etc., ~ d clown a slope, factors that promote such movement of mass provide tlie causes for landslides. Sucli causes can arise from a number of happenings. For example:
(a) Increase in the mass of weak roclts, clay arid other debris likely to slide; (b) Loosening or breaking of roclis and soil by wetting due to rain,, erosion. deforestation, earthquake, tremors and similar other events; (c) Increase in the tilt or slope due 10 seismic disturbances or construction activities, mining, quarrying etc. It is evident from tlie above that tlie causes for landslides are both natural and manniade. WIiile the above mentioned causes are basically responsible for landslides, it is quite often that a triggering mechanism starts tllc tlisaster. Conditions favourable for a landslide continue to build up and a final small cause triggers a landslide. This s~nall cause or trigger can occur in many ways. It coulcl be tlie seepage of water inside rock crevices; a vibration from blasting, earthquake, or even thllnder; erosion from water streams; deforestation; weakening dud to digging and quarrying. It could even be the continued loading duc to snow accumulation or collection of large amount of rain water.

Snow Avalanche: These are; generated due to tlie slructural failure of snow heap lying on mountain slopes. Sucli structural failure may occur due to:
(a) external stresses caused by (i) large accu~iiulation of siiow iYom heavy snowfall creating excessive loading, (ii) movement of persons, animals and (iii) sound waves from any loud noise like a sharp whistle, gunfire, thunder;

(b) nietamorpl~icactivities, i.e., physical happenings within the snow mass which would createweak layers inside it; and
(c) excessive melting of upper layer of the snow mass resulting in seeping of ~iiejtwater under tlie snow mass and lubricating the bottom surface oftlie snow Inass to enable it to slip and crcate a snow avalanche. In general, snow avalanches occur when extreme winter conditions (sub-zero temperatures) prevail for long duration and heavy snowfall occurs over smooth, glaciated slopes which are devoid of vegetation cover. Sometimes, strong winds blow and drift accunii~latedsnow'from avalanche-free areas to avalanche-prone causing a snow avalanche. slopes thus ' d

Check Your Progress 1 Note:

i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.

1) What are the regions and seasons in India prone to landslides and snow avalanches?

2) What ate the different types of landslides and snow avalanches?

Landslide :ind Snow and Avrtlancl~c

3) List the main causes of landslides and snow avalanches.



The following are highly vulnerable to larldslides and snow avalanches:

(a) Deforested anountains especially in areas of heavy rainfall or snow fall;

(b) Settlen~ents(villages or hamlets) that are built on hill tops, steep slopes, sofier soil;
(c) Settlements built at the base of hills, steep slopes, mountain valleys; (cl) Buildings with weak foundations; and

(,e) Roads and communication lines in mountain areas.



In order to consider risk reduction measures, we shoilld first have an idea of likely risks arising from larldslides and snow avalanches. These are as follows:


Geograpl~ical risks: a) Spread and deposition of debris


Blocking of Streams

ii) Engineering risks:

a) Buildings

Typology of Disnsters - 11

iii) Medical risks: a) Death b) Injury c) Shock iv) Socio-economic risks: a) Loss of family
b) Loss of homes

c) Loss of crops d) Loss of employmen1 The above mentioned risks can bc reducetl by adopting risl~~.educlion measures which can be divided in two categories, viz., (a) Risk Control Measures and (b) Risk Assistance;
Rislc Control Measores

i) i i)
iii) iv) v) vi) vii)

Hazards mapping Preparation of tlazard Zonation Maps Community education arid awareness Land-use regulations Advance planning Relocation of vulnerable setlle~nents Strengthening of weak structures

oi'water and snow viii) Creating adequate clrainage to avoid accum~~lation

Rislc Assistance Measl~res

i) ii) iii) iv)


Monitoring and Warning Search and Rescue Medical assistance Damage assessment Econolnic assistance for rehabilitation and reconstruction

The key to preparedness lies in ~~nderstanding and appreciating the risl< reduction measures listed in the previous seclion of this Unit and adopting these lo the maximum extent that the circumstances l~ermit. Hcre the physical and financial assistance from government ancl non-government sources is of considerable importance.

'Therefore, the preparedness actions to deal with thc ciisasters of landslides and snow avala~iches are as follows: i) ii) Community Education and Awareness Preparation of Hazard Zonation Maps



Relocating I~igli ly vulnerable settlements Strengthening of weak structures Removal of liltely blocltages



Snow a n d Av:~l;lncllr



vi) Creating adequate drainage vii) Monitoring and Warning viii) Community cooperation and vigilance



I n considering the effects and impacts of landslides and snow avalanches, tlie follo~ing special featl~res of these hazards should be kept in mind.
(a) These clisasters occur in remote mountain areas with difficult terrain and adverse weather conditions. (b) The communities (villages and hamlets) are small entities wit11 wcak housing, make-shift structures and poor resources. (c) La~idslidesand snow avalanclics givc almost no notice in niost cases and enormous amounts of rock, soil or snow come crashing with fantastic speed communities. on the often ~~nprepared

In thc light of the above three considerations, tlie effects and i~npactsof landslicles and snow avalanches lnay be clividecl into:

Direct Effects - Physical Damage


Anything on tlie top of a lanclslide or in its path or at its bottom will suffer severe damage. The salne is the case with a snow avalanche when anything in its put11 or falling areas will suffer severe damage. In case ol'a snow avalanclic of "Slab comc hurl ling down, tlie hit is very type" where massive slabs of hardened s~low hard and devastating whereas tlie "loose snow" type of snow avalanche may engulf and cover larger area. Blockages of roads, mountain passes and streams and damage to electric and communication lin& are among the direct efrects of landslides and snow avalanches apart from injuries and fatalities to Iiutnan and cattle lives. Blockage of streams and later release of llie itnpounded water create flash floods witll disastrous effects. Falling of large volumes of debris from landslicles or snow avalanches in mountain lakes can generate flash floods. Snow avalanches create aclditional suffering due to extremely low temperalures and the associatecl Fscezing effects. Even if there are survivors among tlie victims, they may suffer hypotlier~nia and frost-bite before lielp arrives.


ii) Indirect Effects and long-term Impacts

Apart from loss of Iiouses, clestruction of property and shattering of family life due to death or injury to kith and kin, tlie indirect effects and long-term ilnpacts of landslides and . snow avalanches lead to further loss of productivity (agriculture, poultry, s~nall scale cottage industry, forest procluce) in an already marginal productivity scenario.

Ty l~ologyof Disasters - I1

Clreck Your Progress 2

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the ini it.

I ) Wliat are the main risk reduction n~easures for landslides and snow

2) Wliat are the essential elements of Preparedness lo meet the hazards posed by landslides and snow avalanches?

3) What arc tlie direct and indirect effects and impacts o r landslides and snow


This Unit has dealt with Landslides and Snow Avalanclies. These two hazards have been defined and their characteristics have been described. The causes that generate landslides and snow avalanclies have been identified. After describing the vulnerability, risk reduction measures are discussed for these hazards. Essential ele~nelitsof preparedness have been enumeratecl and tlie direct and indirect effects and impacts of landslides arid snow avalanches liave been described.




Coherence of material

Very steep face of a rock, cliff or mountain. Sticking together of material.

Distorting or breaking movement; shifting of different layers (of rocl< or snow) laterally over each other.
Degree of slope Soliflrictiol~

Steepness of slope expressed usually as angle fsom tlie horizontal. Flow of surface deposits of soil, clay, rock, snow over tlie still forzen slope beneath made possible by water released from thawing or melting of snow. Flow, flowing Identifying zones Itijuly to any part of body due to exposure to sub-zero te~nperatures in extremely cold weather. Abnormal lowering of body te~nperature due to external cold.

Flowage Zonation



Webster's, Third N ~ M lnterrzafionnl I Dictionary ( 197 1 )

Encyclopaedia Brittanica - Micropaedia (1985)

D.S. Upadhyay, 1995. Cold Climate Hj~dronreteorolog),, New Age International (P) Ltcl., New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Cliennai.



Check Your Progress 1

1) Your i~nswer slio~~lcl include the following points: Landslides occur in various mountain regions of India but are more in the Hinialayas, the Western Ghats and the Nilgiris.


Landslides are more cotnlnon during rainy season. Snow Avalanches occur in Mirnalayas only because these are snowfall there, Snow avalanches are more common during winters and springs.



2) Your answer should include the following points:



Types of landslides : Flow, Fall or Topple Types Types of snow avalancl~es: Dry snow direct action type, Dry snow delayed action type, Wet snow direct action type, and Wet snow delayed action type. I

3) Your answer should include the following paints:


Causes of landslides : i) lncrease in mass of rocks, soil etc.;

ii) Loosening or breaking of rocks, soil; iii) Increase in ti It or slope.

'r!, pology of
Disasters - I l

Causes of sliow avalanche :

i) Large accumulation of snow;

ii) Vibratio~lsclue to MovemenL of persons or animals, strong ivinds or Loud noise;

i i i ) Melting of Llpper layers of snow and seeping of thc nlelt water the snow Inass.
Checlt Uo~lr Progress 2

L I I ~ ~ C ~

I ) Your answer should include the following points:


Risk Control Measures : i) Hazard mapping ii) I-lazard Zonation Maps iii) Comm~mity Education & Awareness iv) Land-nsc regu lntions

Relocation ol'vulncsable villages

vi). Strengthening of weak structures vii) Creating adequate clrai~lnge.


Risk .4ssistance Measures :


Monitoring & Warning

ii) Search & Rescue iii) Medical Aid iv) Damage Assessment v) Rehabilitation R: Reco~lstr~~ction

2) Your answer should include the following points:

e e

Community Education and Awareness. Preparation of I-lazard Zonatiqn Maps. Relocati~~g highly vulnerable settlements. Strengthening of weal< structures and taking engineering actions s ~ ~ as ch re~novalof blockages, and creating adequate drainage.

r r

3) Your answer should include the following points:


Direct Effects - Physical damage, injuries, deatl~s, loss of homes.

Indirect effects and Iong-term impacts Loss of productivity i n a scenario which is already poor.


10.0 Objectives 10.1 Introcluction 10.2 Fire: Major Kinds
10.2.1 Coal

10.2.2 Oil 10.2.3. Building

1 0.3 Forest Fire 1 0.4 Causes and Vulnerability 1 0.5 I'recautions 10.6 Effects and Impacts 10.7 Let Us Sum Up 10.8 Key Words 10.9 References 10.10 Answers to Clieclc Your Progress Exercises

After st~~dying'l:liis Unit, you should be able to:

discuss the serious nature o r the hazards associated with Fire and Forest Fire, ~~nderstancl the difrerence between [ires in coal, oil, buildings and forests, identify tlie causes of Ilres and forest fires and oLlr vulnerability to these, describe the efrects and impacts of fire and forest fire, and explain tlie precautions against fires and forest fires.

Fire and Forest Fire constitute typical disaster phenomena the origins of which

can be either natural or manmadc. In their ferocity and destructive,potential,

these are notoriously dangerous. In this Unit, we will discuss about Fire and Forest Fire which may be caused by natural processes sometimes but most or tlie time, these occur (and spread) due to human negligence. In either event, fires spread rapidly and cause excessive dalnage to life and property, if not controlled in time.



10.2.1 Coal
Coal is an important source of energy and India has large deposits especially in Biliar and West Bengal ~ r o h where coal is regularly mined in large quantities. Raniga~ij-.Iliaria-Dhanbadis a prominent coal belt. Coal mining is a hazardous operation. Although all eriorts are made to observe tlie mining safety rules prescribed by the Director of Mine Safety of Government of India. fire accidents do occur. soft coal, ul~cler extremely hot conditions as prevail inside deep mines, so~neti~nes leads to spontaneous self-ignition. Once ignited, coal burns ~lncontrollably. In many cases, tlie gases accu~nulatedin the mines can cause explosion. If coal miners are trapped in a burning coal. mine and tlie exit gets bvocked, it beco~iies a major disaster res~~lting in the death ofthe trappccl miners.

ore over,


Typology of

- I1

In the coal fields, tliere are ~~nderground tracts in coal mines where fires have bee11 burning for many years. Enormous quantities of coal are getting destroyed by these fires.

addition to the clcstruction and llazard of burning, coal lires produce considerable amolunt of combustion prod~~cts i n tlle form of gases and soot, all of which polllite tlie atmosphere.

10.2.2 Oil
Inflam~~iable licll~idssucl~ as oil. petrol, spirit, liquor, tar, paints, many chenlicals, and even gliec, pose serious fire hazard. All sucli fires can be called "oil fires". Tliese start as soon as an inflammable liqilicl comes in contact with a naltecl l l a 1 1 ~ ~ or smoulclering embcr or a sparlt or a very hot object. Oil fires can also occur ill the absence of a naltcd flame, sparlt etc. This liappcns because many cIiemica!s release heat due to the process of oxidation when they come into contact with air which always contains oxygen. If adequate ventialtion is not maintained by circulating the air so that heat and fi~mes get dissipated, a stage colnes when the temperature rises enough to cause fire in the inflammable liquid chemical. Sometimes there call be an explosion.

As tlie fire in a liquid medium such as oil, burns on the surface, it spreads quicltly ,. as tlie oil spreads or gels sprinltled on other subslances.



Fires in buildings, residential or co~ii~i~ercial, are by far the most co~iinion occurrences among fire disasters. Once stalled, tlrcs in buildings beco~iie icontro troll able duc to tlie considerable amount of conibustible and inilammable material sucli as wood, cloth, paper, plastics, cliemicals, coolting gas, Iterosene oil, i~secl01.stored in tlie buildings. Fires in multi-storeyed builclings and closely located liouses turn into niqjor disasters as the fire spreads quickly iuicl leads to considerable loss of property and even deaths which occur due to burning or sufibcation. Electrical equipment in builclings, especially in ~ ~ r b a houses n ancl in multi-storeyed buildings, are serious fire hazards if riot clieclted and maintained well. In such; cases, it is not only the fire which causes the disaster but thcre is the added danger of electrocution also.



Forest areas are pa~licularlysusceptible to fires which are mostly manmade altliougli sometimes tllcse could be the result of ligbt~ii~ig strike during severe tliunderstoniis. Forest fires. lead to heavy destruction of I'orest resources and disturb tlie wild lifc as well. Forest fires add to the deforestation process as it taltes many years for tlie forest to grow again. In many cases, tlie forest land gets spoilt or taken over by vested interests for other activities. 'The nature and aliiount of vegetation cover ancl other combustible ~naterial such as deacl wood, dry leayes, determine the nature and extent 01' rol.est fires. I-Iigh atmospheric temperatures, dryness (low Iiumidity), the strengtli of the prevailing wind and tlie slope of the ground arc important factors in die spread of forest fire.

! -

Tlie most comrnon type of forest fire is a "surface fire". It involves lighter material s~iclias dry leaves lying on the ground, bushes and sinall liarclwood trees. Surface tire is generally slow moving and flames can rise allnost one to two metres high. As the surface fire intensifies by burning more material, 11t.a\!ier bushcs and medium size trees stalt burning ancl the flames may 1.i5e as liigll as iive metres or more. On fi~rtlierintensification, forest fire flames may 1.eacIi tlie tops of even the tall trees creating "crown fire". These crown fires, bl~l-ning lipto thc heiglits of tops of tall tl'ees, are the most dangerous forest fires. Many a times, burning trees explode due to intense heat. This is a sure indication that I he forcst tire is reacl~ing the crowning stage wllich involves extreme danger. 1,nrge ancl intense forest fil-cs can create strong air convection currents which blow hot cli.lbers up in the air and carry them to long distances of even a ILilometre or two. These embers can ignite new arcns ol'i'orest fires or create fire ill village areas adjacent to forests.

Fire and Forest Fire


i) Use the space given below l'or your answers. ii) Clieclc your :lns\vers with those given at the encl of the unit.

I) What are thc liaza~.dsposecl by fires in coal mines?

2) I-low does an oil fire occur and spreacl'?

3 ) What types of buildings are more prone to fire disaste~.~'?

Typology of Disasters - I1

4) What are tlie materials in buildings that cseate fise hazards? clisasters?


Fires are caused when a source of fire lilce open fire, naked flame, lighted cigarette or "beeclee", smouldering ember, electric spark, lightning, or any other source of ignition comes into contact with combustible or inflammable material. High atmosplieric temperatures and dryness (low humidity) offer favou~*able circumstances ior a lire to start. Once started,.fire is sustained by tlie continuous supply of oxygen from the air. Therefore, tlie first factor that determines the vulnerability of a material or builcling or location to tire hazard is its proximity to a source of fire or ignition. The second, but eq~lally iniportant, factor is the inflam~vbility or combustibility of tlie material or building or location, i.e., liow quickly it will catch fire and start burning. This depends on the contents as well as the way these are built, stoclced and arranged. By this very nature, l.he fixtures, fittings and furnisliings in a building are fire prohe. I-Iousehold goods like clothes; books, paper, kerosene oil, cooking gas, are either combustible or inflammable. Oils, paints, cliemicals, add considerably to the vulnerability. Crowded places, such as large hotels, cinema halls, hospitals, schools, circus, religious congregations,. large fairs, political rallies, are particularly v~~lnerable because of very large collection of men, women,. cliildren and babies, loose or temporary electrical wiring, overloaded electrical equipment, highly conlbustible material like tents, shamianas, thatched roof, plastic seats, and above all a shortage of adequate number of exits. People also become vulnerable to fire hazards on occasions such as Diwali when a very large number of candles or earthen lamps are lit creating innumerable naked flames and when allnost every family indulges in fireworks even in crowded localities. As already mentioned, air plays the sustaining role once a fire gets started. This is also evident from the pop~~lar idiom "To fan the fire". Hence the prevailing wind conditions influence tlie speeding and spreading of a fire or a forest fire. The areas, downwind from a raging fire, become highly vulnerable to spread of fire.



The following are the important precautions against fire: i) To keep the source of fire or source of ignition well separated from combustible and inflammable material.



To keep tlie source of fire or source of ignition under watch and control. Not to allow combustible or inflammable material to pile up ilnnecessari'ly a~iclto stoclc tlie same as per procedure recomnicnded for safe storage of such combustible or inflammable material. To adopt safe practices in factories, coal mines, in oil stores, in chemical plants and even in Iiousehold kitchens. To incorporatc fire reducing and fire fighting techniques and equipment while planning a house or building or an oil storage facility or a coal mining operation. Use of fire resistant or tire retardant ~iiaterial in construction is a good precaution. Even tliatclied roofs can be treated by siicli material to reduce fire hazards.

Fire r ~ n dForest Fire



v i)

Construction should be as per prescribed rules.

vii) To provide enough ventilation for air circulation so that artificial hot spots are not created. viii) To provide fire sensors and smoke detectors in multistoriecl buildings or important buildings such as tlanlc vaults, archives, computer installations, libraries, ~nuseunis,control rooms, airports, warehouses, shopping malls, and factories.. is) To provide adequate water storage and other fire-fighting material and eqil ipment. To train volunteer fire fighting teams to manage till such time that professional fire fighters arrive on the scene.

x) xi)

In case of forest fires, the volunteer teams are essential not only for fire fighting but also lo keep watch on the start of forest fires and to sound an alert.
~:,arrange fire fighting drills frequently.


xiii) To keep all electrical equipment earthed properly and to ensure its proper maintenance, including regular and strict inspection. xiv) To keep industrial activity (especially that which involvcs a fire hazard of any sort) away fro111residential areas.

The effects o r a fire event, wherever it occurs, are disastrous and its ilnpacts are long term and truly debilitating. India being a large country, co~nplete data are not available; but it has been estimated that.loss due to fires in our c0111itryis more than Rs.1500 crore annually. Apart fro111this enormoils loss of property, tlie human death, disability and misery is colossal and irreparable. It has tleen estimated that the deaths due to fire events are i l l tlie neighbourhood of 15000 to 20000 every year for tlie country. These figures appear unbelievable but are ~*easonably correct estimates. 111Dellii alone, there are about 400 reported 'fire events every year involving death and disability of a few hun ed persons and a loss of around 200 -crores. Forest fires destroy every la? ! ge areas depleting natural resources and taking a heavy toll of life especially the wild life. Forest fires.destroy the valuable bio-diversity.

Typology of

Disasters 11

Check Your Progress 2

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) What precautions would you recommend against fire hazards?

2) Can there be any precautions for thatched roofs in villages?

3) What are the impacts of fire disasters?


Fires and Forest Fires are dreadful disasters which sliould be prevented as much as possible. Apart from fires in forests, tliose in coal mines, oil storages and buildings take heavy toll of life and property. While the basic cause of start of Fire is due to a source of fire coming i n contact with combustible or inllammable material, the further course of events depends very much on the n a t ~ ~ of r e the burning material. , Therefore, fires ill coal, oil, buildings and forests liave characteristic features of their own. The prevailing environmental conditioiis such as atmospheric teniperatu~.e, humidity and wind influence the speed and spread of fires. The effects and impacts of fire disasters are extensive and intensive resulting in loss of pi-ecious lives and property and long term human misery. While it might not be possible to eliminate fire hazards totally it is possible to diminish the probability of occurrence and spread and th~is to reduce the resultant loss by assessing the vulnerability of a particular situation or location and by observing adequate precautions which liave been listed in this Unit.


Combustible Capable of b u r ~ ~ i n easily. g and Capable of catching fire cl~~icltly bur~~in intensely. g Destruction Potential Self-ignition

Fire and Forest Fire

Hidden capability of destruction. Catching fire by sel f-generated heat. itself due to

Wild Life Crown (of a tree) Air Convectio~l Currents

Living creatures in a forest. Top portions of tall trees Air, when it gets hot, rises up and cooler air from sides taltes its place. Tlii~s, convection currents develop in case of forest fire. Small electronic devices that gct activated and sound an alarm as soon as they perceive ~ ~ n i ~ s heat. i~al Small electronic devices that get activatecl and sound an alarm as soon as they perceive smolte particles. Sensitivity or s~~sceptibilityof a builcling or a co~nrnunity to a risk SLICII as fire or forest fire. Large variety of plant and animal life (especially i l l forests).

Fire sensors

Smoke detectors

Encyclopaedia Brittanica - Any edition. Indu Prakash, 1994. Gliaziabad (U.P.) DiLsastei. M~~nngement; Raslitra Prahari Praltashan,


Check Your Progress 1
1) Your answer S I I O L I I ~ include the following points:

Burning fires destroy enonnous amount of coal thus destroying an important energy source. Coal fires generate gases and soot wl~ichpollute the atmosphere.

If coal miners are trapped in the fire, it becomes a 111ajor disaster involving loss of lives.

2) Your answer should include the followifig points:

Oil fire occurs when inflammable oil c o ~ n e s into contact with a source of fire.


Oil fires can also occur by self-ignition under conditions of heat and no ventilation in case of inflammable oils. Oil fires spread qiricltly as tlie burning oil spreads out quickly or gets sprinltled on other substances.

3) Your answer should include the followirig points:


Multistoreyed buildings Closely located houses

4) Your answer should include tlie following points:


Highly combustible material such as wood and plastic fittings and fi~rnisliings. Iterosene oil, coolting gas cylinders and any chemicals or paint. Electrical equipment.


Checlc Your Progrcss 2

1) Your answer sl~ouldinclude the following points:

At least ten (if not all the fourteen) precautions listed in Section 10.5 (Precautions) of this illlit

2) Your answer should include the rollowing points:


Thatched roofs in villages can be sprayed with fire resistant and fire retardant solutions.

3) Your answer should inclucle the following points: I~ilpacts are disastrous and long ten11

Considerable loss of life and property Fire disfigi~res and disables the people Forest fires destroy valuable natural resources including trees, plants and ~s the bio-diversity. wildlife - t l i ~ destroying


Objectives Introduction Meaning and Concept Types Characteristics and Causal Phenomena Warning Safety Precautions Typical Effects Let Us Sl~ni Up Key Words References Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this unit, you shoi~ldbe able to :

e e

explain the meaning and concept of Inclustrial and Technological Disasters, together with their Types, appreciate their cl~a~.acteristics arid causes, describe typicill effects, understand safety precautions.

You have got detailed overview of "Disasters" in general in Bloclc I, Units 1 to 4. You have realised that there are two broad categories, namely, Nattural disasters ancl Man Made Disastet-s. The variety ol' Man Made Disasters is very vast indeed. Accidents on Road, Rail, in Air and over water form a major group. Eqi~ally large in number are the occurences of firc of all types, Building collapse, Stampede, and ecological. Yet the most significant range emanates fiom i~icl~~strial and Teclinological Disasters. Table 1 1.1 lists natural and manmade disasters. Table 11.1













Typology o f Disasters - 11

Rapid advancement in t e c l ~ ~ ~ o l ohas g y given rise to a multitude of small, mediurli and large i~~duslrics. Colnpared to the earlier small scale non-hazardous industries, today's scenal-io encompasses a vast group of mega-scale chemical and petrochemical industries i~singi~lfla~li~liable products e.g., Naptlla as well as Natural Gas. Thi15. there are clie~nical,pharmaceuticals, petrocllemicals, paint and such other hazardous intlustr~es ~ncludinglarge Fertiliser Complexes. Power Plants using natural gas and atomic energy form a distinct category with h1g1~ degree of risk.


"On Site" And "Qff'Site".It will be appropriate, at this point, to introduce two

very vital ter~ns,applicable to Industrial Disasters. An On Site accident is, primarily restricted to o111y the premises at tlie industrial i~nit. It can be combatted by tlie industry's own resources and it does not attack any area outside the prelnlses of the nit. An Off Site Scenario, however, is of far greater concern. I n that there I S invariably a spread tlie originally On Site Disaster, outside tlie industry's premises and/or its combat neetls resources fro111oi~tside since industry's ow11 ei~lierclo not exist 01' are inadequate. A Inore detailed relationship between On Sitc and OTf Site sit~latio~ls is given in Table 11.2













Check Your P~.ogress 1

Note: (i) Use the space given below for your answers. (ii) Checlc your answers wit11 those given at the end.

I) Wl~at are the two major categories of disasters of clisasters and what are
features? their principle distinguishi~lg

2) Bring out the difference between "On Site" and Off Site" situations.

lntlustrial ar~rl 'Tech~lologicalDisaster

1 '

1 . 3 TYPES
L,et LIS first distinguish between Industrial and Technological Disasters. In fact, tliel-e is no demarcation between them. In a broader sense, an accident or a disaster in an industrial illlit call be ternled as Tndustrial, while all others can be called as Technological, e.g., war, Nuclear accidents, train and an accidenls, and the like. Such events, when uccurred ellgulf a large surrounding area in its aftermath. The coricept of On Site and Off Site is easily discernible in these two

Range of Chemical Disasters: A very large nunibel. of Ilazardous clien-iicals are in use i n Clienlical & Petrochemical industries - ill solid, liquid and gaseous forms. They can cause the Following types of acciclents:
a) Fire

. b) Toxic Gas Lenk

c) BLEV- (Boiling Liquid Expansioli Vapour Explosion) - This is liighly dangerous, giving no notice to sudden explosion. d) E,ry losio t z
e ) C(lscclditlg or Dottzitzo l?[rect - Original primary accident at one type of

giving rise to chemical reacting with ad-jacent chelnicals and Ilii~s, etiormoi~sly complex catastropl~e.

Table 11.3: list the cllaracteristics of some of the highly Iiaz~rdous cllenlicals


Typology of Disasters - I1

Conventional Accidents: General technological Acciderits not involving the hazardous clieniicals are no less serious; only their aftermath is, relatively, of a lower intensity. Colnpressed Air, Superhealed Steain can rupture the pipes leading to explosioli or fire. Boiler Burst or bursting of any pressure vessel; electrical short circuits, structure collapse, drowning in tanks, elc, can constitute tlie accidents in an Engineering or non-chemical industry. They are usually "On Site" and manageable by the industry, itself.


The discussion so far wo~tld have conveyed tlie concept of industrial ancl technological disasters. We can say that while most of the industrial disasters are of technological nature, only those technological disasters that occur witliiii the premises of an industrial establishment can be termed industrial disasters as well.
Casual Phenomena

Barring remote possibilities of "syslem malr~~nctio~i" and unlcnown causes, most of the industrial as technological disasters are a result of inadvertent li~~rnan error or mischief or sabotage. The probability of human error always prevails, whatever safety precautions are taken. 111 the recent decade, however, cases of large-scale disasters througli arson, sabotage or terrorism are on tlie increase. The terrorist attack on tlie World Trade Centre in New York on the September 1 1 , 2001 is the most devastating inslance of a cruel and willful man-made disaster with worldwide impact.
Clieck Your Progress 2 Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Checlc your answers with those given at the end.
1) Enumerate some of the peculiar characteristic of Iiazardous substances.

2) Which are the main categories of manmade accidents?



1ndustri:tl i ~ n d 'Technological Disaster

7'he Accidents/Disastcrs ~ ~ n d e present r discussion occur without any walninglnotice or pre-intitnation. The only thing that can possibly be done, in the event of catastroplie is to warn surrounding population - or those who are likely to be affected in thc own wind directiori to move away to safety. Electricity operated Sirens or Air Horns are generally used to issi~ewarning to people of impending threat. Once the number and location of sirens is determined, it is imperative to test them at frequent intervals with adequate eclucation to the public. People for whose benefit tlie siren is sounded must be trained to do exactly what they are supposed to do, on hearing the siren. Police and authorised officials are major instruments to warn people under tlireat conditions. In such events police vehicles with loudspealters are used. I11 the case o f a Toxic Leak to ensure that police personnel themselves do not fall victiiii, they are given gas masl\s and the messagc is played on a n Ampliiicl* system in pre-recorded form. Earlier and clearer the Warning, n ~ a x i ~ n i l1iuniber n~ oS personnel arc rendered safer. With today's high technology, all sirens o f a 1 1 area can bc centrally operated.


l'liere is always a set of Laws, Rules, Regulations, "Do's & Don'ts" for every activity of. Rules i'or road traffic, liandlitig electricity, doniestic coolcing gas, ctc. exist. Accidents still Iiecp on happening due to negligence or system f at' I itre. Appropriate safety precautions and preventive measures are necessary to reduce tlie risk. This beco~iies all the more essential because with tlie passing of years, every industry is subjected to tlie following natural Depreciative Factors : a) Ageing of Machinery & Process, b) Growing Complancency arising ~nostly out of automation in modern Industry, leading their minds astray, c) Needless Discontent in tlie e~nployees d) Less Integrity and Sincerity. Hence, it is necessary to talce appropriate preventive action on these aspects as an integral part of the programme to ensure adequate safety precautions. Although it does not seem possible to rille out industrial or teclinological disasters totally, it is absolulely essclitial for everyone associalcd with liazardous industry - from within and witl~out - to train one's mind for endeavouring ut~nost safety tliroi~gl~ lectilres, talks, demonstrations, regular drills, civil clefelice (against enemy air attack), strict enforcement of safely rules without any compromise and tight security (against Sabotage).


The following are tlie typicaLeffects of industrial and technological disasters:

Illjuries and death,

2. Destruction of buildings and other property,

3. Stoppage of production,
4. Costly and time-consuming repairs and replacelnent,

Typology of' Disasters - 11

5. Loss of income to the illdi~stry allcl loss of wages to worlters,

6. Loss to insurance


7. Experlsive compensations,

8. Adverse publicity, ant1


9. Loss of morale.

Checl<Yool-Progress 3

Note: i) Use tlie space given below for your answers. ii) Checl\:your answers with those given at the end.

What is tlie neecl of giving "Wnrning"?

2) What are the Maior ways of achieving "Safety"?


Among all tlie disasters which we are exposed to - the industl.ial and technological ones, are caused largely tlirougli system failure or inadvertent human error or tlirougli wilf~rlmischief or saboiage. Whatever be the cause, the aftermath in each case is sudden and clisastrous. Manmade disasters are not predictable because they Iizppen sudclenly, without ally notice - but are mostly avoiclable through vigrous ancl strict safetj precautions, i.e., througl~ preventive measures lilte Training, Supervision. Security and Vigilance. Any original low-key accident, if allowecl to go i~nnoticecl - or detection ofwhich is very late - generally leads to massive disaster, give11 conducive conditions like adverse wind direction, large volumc of stoclts and ~nefficientfunctioning of syste~nin general ancl lack of resollrces, i n particular. Inefiicicnt commi~nication becolnes very damaging. There are two types of inciustrial ljisnsters - On Site and Off Site. I n thc case of former, the occurrence is o f low liey and is within tlie capabilities of the source of disaster and generally does not attack premises outsicle. The Off Site scenario

is liiglily complex wliere tlie origirial On Site accident goes out of control of tlie source, it attacks population and property of the outside premises and is required to be handled by outside authorities so designated. Large number of resources volunteers are required to be called upon for assistance in the areas of Police, Medical, Fire Fighting, Evacuation, etc.

Industrial and Tcclinological Disaster

Hazardous Industry: An industry using raw materials or processes which could lead to clisastrous accidents. Teci~~~ological Disasters: The accidents which occur in industry sing moclern technology and generally lead to great lossldaniage to property, deatlili~ijuryto own employees andlor outside population. l:Iiese disasters also can occur on Road, Rails, Ships, Pipelilies in situations where modern technological machines or processes are in use or are being transported. On Site: These two words apply to any occurrence and action plan to handle it, within and by tlie source of accidents1 clisaster. Off Site: A I I occurrence ~ - which may be caused by any On Site incidence \vhicli attack population1 premises1 area outside any indiviclual industrylsource of disaster. Toxic Lcak: U~ico~itrollecl leakage and eventi~al spread of a liazarclous gas, which can be annoying or i~ijurious or fatal. Some of the gases - like tlie Methyl I i so Cynate in Bhopal Gas Tragedy can leave far reaching disabilities among s~~rvivors. BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expansion Vapour Explosion: A long, LI~-noticecl lcakage of a boiling liquid or an inflarnmnble gas and its eventl~alspread in atmosphere leads to "instantaneous" explosion giving no notice for "safety" in the afi'ected arca.


Green, Stephen,' 1977. I~~tcrncllio~iul Discrste.r Reliqf : Toi4v1.d~~ A Aesl~onsivc Slystcm; McGraw I-lill Book Company, New York. Ross, Simon, 1987, Huz~rrd Geogrcply; Longmans, U.IC. Sliarma, Vinocl K., 1995, Dis~1,ster&lunc~getuent;Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi. Sm iih, [Ceiili, 1 996, E~~viroln~le~i/u/ Ifuz~ll.~ls. (Seconcl Ed ition), cwdReh~ci~ Di,rclster.s; g Routledge, London. Turner, Barry A. and Nick, F. Pitlgeon, 1997, &l~m-~nudc Disustws, B~ltterworth-l-Ieinemann,Oxford.


Check Your Progress 1
1 ) Y O L Ianswer ~ slioultl include Llie following points:


There are two broad categories of Disasters namely, ~iaturalDisasters ancl Man-macle Disaster, Natural disasters are so~netimes Preclictable but Not voidab able, whereas the Man-made ones are Avoidable but Not Predictable.


Ob-jectives Introcluction Meaning and Types Characteristics and Causes Vulner.ability Sai'ety Measures Effects I,ct Us Sum Up Key Words lieferenccs

Alter stuclying tliis Unit, you should be able to:

define epidemics explain an epidemic situation ancl describe the types of epidemics list tlie cause and characteristics ol'an epidemic outline tlic sal'cly measures k ~ control r and management ol' epidemics

Epidemics ol' water and food borne diseases me common and occur Srom time to time. Measles and influenza are other diseases that generally show marltcd seasonal and anni~alvariations i n incidence. Even lion-commi~nic~ble diseases like cancer, goitcr, bli~i~i~icss, heart diseases, ant1 mental siclcncss are also accli~iring epidemic proportions. Epidemics often occur in Ilic community. They liappcn in diSf'erent ways but during disasters tlicre are gseater chances of their occun'ence. It rcquires to follow a reasonably systematic approach in order to manage them. It is nccessaly to follow an orderly scqucnce for eSfective man:lgemcnt and control of an epidemic. I lowevcr, the approach has to be disease specific and proceclures may vary according to locrll circumstances aboi~t tlie disease, previous levels of occurrence, ancl population at risk. It becomes essential to find tlie cause of tlie epidemic and plan to institute measilrcs to control by attacking the sourcc, interrupting transmission ancl protecting susceptible population. In tliis Unit, you wou Id learn what constitutes an epidemic, types of epidemics, their causes and tlie safety measures required during epidemics.


Let 11s co~isiderwhat constitutes an epidemic. Epidemic is a derivation ol' two Greek words epic (i~pon/arnong) and demos (people). It is l.he 'i~nusual' occurrence in a community or region of a disease specific 11ealtl.1 related events "clearly in excess" of the "expected occurrence". Thus, any clisease, wl~icli occurs in numbers more than the expected occurrence, constiti~tes an epidemic. It includes heart diseases, or eve11 psyclioso~~iatic o/isonier,s. I-Iealth afl'ecting lifestyle like smoking, drug adcliction and Iiealth related events like accitlenls also fall into tlie category of epidelnics. But during clisasters -we y e Inore . concerned about the epicle~nics of con~mi~nicable diy@ases:.'",

Typology of Disi~sters - 11

Having learnt that epidemic is the occtrrrence of a particular disease in i~nexpected numbers, you must be thinlting that how to define the 'expected occurrence'. There is no clesignated standard number for the expected occurrence of a disease. It varies from place to place, and region to region. A few hundred cases of a particular disease at one place can be called as the expected occurrence of the disease in that area, if this disease is common there. On the contrary where the disease is non-existent. the expected occurrence sl~allbe zero and in this case even a single case of that disease will be termed as epidemic. So the basis of defining an epidemic is the definirig of usual prevalence of tlie disease in that area and this usual prevalence is callcd enc/enliciol. Let us take the example ofs~nallpox. Twentyfive years ago, small pox was quite common in our country. It was tlii~san endemic diseasc. Now it has been eradicated 110tonly from the country but the world for Ihal matter. It is no more an endemic diseasc. The expected ci.&urrence of small pox is zero. A single case of smallpox will, therefore, be clearly in excess of the expccted occurrence and hence would be rlow considered as an epiclemic of smallpox. So a disease, which was endemic once, may cease to be so and a single case may be talten as an epiden~ic.
How disease occurs?

In order to understand tlie occurrence of diseases in Inore than the expected ~iumberand why there are greater chances of' spreacl of an epidenlic during a disaster we need to i~nderstandhow diseases occur.
Diseases occur as a result ol' interaction between an agent, a liost and the environment. Under normal conditions, there is a stage ol' equil ibriium among . these but in i~nfavourable conditions Ihis eq~~ilibrium gets disturbecl and diseases occur in human body. Let us understand the terms liost and environmenl before we learn about causes and characteristics of an epidemic.

A disease 'agent' is defined as a substance living or non-living the excessive presence or relative lack of which may initiate the disease process in man. Example of living agents are : bacteria, viruses. firngi and protozoan whereas nonliving agents are nvtrients, chemical substances and physical forces such as heat, cold and pressure. Host is the organism in which diseases occur and for us man is considered as host for all practical purposcs. A number of host factors SLICII as age, sex, nutritional status and socio-economic factors are responsible for occurrence of diseases. In epidelniological terms, man is also defined as tlie 'soil' and disease agent as 'seed'. Environment is a set of conditions under which human beings live and can be defined as "all that which is external to individual human host living 01-non-living and with which he is in constant interaction". This includes all of man's external si~rroundings si~cli as, air, waler and sanilatiou.


Environment :

Types of Epitlcmics

As already mcn~io~ied, epidemics generally follow a pattern depeliding on tlie gcog~.npliicaland environmental conditions. the distl.ibution and characteristics of 11ic host population. ancl tlicit. socio-cultural heliaviour. If there is no intel-venliori or change in these conditons, those epide~ilics tcnd to repeat tliemsel\~es. -. I lierefore, laio\vlcdgc about \iruiclus types of epidemics arid tlie conditions ~ ~ n d e l . wllicli they occur can be of help in nianagi~ig them. l'lic various tj,pes of epidemics Ilia1 normall!, occur arc descrihecl give11below:
i) Colriniol~Sourcc Epitlernics

71'liesc cpiclemics orlg~nate a sirigle source of infection or tlie diseasc procl~~cing agent, l'licrc arc two types of comn~on source cpidc~iiics:

. .

In tliis type ol'epideniic tlie cliscasc agent respo~isible for spread of diseases is esposeecl to susccptible pop~~lation at one point of time :~ncl only once. A very good example of this type of epidemic is occurrellce of food poisorii~igdue to consuriiption ofconl.ariiinated food ill a feast. In lliis type of epideniic tlierc is a sudden rise oi'cascs wliicli declirie equally fast.
b) Col~tirir~oi~s or riiultiple esposore epidemics

In this typc of epicleniic, tlie soluce of inl'eclio~i is C O I ~ ~ ~ I ~ L :11id I ~ Ls~lcli IS epideniics will not cease to exist ~~lilcss [lie soulrc is removed. A \vet1 with contaliiinntcd water becollies a ~ . c g u l a source ~ of infectioli to the peoplc using il ancl tlie cpitlcniic may continue ~11itiltlie water is treated and niatle safe. Si~iiilnrly a cook who is a cliscnse carrier may hcep on i~if'cclingtlie diners in tlie restauralit till lie is trcatecl and made no~i-infectious.
i i ) P~.opi~gatetl Epitlenlics

A propag:itccl cpidcniic is generally ol' infectious origin and results from persoli tc) person trti~istnissi~ll of' disease agents. 'I'lie epide~iiicslio\vs a gradual rise arid tapers clown slowly ovcr a period of ti~iic. Transmissioti continues ~lntiltlierc are no s~~sceptible individuals. Such epide~iiicsare morc liltcly wliere large number of susccptible inclividuals gather as in fairs and festivals.
iii) Seasonal Epidcnlics

Certain diseases such as influenza ant1 p~ieu~iionia are more comnion during winter scason where as diarrolioca cliscases are more during sumnier ant1 rainy seasons. The cpidelnics wliicli occur i l l pnrticular season are I~IIO\VII as sesonal epidemics.

iv) Cyclical Epidemics

Sonic epitlcmics tend to occur in cycles wliicli niay repeat over a periotl o r time \vIiicI~~iiaybe days, weelo, 1ii0111lis or years. An exa~iil~le of tliis typc o f epidemic is rneaslcs epideniic wliicli tc~icls to occur in a cyclc oi.2-3 years.

l'ypology of Disasters - Il

(v) Epidemic of Non-communicable Diseases

With the advances in science and teclinology, the changing life styles havc led to a living pattern which is sedentary and aflluent with little pliysical activity. This has resulted in a marlced rise in diseases like hype~-tension, heart diseases, diabetcs and mental diseases. I h e ~~o~~-co~nrnunicabIe diseases have acquired epidemic proportions in recent times.
Check Your Progress Exel-cise 1 Note: i) Use the space below for your answer. ii) Clieclc yoilr answer with those given at the end ofthe Unit.

Fill in the blanlcs, s than expected is called a) Occurrence o r a disease in n ~ ~ m b c rmore ...............................
b) Usual occurrence of a diseases in a c o r n ~ ~ ~ ~throughout ~nity is called c) Diseases o c c ~ as ~ sn result o r interaction between


2) Ticlc the most suitable or cosrect answer.

i) Epidemic is defined as occurrence of a disease. a) In lalge number b) In small number c) JII un~~sually large 11~11nber

ii) Which of the following diseases car1 cause epidemic

a) Communicable b) Non-communicable c) Both of the above iii) A disease agent which is responsible Tor causing a disease is a) micro-organis~nsuch as bacteria and viruses b) c11e111icalsubstance and physical forces

all of the above


By now you know what is an epidemic and its various types. All epidemics have the following conilnoli features: n ~ ~ m bof e rcases of particular disease occur at a particular i) An ~~nexpected poi[? of time affecting large segment of population.
01- geographical area and ii) Generally confined to a definite populatio~~ hence geographic patterns provide 11s importa~~t sources of clues about the causes of diseases.

iii) Usually have a common source of infection. For containmelit of epidemics, it is important to identify the source of infection so that the appropfiate measures can be adopted to eliminate the common source of infection in order to prevent further spread of epiclemic. a

i\ ) Epiclemics generally tend to follo\v a patter-n and repeat periotlically

\vIicn the contlitions are favourable again.


Tlic way an epicle~iiic presents itself i n tlie co~nmunitydcpends upon tlie distribution and cliaracter,istics of people living in that area, their social pattern, their cultural beliaviour and tlie various environmental factors.

Causes: Earlier you learnt that tlie agent, hoht and cnvironment are in constanl interaction
and tliat a disease is caused by disturbance of equilibrium between agent, liost

ancI cnvironment. Tlie disease assumes cpidcmiological proportions wlien tlie ellv~ronmentalcond~t~orls arc favourable for tlie clisease agent and i~nfavourable conditions exist Sol. nian. Yo11 I I I L I Shave ~ observed tlisaslers lil\c wars, fuminc, floocls and cal-thquakes arc followed by epidemics of infcctioub diseases. Why does this Iiappeti'? It happens because after ilie disaster, tlie fa\/ourahle conditions for occurrence of a n epidemic sets in. 'fliere is no specific or a particular cause \vhicIi is responsible for occurrence or epidemic but various I'acto15 complemcnling and supplcnienting each otliel- are ~esponsible for occul.rence of epidemics. Tlic tollowing factors I'avour occurrence of cpidernics alicr disasters.

lichabilitation operations tliat rollow a disastcr arc i~sually bet up in crowclcd telnpol-ary camps 01. settlcmc~its.Provision ofsilfe clri~llcing water, sanitation ant1 other basic \ervices oftun lack at these places. This results in a rise in tlic incidence of inScctious diseases like dyse~itery, measles, \vhooping cough, t~~bc~.culosis. scnbbics ant1 other slcin cliseases.

ii) Pre-existent Diseases in l l ~ e Population

The cliseascs alreacly occurring in the arca are most likcly to enicrgc as ep~demics wlien tlie area is S ~ ~ L I C I Cby ;1 disaster, An epidemic oTnon-csistc~ii disease in tliat nren is i~nlikely to be seen after sucl~ disasters.

iii) Ecological Cli;~nges

During natural disaster. lilie tloods and cyclones, ecological changes occur. It causes increase In the breeding sites for mosquitoes. This results in :ui increase in tlie cases of malaria. Open clefecaiing and decay ancl decompos~tionof orguiic ~iinterial inc~.easesinsect breeding and tlie~xby increases tlie transmission of diseascs lilie colijunctivilis, iliarrlioea, dysentery, enterov~rus infections, and parasitic diseases.

iv) Resistance Potential of the I-Iost

'The n ~ ~ t r ~ t i o and n a l irn~iii~~~isation status of tlie liost population determines to 3 large extent its si~sceptibilily to commi~nical~le clisease. Children with poor nutrition are more ~ilcelyto get infected with co~nnlunicable disease and tlie incidence of measles, whooping cougli, diptheria ancl tuberculosis is lilcely to be higher ii'tliey are not immi~nisedcarlier.

~ a ~ i i to a~ Public e Utility and 1ntel.ruption of Public Health Services

Public i~lility services lilir water supply and sewage if damaged may cause large scale contarnination and subsequent introduction of diseases in the. pol~ulation. Interri~ptionot' ongoing healtli programmes in the area may also lcad to resurgence of diseases.

Typology of Disasters - I 1

Nole: i ) Use the space below l'or your answer. i i ) Checlc your answer with tliosc given at tlie end of the Unit.

Which of the Sollo~i iing is true or Salse:

a) t':pidcmics Iinvc usually common source of infection.

for occurrence uf b) After tlie natural clisastcrs the conclitions are S~~vourablc an cpiclemic.

tlic year i n a Occi~rre~ice 01' L ; cliseasc in largc numbel- Ili~~oughout co~n~nunity is called epidemic.

cl) For every epidcmic 111c1.e is a definite cause. c) Ecological clla~lgesduring natural disasters can initiate are epidemic of cornmi~~~icahle cliseascs. 2 ) 1:ill in the blnnl;s a) Epidemics are usually co~llined to

dcfined .................................

b) Duri~ig clisasters. .................. diseases are liliely to present as epidenlics c) Cliildrcn \\itli pour ~ : u t r ~ t i oare ~ i Inore lilccly to get inl'cctcd with ................... sucll us ............... iftllcy are ~ i o i t ~ i i r n i ~ ~ ~carliel-. ized

It is a colnrnon experience that some inclivicluals l~avehealth problems 01. diseases morc frequently than thc oihcrs and that all indivicluals in a co~nmunity do not have equal chance of acquiring a clisease; some have morc and some have the probability 01' o c c u ~ ~ c n c ol' c discnscs the population less. Depencl~ngi~poll can be grouped into low risk, rnoderatc 1.isli allcl l~iglirisl, groups. Tllc same is also applicable during disasters ancl epidel~iics. The infants, poorly nourished cliilclrcn and elclerly pcoplc are morc vulnerable to acquire infectious diseases during epideniics and disasters. Similarly. womeii in the reproductive age group, specially pregnant and lactating wolnen, iue rnore prone to get diseases. Persons living in 111ral nteas ancl slums ant1 those living in overcrowded s i t ~ ~ a t i o are ~ i s more vul~lerableas comph~red to those living in cleaner liouses in i~rbanareas. Poor environmental sanitation, inaccessibility to safe drinking water and inclustrial pollution also contribute towarcls vulnerability to diseases. Various socio-ci~lturalIhctors, such as, hygienc, literacy, income, social habits, customs, and lifestyles cletcrmine thc vulnerability of population to disease. The susceptible indivicluals wllo are more prone to acquire tlie infections, constitute vul~ierable groups ill the comn~irnities.


Epiden~icsarfect large number of persons in a community wlicn favourable conditions are present for the spreacl of an epiclcmic. If one i~ndcl-stands the basic principles of epidemiology, these epidcmics can be prevented by adopting certain safety measures. Let us see what those precautions measures arc:

By liaving a knowledge about the freyiiency and dist~.ibutionof healtll problems, clues are obtai~ied which promote ~~nde~.stallciing of diseases

leading to .timely and appropriate intervention for prevention. Early warning 011 the basis of the available data helps in reducing tlie severity of an epidemic. By iml~roving the sanitary conditions, the spread of disease can be slowed or even l-ralted. Proper cleanliness measures, proper disposal of solid waste and liqi~idwaste will help in decreasing the breeding of llies and ~nosquitoes.

ii) Improvenle~il of Inimunity of Host

By i ~ n p r o v i ~ tl-re ~ gnutritional status ancl by mass vaccination programmes, the resistance of the individuals can be increased i.hereby checking the spreacl o f an epidemic.

iii) Comnlunity Health Etlucation

Comnlunity I-1caltI-r Education can l-rclp to halt epidemics by alerting individuals L o thc signs and symptoms oi' cliseases and stressing Ihe i~npnrtance of reporting tl-re cases to medical authorities. It is important to teach the methocls that can be used to stop the spread of communicnble cl iseases.

iv) Traini~ig
Training at different levels in emergency preparedness ant1 rcsponse to epidcn-rics can prove to be an effective safety measure. This should bcgin at the school and community levels. Non-government organization can play a very ilsefi~l role in the effort.

Direct Effccts of Epidc~~lics
Epiclemics usually affect large number of' inclivitluals and can lcad to complications incli~ding disabilities and death. There is always a possibility of existence of sufficient number of disease carricrs who may favour the resurgence and spread of disease.
On seeing the sufferings and deaths especial ly with in close relatives psycl-rological effccts al'e also coo-rmon during epidemics.

Indirect Effects of Etlpitlemics

i) Social and political disruption due to tension and law and order problems. ii) Economic loss arising from lack of strength of cultivate.


111) Scarcity of clean food and water leading to malnutrition ant1 starvation.

iv) Worsening bf alreacly poor sanitary conditions resulting in aggraSldtion of

Epicle~nic situations also worsen the already ovel-burdened health services, as the scarce available resources have to be diverted for controlli~~g and management of epidemics.

Typology of Oisi~stevs - 11

Check ?dour Progress Exercise 3 Note: i) Use the space below for your answer. ii) C:lieck your answer wit11 those given at the end o f t h e Unit.

1) List the factors wliich miilie individuals more vulnerable to infectious


2) List three safety measures for dealing with epidemics.


In this Unit, you have learnt that a disease is causcd by interaction ofagcnt, host and environment. You also learnt what is ari cpiclemic and what are tlie various types of epidemics. Subsequently, causes and cliaracterislics of epiclc~nics were described. Factors resl~onsiblefor vulnerability of individuals to diseases and epideni~icswere explained. Finally you learnt about lhc various safety measures \vliicli can be adopted to avoid epidemics arid tlie aclvcrse erSccts which an epidemic will cause.

Co~nmunicable disease :

A disease capable of passing on fi-om one person to anol.lier ~ I I L I S spreading fast in tlie al'fected

Endemicity Epidemiology Psyclioso~natic

A condition or illness that is common among tlie

people there.

'The stirdy of the occurrence of diseases in l i ~ ~ m a n pop~~lations; tlie science ofepidemics. Physical disorder or illness caused or inlluenced by tlie persons emotional conditions.


Text Book of Preventive & Socinl Medicir~e,I<. Park, M/s. Banarsidas Bllanot, Jabalpus. Epidenziology : Prir?ciples Brown. Boston.


iML.thods, Macmolian B . ancl T.F. Pugh, Little

An I17trod~1ctiori to E~~icl'criiiology, Anderson M . Maclni l Ian, London.

Mc~i~uul of Epi~ienziology,for District Hecrlth Mnr7ugemcr7f,WHO, Geneva.


Check Your ~ ; . o ~ r e1s s
1) Your answers should include the followillg points: epidemic endemicity agent, a host environment
2) i)

ii) c iii) c

Check Your Progress Exercise 2

1 ) Your answer should include tlie following points

a) true b) true


d ) true
e) true 2) a) Population
b) Commi~nicable

c) Communicable, diseases, ti~berculosis

Cfleclc Your Progl-ess Exercise 3

1 ) YOLIIanswer should include the following points

Poorly nourished children, elderly people, women in tlie reproductive age group, pregnant and lactating women, people living in rural areas and slums and those living ill overcrowded communities are vulnerable to epidemics. Poor environ~i~ental sanitation, inaccessibility to safe drinking water and industrial poll~itionalso contribute towards vulnerability to infectious deseases. 2) Yoilr answer shoulcl include following points

I'redictability Improve~ne~lt of i~nmu~lity o f liost Community Health Edi~cation

I 3.0 Objectives


13.1 Ir~troduction 13.2 Planning in the Context of Disaster Preparedness: Meaning and Concept 13.3 Sl~ort-term and Long-term Planning 13.4 Role of Planner 13.5 Let Us Sum Up 13.6 Key Words 13.7 Refererices and Further Readings 13.8 Answers To Check Your Progress Exercises


After studying this Unit, you sl~ould be able to :


describe the ~neaning and concept of planliing in the context of disaster preparedness; differentiate between short-tern~and long-term planning; and discuss the role of a planner in the process of preparing for disasters.

The word 'planning' generally covers two entirely different approaches in the context of disasters. One is that of land-use or pllysical planning. It involves the regulation of the developmelit process in urban and rural areas by means such as i~nposil~g limits on building heights and the use of land, the amount of land that can be built upon, etc. In urban areas that are declared to be 'development areas', laws and development regulations are accepted and are generally recognized as being helpful. However, outside the urban areas and especially in tlie rural flood plains, zoning and planning law proves difficult to enforce. If it does exist, it is mostly in the form of positive direction, rather tlian precise law, setting out 'what ought to be'. In such cases, planni~ig is vely careful because it raises awareness and sets certain standards. The other form of planning relates to advocacy planning. It relates to policies team acts as catalytic agents, and proposals. In this approach, the pla~inilig presenting choices to various organizations like local self-goveniment, NonGover~~mental Organizations (NGOs), and community based organizations, while seeking support for that approach which seems to bring most benefits to a wide range of beneficiaries at a cost that is affordable. Planning is advantageous because it results in clear allocation of responsibilities and consequently ilnproves coordination between agencies. Accordingly, the planning process should never be regarded as one in which some specialist or team acts in isolation. The planning process essentially needs to be action-oriented, to involve a wide range of people and organizatior~sand to produce an end result which has the agreement and support of all those involved in the colnmon objective of dealing with the disasters in tlieir areas of responsibility.

Essentials of Disaster Preparedriess


The purpose of planning is to anticipate future situations and req~~ircments and to make provision for the same. This will cnsure the application of effective and co-ordinatcd co~~nter-measures.1'11is is a L I S ~ F L clefi~iition II of planning for disaster management officials because it indicates the wide nature of an requirements for counter-disaster planning. In other worcls, Planning is not confined merely to preparedness for and response to specific disaster events. It should cater, as far as possible, for all stages of the disastel cycle from advance preparation to relief and rehabilitation. Therefore, requirements for planning involve a considerable rangc ofactivitics dictating a flexibility of approach.
National Developmelit

Many countries including India gear national development to a series of timeperiod plans; for example, Five Ycar Plans. This Itind ol' a system provides considerable flexibility for adjustment to ~~nschcduled or ~inexpcctcd events, like disaster situations. 'TIILIS, many nations include disaster planning aspects in their overall planning cycles. This approach of incorporating disaster mitigation planning into the developmental planning process has been found to be cost-effective and result oriented. 'These days, management of the environment satcs high in national considerations. Since many disaster events are enviorn~ncntallyrelated, tlicre is a stlong case for linking disaster L o environment, as far as national a key planning point is that wherever planning is concerned. Conseq~~ently, appropriate, disaster planning is linked to the dcvclopmcnt and environmeni considerations in the national plan.

The possible range of prevenlion measures is quite large because of the nature of different disasters. At one end of the prevention range, the construction of d extensive effort and very large a~nounts flood control structures c o ~ ~ linvolve of money. At the other encl of the prevention range, controlled burning in forest areas, prior to a high risk season, in order or prevent big fires fro111starting comes closer to mitigation, or even preparedness. Planning for these different contingencics, therefore tends to fail into different categories. For example, a complcx and costly flood pl.evention system could reasonably be expectccl to come within the category of national l more liltely to development, while the case of controlled burning w o ~ ~ l cbe fall within a specific annual disaster management programlue, which could programme. also be usefully included in a disaster prepa~~ednesslresponse

If the term mitigation, or preventionlmitigation is taken as mainly including structural and non-structural measures designed to reducc the effects of disaster when they occur, it woulcl seem appropriate for such measures to be applied as a series of programmes or regulations, rather than as plans. For instance, aspects S L I C as ~ ~ building codes, land use regulations and sarety codes for transpo~-tsystems would fit more appropriately into a programme or regulation category. However, as with measures of prcvention, it would also be reasonable to include appropriate references in disaster preparednesslresponse plans. For example, the faci that wind-resistant factors had been built inlo domestic houses would~havesome bearing on disaster response managment decisions relating lo possible evacuation or temporary movement to safe havens.


The combined categories of preparedness and response generally constitute the ]nost widely used basis for counter-disaster plans especially those which might be called Action Plans. This is because so much of the effectiveness of response depends on good preparedness. In some cases, the preparedness/response plan may be called a national or state disaster response plan, as distinct from a separate plan designed to deal with recovery. Recovery There are various planning options that can be used for recovery. Sometimes, a separate plan is utilized, so that two main plans exist, a disaster response plan and a disaster recovery plan. However, in some cases the agencies prefer to take a more flexible approach and deal with recovery through arrangements which, depending on circumstances, are specific to each disaster event. The planning process usually involves consideration of a wide range of disasterrelated matters in order to decide what is eventually i~icludedin the plan. However, not all aspects will be related to all levels of plans. Neither will all aspects assume equal importance in different plans. Planning guidance cuts across the projects of private developers and the fi~llctionsof government agencies. Plan~ling related activities comn~and popular support when they are seen to be implementing a good public i~iformationpolicy to be directed towards achieving pi~blic good and people's access to amenities and services. A high level of public consultatio~iand trarlspare~lcywill ensure public support. This will ensure tl1at.the plans wl~ich ~Aeduce vulnerability to natural disasters co~nmandpublic confidence and suppol~t.



Mitigation is defined as "measures aimed at reducing the impact of a natural or man-made disaster on a nation or community". The basic assu~nption is that, wllilst it may be possible to prevent some disaster effects, other effects will persist. The concept of mitigation recognizes this and maintains that the application of certain measures call moderate or reduce disaster effects.

An effective approach to reducing risks and acl~ievirig disaster mitigation has long-term and short-term goals. Long-term goals are either an integral part of the national/regionaI/local disaster management plan or are set after a major disaster with a view that, should a similar disaster strike again, tlie population will be well-prepared and able to cope with it. Long-term planning, therefor< i~rvolves measures for prevention, mitigation and rehabilitation. Prevention measures are those that are aimed at impeding the occurrence of a disaster even though it may not be possible to avoid the event that creates the hazard. Construction of a dam or embankment to control floods arising from heavy rains is an example of a preventive measure. Another example is the control led burnilig - off in a bushfire-prone area.

'The nature of disaster prevention is such that the measures involved, usually need to be implemented from sen;or levels of government. For example, the population of a single community or area is unlikely to be able to institute a major flood-prevention project. 'Sometimes, Legislation is also resorted to, to i~nplement measures of prevention, like in case of mandatory building codes.

Essentials of Disaster Preparedness

Many factors whicli apply .to prevention also apply to mitigation. Mitigation can be introdi~ced within the three diversc contexts of reconstruc~ion, new investment and the existing environment. Each presents clifferent opportunities to introduce safety measures. Mitigation lneasllres are complex and interdependent, and they involve widespread responsibility. 'They are effective if safety measures are spread through a wide diversity o f integrated activities.

Simple examples of mitigation measures are :

1) adoption of land-use planning and development controls to restrict the activities in high risk areas; 2) econon9ic diversification to allow losses in one sector to be offset b i increased o ~ ~ t p in i ~other t sectors;
3) changing crop cycles so that crops mature and are harvested before the onset of the disaster season; and
4) retrofitting houses to withstand (reconstruction and rehabilitation).

cyclones and eartliqualces

Long-term planning proposals generally face a lot of opposition, at least in the initial stages. These may be a long-standing acceptance of disaster risks by governments and communities, who may feel that traditional, talten over many years, are adequate. Also, Long-ten11 measures tend to be ruled out, perhaps without a detailed analysis of cost-benefit and otlier factors. Higher priorities given to other national programmes sometimes total ly preclude the consideration of disaster preventive measures. Considerations affecting disaster prevention and mitigation may be given limited priority in national develpment plans. So disaster-related measures do not receive adequate or appropriate attention in national planning. During its initial period of' impleme~itation, a mitigation or preventionrelated strategy needs recognition and leadership from a high governmental and city management level, if it is to be sustained through a networlc of implementing agencies. A long-term programme also includes periodic reviews and renewals of policy statements, professionals engaged in mitigation work and public education programnles. In a long-term plan, a major objective is to involve all sectors of society in sonle degree in contributing to thc formulation of appropriate mitigation ~neasures,and in the execution of work wliere possible. Some sectors will be involvecl in policy forniulation at the national level, others at the level of urban neighbousl~ood and local com~i~unities known to be at high risk. Long-term planning, therefore, involves multiple agencies, each agency doing some specific work ]elated to reclucing risk in tlieil- area of concern. Such goals are incorporated into the agency's current priority 1ist.Short-term planning, on the other hand, consists of measures to deal with disaster situations i~nmediatelyat hand. These measures may be initiated either i~n~nediatelyafter a disaster strikes (1-eactionary) or precluding a disaster situation (proactive). Reactionary measures are tllose taken immediately after a disaster strikes, forexample, after an earthquake. In this case, the planning process is triggered off once the occurrence of the tragedy is known. I~n~nediate measures initiated in such cases are: i) provision of temporary shelters for the affected, ii) ensuring adequate supply of safe water food and medicines, i ii) provision of sanitary facilities, and iv) ~naintenance of law and order

For this purpose, a single agency is formed, though Iyany other bodies may also bc involved in tlie relief work. 'The central agency does the worlc of determining priorities, coordinating tlie relicr and rescue operations, directing [lie supplies, etc. The agency worlts either according to an existing government plan 01. through an emergency plan f'orm~~latccl for the occasion. 'The Short-tcrm post-disaster planning process c o n t i n ~ ~ e till s such a time as some seniblal~ce of normalcy is restored i n tlie area - normally till the services are fi~nctional. After that, the long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction \work starts. Proactive short-term planning is initiated when there is a warning issued tliat a disaster is about to strike. For example, modern technology has made it possible to track tlie pat11 of cyclones so that warnings can be issued well in advance to the residents of the area wliere tliey are likely to strilte. Once the warning has been issued, tlie pro-active planning mechanism swings into action and cffol-ts are launched to evacuate people out of harm's way. They are transferred to temporary storm shelters where tliey stay till the danger is past. Evacuation is also done when there is n danger of floocls. I'erioclic inspectio11 ancl monitoring, e.g., checking of embanlcments for. breacl~esprior to 1:lie onset of monsoons a~icl drills for officials in simulated emergency situations are al 1 a part o r tlie short-tet+rnplanning strategy. Disasters can be met with effectivcly only if a judicious combination of long-term and short-term planning is adopted. While tlic results of short-term reduction in clamapes liom planning are liiore apparent and raster, tlie ~~ltilnate disasters is achieved only through long-term planning.
Checl<Yoirr PI-ogress1




i) Use the space given below for Y O L I ~~nswers. ~ ii) C'hecli Y O L Ianswers ~ with those given at thc encl of llie unit.


Differentiate between short-tertii and long-tern1 planning.

2) Give simple examples of mitigation measures.

Essentials of Disaster


It is very important for the plallner, throughout the planliing process to keep certain critical points in consideratioo. Being a person trained in a wide range abilities ranging from admiliistrative procednres to developme~italperspectives? he or she occupies a ~lniqueposition a s being able to perceive, from various stanclpoints, conflicting issues that might arise from time to time. SuCl1a slcill comes in most handy to settle the c o n t e ~ ~ t i of o~ differing ~s professionals ancl for. varied interest groups.. T l ~ eplanner has to take on the responsibility of keeping the approved a i ~ n of the plan in clear focus. Needless to say, the plan has to be evolvecl in I.esponsc to the user needs and sI10i11d have the m a s i r n ~ r ~ support n base in the co~nmunity. The plan should also have forlnai approval of Government or any a~~thority designated on its behalf. The planning process is a co-opel.ative process. There slio~~ld always bc f ~ ~ l l a consultation with all concerned, particularly to ensure that ~nutualagrccn~ent is reached on responsibilities designated within the plan. This col~sultative process is best carried out, fro111 a practical as well as psychological viewpoint, by the plan~~ers going to see tlie lcey i~ldividuals ancl agencies concerned, mid not vice-versa. For best success, the planner has t o ensure transparency at every stagc and periodic progress reports should be ~iiadepublic inclicali~~g the physical and fina~~cial targets and achievements. The planning process, arid the plan ilself, should include provision for legal authorization, ~ I I L I S malting the plan a lawfill instrument of tlie goven~inent.It is generally reco~nmendecl tllat Illis should happen whether or not disaster leg.islatio11exists. Obviously, the respo~isibility carried by disaster Ins11agement planners is an onerous one. If .the planners get tlie plan wrong, then the repercussions can be very severe and widespread, possibly involving tlie loss of niany lives. On the other hand, accurate and ~ i i e t i c ~ ~planning l o ~ ~ s not only produces an effective ' plan, it also provides tlie rocus for successC~~l overall disaster management.



Planning is one of the most efficient tools available to deal with disasters. Plallning can be applied in the physical aspecls like land-use and infrnstructu~.e as well its advocacy form, wllicll il1volves policies and proposals. P~*oper plannipg ensures that da~llagesfrom clisasters are co~lsiderably reduced in the long term. It also prepares people and officials to cope better in disaster situations. In tlie process of t]ie preparatiori of a disaster-preparedness plan, the planner plays the cl.ucial role of coordi1iating with the administrative . authorities as welJ as among [lie different interest groups ilivolved. On him lies the responsibility of I< the ultimate aim and format in mind and ~ls guiding the draFt-plan preparation process accorciingly. A j ~ ~ d i c i ocombination of long-term and short-term plaluling measures is tlie best possible manner in which to achieve the mitigation of disasters. Long-term and sl?ort-term plaluiing techniques should ideally take into account cost-benefit considerations.


. .


Advocacy Pliysical Plaiining


Promoting the cause (of disaster planning) Making arrangements for real goods and services required for completion of a project. Planning for ecoliolnic development of tlie country. It may be short, medium or longterm. To equip or modify a house or a building to lnalce it safer

National Development Plan



Carter, W.N.( 199 1) Disaster Munngenzent : Iglrntlbook, Asian Development Bank, Manila.

A Disuster hfnnuger's


Clicck Your Progress 1 1 ) Your answer slioulcl include the followilig points:

Sliort-term planning consists of measures wliicli deal wit11 the disaster situatioli immediately at hand. Sucli lneasures liiay be initiated either immediately after a disaster or earlier to preventlredi~cc its impact. Long-term planning i~ivolveslneasures that can be impletnented over a period of a Sew years arid need large expenditure. Therefore these need periodic reviews and renewals.

2) Your answer sliould iliclude tlie following points:

Adoption of land-use planning and develop~nerlt control to restrict the activities in liigli risk areas. Economic diversification to allow losses in one sector to be offset by increased output in other sectors,

* Changing crop cycles.


Retrofitting houses.

14.0 Objectives 14.1 Introduction 14.2 Con~~n~~nication : Meaning and Concept 14.3 Sig~iificance of Corn~nu~iication in Disaster Preparedness alld Mitigation 14.4 Techniques of Communication 14.5 Modes of Coniniunication 14.6 Ways of Ensure Effective Comm\~nication 14.7 Let us Snm Up 14.8 I<cy words 14.9 References and Further Readings 14.10 Answers to Checlc Your Progress Exercises.

After studying this unit, you should be able to:
a e a

explain the distinction between the Conceptual and Physical Aspects of communication; identie t11e significance and role of commu~zicationin Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation; and describe the principal techniques, ways and means of com~nunicationfor effective end results.

4 .I


Among various aspects of Disaster Management, "communication" is one of the most critical requireruent. The word cccomm~~nicate" implies co~lveyillg of thoughts, ideas, warnings, instructions, orders, command, Itnowledge and information. In the context of disaster management, fail-safe corn~nt~nication is vital during a wide range of actions, from the significant phase of "preparedness" to impart knowledge and inforination (mass education and public awareness), warning of itzipending threat of disaster, calling various resources ancl intimation to autliorities and conducting disaster management in general.


The word "Co~nmunication" holds a very significant place in all walks of human life, A person is an elenlent of society, nation and the world and cannot live his or her in isolation. He or she has to interact with liis o r her fellow l ~ u ~ n a beings. n There are two distinct facets of comn~~uiication. One is the physical one wliere we use a variety of means using ever progressing techl~ology. Due to modern technology and use of Satellites we broadcast television programmes all over the world. Satellite phones and interllet have added new dimensions to global and almost instai~taneous commu11icatioi1, T~ILIS there is no lacking of any type of HiTech means to communicate. Media (print and electronic) serve as credible and ilifluential agents of communication. The other aspect wliich is far more important is the conceptual one. It is necessaly to ensure that recipjellt of communication understa~lds the contents of responds to it in the desired manner. the message being conveyed and that This apparently simple requirement carries behind it T-Ierculean efforts of thorough know ledge, clarity alld cone iselless. The originator must realise the

capacity and capability of the receiver to appreciate the message and to react , and clarity have to be tlie essential features of the correctly. T ~ L I Scontent message being communicated. The content has to be specific, to the point, brief and couched in simple, ilnderstandable and clear language with 110 ambiguity. Tli~~ ills its modern concept "communication" transcends its traditional meaning of transmission of message but includes the q ~ ~ a l i tof y the message itself especially tlie content, conciseness and comprelie~isibility.


Whenever we tall< of "Disaster" we invariably imply tlie following distinct phases: (a) Preventive and preparedness measures fol. ensuring minimum adverse effects, (b) Follow LIP actions in tlie event of occurrence of a Disaster, to handle tlie "Aftermath" arid make all efforts to mitigate - i.e., to ~ninimise/toreduce eventual losses/damage to Life and Property. at its best in all the required forms we will not Unless we have "Communicatio~i" be in a position to deal with the above pliases lo our entire satisfaction. In the aftermath of a disaster, time counts and efljcient communication at all levels decides tlie success of all efforts. It is therefore essential to critically examine tlie role - and need - of communication. Tlie discussion that follows will critically examinc the same in tlie above mentioned phascs.
Communication during the phase of Preventive Measures: An in-depth study of all probable causes of disasters likely to occur in tlic area is to be made, identifying all likely soLlrces of disaster. Preparedness: This is the lllost ilnporlalit pliase. The state of ~re~aredn'css is to be reached to maximum efficiency to be effective. In this phase, all resources iheir types and strength - are worlted out, identified and are placed "on call" whenever situation so warrants. This phase requires high degree of dedicatioli and cooperation of all resources. Resources imply police, firemen, rneclical personnel, transporters, volunteers and above all a soulid communication systcm. Immediately after A Disaster Occurs: Commiinicatio~~, in all its forms, plays a most vital role in this phase. The prime requirement of tliis phase is to convey facls without creating any panic. Also, time element is or utmost ili.lpol-tance. Even a niinor delay caused due to incomplete 01. incorrect comm~~nicalions will of the occurrence of a disaster is to be given, add to the problem. The inti~nation in the laid down priority, to govern~nelit officials, affected population and news media of all types. This becomes effective only when there are "Check Lists" at all levels and personnel are trained to act strictly yet timely according to their respective check lists. In the absence of check lists, chaos will prevail disrupting tll ~nooth responses at required levels.


Aftermath: Once the laid down actions get under way, the siti~atio~l is b~.ouglit to normal, i.e., the cause of disaster is "contained" or has passed away. While this is going on, regular progress of events is intiliiated to people tliroilgli proper "media". The next action by colicerned authorities, after normal life is reslorecl, should be to carry rutliless audit of all events, critically analyse Saults, weaknesses, lapses, and shortcomi~igstogetlier with i~npediments, if any is experienced, and introduce measures to overco1ne1removethem.

Esscrltials of

Disaster Preparedness

~t is ilnplicd ib the above that ollly correct and cfficicnt c o m r n ~ ~ n i c acan t i ~(a) ~~ prevent occurrence of a disaster or reduce its impact. (b) reduce vilal rlel;lys in

afterlllath and (c) in gene!-a]decide the success of dlsaste~ managemell1 efforts.


Eficient co~n~nunicatio~l needs hardwale and s o h w a ~ e systelus or considerable ,copIlistication. It is obvious, therefore. that their use nceds skills and techniqLles of high order. In the various ~>hases of Disaster Management, ~ l l l c every r ~ lllinutc and every efCort are precious, it is the efficient a ~ i d flawless ~ ~ ~ n m wliich ensures the success of the operation. Following are the broad arcas l?fhereskilled communication is req11ired:
(a) Mass Education And Public Awareness.

(b) Training of industrial person~lel

(c) Appraisal of Government Authorities

(d) Information lo Media

(e) Use of Wireless set, and atnateur radio (Ham)

(f) Use ofTelepho~-res, Cell phones and satellite phones
(g) Use of INTERNET including e-mail

A concerted effort is requit*edto train every originator and each recipient in order to make the co~nmunication effective, so as to achieve the inte11declobjectives.


With pl*ogressiveI-li-Tech means a number of sopllisticated equipment are beiilg cleveloped. A broacl range of the means o f communication is given at Annexure A, The point to note in this list is that hardly any existing mode will ever be obsolete despite iticlusion of more modesn methods. in l disaster management related Media (electronic and print) are very h e l p f ~ ~ communications. They serve a s very useful conduit between the people ancl the clisaster rnanagctiient pcrsorinel.


Plali tlie Total Requireme~1t.s of Today a n d Tomorrow. At the outset, detel.mine numbers - after cluly identifying tl1e1n - of total "subscribers" including intlilstries other sources of Disaster, Reso~~rces, Gover~lmentAuthorities arid ~nalteout the pllase wise programme of the reql~ired means from the list at Annexure 'A'. Also provide for the filti~risticincreased requirements.
Disaster Management Dil-ectory. For day to day interactions, telepllone is going to be the major means, 1-]lerefore, a group wise Telephone Directory is also necessary..

equipment, skilled Skilled Personnel. Having obtailled costly commi~nicatio~i persolinel need to be induct6d to handle it. Every instrumeot has to be kept in daily use by scheduled "cIlecking". The equipment needs to be maintainsd and always kept in serviceable condition.

Vigorous and Regular Training. It must be an integral activity so as to maintain ancl improve the skill level. For example use of wireless set Iias a specific pattern, not faliiiliar to even educated. This has to bc attended to. Also, duty personnel must be taught tlie use of telephone in an economical yet clear manner. Sub-Control RoomslAlternate Control Centres. In the event of main Control Roo~nbeing ineffective for .any reason, there must be another one to assume charge without interruption in the operations.



We have seen that "Communication" is the ~iiostvital requirement for effective and efficient Disaster Management. Since time is of great significance, tlie delays in intimation and respolises at all levels can only be niinimised by skilled communication through multitier, sophisticated equipment and trained persons. are: Basic requirements of co~nmu~iications Knowledge I~JI of Situations (a) T I ~ O ~ O L
(b) Clarity

(c) Conciseness (d) Thorough Assimilation of Message Received and Correct Response. Taking into confidence people likely to be affected, in general, and news-~iicdia, in paltic~~lar, and giving them tlie correct and ti~iielyIcnowledge and information is vital, in order to obviate panic, chaos, rumours and corif~~sion. The skill levels of all "Originators" and "Receivers" of messages need to be kept high by regular traini~ig and constant practice.

Clieclc Your Progress 1 Noie: i) Use tlie space give11below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at tlie elid oftlie uriit.

1) +Disting~~isli clearly between tlie l'liysical Comm~~nication.

and Conceptual aspects of

2) What are the basic requirements for making a 1 1 effective comm~~nication?

Essentials of Disaster 1'rep;t l*edness

Check Your Progress 2 Notc: i) Use tlie space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at tlie end of the unit.
1) Which are the "electronic" modes of co~nmunication?

2) Wliich are various wings oFLLMedia"?


Comprelle~~sihility Originator and Receiver of Communication
: Quality of being i~ndel-stoodclearly

by the

recipient of the message

: A

person/control centre ~vhich originates orders/i~istructio~is/i~ifol.matio~ is originator whereas tlie party at the other end which "responds" is Receiver.

On Call Preve~ltive Measures

In a state of ~.eacliness exercises talten to prevent or minimize Llie probability of occurrence of disaster situations.

: All actions includi11g training, supervisio~~,

Transcends Audit of Events Disaster Management Directory

Goes beyoncl restored.

: To analyse what went wrong after normalcy is : A usefi~l co~npendium of fill1 details of all

agencies who contribute to the entire sce~iario of Disaster Management in any waylcapacity in the specific area


Vardaman, George T. and C. Carroll, MCIMLI~CP~GI/ 'C'onfrol Throz~gh Comnzunication, New Yorlc Commu~iications, New York, Wiley, 1968. Berlo, David K., The Process o f Communicutioi~, New Yorlc, Holt, 1960.


Checl<Your Progress 1
1) Your answer should include tlie following points:


Physical aspect implies various modes of coriimunication e.g., telephones, ,wireless sets, sirens, TV & raclio, newspapers. Conceptiial aspect, which is more vital, is to ensure that the intended ~i~essagellcnowledgel i~ifor~iiation/order/i~ist~~i~ction is so conveyed t;liat it is i~nderstood clearly by tlie "Receiver" for the inte~idedlexpectedaction.

2) Your answer slioi~ldi~icl~ide tlie following points:


Clarity, Conciseness, Credibility Completeness with due consideration to above.

Check Your Progress 2

I ) Your answer should include tlie following points:

Electronic modes include-Radio, Television, Wireless Set, Amatei~r Radio (HAM), Cellular phones, Satellite pliones, and IN'TERNE'l'.

2) Yoi~r answer slio~lld include tlie following points:


The word media includes agencies like newspapers, television and radio that serve as tlie carriers of information to t:he people at large and also give pi~blicity to their views and responses. Media are ijsually recognized in two types viz., print media (newspapers and periodicals) and electronic media (television and radio).

Essentials of Disaster Preparedness







. 1














Objectives Introduction Leadership in Disaster Situations: Concept and Significance Leadership Styles Co-ordination: Concept and Significance Principles ancl Technique of Co-ordination Role of Leacler and Coordinator Let Us Sum Up Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this unit, you should be able to:

explain the concept and significance of leadership in disaster situation; discuss various leadership styles i~nder conditions of crisis; explain the concept and significance of coordination; discuss the principles and techniques of coorclination; and describe the role of a lcader and coordinator in a crisis situation.

Lcaclership has a prominent and powerfill role in society and influences all aspects of life in normal as well as crisis situatio~ls.Leaclers can emerge from within a group and can also bc formally appointed or elected. There are many qualities that a leader should have such as intelligence, quick comprehension, decisiveness, courage, strength, confidence, eclucation, kno~vledge,personality, charisma and above all integrity. There may be a long list of leadership traits but the following five attsibutes have strong correlation with the leadership. There are: I. Dominance (Personality) 2. Intelligence 3. Self-conlidence 4. I-Iigli energy level and 5. Task related Iknowleclge (political or organizational).



Leadership is defined as ability to influence or motivate a group or community towards achievement of certain goals. In normal circumstances, leadership is entirely different as all clecisions are takeli after.enough tliinlking, after a process of con side ratio^^ and reconsideration as well as with the thoughtful advice of experts in the area. Tllerc is a framework of legislation to provide for~nalizecl support and confir~nation. On the other hand in crisis situatio~ls or under iinstable and disruptive conditions or in disasters, tasks of leaders usually becomes difficult. The leadersliip from local level, district level, state level and LIP to national level is affected by a number offactors such as the following: Many of the designated local leaders are themselves affected by the disaster. They could get isolated due to sudden breakdown of con~munications or become ineffective under traumatic condii.ion due to the suddenness a11d severity of the situation. ..

Essentials of Disaster Preparedness

During disaster, many of tlie relatives and friends of the leaders could be affected. Their attention could get diverted to the111instead of taking decisiol, or action for relief and recovery ofthe community. Lack of information and disruption of communication become serious f a c t ~ l . ~ ha~npering decision making. Loss or delayed availability of human resources, equipment, transport and other relief commodities delays action and creates a sense of helplessness. community feels insecure and could lose confidence In the resulting conii~sion, in the leadership. There may be Inany other factors depending on tlie type of disaster and tlie affected people. I n a crisis situation ~.equiring relief arid rehabilitation of disaster affected people, administration and political leadership could have different goals.

A) District administration
In a district, tlie district magistrate or district collector is chairman of the disaster relief committee. l'he officers' main aim is to mounL effective rcscue operations for the affected people, provide immediate relief in terms of food, medicine, drinking water, clothes and teniporary shelter. It depends on tlie leaderihip qualities of an ad~ninistrator, how he or she gets the job done. There could be two approaches: (i) "Boss-Approach" in which one passes orders and expects that the subordinates will act according to the orders, (ii) "Team-Approach" in which full cooperation of all co~icer~ied officers and people is taken. In this case tlie leader will take all concerned officers into confidence, invol;e thcm in the decision making, monitor their work and guide them from time to time for effective reliel operations. 111disaster situation, tlie latter approach will be more effective and give better results.

B) Local leadership
Local Icaders would like to make their prescncc felt. They may or Inay not be having any experience of disaster management. 111 many cases, their intervention may solneti~ne hinder the process of relief but may give political advantage to tlie local leaders. Secondly, they may openly criticize the disaster management officials with or without justification.
C) State and national level leadership

State and national level leadership will try to provide fi~ndsand mobilize effective relief within the available resources but this leadership initiative fro111 top will be based on an overall appreciation of the disaster situation. For the state and national level leadership to be effective, they should have accurate arid up to date information from tlie disaster area through tlie district leadership and leave detailed implementation to the local established administrative system.


Before dealing with the leadership styles, it is important to know the attributes and desirable qualities of a leader. Leadership qualities can not be learnt from a book; for 'example, 'courage' cannot be learnt from anywhere except perhaps fro111worthy role models. Secondly, no leader can be an allrounder or ideal in all aspects. There are some good qualities that every person has in some measure, such as sense of humour, endurance, clieerfulness, dedication, entliusiasm, courage, quick decision, identification of problem, etc. But conibinations of a large number of these desirable qiralities in a person can make him or her a better

leader. Some of the more desirable qualities of leadership in disaster lnallage~nent are briel'ly discussed below:
1 ) Personal qualities and self-confidence

Leadership and Co-ordinatiorl

As mentioned above, every person has some leadership qualities. One should identify them and try to develop and upgrade them to the best capability. Selfconfidence is an important characteristic of a leader which can be developed by increasing his own professional competence and inter-personal abilities.
2) Professional competence

This competence means knowing what to do and how to do it. This can be developed by acquiring a high standard of knowledge, skill and ability appropriate to the task and circumstances. Higher tile professio~lalcompetence, Inore is the respect and trust that the leader would receive.
3) Sound judgement and appropriate decision making

'I-here are very much related to the professio~lal competence and experience of a with liis team of person. A leader with these two qualities will emerge successfi~l co-worlters in ally disaster situation.

4) Ability to cominunicate
Clear and concise commu~~ication with people working with the leader is very much essential for proper functioning. In fact, this is an essential ingredient,in developing good interpersonal relations that generate goodwill and loyalty to the leader leading to a high level of discipline in tlie team. 5) Appropriate style of leadership Always different tasks require different styles of leadership. It is important for a successfi~lleader to i~nderstandthe dimensions and requirements of the given task and adjust the leadership style to achieve the desired results. The leadership styles appropriate to disaster management work are of four types as follows:



- -3 .

1. Tells-

The leader orders the team and waits for results and action while keeping an eye on the progress. He does not expect his subordinates to ask qi~estionsor give suggestions. This style is adopted when the matter is urgent and there is no time to lose.
2. Sells-

Convinces tlie team about the decision taken by analysing the positive and negative points. It is like selling ideas to the team members. Obviously, this exercise takes sonle time.

Esse~~tials of Disaster Preparedness

3. Consults-

Leader consults the team and allows them to participate in Llie decision making with the view to ~naking small adjustments but the main thrust of the decisions of the leader are more or less final. 'This style is somewhat less time consuming than the 'Sells" style.
4. Joins-

The leader discusses thoroughly the problem and the likely course of action. Every member of the team is involved in the discussion and finally the co~isensus decision prevails. This style consulnes most time but later work is smooth. Sometimes a multi-style or mixed-style approach is more useful in disaster situation. There are varioug different taslts sucli as distribution of foocl, ~nedicines, temporary shelter, drrd rescuc work. If each of such tasks is assigned to a diffeent person instead of all tasks to one, there can be better results. In other words, delegation of authority and worlc is also an important aspect of leadership style. Of course, the leader has to continue to monitor and coordinate with his colleagues. Another useful factor in the clevelopment of disaster management is the strong and positive link between leadership and training. A high standard of training can upgrade the professionalism in the leadership. This is the reason that the Government of India (through its nodal ministries and departments) and the various institutes of public administration (through their faculties of disaster management are giving more emphasis on 'Human Resource Development' in the area of disaster management. They want to provide training to various levels of government officers, NGOs and to the corninunity leaders so that they have more knowledge, skill and confidence to tackle the likely disaster situations.
Check Your Progress 1 Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) Define Leadership.

2) What are the qualities of a good leader in disaster situation?

3) List the difrerent leadership styles for a disaster manager.

Leaclersliip and Co-ordination


Coordination can be defincd as co~nbined efforts of various related organisations and agencies to achieve tlie goalltarget of a task and is therefore very essent~al. In fact, there is always scope Sor improvement in coordination between various agencieslorganisations worlting for relief and reliabilitatio~i. There are three main bociies involved in disastel. management:
1 Government Agencies 2 1VGOs and CBOs

3 Affected People

NC;O= Non-Government Organisation CBO= Community Based Organisation

At all stages oS disaster management, viz., preparedness, mitigation effolls as wcll as relief or response, there is need o r proper coordination. TIILIS, tlie role of coordinatorlleader in disaster situation becomes very signiticant.
I n Government of India, the Ministry of Agriculture was the nodal ministry for disaster management. The Natirral Disaster Management Division dealing witli Natural disaster was earlies with the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India but now it is under the Ministry of Honle Affairs, Government of India. Flowevcr, drought as a natural disaster is still being lllclnaged by the Ministry of Agriculture, Governrneilt of lndia.

Tliere are many othc~.ministries and specialist depal.tments ancl ol.ganisatio~is involved in the disaster preparedness and response operations.
India Meteorological Departn~cnt (IMD)
' \

1 . Ministry oFFoocl & Civil Supplics 2. I.lome Afl'airs

I lousing and Ilsban Uevclopriicnt Corporation (I-IUDCO)

lndian Space JEt.scarc11 Oreanizalion IISROI

3. Defence

Govt. of India Ministry of Agricullure Depaflment of Agriculture & Cooperation

4. Water Resources 5. Health

6. Civil Aviation
Ce~itralWater ' Co~iimission(CWC)

7. Cabinet


Essentials of


Siinilarly, the State governments have their agencies involved in disaster management worl<. The Central Governnient is in regular contact wit11 State Governments. In the Central Govelnment, the Central Relief Commissioner is the focal point and the Finance/Revenue Secretary or the Slate Relief Commissioner is the focal point in the States. They worl< in close contact with each other. arrangements between Central. The following diagram explains the coo~~dinatioii State and District Administration for Disaster Management.

Revenue Secretary

Financial Commissio~ier

Ilislrict Magistrate

District Level

D~strict Collector


In Disaster Management, all tlie concerned organisations, agencies, and tlie public have common goals as disci~ssedbelow.
Pre-Disaster Situation- for disaster prevention. mitigation and prepareclness to ininiinize loss of life and property from natural disasters. Disaster Situation- to provide effective relief, rehabilitation o r affected people' and recovery of tlie co~nrnunity. 'There are no set principles or rigid techniques in for coordination in disaster situation because each disaster situation is i~nique its own way. But, coordination is inore effective if we Collow the basic principles of coordination given below:

1) Clear Role Allocation

Leadership anti


There sliould be clarity in roles of different participant organisations. They sliould know their authority and limitations. There should not be duplication of roles.

All concerned organisations sl~ould have proper networking. Tliis will provide them better understanding of strengths and weaknesses of each other and will . also ensure proper coordination of efforts besides avoidi~ig dupli~ation.
A propel. networking of NGOs will give tlie~i the idea about the capacity and

capabilities of each other. This knowledge is very essential for coordination anlong NGOs.
3) Practising coordination during exercises.

4) Knowledge of professional competence of individual organisation

5) ICnowleclge of available resources including financial resources

6) Transparency in the action of various organisations i~ivolvecl in management.

- -- -

- - - - -


A good leader or coordinator can make the task simple and Illore effective. He can serve tlie affected people within limited resources and be cost-effective. Role of a leader starts from pre-disaster situation. He has a very important role cluring and after tlie disaster. Roles of leader/coordinator are almost same and are given below:

Identification of safe places or protected areas, when disaster impact occurs. He should be able to convince tlie community that they should reach these safer places at the time of pre-warning. Normally, people do not walit to leave their houses and belongings even after several warning and even police intervention. But a good leader can persuade tliern to move to safe places. In cyclones and of people can save a lots of h~~nian lives and cattles. floods, such evac~~atiori Leaders take decision concerning post-impact priorities for rescue, temporary evacuation, shelter, immediate needs of tlie co~n~nunity crucial to tlie lines and livelihood of tlie affected people. Leaders implement self-help IneasLIres and induce spirit of cooperation. They take decisions to organize external assistance wliich can significantly defer or alleviate potential hardsliip for those who have lost their home and means of livelihood. Involving people and co~nmunityin tlie decision making, i~i~plementation of pl?ns and their participation 2 every step of relief or rehabilitation process by keeping complete tra!isparency.

Esserltials of Disaster Preparedness

Checlc Your Frogress.2


i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the e~icl of the unit.

1) Name the nodal ministry ancl o t h e ~important concerned ministries and agencies of Governlnents of India involved in disaster nianagenielit.

2) Who is the focal point for disaster nianage~ilent in the Ministry of Agriculture?

3 ) List the impostant roles of a leader in disaster management.


Leadership is the abilily to influence or motivate people towards achievement of goals. There are five important traits of leadel*ship such as personality, intelligence, self-confide~ice, 1 igll enel-gy level and task relatecl knowledge. Leadership in normal circumstances and during csisis differs greatly. This unit of leadersliip ancl described the has discussed the co~iceptancl sigl~ifica~ice various leadership styles. Tlie importance of coordination has been e~iiphasizecl and the role of a leader and coordi~iator Iias been explained.



Ability to attract, i ~ i f l i ~ e ~ ancl l c e inspire people Quality of probity, honesty and high ~noral principles Prime Ministel.'~Office






sharma, V.K. (ed): (1995) Disaster ~VIunagenient,Indian Institi~tcof Public Acltninistration, New Delhi. Misra, G.K. and Mathitr G.C. (1993) Notural Disuster Redzrctio~,Reliance Public House, New Delhi. Reed, Sheila B. (1992) Introduction to Hazards, DMPT Mani~al(UNDRO Publication). Carter, W.N icli ( I 99 1 ) Disaster Management-A Disaster Manager ,'s Hundbook, Asian Development Bank, Manila.

Leadership and Co-ordination



Cbeclc Youl- Progress 1


Your answer should include the following poilits:


Leadership is defined as the ability to influence or motivate a group or commi~nity towards achievelnent of certain goals such a s disaster managelne~lt.Leadership plays a prominent ancl powerfill role in society and influences alI aspects of life in normal as well as crisis situatiotls.

2) Your answer shoulcl include the fol lowillg points: Personal qualities and self-confidence; Professional colnpetence;

Sound judgement and appropriate decision making;


Ability to communicate; and Appropriate style of leadership.

3) Your answer should include the following points:



ii) Sells; iii) Consillts; rind

iv) Joins
Check Your Progress 2

1 ) Your answer should include the following: Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Civil Supplies; Home Affairs; Defence; Water Resources; FIealth; Civil Aviation; Tndia Meteorological Depa~iri~ent and Central Water Commission.

2) Your answer slloi~ld include the following:


Central Relief Coin~~lissioner, assisted by the Additional Central Relief Commissioner.

$ 3 ) Your answer slio~~ld i~lcli~de the following points:

A good leader call be very cost-effective by managing the worlc within limitecl resources through proper coordination.


Essentials of Disaster Preparedness

A good leader plays an inipot-tant role in convincing the affected people to act according to the warning and advice, for example, where prompt evacuation has been advised by the concerned authorities. A good leader induces the spirit of cooperation among the cornrn~~nity and is thus able to implement self-help projects very well.


0bjectives Introduction Importance of Warehousing and Stockpiling Location of Warehouses Comn~oclitics and Tools Idenlification of Areas and Suffel*ers Techniques Sor Distribution Lct Us Sum Up Key Words References and Further Readings Answcrs To Checlc Your Progress Exercises

After studying this unit, you should be able to:

e e

explain the need for warel~ousing and stoclcpiling ofcsseiitial conimodities as past of preparedness for disaster; clescsibe tllc inventorisation of commodities bnsed on established need; and discuss the network and distribution mechanism oSstoclted goods.

At the natio~~al level, the central government, maintains buffer stoclts of essential itcms to cater to fluctuating demand pattern. I n case of Soocl items, the inventory is mainlainecl by the Food Corporation of India of the Ministry of Foocl and Civil Supplies, with their wal-ehouses located all over the country. In overall worlcil~gand distribution system, the government may vary its own procurement based on the level of buffer stocks. Esscntial items such as medicines are also maintained through a system of Medical Stores at national and regional level. This is maintained by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. While Meclical Stores cater directly to emergencies, the food stocks service the public distribution system and also take into consideration, the seasonal demand trade. shifts and internatiol~al At the district level, as part of the conti~igency action plan, stores are idcntifiecl and stocks maintained of essential items in addition to medicines and food for ilse during emergencies. 'The level of stocks and the various tecl~niquesfor distribution may vary from item to item and time to time according to exigel~cies.Needless to say, this dcpends very much on the population of the district and the vulnerability of thc clistrict to any particular types of disaster.



Disasters occur suddenly, so~netirnes witl~outwarning, and in a very short span of time. The government through the district administration has to provide maximum succour to tlie affected comnlu~~ity.


Essentials of Disaster I'reparedness

1Jsually a wliole range of items is required. Besides essential food and medicines, other items for search and evacuation, temporary shelter, communication systems, energy fuel needs to be mobilized by different Government departments. Mobilization of such large range and quantity of items in times of emergency can be done only if there are enough stoclts available within a short accessible distance. A well organized stockpiling system for easy availability and easy access beco~nes the basic requirement of a dependable contingency plan.


Locatio~iof wareliouses is very important and is dependent on the degree of vulnerability of cet~ainareas and on Facility of transportation. The location should be at a comparatively safer place. Maintaining stoclts of i t e m required in contingelicy also depends on availability and it may not be viable for tlie State Government to be able to station sucli warehousing in tlie required quantities at ideal locations. The problem gets fill-tiler co~nplicated due to tlie limited life of certain items sucli as food and medici~ies. They need to be reple~iishedafter a fixed time failing wiiicli they would become ~ ~ s e l eand s s harmfill. Without compromising on the accessibility of stores yet maintaining a balance with the higli cost of mainte~iance, tlie following criteria are adopted:
Vulnerability of the Area

Certain regioiis are ~iii~cli liiore vulnerable than others. 'TIiis call be assessed from tlie frequency of disasters that Iiave take11 place in tlie past or from regional studies. For example, the coastal districts of the States in soutliem 1 zone are exposed to tlie threat of cyclones every year. It is natural that stores be located in areas that woulcl [needthem.
Types of Goods

Goods, which liave a limited time span and liiay be rendered i~selessif' left unutilized, could be stored in fewer places. Si~cli places could be strategically located at selected points. Food items and ~iiedici~ies fa1 I under this category.
Distributing Agencies

In the event of a disaster, it is the responsibility of various agencies, under whose care tlie various items are put, to mobilize Iiecessary i ~ ~ f r a s t r i ~ c t for i~re distribution. Location of tlie warehouses should serve to rnalce tlie fi~nctions of distributing agencies Inore efficient.
wliole, a well-developed and clearly identified systeni of interlinked wareliouses withi11 accessible distalices will considerably i~iiprove tlie effectiveness of the continge~~cy plans.
0 1 1 tlie

Check Your Progress 1


i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those give11at tlie end of tlie unit.

1) Briefly discuss the i~iiportance of stoclcpiling.

W n r e l ~ o ~ ~ s iant1 rig


2) Discuss the criteria kept in consideration for selecting location of warehouses.


A list of the com~noditiesand tools required for different types of disaster situations forms part of the district contingency plan. Nor~nally, there are two types of warehousing - at thc district level which stoclcs all rescue and evacuation eq~~ipmentltools and at regional level (groups of districts) for items such as food and medicines. Respective departlnents may also be required to maintain their own stores.

'I'ypically, in a cyclone or flood contingency plan, spccial 'cyclone storc' or "flood store" is requii.ed to be set up stocking the following items:


I-loolcs for clearing debris, ladders.

2) Rubber Tires and Tubes for sing as float in water; also boats.

3) Tents, tarpaulin, galvanized corrugated sheets, asbestos sheets, bamboo and other material for providing temporary slieltcr.

4) Kerosene, lanterns, candles, matchboxes, lighters and battery operated


lights along with cells/batteries. 5) Large coolting vessels for use in relief camps; Food serving utensils.
6) Iclentity slips (in plastic pouches) to be issued to thc rerugees in relief camps.

7) Copies of Maps.
8) Ropes, Wires, Chains, Lights fittings with wire, lead wires, spades, and crowbars.

9) Spare road-marker stores, steel pole, ban~boos and slotted stripes or~lietal (to be laid on broken or muddy road surfacc for better traction. Double hantlled 'saws (for cutting fallen trees), concrete culter, sliovels and ]Close Pipes, Few diesel pumps and generator sets.

10) First-Aid Kits, duty sign boards, jerry cans, empty oil drums, gunny bags a~id gunny bags and sand bags. Polytlle~iebags For dropping supplies, B~~ckets, hireless sets and satellite phones.


1 1 ) Equipment For fillin6 or boiling water.

Essentials of Disaster P~.cparedness

A scparate store for medicines (attached to district level hospital) would need to maintain stock of cssential life saving mcdicine, drugs for preventing infectiolis, vaccines and First Aid ccluipments.
Similarly, the Public Health Department would need L o ~naintailistores in each district containing the following items: a) Disinfectants SLICII as phenyl, naphtlialene balls, bleaching powder, ~Iilori~le liquid, water purifying tablets equipment for checlting qi~ality of water alicl for checlting quantity of free chlorine ancl supplying safe potable water. b) Mobile water tankers, canvas water tanks, dru~ns ancl jersy cans for transpot-ting drinl<ingwates. c) Vaccines d) Insecticides e) Temporary or portable lavatories Tlle ani~nal h~~sbandry department is requirecl to stocl< essential d r ~ ~ g and s vaccines for livestoclc cattle. Likewise, separate lists of store items are prepared for each type of disaster situation and stocks maintained by thc respective agency.


The amount of stock maintained a1 the stores in the district or at regional level (groups of districts) is dependent 01-1 the resident population ,and the requirements duc to different types of lilcely disasters. The basis of calculating medical supplies is based on the statistics of number of people affected due to floods each year averaged for a 10-year period. It lras been estimated that as far as health impact of flood is concerned, approxi~nately 2% of tlie affected population would need medical attention. Stoclts are ~ I I L I S kept accordingly. A similar kind of s t ~ ~ d is y carried out for other disaster situations and total requiremelit worl<ed out. In cases where one district is prone to Inore than one type of disaster, tlie range (types) of medicines ill the stoclc is increased proportionately.



Distribution of Relief Material is well organized and predetermined by rehearsal through drill, prior to disaster. Many state government departments lnobilize the items they are responsible for based on the requirement placed by the district disaster co~nniittees. Food and Essential items for the affected population are directly distributed through temporary kitcliens set up in relief camps. Alternatively, they may be air droppecl to people who are not otherwise accessible. Teams of doctors Inove in mobile vans to the affected areas if ~novement is still feasible. They could also form part of the defence team, which has its own transportation arrangements.

A lot of material from regional stores is moved in by rail. Earlier the practice of nioving was by wagon loads. This Itind of piecemeal traffic movement resulted in ordinate delays. Now a days i n cases of emergency, food etc., is nioved by special relieftrain thus optimizing on total movement and distribution time.

An important factor to be kept i n consideration du;.ing distribution is that tlie same community should be given the relief material over and over again so long as they need it. At the salne time, one has to be cautious against free riding, j.e., [hose that do not deserve the relief but take undue advantage of the occasion. SLICII incidents happen when either there is no way of identifying the actual victims or if tlie distributing agencies are not cool-dinatingamongst them.

Wnrehousing and

Such anomalies may be taken care of, by issuing identity slips to the victims and. making a person or institution incharge of coordinating the overall distl-ibution.
Check Your Progress 2

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the nit.

1) List our the items to be stocked in a "cyclone store"?

2) Describe technique for distribution.



Warehousing of essential items for distribution as relief material, and tooIs/eqi~ipnientas means for evacuation and rescue are critical to any disaster lnanagement exercise. Needless to say, the quantity and range of stock has to be kept on the basis of' ~ I I O I - O L I ~ ~~ I ~~Iculatio 011 n s anticipated requirement with suITicient margin for iluctuation. Lastly, tlic stock should be able to reach the victims in the shortest possible time.


Buffer Stocks

Stock of essential iten~s like food and such colnlnodities required at Lhe time of conti~igencies like disaster. Urgent need or demand or ~iecessity Length of time for which food/medicines/otlier com~nodities can be stored before deterioration.


Shelf life

Essentials of


Govt. of India's Report, "The dvoug111 c!f 1987, lie.spo~z.seand Munugenlenl", Department of Agriculture Xt Coopcralion, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, New Dellii.
Heallh ,5'ectov Conlingency Plun .fol* Manc~genzen~ q j Sil L I L I ~ ~ Oit7 I I .I~M ~ ~ Q ; Emergency Medical Rclief, Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Inclia, New Dellii. C~ycloneContingency PPlan qf' Aclion; Revenue Department, Government of Andlira Pradesli, Hyderabad.



Checlc Your Progress 1

1) Your answer should include the following points:


In disaster situations, the affected people need help of various types sucli as food, medicines, shelter, fi~el, and tools. Thcse can be made available o~ily if stocks are stockpiled at easily accessible warel1ouses beforehand by government agencies and made available for distribi~tion during

2) Your answer should include points like vulnerability of the area; types of goods and distributing agencics
Check Your Progress 2

1) Your answer should include the following points:

a) Boats, rubbcr tires and tubes b) Tents, tarpaulin, bamboo c) Lanterns, kerosene, torches with cells d) Cooking and serving i~tensils e) Candles, match box
f) Maps and identity slips

g) Ropes, wires, spades, crowbars, gunny bags 11) First aid lcits
i) Mobile water tankers j) I) Water purifying.kits Disinfectants and insecticides

2) Your answer should include the following: a) Essential items including food and water are distributed at the relief camps or are airdropped if the people are marooned o r otherwise inaccessible.

b) Medicines and healthcare are distributed by teams of doctors in mobile vans if sucli movement is practicable. Otlierwise doctors join the special defence teams.
c) Need-based and equitable distribution of essential items is ensured on the basis of identity slips (packed in plastic covers) issued to the attached ' people.


Objectives Introduction Human Behaviour and Response: The Concept Factors inhibiting Positive Human Behaviour in Disaster Situations Measures for Ensuing Positive Human Beliaviour and Response Psyche of Provider and Sufferer Interaction between Individual, Community and Institutions. Let Us Sum Up Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit, you should be able to understand and describe:
a e

tlie colicept of human beliaviour and response in disaster situations; the factors inhibiting positive human bel~aviour during disasters; the measures that should be taken by various organisatio~isfor ensuring .positive human beliaviour response; the psyche of providers and sufferers during disasters; and tlie interaction patterns between individuals, community and institutions in disaster situations.



There is all old saying that "No two individuals in this world are alike". It is interesting to notice how widely a mother differs from her daughter and father from his son in individual bellaviour. But wliat is the humaii beliaviour which separates the persoiialities of one person from another. In a laymatis' language, it is the way different individuals react when facing a situation. One person might be mild in his reaction; while the other might be very aggressive. One might find it difficult to separate normal beliaviour from abnormal. In fact, it may even be difficult to say wliat constitutes a normal behaviour when faced with an unexpected situation. According to Ullniann and Krasver (1975), abnormal is simply a label given to' beliaviour that deviates from social expectations; whereas other psychologists explain it in terms of maladaptive beliaviour. We can classify nor~nal and abnorrr:al human beliaviour as indicated in Fig. 17.1 It is very important to know about human beliaviaur in detail as we will be coming across lot of abnormality disorders and psycho-physiological proble~ns occurring due to excessive stress during disasters. In tl~is Unit, we shall discuss

Disaster Management and Awareness

how people behave in stress situation (at the time of natural or 1nan-lnade disasters), individually, in groups and as a large affected community.

Under normal Physical and social environment

Human Behaviour Individual Family Commuility

Under stress due to a disaster


Fig. 17.1: Normal and Abnorrnal tIuman Behaviour


With a few exceptions people exposed to earthquakes, tornadoes, explosions or other terrifying experiences show psycllological "shock" reactions .The symptoms may vary greatly depending on the individual and also on the nature and severity of the terrifying disaster. For instance when two trains collide leaving many people dead and many more injured, the tragedy also leaves a large number of people with feelings of fear, guilt, anxiety and many of them might need "talk sessions" by psychiatrists. A "disaster syndro~ne"appears to characterize the reactions of many victims o r such disasters. The disaster syndrome:- A victi~ll'sinitial response following a disaster typically involves three stages, viz.,

1) Shock stage: in which the victims are stunned, dazcd and apathetic.
2) The suggestible stage: in which the victim tends to be passive, but open to suggestions and willing to take directions from rescue workers and others.

3) The recovery stage in which the individual liay be tense and apprehensive and may show generalized anxiety but gradually regains psychological equilibrium often showing a need to repetitively tell about the catastrophic event .
It has been seen that in disaster situations the response of an individual varies from heroism to post-traumatic stress disorder depending on one's personality. The suffering people should be give11supportive psychological treatment. Proper rest usually can alleviate sytnptoms that lead to Post- traumatic stress disorder.

111 general, the more stable and better integrated a personality and the more

favourable an individuals' life situation, the more quickly he or she will recover from a severe stress reaction. A case of Maharashtra Earthquake Sept. 1993, people were In the Latur Earthquake of Mahalaashtra on 3 0 ' ~ celebrating 'Ganesh Puja', the biggest festival of Maharashtra. The whole atmosphere on the previous night was jubilant. People were visiting each others houses an& celebrating the festival with joy. No body was expecting that the same night, there will be an earthquake and they will lose some of their dear ones. The first reaction of the people to the disaster was a big 'shock'. After solne time, they started thinking of their family members, and got busy in search and rescue. If the family member died in the disaster, they collected his/hel. dead body and cremated it. This was the time, when anxiety was maximum. After few days, recovery stage started. They got some help from Government and NGOs and started making temporary shelters. Some times the recovery takes a lol~g time. If there is no proper treatment or therapy, people develop symptoms leading to more and more stress and affect mental health. Some of the NGOs in this region started religious discourses and 'Bhajan' and 'Kirtan' so that people consider the inevitability of the tragedy and resume normal life again. There were many cases of post-traumatic stress disorders aniong the affected individuals.
Check Your Progress 1 Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit
1) What are the stages of human behaviour in disaster situation?

Humrn Behavioiir and Response: Individual, Communitv. I ~ ~ s t i t ~ ~ t i o n a l





2) How can we treat a person having mental stress because of a disaster?

I 1 I


There are various factors which prevent the rescue team workers to relate

' positively with the affected persons. For instance it has been seen that in places
where these disasters occur frequently, the people living in those areas develop a

Disaster Management and

A warcness

kind of shock absorbiqg capacity. TO put it in simple words these people are mentally prepared for its occurrence and hence they are able to relate to the rescue workers more positively whereas when there is a totally unexpected calatnity, it leaves tlie sufferers in a state ofsliocl<. Furtliermore, the kind of loss suffered also affects the behaviour of the sufferers. Econo~nicloss and death of close persons are the two losses which have a major adverse effect on their bel~aviour since the surviving victims are so disturbed and 11nderso much of stress and pain that at that stage they do 1101 care for any kind of help from people. Another factor which we can consider lierc is the time period of the disaster. For instance, there havc been droughts in Orissa, Ra-jasthan and Gujarat and since the time period of these is long the people react in slightly more practical and stabilized manner than those who suffer great losses within a matter of few seconds (the eal-thqualce at Gujarat in January 2001). Thc former is called a continuing disaster whereas the latter is Icnown as sudden or cataclysmic disaster with immediale destruction being evident e.g. earthqualce or cyclone. Moreover the impact of disaster on thc economically wealcer groups is often pa~ticularlygreat e.g. on Jhuggi dwellers, marginal farmers, s~nall shop-keepers, fishermen. Their meager capital stock or saving may be completely wiped out by disaster [hereby pushing them into the poverty or starvation stage. Thus the econon~ic status of the sufferer also plays a major role in his or her response to the disaster situation. The same is true for the physically weak, the sick, the disabled, the aged, pregnant women, nursing noth hers, children and infants whose response to disastrous situations is highly traumatic bordering on abnornlally panicky. Sometimes, the Disaster situation may be so bad that even the relief worl<ers' mental state is affected adversely in such situations. They don't expect to see this much of deaths or loss and damages because of a particular disaster and develop abnormal symptoms. The ground situation arising rrom the terrorist attack on the World Trade enter in New Yorlc on the 11"' September 2001 is the prime example of this type. The people who have to collect dead and dismembered bodies in such area sorneti~nes start behaving abnormally as it was a completely unexpected situation for them.




For any rescue team to worl< in a disaster affected area, it is a ~ u u s t illat the survivors and other people living there should be co-operative and are able to communicate with them in an effective manner. Although it tums out to be quite a tough job for the rescue worlcers as the victims are usually under much stress and mental depression. Yet there are certain measures which can be adopted to t in areas which have a high ensure a positive behaviour response. To s t a ~ with, probability of occurence of disaster, the residents should be made aware of the likelihood of a disaster and tlie stops needed to cope. This mentally prepares them to cope with such a situation for example people of Japan (having a high frequency of earthquakes) are given live demonstration of how to behave when an earthquake takes place. As a result, at the time of its occurrence, even a child knows that it is safe to stand at the corllers of the house. Thus there should be more and more public awareness of the precaution thl.ough media and classes in school. People should be taught how to help the rescue team so that they can help them in turn. Thc advantage of cooperating fully with the rescue workers should be impressed on people.

Moreover, it is seen that measures like mock exercises, drill, practices of the rescue workers and giving the people adequate information proves lielpfi~lin getting a positive response froni the public. Tlle various organisations sl~ould work towards liaving appropriate training programmes for tlie rescue worlters, NG07s,gover~irnent officials etc. which will benetit tlie people. Further if post-disaster review can be carried out reasonably so011 after completion of the emergency phase, the information acquired can be utilized for recovery progralnme purposes. There sliould be an effort to iiivolve the affected community in the work such as community kitchen, in rehabilitation and reconstruction. This will help t11en1 to retun1 to their ~ ~ o r m a mental l status sooner.
- -

Humn~tEel~aviourand Response: Individual, Communitv. Institutionnl


In a Disaster situation, the psyche or tll'e mental thinking of the providers as well as the sufferers is very impoi-tant. Firstly let us disci~ss tlie meaning of provider. By provider, we mean a person who comes to help out the people affected in disaster. They can be voluntary organisations, government officials or any one. During disasters, the psycliology of the provider as well as tlle suffererplays a very important part in efficient disaster management.

It is seen that during post disaster period the provider or the team Iielping tlie people should not feel that they arc doing some charity or obligation. On the contrary, it is a part of their sacred social dilty to the community irrespective of the fact whether they are getting paid to do this work. Thus they sliould change their own attitude towards the work and do their required job as cfficielltly and pron~ptly as they can and not take it as a burden . Tlie rescue team shoi~ldtry to concentrate more on helping the people rather than showing off.

'The rescue workers, should preferably be trained local people and they should have a feeling that they are going to help the affected people of the con~munity who are their own brothers and sisters . Similarly, the sufferer or tlie victim sliould approach -their problcms Inore opti~nisticallyinstead of giving up completely. They sliould remain co~nposed and cooperate with the providers to the fullest in tlle interest of the affected coin~i~unity. The sufferers should not demand priority on the strength of their , social or economic status. It lias been observed that the victims expect the NGO's and government agencies to co~npensatefor all the losses incurred by : them whicl~ is usually not possible. They should develop an attitude to get back to their normal course of life and job as speedily as practicable. Tlie past experiences of Uttarkashi earthquake (1991) and the Latur earthqualte (1993) are that community has become more and more de endent on exterllal F help. 'L'Ileir expectations from relief agencies are very l~igli. T11is is tlie reason that even after several years after the disaster the community has not fiilly recovered. This trend should be reversed. The relief is to provide temporary and timely assistance to the victims. It sliould not be conipared with 'tlie compensation. The NGOs and local volunta~yagencies sliould work hard to cha~lge the attitude of the people and make then1 self-reliant and independent in the long run. The experience in Gujarat earthquake (2001) was colnparatively befter because the affected communities, althougli suffering much more damage and deaths, should col~siderable resilience.


Disaster Management and Awareness


Disaster is such an unwanted happening which never informs in advance before co~ning.Therefore the various agencies institutiorls and communities should be well prepared in advance so that they can handle the situation Inore efficiently. For that, there should be disaster preparedness training courses, and disaster I-esponseworltshops which should include members of govern~nentagencies, non-government organisations, and other persons who have a responsibility, stake and interest in disaster response operations. The-training may be at three levels, viz., individual, institutional and community levels as indicated below:
1) Individual Training

a) Sltills training (e.g, in categories such as rescue, first aid)

2) Institutional Training

a) Seminars & worltshops (e.g. Annual Preparedness Setninars) b) Training Modules operatio~~s) (e.g. in general disaster managelnent response

3) Community Level Training .

a) Awareness upgradation b) Simulation exercise (indoor) c) Mock exercises (outdoor) d) Unit (single agency, full scale) e) Combined. Such Trainingprograrnlnes will also enhance the co~nmunity and organisations. interaction between the

Further it should be noted that there should not be one way com~nunication. Whatever infor~nation the NGO's or other officials have from their past experiences should be given to the people excha~iginginforniation openly:-

The policies of the government regarding the grants compensation and rescue of the sufferers should be made known to the people in that area .
There should be regular contacts within the responsible authorities for estbblishing telecommuuications service, including the repairs of 11or11ial systems and the installation of tell~pora~y radio network, where needed.

Check Your Progress 2 Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.

I) Write any two factors inhibiting normal and positive Iiu~nanbeliaviour in disaster situation?

Humar~Rchaviour i~nrl
Responsc: Indivitlual, Communitv. Instittrtional

2) What measures can be applied for cnsusing positive human bchaviour response?

3 ) What should be the normal psyche of the relief worlcers (or providers) at the disaster time? .

17.7 LET 1_JS SUM UP




In this Unit, we have disci~ssedthe hu~nanbehaviour and response in disaster situations. The normal and abnormal beliaviour patterns have been distinguished. Factors that prevent tlie people from giving a positive response and rational behaviour have been indicated. Disaster situations affect tlie providers i.e. rescue worlters also. Therefore the psyche of provide^.^ and victims in disaster situations have been discussed. The importance of interaction between individuals, institutions and community has beeli ckpliasized and the role of training has been stressed.



The mind, me~ital tliinki~ig Ab~iormalbehaviour- anything away or deviant from normal behaviour which .. itself varies from place to place

Maladaptive Bel~aviour

Disaster Management and A~vilrencss

Disaster Syndrome Resilience Drill practices

: :

Characterizes the sy~nptomsor certaill signscof the victims of these disasters Ability to recover quickly from disaster Rehearsal for the rescue workers Body proble~ns arising from mental stress Severe psychological or physiological stresses. Doctor who treats mental disorders

Psycho-physiological problems : Trauma Psychiatrist




Ullrnann, L.P. and Krasver (1975) Approach to abnormcrl behavioilr (2" eeditio,l) Englewood, Prentice-Hal I.


Check Your Progress 1
1) Your answer should include the following points: Shock Stage; Suggestible State; and Recovery State

2) Your answer should include the following points:


The people suffering sllould be given'supportive psychological treatrne~it and proper rest. These can alleviate sy~nptomsthat lead to posttraumatic stress disorder.

Check Your Progress 2

1) Your answer should include the following points:

Shock absorbing capacity Economic loss Death of a close person


Time period of the disaster

2) Your answer should include the following points:

In disaster prone areas, the people should be made aware of the likelihood of occurrence of disasters and the steps needed to cope with these. The advantages of cooperati~lg fully with the rescue workers should be impressed on the people.

Practice drills and mock exercises specific to the likely disasters should be conducted regularly. To the extent possible, the affected people should be involved in the post disaster rescue, rehabilitation and recovery.

answer should include the following points: 3) Yoi~r o The normal psyche of relief workers slioi~ldbe that they are doing the worlc as their sacred social~duty to help their suffering brethren. They should concentrate on doing the work without showing off. .

Human Bellaviour ant1 Response: Intlividual, Communitv. Institutional


Objectives Introduction Community Awareness and Participation in Disaster Situation Ensuring Community Awareness Techniques for Effective Community Participation Let Us Sum Up Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to Checlc Your Progress Exercises

After reading the Unit, you should be able to :

explain the concept and importance of community participation and community awarencss in the context of a disaster; describe ways and means of creating comm~mity awareness; and discuss the techniques for effective cotnmunity participation in disaster . management.

111the last two decades, the term community participation is being used in all development processes in the country. Donors like World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UN Agencies as well as NGOs are increasingly demanding that the development programmes should have involvement/participation of recipient cotnn~unities.This holds true for programmes related to disaster management as well. For effective participation by communities, proper awareness is a prerequisite. This Unit deals with the important aspects of co~n~nunity pal-ticipation and awareness in the context of disaster management.


Community ~warLaess and Participation Comnlunity Awareness: There will be more effective participation if the com~nunity is aware about its vulnerability and the risk involved in various types' of disasters in that area or State. Awareness is one of the most important aspects of disaster preparedness. People can be made aware by formal and informal NGOs, Media, Technical methods for different aspects of disasters. Goven~tnent, Institutions, etc., can create the desired awareness in the area of disaster will take active part in any mitigation and preparedness. An alert co~n~n~lnity disaste~{&~tion/mitigation programme and w$.t'provide more i n p ~ ~in t s terms of loch1 kviowledge and available resources. They will be ready to accept all initiatig taken by Government, NGOs, or other external agencies and e in the programme in case they are also involved in decisiori making at : ; Efie i p f', the project.

Community Participation: There may be many definitions of community but three concepts are commonly used in most of the development programmes. These are:

Community Participation and Awareness



1) Participation as Community Contribution: Most of the time, this type of is found in development programmes. Communities provide free or partly free labour and other resources to the programmes ("Shramdaan" or "dhandaan") but no part in planning and decision making. Even if they are consulted through participatory approach or direct discussion, their suggestion are either not incorporated in the final programme or are modified according to the ideas of local administration or donor agency. In most of the reconstruction and rehabilitation projects, this gpproach is being followed very often. It is noted that this type of comlnunity participation is perceived by local people as cheap or free labour option by the project authorities. 2) Participation as by the project Authorities: This type of participation is to build up community leadership and organization. This could include formation of local committees, Task forces, Youth clubs, small cooperatives or associations to work in disaster preparedness, mitigation and relief. In India, Panchayats may be considered as effective co~nmunity organizations. The Pancliayats are having elected members of all sections of the society. There is representation of women, and weaker section of the society which are highly vulnerable to any type of disaster. 3) Participation as Community Decision Making: In this type of con~munity participation, community takes decision at all stages, from project formulation, funding to implementation. Technical staff and funding agencies are assigned only advisory or regulatory roles. This form of participation is a means of empowering local people to make their own decisions concerning their disaster preparedness, mitigation or relief and rehabilitation programmes. In other words, it is handling over control of programmes to the beneficiaries, which external agencies adopting a supporting as coinpared to a controlling role.
participation ity has more significance as all the In disaster management, c o ~ n m u ~ ~ programmes, sl~ortterm or long term are for the benefit of the community. Therefore, there is a need for continuous interaction between community, local administration and other agencies involved from the initiation of the programme1 project up to its implementation and monitoring. This interaction can be visualized as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Interaction of Community with Various Organizations Involved in Disaster Management

Disaster Msnagcrnent i~ntI Awareness

The three forms o l c o ~ n ~ n ~ ~participation nity listed above cannot be entirely exclusive. 11: nlost of the programmes, it is a mixture of all three forms. While community participation ill decision mal;ing may be the ~~nderlying principle 00 wl~iclia is based, it is likely that community will contribute labour and resources, and fi~l-ther,that some form of comnlunity organization will be established,+orexisting organization strengthened.
lor1 Importa~lce and Need of community Participa t'

A disaster ~nanagenie~lt project is liltely to [ail if the goals and methods did not fit the needs and capacities of the intended beneliciaries,. There is a need for radical changes in the attitude of progranlrne i~nplementation authorities as well as funding agencies. ~ e c e n t l ~ World ; Bank and other donor agencies ]lave moved towards procedures which allow target communities to be involved ill programme planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation in Inany human settlements projects and disaster management programmes,. This concept 2. is shown in Figi~re

all phases of a Project)




Figure 2: Community Particip;~tionC:oncept in Disaster Management

There are Inany practical bcnefits or advantages in having comn~unity participation i11 disaster reduction ur rehabilitation programme. The more important benefits are discussed below: 1) Cost Recluction If Community is involved in planning, imple~nentatio~ and monitoring, cost of project is reduced considerably. Otherwise, a big sun1 will have to go to outside age~icies.

2) Efficiency
As project is of direct benefit to the community, pa~.ticipation of local people allows for more efficient use of programme resources.

3) No Misunderstanding with Administration

If people are working with administration, there is understanding and transparency and therefore less problems due to misunderstandings between implen~entation agencies (Government or Non-Goverii~~~ent Organizations) and the community.
4) Socio-Cultul-a1accptability The coln~nunity involvelnent will solve one of the i~nportant problems of most of the projects, i.e., socio-cultural Acceptability of these projects by the local people, as the implementation agency is from outside and not having Itnowledge of local social structure, culture, tradition and economy of the area.


5 ) Self-reliance and Self-dependence

Community ~ a r t i e i ~ a t i o l i and Awareness

Co1ilmunity participation provides peoplc with the opportunity to take control over thcir own lives and feel self-reliant. Otherwise for even small mitigation measures, community will be dependent 011 outside agency or on Government.
6) Coverage

More people will be benefited by the project, if there is co~n~nunity pal-ticipation.


. 7) Sustainability
In cornmu~iityparticipation, peoplc have a sense of involvement and ownership in the programme. The project will sustain for long as conimiunity will do the follow-up, maintenance and make all efforts for its sustainance.
Check Your Progress 1 Note: i) Use the space,given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit


1 ) List rlie i~sual types of comniunity participation.

2 ) Write down five 111ostimportant advantages of community pa~ticipntion.


Importance qf Community Awareness

The main aim of community awareness prograrnlnes is to make the comnlunity more informed, alert, self-reliant and capable of participating in all activities and ;programmes of disaster nianagement in close collaboration with goveni~l~ent and non-govern~nental organisations. The awareness will not only promote com~nunity participation but also enable tlietn to understand the following :

I ) What can be the impact of particiilar disaster and what an individual, a family or co~nmunity can do to reduce its impact and save life and property.
2) Government's plan for disaster reduction aild available assistance in time of -disasters.

,Disaster Management and Awareness

3) Government's limitations of resources and responsibilities.

4) Need to cooperate with government to overcome th4e crisis and recover the community as it is in their own interest. 5) Iniplementation of self-preparedness measures whenever required.

6) What community can do till any external help is available?

Type of Awareness required

The community slioi~ld be provided all necessary information available with administration. The flow of information should continue even in the normal liondisaster periods. People should know that tlie community and government have colnmon goals and are interdependent in coping with disasters. 'I-hey must work together at every step to overcome tlie problelns which arise and to restore things to normal. Commi~nityshould be aware of tlie relevant. details of tlie disaster management syste~ns such as tlie following: i) Designated s11elte1.sat the time of disaster. It may be school building or other safe place, where people can immediately reach in disaster situatiori. ii) Rescue operation. evacuation procedure, tlie shelters. iii) Special warning signals, if any. iv) Role of community in providi~ig reliel'and reliabilitation programmes. v) kole of community in proper storage and distribution of relief s~~pplies. vi) Providing'corsect infor~nationto tlie autliorities si~clias actual needs and zffected co~n~uunity. priorities of tl~e vii) Providing correct information to the media. viii) Checlting ri~niours. ix) Help most section of tlie com~iii~nity (old or disabled people, Women and Children). x) Provide information on past experiences. Methods to Create Public Awarer~ess There are varioi~smeans for creating public awareness. Some important methods are listed below:
1 ) Use of media and press
2) Short filmsIFoll<songs

4) Orgjnising training camps 5) sholtbtreet plays in fairslreligious fn~ictionslotlier celebrations and occasiolis of public gathering
' 6) Tliroilgli schoolslcolleges

7) Special lectilres by co~nmunity leaders or well known persons of tlie area,

\ "

8) Group discussidns alnong Maliila Mandals, Yoi~th Clubs, Senior Citizc~is

Community awareness is the key to community participation. Well informed and well aware people will have more role-clarity in disaster reduction and

preparedness programmes. They will be able to contribute tlieir best if they I<now the iss~les involved as well as various participants in the past disastcr managedent instances and their own expected roles in tlie process. They will become more self-reliant in the long-run and less dependent on the government or any other external agency. The most i~nporta~it benefit of tlie community awareness is that they will be able to judge their strength and the weakness and to identify tlie areas in wliicli they really need outside assistance.

Commt~nity Participation and Awareness



Techniques of Commu~lity Participation trietl by CASA



A good example of co~iimunity participation was initiated by CASA (Church's Auxiliary for Social Action) after the 1977 cyclone in Andlira Pradesli, by creating awareness among the rural com~nunitiesand building up a network of comni~~~iity based peoples' representative institutions in the project area. These bodies are operational, effective and visible in the villages. CASA organised the follo\ving in the affedted villages:

1 ) Village Development Associations

2) Disaster Task Forces 3). Youth GI-oups 'I'liere is a positive impact of these village level organisations as pcople are able to take decisions on tlieir own. This has created confidence, a feeling of dignity, pride and self-rcliance among the local people. The idea ol'disaster task forces at tlie community level has proved to be a good technique and is described below.

Disaster Task Force (DTF)

Local nien and women constitute a disaster task force after a series of discussions, wliicli can work ~iot only for disaster prepareclness but in arranging emergency evacuation and relief within a village. Identification of the members of DTF is done by local people tliemselves. They are documenting all proceedings of meetings and selecting tlieir own office bearers. They allocatc responsibilities to tlie ~ n e ~ n b eand r s ~nobilise resources for emergencies.

The major responsibilities of inembers of DTF are: I) Monitoring advance cyclone warnings on radio, television and telephone and inform local people verbally or thorough loi~d speakers. 2) Alert relief helicopters with red flags in ~iiarooned villages. 3) Collection of essential commodities like food, meclicine, firewood, drinking water, etc., and stockpiling them.

4) Managi~ig emergency kitchens.

5) Liaison with state gove~*nme~it & NGOs, for post-disaster support and rehabilitation. Extnedi~ig tlie concept, a few villages of District Machilipatnam mobilised varying amounts in casli from local households and established a Disaster Relief Fund. This fund is mobilised, monitored and managed by tlie local disaster task force. For example, in La~ikapallivillage, profits from the annual auctio~iof a

Disaster hlnnagemcnt and Awareness

fresh water fish tank totalling Rs. 1500/- was deposited in the fund, by DTF mernbers. 111other villages, a contribution ranging from Rs. 10 to Rs. 50 per Ilousellold per year was collected and used for purcllase of rliaterials and food not available in case of etnergencies. CASA also osganised training programme for the members of DTFs and community leaders. Such common programmes created inter-village ~letworlcing ' which helped corisiderably in the dissemination of ideas regarding disaster preparedlless through common meetings of neighbouring villages. Consequently, there exis1 DTFs in neighbouring villages as well laying a strong foundation for disaster preparedness promotion and relatecl activities on a wider scale.
Cornrnl~nity Participation in Spccific Hazard Mitigation

Apart from rolc of co~n~nunity ill post-disaster activities, they can play m~ijor role in pre-disaster activities such as disaster mitigation and prcparedness. A few examples of com~nunity patticipation in specific disasters are given below:

1) Floods
i) Awareness of flood plains and coi~structionof flood resistant houses by using water resistant ~naterial and strong foundations. ii) Clearance of sediments. iii) Construction of dylces and e~l~banlanents. iv) Afforestation i n catchment areas. v) Evacuatio~i operations. vi) Appropriate agricultural practices in flood plains.

2) Landslides
i) Identification of active landslide spots. constructions in hazard prolic areas. ii) Avoid commercial and ~tsidential iii) Malcing strong foundations of structures. iv) Contribution

slope stabilization tl~sougl~ terracing and forestry.

v) Compaclion of ground locally. vi) Making rockfall barriers.

i) Watershed rnanage~nent,construction of check dams, reservoirs, ponds, water tanks, wclls to utilize every drop of water. ii) Afforestration and catchment area treatment. cropping patterns. iii) Changi~lg iv) Live-Stock (Cattle) Management. v) Encouragement to non-agricultural vocations and small industries.

o r wind resistant houses (which can be rebuilt easily). i) ~o'tistruc~ion ii) Avoid loose material such as nietal/aluminium sheets, which can blow away and cause damage or illjury elsewhere.

iii) Construction of multi-purposc cyclone shclter iv) Deploy battery operated comn~unication systems, use of tla11sis:or rildios.
5 ) Earthquakes


Construction o r earthqualie resistant builclings in highly scismic areas following the building codes.

ii) People in vulnerable arcas shoulcl be provided with knowledge ol' first-aid and Ilre-lighting.
i i i ) Retrofitting of' weak buildings.

iv) Storage of fire extinguishers, excavation tools at some known places.

< .


Training of masons in the highly seismic areas, so that they can construct safer buildings.

Cheek Your Progress 2


i ) Use the space givcn bclow for your answcrs. i i ) Cllccl<your answers with Iliose given at the encl oSt.11~' Unit

I ) List out I'our important methods for creating public awareness.

3) Writc down Ilve points highlightin~the role oS conl~nu~iity in mitigating tloods.


In disaster management, t11e1.e is need of active community participation and awareness. Only Government efforts or NGOs help is not sufficient to educe disaster impacts or mitigation and preparedness. Awareness is necded at all levels of the society. It can be created through ~necliaand press, exhibitions, training camps, schools, colleges, ad community discussions. Community participation is needed as it is more cost-erfectivc, cfficienl and provides self-reliance and confidence to tlic vulnerable com~nunity.

Community participation in specific disasters like floods, lanclslides, will be different. So community should be aware about the disaster possibility and rislts involved and act accordingly Tor mitigation and preparedness.

Disaster Management

R I I ~

The main aim of community awareness and participation is to have well infbr~ned, self-reliant, confident and well-prcpalaed c o ~ n ~ n u n i t y which can indepenclently take decisio~ls, and use local lanowledge and resources in disaster situations. Tlie com~nunity also includes community's cooperation with Government, non-governmental organizations or external fi~nding agencies . at every step of disaster mitigation, preparedness and recovery. When co~n~nunity is wol.lting with Governmenl or NGOs or external agency, there is total transparency and no room for misunderstanding.

18.6 KEY WORDS -Exclusive


Separate from each other IVon-Governinent Organization Elderly persons (generally beyond the age of 65 years) Maintainabi Iity Community aimed at

Senior Citizens Sustainability Tal-gct Cornmuriity


Aysan, Yasemin; Clyton, A. ; Cory, 6; Davis; I and Sandcrson, D. (1995), 'Developing Building for Safety Programmes', Intermediate Technology Puhlicatio~ns, London. Kumar, Jayant (1995), 'Com~iii~nity Based Disastcr Management - A Case Study From Coastal Andlira Pradesh' (Mimeograph). Oakley, Peter (1991) 'Projects with People', International Labour Organ isat ion, Geneva.


Clieclc Your Progress 1
1) Your answer should include the following points:

Pal-ticipation as community contribution Participation as by the project Authorities Participation as community decision nialting.

2) Your answer should include any five of the following: Cost Reduction; Efficiency; Self-reliance; Socio-Cultural Acceptability; Sustainability; W idc coverage and good understanding with the administration.
Clieck Your Progress 2

1) Your answer should include the following points:


Use of media and press; Short Filnis; Organising Training camps; Posters/Cartoons, Group Discussions.

2) Your answer should include the following points:

Awareness of flood plains, Clearance of sediments, Construction of embankments Afforestation in catchment areas; Evacuation operations.



19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 19.7 19.8

Objectives Introduction Beliefs and Myths Regarding Disasters Public Awareness Programmes Through Face-To-Face Interactions, Electronics Media, Print MediaJMaterial Training of Trainers for Creating Awareness among Public Let Us Sum Up Key Words References Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

Afier reading this Unit, you should be abre toe

explain tlie importance of Public Awareness Programmes in Disaster Management; Describe the techhiques which can bc used in tlie Public Awareness Programmes; and discuss tlie importance of training in creating public awareness.

From times immemorial, human beings have faced disasters. The international Federation of Rcd Cross and Red Crecent societies lias estimates that every year 0 1 1 the average, natural disasters kill over 150,000 people and disrupt lives of 129 million people all over the world. In India there is not State wliicli is free from nati~raldisasters. l'here are four types of disaslers, common in ihe countl.y i.e. Floods, Droughts, Earthquakes and Cyclones. Landslides and Bushfire are also common in the Hinlalayan Statcs. There are two approaches towards the mitigation of these natural disasters. First is "Structural Approach" in which tlie main emphasis is on the planning and construction of structural measures which niay resist the forces unleashed by tlie natural phenomenon such as ~ a r t l i ~ u a k e s ' or Floods. Construction of embankments regulators, drains or by-pass channels in flood-prone areas are examples of structural approach. The second ~nitigationapproach is know as "Non-Str~~ctural approacliJ7. In this approach, empl~asisis laid on disaster related legislation (Legal Framework), Incentives or providing grants and subsidies to tlie people to include mitigation measures in their construction activities. Training and Education are tlie other important aspects of illis approach. For effective implementation of any programme,, public involvement is very necessary, and this can come through awareness only. TIILIS, public awareness is the 1110stimportant non-structural tool to deal with disasters. As part of the Public Awareness Programme for disaster mitigation, the local people should be made aware of the following: a) Types of disasters likely to occur in the area and the time and li4equencyof their likely occurrence. b) The vulnerability of tlie area to tliese disasters.

Disaster Management and Awareness

c) The types of risks and elements at risk due to the disasters. d) According to the vulnerability atid risk involved, what type of mitigation measures should be adopted e) Based on vulnerability and risk assessment, a local preparedness plan slio~~ld be prepared in consultation with tlie people.
f) They should know the available resources and the help likely to be available

and non-govenimental sources. at the time of disaster from gover~lmental


g) The importance and need of community participation should be impressed on the people.


There are various myths and beliefs regarding natural disasters. Over the ages, these disasters have generally been taken as nature's anger and accepted by people as their fate or destiny. Every region and every culture have many examples of belief and myths related to the origin and occurrence of disasters. Now with the increasing awareness, people have stai-ted realising the actual causes and appreciate the scientific reasons for natural disasters. The first and foremost awareness in disaster manage~nelit is to remove the irrational beliefs by providing basic knowledge to the people regarding the different natural calamities. The causes of tlie disasters and tlieir mitigation measures should be explained to them in tlieir own language. 'This should be the first and foremost component of any public awareness programme.

Who can help in removing existing myths and and irrational beliefs
Taking the children into confidence at the scliool stage turns out to be the most effective tool for removing irrational beliefs. Starting from primary educatioii up to higher education, scientific knowledge should be imparted regarding natural disasters, tlieir impacts, losses due to various disasters and areas most vulnerable for a particular disaster. Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Colnmuiiity Based Organisations (CBOs) can also play very important role in creating and upgrading awareness among masses, regarding area specific disasters and measures to be taken to get prepared for such events. Some of tlie local clubs like Rotary club, Lion's club may also take up disaster awareness programmes. These clubs have enough resources and some times they adopt villages for some specific social work. In disaster prone areas these clubs can create awareness for construction of cyclone shellers or earthquake resistant buildings using appropriate building materials. They can prepare c1ia1-t~ of Do's and Dont's for those areas and local people may by made aware accordingly. Similarly, education regarding causes of other likely disasters and preventive measures may be imparted to vulnerable cominunities. Now in India, we have a very effective tool or a delivery system viz., 'Panchayats' for creating correct awareness among people and provide tliem area-specific education. Panchayat membcrs are the elected representatives of the people in villages. There is 30% participation of women. If, Pancliayat members are sensitized properly, they can help in creating public awareness in masses. People will understand tliem better as they are from them and will communicate in the local language and idiom. In brief, for getting people's cooperation and effective participation, Government, Non-Government Organisations, schools, social clubs, Panchayats, all should work together. They should remove the superstitions and myths

regarding disasters from people's mind and provide them with the right: kind of illformation, knowledge of disaster mitigation and preparedness. The ob-jective of creating public awareness is to promote a well informed, alert and self-reliant community possessing scientific attitude and who can help .and cooperate with aid agencies (government 01- non-government) in disaster management
Checlc Your Progress 1 Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end oftlie unit.

Public Awareness Prograrnmcs

1) What tjlpe of awareness should be created among the people in disaster lnanagement?

2) Who can help in removing existing myths and irrational beliefs?



There are three maill approaches for creating proper public awareness programmes1) Face to Face Interaction

? ,

Face to face interaction is most effective in generating a wortl~whilepublic awareness programme. In India, the rural people are more vulnerable to natural disasters. These people have low literacy rate but they can be educated for disaster mitigation by calling a public meeting or organising street plays 01. inviting them to a group discussion. They can clear their doubts at one to one interaction sessions. This kind of awareness can be provided by the local goverllment functiol~aries,NGOs or Pa~ichayatmembers. Schools can also play important role in this type of interaction. These discussion sessions should be designedlprepared thoughtfully to meet the local requirement, They sl~ouldbe in simple local language and their impact

Disaster Management and Awareness

should be monitored. These programmes should be a continuous activity. Face to face interaction is possible through the followirlg waysa a

Illustrated Lectures Meetings 'Nukkad-Nataks'- Street plays Group discussions and Debates

Social gatherings or in community fiinctions. Door to Door campaign Panchayat nieetings

2) Electronic Media

In India, the irse of electronic media is becoming a very important means of creating Inass awareness. I n providing disaster warnings also, this tool has given positive results. T.V. and Radio are reaching the remote corners of the vast land that is India. Transistor radios have made the facility available even where there is not electricity. There are two advantages of the use of electronic mediai) The awareness programme may be broadcast and telecast repeatedly so that it can have ~naxilnurn coverage in the target area. ii) The message registers on the masses. The continuous use of electronic media in disaster awareness and education will also maintain the awareness level of the target community. It should be taken as a regular programme on electronic media as is done for family planning, literacy or other similar mass awareness programmes. For radio and T.V., special progra~nmes/serialscan be prepared on various /natural disasters to educate people regardinga

What basic preparations can be made in the pre-disaster period? What to look for early warnings. What they should do at the time of disaster? What type of help Government is likely to provide at the time of disaster? The role of community response/relief? in disaster prevention, preparedness and


The community should understand that natural hazards can not be prevented but disasters can. Disasters are not discriminative. They affect individuals, families and community irrespective of age or status. They affect -government infrastructure and services and paralyse the life support systems.

The Co~nmunity and government are interdependent in disaster management. They should cooperate witli each other to minimise human sufferings due to natural disasters. The community should work witli Government macliinery to restore the basic facility and bring normal life quickly back after the disaster. They should also appreciate the limitations of government and available resources. The concept of self-reliance and self-help in the disaster management should be highlighted.

Good case studies of community participation and role of community in disaster mitigation should be shown. Media can show the negative impacts of dependency and expectancy of the people in relief and recovery. The positive features of self-reliant, wellprepared community being able to face any difficult situation successfully should be high.lighted. Use of traditional lcnowledge in disaster preparedness may be highlighted through media. National and State resources for disaster prevention, preparedness and relief can be described so that there may be Inore transparency between government progralnlnes and the commu~~ity/people involved in disaster management.

Public Awareness Progrnrnntes

3) Print MediaIPublicity Materials


This is the iinpoi-ta~ltmethod to create public awareness among the literate people. The print media usually educates the people as well as the concerned officers. Press call also highlight the strength and weakness of any public awareness programme launched by government or the people. The print media can also assess the effectiveness of a programme. Awareness material can be prepared in printed form, which can pravidei) basic needs or requirements of the community for disaster prevention as well as in relief work. ii) information about progratnmes assisted by government, NGO or international donorslagency in the area of disaster tnanagement. iii) about the safe places at the time of early warning. iv) clear instructions about do's and dont's in a particular disaster situation.

v) the type of actions, that should be taken by the colnmunity to prevent

disasters. eg. Various risk zones and necessary preventive techniques in constructio~l of building in those areaslplaces. vi) other disaster related education in suitable forin such as.

* * *

notices posters cartoons photographs exhibitions films, documentaries.

vii) Thefe are Inany other ways to communicate disaster awareness related info;mation such as printing short message or slogan on Leaflets Tickets (Bus tickets, Cineina tickets) Shopping bags

Banners Other methods of displays at 1)~iblic fi~nctions or on sport events, country faits etc.

Disaster Management and




The creation of public awareness requires proper training on how to provide disaster related education to the people. There should be specific training module for specific target group. The following people should be trained to provide the knowledge to the people i l i the vulnerable community. Such trained persons will be the trainers for the public. i) Government Officials involved in the process of disaster management. ii) NGOs and CBOs. iii) School teachers and volunteers from clubs, .youth forums and Mahila Mandals. iv) Local Leaders. As stated earlier, disaster management is a ~nultidisciplinarysibject, and wide range of functions and skills. Some of the ilnportaiit components are@

Planning Organisation Management of day to day activities Identifying counter disaster actions and their implementation. Mallagemelit of rescue, relief, first-aid, and communications. Other crisis management actions.

For skill development in these areas, special training modules, compatible with the national and local preparedness or contingency plan, should developed. The responsibility of providing training to these trainers should also be well identified. Broadly, there are four basic areas in which training is required to create public awareness of disaster management. These are as follows: i) Disaster management ii) a general module for emergency operations, rescue (swimming, climbing, first aid, resuscitation, fire fighting), welfare, communication etc. all related functions.

iii) Coordination iv) Specialised training

Construction programmes and other technical knowledge for specific disasters.

It should be noted that the broad objectives of training are to teach people to carryout specific tasks based upon accepted methodology.

Check Your Progress 2

Note: i) Use tlie space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at tlie end of the unit.

'1) Name the three important ways to create public awareness?

Public Awarcness Progr.ammes

2) List the ways by which face to face interaction is possible.


This Unit has brought out. the importance of Public Awareness which is one of the most effective non-structural disaster mitigation measures. The local people sl~ouldbe aware of the vulnerability of that area for the likely disasters. They sliould also know the elements at risk and expected loss due to these disasters. People should also know the existing contingency. or preparedness plan for specific disaster as well as availability of resources through government and nongovernment organisations. The Unit has discussed the need to dispel the prevailing beliefs and myths regards disasters and to have a realistic appreciation of the naFure cause and impact or disasters. This public awareness can be best brought through schools, clubs, electronic and print media. Face-to-face interaction are most effective in the context of a large segment of the population being illiterate. The unit has also discussed the training aspects for creating public awareness.



Counter disaster actions Myths



Anti-disaster actions Imaginary stories based on popular traditional beliefs ~ a & and s Acts Television and radio Newspapers, Magazines printed material and other

LegislationJLegal Frame Work : Electronic Media Print Media Resuscitation

: :

Artificial respiration, Reviving a drowned or choked person by restorjng the breathing process.


Disaster Managenlent and Awareness



Sllarma, V.I<. (199 5), 'Disnsler Manrrge11ieiit ', IIPA. New Delhi. Carter, W. Niclc (1991), 'L>isu.sler Munu,qen7er1t - A Di.s~rsler M~nluge~.',~ Hu17dbook1,Asian Development Bank, Marnta Publication. Reed, Sheila B. (1 992), 'Inlroduclion lo hazurds ', UNDRO Publication.


Checlc Your Progress 1

I ) Your answer sliould include the following points:

Types of disasters lilcely to occur in the area and their probable tiriie and frequency.


Types of risks due to these disasters and thc vulnerability of tlie area to Ihese. Type of niitigatiSn measures needed keeping in view the risks and vulnerability.

* Resources available locally and from outside.

2) Your answer should include tlie following points:.

* School and collage teachers tlirough students * Non-government orgariizations (NGOs)

Coriiinuriity Based organizations (CBOs) Pancliayat

Checlc Your Progress 2

1 ) Your answer should include: Face-to-Face interaction; Electronic Media and Print MediaJPublicity Material.

ld tlie following: 2) Your answer s h o ~ ~ include Lectures; Meetings; Group Discussions; Street plays; Door to door campaign; Pancliayat Meetings.



20.0 Objectives 20.1 Introduction 20.2 Information Concept : Meaning Types and Importance 20.3 Methods of Col lecting Relevant Information 20.4 Organising Inforlnation 20.5 Effective dissemination of Information 20.6 Feedback for Improving Information Collection ancl dissemination 20.7 Let Us Sum Up 20.8 Key Words 20.9 References 20.1 0 Answers to Check You Progress Exercises.

After reading tlie Unit, yo11should be able to


know tlie meaning and importance of information especially in tlie context of disaster management, understand tlie different types of information, learn tlie various methods of collecting and organizing relevant information, appreciate tlie i~~iportance of effective dissemination of information, and d i s c ~ ~ s liow s to get feedback B o ~ n different sources for improving inforniation collection and dissemination.


Proper information .is essential for nay rational or planned activity. Tlierel'ore, all organizations (big or small) and .even individuals neecl to get information and handle it. Tlie effort is required to be sustainecl over period of time, and includes the activities of collecting infor~natio~i, sorting it out, storing it, directing it to it at "appropriate time in various tasks before tlie appropriate places and ~~tilizing incliviclual or tlie organisation. In this process, there are three important aspects, i.e., information, data and organisation. It means tliat every information may not be usefill for the organisation. Different types of data are required to develop an information system, accor+dingto tlie neecls of the organisation. Tlie present is an era wliicli is largely dominated by information technology wliicli is tlie most influential and widespread technology in modern times. Every sector of life, (viz., industry, governmental, business, education, social work, public adniinistration as well as disaster management) rnalte use of information and they shoulcl develop own information systems according to tlie special needs of that sector. in this unit, we shall discuss tlie various aspects of information organization and dissemination with particular reference to disaster management.




Meaning and importance of information

Any data, encryption, description, pliotograpli, sketcli or map about a person, place, thing event or s~lbject constitutes the information about it. But haphazard

Disaster Management and Awareness

information does not malce anybody wise. Only when the information is properly collected, arranged verified, analysed and presentcd in an understandable form that it turns into reliable knowledge which then becomes a powerfill tool in the hands of an individual or organization for planning and operational purposes. That is why it is said that systematic data is information, analysed information is Icnowledge and knowledge is power. Hence the impol-tance of information is self-evident.

Types of information
Different types of information are traditionally stored in different institutions and organisations, text documents in librarics and archives, administrative information in tlie records of 01-ganisations,scientific data in laboratories and statistics in statistical offices. Many institutions may liave marc than one type of information. Each organisation 01. institution has its own ways of processing and administering the information types that it deals with. Recent advances in information technology have made possible lhc combined PI-ocessing and communication of different types of information by multimedia or integsated systems. So first of all we should Icnow various types of information and the way they contribute to various activities, especially those related to disaster management. There are three broad types of information: 1) Descriptive information Most of the organisations, of any size in st~.ucture and functioning, liave a set of rules. This may involve salaries of tlie people worlcing, their various functions, accounting record boolts, inventories of stores and warehouses, individual performance records, etc. The organisations involved in disaster management may have many descriptive information to keep in their computers 01.files sucli as:

Case studies of earlier disaster events. Manpower involved in various activities. (~re~arednes;, Relief, Rehabilitation). Stocltpiles/warelio~~se Records. Record of Emergency kits (Medicines, Tents, etc.) Any other descriptive matter sucli as organisations involved, resources ~~tilized etc.

2) Probabilistic Information
These are the infol.matioii on the basis of which description of the situation can be inferred or guessed. Such information call be of two varieties.

i) Predictive Nature - can be irsed for forecast. eg. The amount of rainfall data in tlie catchment area will provide information, which will predict the amount of water flow (flow rate) in the river. ii) Inferred Information - This is the infor~natibnwhich attempts to describe the situation by means of inrerence from a limited set of observations or measurements. This is tlie case, where a statistical sample is used to project a general patte1.11or a larger pattern. 'The heat or cold wave situation over a large,area inferred on tlie basis of temperature observations of one or two places is an example of this type.

3) Qualitative Info~mation
There [nay be the following types of Qualitative Information:
i) Explanatory Information - which explailis or elaborates the brief or coded inforniation. ii) Qualifyirig and Qualitative information descriptive information of a for~iial system.

1;lforInation Organisation snrl Dissenlinstion

which provides additional

iii) Patterns and Norms - this information will determine tlie norms i.e., how things should be dolie and tlie values according to wliich evaluations or judgement will be made.

iv) Judgemental Information approacli/~netliodologyplan.





Importance of Information in disaster management


The safety and welfare of people and their belongings are at stake in disaster management. The importance of inforniation in disaster management lies i n the fact that information plays a very significant role in cvery spllcre of disaster situation. This is depicted in ilgure 1 .




Public Ed~~cation and Training

Resource Base


Figure 1: Imporlance of Infolmi~tionin aclivities related to Disasler Management

The i~iiportanceof inforniation is quite fruitfill in the pre and post disaster sit~~ations as also at the time of tlie occurrellce ofdisasters.
= d .

1) Pre-disaster situation
i) Early War~iing ii) l'lanning for Preparedlless iii) Mitigation optio~is available for a specific disaster iv) Vulnerability.and risk assessment
2) Disaster situation

i) Real time Warning ii) Taking ad~iiinistrative decisions

Disaster Management and


iii) Provide appropriate and timely relief iv) Resources available with various organizations v) In monitoring and evaluation of relief efforts made by the Government and NGOs

3) Post-Disaster situation


Rehabilitation for the affected community according to their a) Social needs b) Culti~ral needs c) Economic background

The most important requirement in respect of information is that it should be Concise Accurate Complete


Check Your Progress 1


Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) What do you.understand by information?

2) How many types of information you know about?


111fol.rnationcan be available from a number of sources, but before accepting it, the receiver must verify the reliability, accuracy and completeness of it.

T]le following are some of the effective ways of collecting information: 1) Libraries a) Research Repol-ts b) Annual Repol-ts c) Pamphlets d) Journals e) Reference Books 2) INTERNET

Information Organisation and Dissemination

3) Interviews Questionnaires, Surveys, Network Observations

4) Observations a) f r o n ~ s i t e
b) from field network

fro111remote sensing tools SLICII as radars and satellites

5) Mass Media a) Newspapers and Periodicals b) Radio



6) ' Meetings
a) Seminars
b) Conferences


Information collected from research reports, annual reports, pamphlets, journals and reference books is usually very accurate and focused. One call get a proper accoLllit of tlie subject from them. Interviews can be taken if the number cf people is less. ExpelZs and experiencctd people in tlie field are interviewed to gather information. However, if the number of people .is large, then the questionllaire or survey method call be used to collect relevant information. The questionnaires n~ilstbe prepared carefirlly in order to get ~lsefill inputs fro111 maximum people. But, though this method is very effective, it only reaches a certain number of people-the literate people.
* d

The mass lnedia ,of communication like newspapers, Journals, radio, television atid Internet have brought about an infortnation explosion. Television and radio provide information to people in different walks of life. In today's world these tlie biggest source of all types of inforniation. are undo~~btedly The field observatiolls provide the scientific inforlnatiorl necessary to study the disastrous event and to forecast its behaviour. ~ tfrom least is the information collectio~i through meetings, seminars, Last b ~ far conference and workshops. People who participate in sucli meetings get all opportunity to know the latest techniques and tlie ongoing research and developme~itin the relevant fields. When the experts and others get together to exchange their views, they actually sliare each other's knowledge and experience.

Disaster Management and Awareness


From the earlier section, it is clear that there are various ways of information collection. The next step is to organise information in a proper manner. A suggested format in which information about a cyclone disaster event may be organized is given below to serve as a typical example. It may be mentioned that maintaining a proper sequence is essential for useful organization of disaster related information: 1 ) Introduction (about the place, socio-cultural aspects) 2) Disaster history of the place (frequency of cyclones, previous history, damages caused)

3) About tlie disaster, viz., Cyclone (wind speed, area covered, other characteristics)
4) Damage caused by tlie disaster (Cyclone)

Itry/Otliers) a) Death ( H~~manlLivestocldPo~~ b) D.amage to Crops c) Damage to Uortic~ilture d) Damage to H o ~ ~ s e s e) Damage to Industries
f) Damage to Infrastructure

Comm~uiities g) Damage to Artisa~is/Fisllen~ne~i/Weavers/OtI~er h) Damage to 0t:lier Sectors i) Total number of persons affected 5) Response (Relief Provided to the sufferers) a) by Gove~.nment Agencies b) by Non-Governmental Organisations c) by International Agencies

6) Rehabilitation: S I I O I ~ & Long-tenn measures taken for

a) Socio-cultural, and b) Economic Rehabilitation

7) Lessons learned

8) Long-tenn Approach for Mitigation

This is just one example. The total illfonnation, if organised in a proper form is much more useful to field workers, control room, authorities researchers, trainers and the public.


In disaster situations, information should reach the authorities and people as early as possible and there should be effective means of dissemination of these information. Tlie disseminated information should be authentic and accurate. The fastest available communication method should be used. Tlie information should not lie unattended at tlie receiving end. It s h o ~ ~ lbe d quickly converted into action. Most importantly, the information sliould be ~ ~ p d a t e at dfrequent intervals. If the danger has passed, a de-warning information sliould be disseminated quickly.


Before dissemination of information, care should be talten to exclude any ~ni~information or disinfor~natio~i that ~niglit liave crept in advertently otherwise. Bllt this verification process should be so arranged tliat it does not delay tlie dissemination of information which needs to be quick in order lo be timely and useful.

Information Orgnnisation and Dissemination



It is absolutely essential to have feedback information from the field from tlie is required people and the disaster management personnel. Feedback informatio~i on every aspect sucli as nature of tlie disaster, effect on tlie people and property, tiinely reception of warnivgs, i~sefulness of warnings, rescue and reliabilitation activities etc. There are several ways of getting the feedback. A survey may be after tlie disaster, which will provide tlie correct feedbaclc conducted im~nediately and people's perceptions. Past experience has shown that only Government machinery is not enougli to deal with disasters atid people's participation is required. Regular reedback is essential for reviewing and upgrading tlie entire process. disaster ~naliage~nent

Checlr Your Progress 1

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Clieclc your answers with those given at the end of the unit.


1) List at least five ways of collecti~ig information.

2) What do you uliderstand by "Effective Dissemiriation of Information"?


Information is the base froln which we derive knowledge and formillate action plans for disaster management or carry out operational work during disaster situations. Information plays a key role in dealing with disasters at every slate viz., pre-disaster; during disaster and post-disaster stages. Herein 'lies tlie i11lportance of infortnation in tlie context of disaster management.

Disaster Management and Awareness

There are different ways of collecting information but it is vel-y essential to organise the infor~nationproperly. Only then, information can be utilized quickly and 'effectively. In this aspect, feedback from the field (from affected people, from the rescue and rehabilitation personnel, media etc.) is very necessary to update tlie information so that tlie action plans can be updated. Effective and quiclc dissemination of information is equally imponant.


Data Real-time Dissemination Encryption Misin fortriation Disi~iformation

Large amount of infol-mation In actual time i.e., during disaster Distribution or Cornm~l~iication of in:lbsmation Data in coded Form Incorrect information (~rsually ~~nintentional) Wrong or misleading deliberate) infc~~.mation( ~ ~ s u a l l y


Avgeroir C & CornTord Tony, (1993), Develol~hg 61funrlufior7 Sy,v(et~r.sConcepts, Issues und Pracfice, MacMi l Ian Press Ltd. Bhatnagr, S. C & Bjoln - Anderson, N. (1990), I1? in Developing Cottntrie.~,,Amsterdam. Banerjee, U. K (1992): I11Jbrrnafion Tet,hlrology ,for Cotl~nlonMun, Computer Society of India and Concept Publishing Company, New Dellli.


Cliecli Your Progress 1
1 ) Y,our answer sliould include the following points:

Information consists of any data, elicryptions, description, photograph, drawing or map about some person, place, thing event or subject. In order to be useful information slioi~ldnot bc haphazarcl b ~ r t it should be properly collected, verified, analyzed and stored properly.

2) Your answer should inclucle the following points:


Descriptive Information; Information.

P1.obabi1ist.i~ Information;


Check Your Progress 2

1) Your answer should include the following points: Libraries; Interviews; Questionnaires, Si~rveys,Network observations; Mass media, Meetings, INTERNET.

2) Your answer should include the following points:

111fo1-mationshould reach the recipient q~licltly thoirgh the fastest available coinmuiiication system. Information should not lie unattended or i~ni~tilized at the receiving end.

Inforniation slioilld be updated frequently.

De-warning infor~nation s110uld be disseminated if the danger from disaster has been averted or has passed away. Misinfol-mation and disi~iforrnatio~~ should be carefully but quicltly excluded from information dissemination.

Informatioil Organisation 'and Disseinination


Objectives Introduction Role of Relevant District Administrative Agencies Interaction With Other Agencies Comlnunication Networl( Role of Sub-District Administration Relief Measures Reliabilitatioti Let Us S~tln Up Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to Clieck Your Progress Exercises

After regding this unit, you slio~ild be able:

to i~nderstandtlie working mechanism of tlie District Administration atid other field level agencies in taclcling disaster situations; and to understand strategies for relief and rehabilitation measures at field level.

Tlie District Adnzinistration is the focal point for field level orga~iizatiolisand implenlentatidn of all government contillgelicy plans related to disaster management. Considerable powers have therefore been vested in tlie District Collector to carry out operations effectively in tlie sliol-test possible time. The District Administration is required to prepare in adva~icea contingency district disaster management plan depending on tlie type of disasters likely in tlie district. Coutingency Platis are required to keep into account the type of preparedness atid tlie relief material required to be mobilized. Tlie concertled departments need to work togetlier in a coordinated manner and provide an efficient feedback and monitoring system to tlie District Collector.





India is a Parliamentary Delnocracy with a federal structure. Botli tlie Union Government and tlie State Governments are rill1 by elected representatives. The framework within which tlie government is run is laid down in a written Constitution. The country lias a well establislied administrative set LIPboth in tlie ' States and in tlie Central Goverriment:The country's day-to-day administration - centres around tlie District Collector (also k~iownas tlie District Magistrate or Deputy Comlz~issioner in sonie States) wlio heads tlie administrative organization in a District. Tlie country is divided into Districts of varying sizes each headed by a District Collector. In some States a number of Districts are grouped togetlier to form Divisiolis headed by Divisio~ialCo~nmissioners. The head of tlie State's dministratiue set-up is tlie Chief Secretary. The State Headquarters has, in addition, a ~iurnberof Secretaries heading the varioiis Departments handling specific subjects under the overall supervisioris and co-ordination of tlie Cliief Secretary. At tlie level of the State Government, natural disasters are ilsually tlie

Disaster Management: Role of Various Agencies

responsibility of the Revenue Departmerit or the Relief Depal-tment where the State Relief Commissioner, ~ ~ s u a la l ysenior officer of Secretary's rank, is the officer. While importaut policy decisions are taken at the State FIeadquarters by the Cabinet of the State headed by the Chief Minister, day-to- , day decisions involving policy matters, or exercise of financial powers whicll !lave not been delegated to the Divisional Commissioners or Collectors, are taken of exercised by the Secretary in the Department. The actual day-to-day work of ad~iiinistering relief or implementing contingency plans for disaster mitigation at tlie field level is the responsibility of tlie District Collector. The Collector exercises coordinating and supervisory powers over fi~nctionariesof all the Departments at tlie district level. During actual operations for disaster mitigation or relief, the powers of tlie Collector are considerably enhanced, generally, by standing instructions or orders on the sub-ject,or by specific Governments orders, if so required. Sometimes, the administrative culture of tlie state concerned permits, although inforinally, the collector to exercise higlier powers in enlergency situations and the decisions are later ratified by the competent authority. The Collector or Deputy Commissioner is the focal points at the districl/field level for directing, supervising and monitoring relief measures for disasters and for preparation of the district level plans. Contingency plans: At the district level, the disaster relief plans are prepared wliich provide for specific tasks and agencjes for their implementation in respect of areas in relation to different types of disasters. While the District disaster relief plans exist, all the districts are now preparing district disaster management plans that include tlie pre,paredness aspects as well.
A contingency plan for the district for different disasters is drawn LIP by the Collector Deputy Commissioner and approved by the State Government. The Collector/Deputy Commissioner also coordinates and secures the input from the local defence forces unit in the preparation of the contingency plans. These contingency plans lay down specific ac1,ion points, and identify key personnel and contact points in relation to all aspects.


Interaction with other government and non-governmental bodies is done at the district level by various district level mechanisms wliicli are:

~istrict Relief Committee: The relief measures are reviewed by the district including level relief committee consisting of official and lion-official ~nenibers the local legislators and tlie members of parliament.

District Control Room: In the wake of natural disasters, a Control Room is set up in the district to function as the district emergency management centre for regular monitoring and coordi~iationof the rescue and relief operations on a continuing basis. It woiks round the clock and llas very good com~nunication facilities. Coordination: The Collector maintains close liaison wit11 the Central Government authorities available in the districts, such as, the Ariny, Air Force and 4Navy,Ministry of Water Resoyces, Health etc. who supplement the efforts of the district administration in the rescue and relief operations.
The CollectorlDep~~ty ~ornmissioner coordinates voluntary efforts by mobilizing the non-government organizations capable of working in such situations and also oversees proper distribution of the aid and relief material received from outside the District.

Check Your Progress 1 Note: i) Use the space given be!ow for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at: the end of tlie nit.

District Adn~inistrntion

1 ) Briefly discuss the role of relevant District Administrative agencies in disaster management.

2) Explain briefly the fi~nction of District Control Room.


The normal mode of telecom~nunicatio~is is overland telephone and fax, but in times of stress and if there is a breakdown of tlie overland system, radio communication is resorted to. The wireless network is generally run and maintained by the police organization. Cellulai- phones also come handy if it is available locally and its network has not been disturbed by the disaster. Satellite phones are very helpful but these are not yet available at all district lieadqual-lers but there are specially brought and pressed into service if the situation so demands. The radio amateur network (tlie HAM operators), wherever available, also plays an important role in providing voluntary comm~i~iication facilities when normal channels of co~nmunic,ation break down as happens in disaster situations. Internette-mail also serves well as a com~nunicationchannel so long as the s~ipporting telephone network is working.


A District'is sub-divided into sub-divisions and further intp Telisils or Talukas. The head of a sub-division is called the Sub-Division Officer (SDO) while the head of a Tehsil is generally known as the Tehsildar (Talukdar or Mamlatdar in some States). Contact with the individl~alvillages is through the village Officer or Patwari who lias one or more villages in his charge. When a disaster is apprelle~ided, the entire machinery of the District, including officers of technical wid ,other Departments, swings into action and maintains almost continuo~~s contact with each village in the disaster threatened area, The entire hierarchy

Disaster Mnnagement: Role of Various Agencies

right from the Central Governmental to the District level, and the subDivisional/Telisil level becomes alert to the situation.


As pointed out earlier, each district is required to prepare in advance contingency plans for each of tlie likely disasters in the district. The relief measures listed out in the contingency plans are as follows.

Establishment of Control: As the first part of the relief strategy, the district administration is required to establish control over the. situation by notifying and mobilizing necessary agencies and organizations required to intervening.-A Control Room is siinultaneously energized. Military Assistance: If the district administration feels that the situation is beyond its control, then immediate military assistance may be sought to carry out the relief operations. Tlie District Collector is the designated authority to make this assessment and to seek military's help.

Medical: Specialized Medical Care may be required to save tlie injured population. Besides, preventive medicine may have to be administered to prevent diseases from breaking out. Epidemics: In tlie relief camps set up for the affected population, there is likelihood of epidemics from a number of sources. Tlie strategy should be to subdue such sources of infection and immunize the population against them. Rescue and Salvage: A major effort is needed to rescue the trapped persons and to salvage destroyed structures and property. Esseiitial services like communications, roads, bridges, electricity would liave to be repaired and restored to y a b l e rescue and relief work and for normalization of activities. Corpse Disposal: Disposal of dead bodies is to be done as part of clean up operation to bring some sense of safety in tlie surviving population and also prevent spread of epide~nics. , Deployment of Resources: Considerable amount of hutnan, and economics resources are required to be mobilized in a short time. Outside Relief: During disaster situations, as co~isiderable relief flows in from outside, there is an immediate need to coordinate tlie relief flow so that the maximum coverage is qchieved, there is no wastage, and there is no duplication of work in the same area.

Special Relief: Along with compensation relief, essential items may have to be distributed to the affected populati0.n to provide for temporary sustenance. Information: As information flow and review is essential part of the relief ekercise, constant monitoring is required to assess the extent of damage and resultant requirements which form the basis of further relief to the affected area.. Dissemination of correct information is essential for media coverage and it also. helps to quell rumours'.

I ,


At the District Lev,el, while the immediate rehabilitation is carried out by the . District Administration Jhemselves, the long term exerci~es are taken up by the state level and central agencies. (Of late Voluntary Agencies have also begun working in, partnership with the government). For example, shelter provision is i

~ls~~a taken l l y care of by tlie State Housing Boards and Develop~nent Authorities. 111 all rehabilitation efforts the district ad~niiiistrationbecomes the coordinating body. Typically, the rehabilitation works comprise tlie following components:

District Ad~ninistration

For Ho~isingrehabilitation, the existing settlement ]nay need to be completely reconstructed at new site for which land acquisition may have to be done.

Ho~~sing rehabilitation may also be carried out by way of improve~nentof existing damaged houses by carrying out damage repair. may be As part of the long-term mitigation strategy, the existing str~~ctures strengthened as proofing against iiture disasters.

Infrastructure such as roads, communications, water supply, sewerage and public buildings such as schools and health centres may be required to be rebuilt in the new relocated sites or existing ones may be repaired. Historical monuments, religious places may also have to be repaired as part of the rehabilitation programme.

Economic Rehabilitation
-Economic Rehabilitation is essential for normalization of activities. Various new ,opportunities may be 'created in addition to getting the destroyed stocl<s replenished for restoration of livelihood. Farm'.Zhplements, livestock, seeds etc. may be distributed as initial capital to restart economic activities in the rural areas. Employment may also be generated by way of carlying out rehabilitation works.

Social Rehabilitation
To help it to recover, the com~nunity's social systems have to be restored. Restoration of such systems could ensure sustenance of essential services within the community. Social Rehabilitation may include new components s ~ ~ as c hcommunity training and funding so that they are able to lead a better quality of life.

Check Your Progress 2 Note: i) Use tlie space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at tlie end ofthe unit.

I ) Brieily analyse the role of Sub-District Administration in managing


Disaster Management: Role of Various Agencies

2 ) Write a note on relief measures.

21.8 LET US SUM ' C T P

The basic responsibility of Disaster Management lies with the State Government. However, tlie actual operations are carried out by the District Administration. The District Administration thus becomes tlie focal points of all disaster related activities. Districts are required to prepare Corltingency Action Plans for each type of disaster likely i l l tlie district. The Contingency Action Plan outlines the various measures required as preparedness to face disasters and tlie relief measures to be carried out i n case a disaster occurs. Relief activities are coordinated by the district administration through the district re1 ief commn'ittee. In case, tlie impact of disaster is high and long term rehabilitation works also need to be carried out, the decisions are taken at the State level with tlie District .Administration becoming tlie field level coordinating body.


Federal Structure

System of government in which the States are coordinated by a central government but the states also have the powers and laws within their territory. Persons who carry out important taslts in implementing a plan. Persons or officials who are to be contacted i n tlie concerned organizations in case of emergency.

Key Personnel
Contact Points



Contingency Action Plan for Natural Calamities, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India. Maharashtra Emergency Earthquake Rehabilitation Programme, P~~ogramlne Management Unit, Earthquake Relief and Rehabi l itation Cel I, Government of Maharashtra, Mu~nbai


Check Your Progress 1

1) Your answer should include the following points:

111India, the district administration is headed by District Collector who is also called Deputy Comniissioner or District Magistrate ill solne States.

The District Collector is responsible for coordinating and supervising the preparedness, rescue and relief work relating to'disaster management.

District Administration

For disaster management work, the district administration takes guidance and directions from the State Relief Commissioner and the Chief Secretary of the State.

2) Your answer should include the following points:


When a disaster seerns iniminent or has actually occurred, the district administration sets u p a Control Room. The District Control Room functions as the district emergency management centre and works round the cloclc with good communication arrangements. It is responsible for regular monitoring and coordination of rescue and relief operation on a colltinuing basis.


Check Yo~lr Progress 2


. I)

Your answer sliould include the followi~lg points:


A district is divided into sub-divisions and tehsils.

Contact with villages is through Patwari. In times of disaster the entire Iiierarchy becomes active up to village level.

2) Your answer sliould i~lcltlde the following points: Rescueand Salvage


Corpse Disposal Medical Outside Relief yMilitaryAssistance Information

22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 22.7 22.8



Objectives Introduction Role of Artried Forces Role of Para-Military Forces Special Roles of Air Force, Army and Navy Let Us Sum Up Key Words References and Further Readings Answers To Check Your Progress Exercises

After reading this Unit, you should be able to:

define the role and functions of Armed Forces, both in Peace Time and during Emergencies and Enemy Encounters; describe the primary role of %ra Military Forces and their involvement in National Emergencies and major events; and discuss their interaction with each other and contribution during Disaster situations.

Basically, it is the duty of the civil administration to be prepared for and to manage disasters (natural or manmade) when they occur. There is a structured organisation in which the district administration under the charge of the District Collector plays the vital role. The Police, which is a civilian service, assists in disaster management in the efforts related to law and order, evacuation, search, rescue, wireless co~nmunication,disposal of dead, and general security. Nongovernmental organisations and community based organisations render help according to their capability and capacity. In most situations, this combined civilian effort is able to manage. However, when the disaster and its effects are of such severity and suddenness that is beyond the combined capacity of civilian agencies, the military and para military forces have to be summoned and they always rise to the occasion.


The military forces or defence forces or anlied forces play a very important role during disaster situation and also in the post-disaster scenario. Their main assets are: discipline, training, professionalism, specialized equipnlent, resources and above all a minimum response time. Generally, they are called upon to manage the following tasks: Evacuation Maintenance of essential services Distributing of essential supplies in remove and marooned areas. Transport of relief material Medical aid Management of re1ief camps



In the earlier days, Military i.e., the Armed Forces used to take care of the outside enemies and conventional police used to look after internal security and law and order. With the growth of population and new activities resulting in the need for specialized security services to valuable sectors such as the borders, the industry, vital installations etc., it became necessary to create a variety of paramilitary forces under the Govt. of India. More prominent of these paramilitary forces are: a) b) c) d)

Military and Para-Military Forces

f) g) 11) i) j)

Border Security Force (BSF) Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Indo Tibet Border Police (ITBP) Railway Protection Force (RPF) Assam Rifles National Security Guard (NSG) Coast Guard Rapid Action Force (RAF) Territorial Army

Ilnportant point to note is that the Police Force is under control of the respective State Administration while all the para-military Forces including the "Civil Defence Organisation" are under the control of Governlnent of India and these are deployed to assist the local police whenever necessary.

Apart from their primary role as their name implies-e.g. BSF guards the borders, CISF takes care of CentraI Public Sector undertakings includi~igtheir security and fire fighting, all the Para-Military Forces are deployed in the troubled areas or during major national event like GeneralIState Elections. The Coast Guard is a special duty force for guarding tlie coasts and to deal with ~lndesirable activities such as smuggling on the coasts.


Armed Forces and para-military forces play important roles in disaster situations as described below:

Special Role of air Force. During emergencies for heavy troop n~ovementbe it Army Personnel or para-military forces - the Transport wing of Air Force is called in, in a big way, The helicopters of Air Force are used for survey and dropping of food packets together with rescuing of stranded people, especially in flood situations. Air Force also has the responsibility of VIPIVVIP movement. ';5pecial Role of Army. The local Army commander, anywhere in tlie country has orders from Ministry of Defence, to assist the civil authorities during any i .contingency. For this, however, only the District collector has~tl~e autliority.lo requisition the aid of military and that too in extreme emergencies, on a written ,'request. 1 1 7 riot-affected cities, places, Army Flag Marc11 - only parading is arranged in order to deter anti-social elements indulging in further trouble and to pacify common population by boosting their morale for peace and assurance of their safety and security.

Disaster Management: Role of Various Agcncies

Special Role of Navy: The Navy has a special role in the event of a disaster or1 the sea or on coasts or in ports. Cyclo~ies,storm surge or oil spill are the [nost prominent among the disastrous events that col~ldoccur in these locations. In discharge of their duties, the Navy is assisted by the Coast Guards. Clieck Your Progress 1 Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) When are tlie military forces asked to help in disaster management and by whom?

2) What are tlie tnajor para-military forces of our country and what are their primary fi~nctions?

3) How ca'n the Defence Forces be i~seful in Disaster Management ?



The Army, Navy apd Air Force constiti~tethe Arn~edForces. They have been given tlie main, defence, task of guarding our boundaries, our slties, our seas and t l i ~ the ~ s sovereignty and integrity of our nation. Witli the vast boundaries, vast sea coast and growing external and internal problems and the situations created by natural and manmade disasters, a nuinber of Para-Military Forces have been created like BSF, CISF, CRPF, Coast Guards, NSG, Assain Rifles, and Home Guards.

All the Military Forces have the mandate to aid civil authorities during disaster Management. The para-military forces, too, area sizeable extra help which can be requisitioned for combating large-scale disasters and their aftermath. The discipline, training, equipment, resources and the quick response time make, the military and paramilitary forces very useful in disaster management.

Military and Para-Military Forces


The nation's Armed Forces. This is a term with which the conlmon man is familiar and includes all the wings. The forces of a military nature created for specific taslcs.

Para-Military Forces :



National Centre for Disaster Management, 200 1, Manual on Nc;turnl Disaster Management in India, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India


Check Your Progress 1

1) Your answer should i ~ ~ c l u d the e followi~~g points:

Military Forces are asked to assist the civil adminislratio~l in disaster management when due to the severity of the situation, the civil administration finds it difficult to deal with the situation.

'The District Collector' is the designated officer authorized to ask for the help of military forces in disaster management.

2) Your answer should include the following points: BSF (Border Security Force) CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) NSG (National Security Gi~ard), Coast Guard. Their primary functions as their respective name implies, are:
To prevent enemy is filtration into, the country across the border and prevent any nefarious activities at the border, from within, To guard the installations of Central Public Sector undertaking together with Fire Fighting Role. To provide protection to our seafaring vessels and fishing travellers and thwart any enemy mischief over our waters, elc.


In addition, they may be called upon to assist in disaster situations as the need arises.

3) Your answer sl~ouldinclude the following points: ~ h k Defence Forces have the attributes of discipline, training, special equipment, resources and a very quick response lime. These qualities are necessary in disaster management. Defence Forces are especially useful for the following items of work:
Evacuation Maintenance of essential services in remote and marooned areas Distribution of essential supplies in remote and marooned areas Transport of relief material Medical aid Management of relief camps







Objective Introd~~ction Existing Preparedness and Relief Measures Coordination at Various Levels ~ e l i e ~ssistalice f (Financial Arrangements) Reliabilitatioli Let Us Sum Up Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to Clieclc Your Progress Exercises

After studying this unit, you should be able to:
e e

describe government's approach in dealing with disasters. discuss the centre and state coordination and allocation of responsibilities for action in disaster situations.

Disasters due to the scale and extent they affect tlie population are a natiolial calamity and it becomes imperative that action to mitigate their adverse effects be initiated quickly at the national level.
4 '

It has been observed that over the past few decades the frequency of disasters &d their devastating effects have increased manifold. Apart from other causes the burgeoning' population, growing infrastructure arid the increased industrial activity have contributed largely to this situation. Anlong tlie important reasons is the lack of coordinated efforts to Inanage a for the increased v~~lnerability disaster situations. Precious time is lost in tlie authorities getting their act together to intervene. A well organised predetermined structure becomes a p~.erequisite for a prompt and comprehe~isive action to face disasters. Considerable progress has been made in the recent past in government organization and division of responsibilities in this regard.


i) National Level
At the national level, depending on the type of disaster, a nodal ministry is responsible for tlie task of coordinating all activities of the state and district administration and the other si~pport departments/Ministry. Tliis is shown in the table below. The organisational pattern of the Natural Disaster Management Division of tlie Ministly of Agriculture, Govt. of India is depicted in the following figure. The nodal ministries form part of the Natio~ial Crisis Management Committee. Part of their tasks is to prepare detailed Contingency Plans for each type of disasters falling in areas oftheir responsibility.

Type of disaster1Crisis & the Nodall Central Ministry Ministry 'of Civil Aviation [~irAccide~it Ministry of Horiic Affairs Civil Strife Major breakdown any of the Concerned Ministries Essential Services posing widespread orotracted problems Ministry of Railway Railway Accidents Ministry of Environment Cliernical Disasters Ministry of Health Biological Disaster Nuclear Accident inside or outside tlie Department of Atomic Energy country which poses health or other 1iazal.d~ to people in India I Ministry of Anricultu~-e* h a t u r a l Disasters


Ministries and Departments at Centre ant1 State Levcis-'

Basically tlic responsibility for ~~ndertal<ing rescue, relicf and rehabilitation llleasures in tlie event of natural disasters is tliat of tlie concerned State Government. Tlie role of tlie Central Government is supportive in terms of providing financial and other resources. 'The department of Agriculture and Cooperatio~l(DAC) of tlie Ministry of Agriculture* is tlie nodal department in tlic Government at Central level tliat deals with tlic sul~ject of Natural Disaster. Management. In the DAC, tlie Central Relief Commissioner functions as tlie ~ ~ o dofficer al L., coordinate relief operations for all natural disasters. Tlie Central Relief Com~nissioner receives information relating to forecast/warning of disasters from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) or from the Central Water Commission (CWC) on a continuing basis and keeps tlie Secretary (Agriculture & Cooperation) and through him the Agricult~ire Minister and tlie Cabinet Secretary and tlie Secretary to Prime Minister and through them, tlie Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the Cabinet (NCMC)" Committee informed. The "National Crises Management Co~nrnittee is kept informed through the Cabinet Secretary. He also disseminates tlie . infor~iiatio~i to different Central Government mi~iistries/Departme~its and tlie State Govern~nents for appropriate follow-up action.
Figure I ; Organisational Pattern of the Natural Disaster Management Division of the Department of Agriculture & cooperation in the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.

The Natural Disaster Management Division dealing wit11 Natural disasters b a s earlier with the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India but now it is under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. However, drought as a natural disaster is still being managed by t h e Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.


Disaster Management: 'Role of Various Agencies

INFORMATION INSTRUCTION/DIRECTION FEED BACK IMD CWC NCMC A.M. Indian Meteo~~ological Department Central Water Commission National Crisis Management Committee Agriculture Minister Prime Minister Agricultl~re& Coopel-ation Natural Disaster Management

P.M. A&C 1V.D.M.

While the Ministry of Agriculture is the nodal ministry managing disaster situations, it is supported by other ministries as well-an important contribution is made by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare tlirougli the Emergency Medical Relief Division of tlie Directorate General of Health Services. In a typicaI Disaster situation, the Medical Relief Division gets in touch with tlie Central Control Room in D.A.C and obtains feedback on tlie extent of disaster situalio~i on a particular day population affected; and Iiealtli profile lilte number of patients, type of patients etc. Based on tlie results available, the concerned medical agencies are put into action.

ii) State Relief Organization And Response

[n the federal set-up of India, the responsibility to formulate tlie Governnent's resl~onseto a disaster sitiration is essentially that of the concerned State government. However, the Central Government, with its resources (physical and financial) does provide tlie needed help and assistance to buttress relief efforts in the wake of ~iiajordisasters. 'I'he dimensions of the response at tlie level of National Government are determined in accordance with tlie existing policy of financing the relief expenditure and keeping in view the factors like:

i) tlie gravity of the situation,

ii) the scale of the relief operations necessary, and iii) tlie requirenie~~ts of Central assistance for augmenting the financial resources at llie disposal of tlie State Government. Most of tlie States liave Relief Commissioners who are in charge of tlie relief measures in the wake of natural disasters in their respective States. In the absence of the Relief Co~n~iiissioner, the Chief Secretary or an Officer nominated by him is in overall charge of the Relief operations in the concerned State.


Coordination at the Central and tlie State Levels is achieved by way of various co~n~nittees wliicl~have participation from all departments that are involved in' Disaster Management. The inore important among these co~n~nittees are as follow:

Cabinet Committee Tlie cabinet may set up a conimittee for effective iniplelnentation of Relief 1lieasures in tlic wake of a particular natural calamity. The Secretary in tlie Ministry of Agriculture acts as the secretary of this comniittee. In the absence of a committee, all the matters related to the relief are reported to tlic Cabinet Secretary. National Crisis ~ a ~ l a g e m e Committee llt (NCMC) Ulider tlic cliair~iiansliip of the Cabinet Secretary, the NCMC has bee11 constituted in tlie cabinet secretariat. It is a Standing High Power Committee whicli comes into action immediately in cnse ol' an anticipated or actm l disaster. The other mcmbers of this committee include tlie Secretary of Prime Minister, Secretaries of Ministry of Home Affairs, Defence Research and Development Organisation, and Departments of Science and Tecli~~ology and Agriculture and Cooperation along with Director I~itelligcnce Bureau, Director General of Meteorology and an officer or the Cabinet Secretariat. Tlie NCMC gives clirection to the Crisis Management Group as deeriied necessary. Top level officers fi.0111other ministriesIDepartnients participate according to the needs of tile situation. Crisis Matiage~ncnt G r o u p (CMG) A group uncler tlie chairmanship of tlie Central Relief Comniissioner compl-ising ilie senior officers from the various ~ninistries and otlicr co~icelneddepartnients revicws every ycar contingency plans formulated by tlie kcntral Mi~iistries/Depa~Irne~its. It also reviews tlie measures requirecl for dealing with a natural clisaster and coordinates tlie activities of the Central Ministries and tlie State Governlnents in relation to disaster pscparedness and rclief and obtains information froni tlie nodal officers on measures relating to tlie above. Tlie Joint Secretary (National Disaster Management) & Additional Central Relief Comniissioner is the convcnor of CMG. Tlie CMG have to meet at least twice a Year. Whcn a disaster is anticipatecl or has occurred, CMG nieets as kequently as tlie situntion demands.
At tlie State level, tlie State Kelief Con~niissioner (or Secretary, Depastment of

Ministries i ~ n t l Dcpertmcnts a t Centre and State Levels

Revenue) supervises and contro~krelies opesations through Collectors or Dcputy Co~n~nissioners, who are tlie main ri~nctionaries to coordinate the relief operation at district level. Tlie State Governnients are autonomous in organizing relier operations in tlie event of na tbral d isasteies and in developing tI16 lo~~g-tern1 ~:eliabiJitation nieasures. Tlie State ~ o v c r n ~ i i e n tefforts $ are supple~lieut'ed by Central Government based on thc recommelidatio~isof tlie ~ i n a i ~ Com~iiissions ce who make recommendatio~is for five year periods. States Crisis Management Group :There is a State Crisis Ma,nagement Groqp (SCMG) ~ ~ n d the e r Cliairmansliil~of Chief Secl-etary1Relief Com~i~issioner of the State. Tlie Group coniprises Senior Officers from the State D e p a ~ ~ ~ l i eof nts RevenueIRelief, Home, Civil S~ipplies, Power, Irrigation, Water Supply, Panchayai (local self Governlnent), Agriculture, Forests, Ru1-al Development, I-Iealth Planning, Public Works &id T' *rnance.
8 '

The SCMG is required to take into consideration tlie ihfrastrl~ct~~re and guidance of India ancl formulate action received, from time to time, liom Gover~inie~it plans fo; dealing with different natural disasters.

Disnster Management: Role of Various Agencies

It is also tlie duty of the Relief Co~nmissionerof tlie State to establish an emergency operations centre or Control Rootn as soon as a disaster situation develops. Besides having all updated information on forecasting and warning of disaster, the centre is also the contact point for: the various concer;ied agencies.


Check Your Progress 1

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers: ii) Check your answers wit11 those given at the end of the unit.

1 ) Mention the concerned Nodal Ministry of tlie Govern~nentof India for dealing with the following disasters: a. Cliemical Disasters; b. Biological Disaster; c. Natural Disasters.

2) Tlie Chair~na~i of the National C17isisManagement Committee is:

a. b. c. d. Prime Minister Union Agriculture Minister Cabinet Secretary Chief Justice of Supreme Court.

23.4 RELIEF ASSISTANCE (FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS) Natural Disaster are huge econo~nic burdens on developing eco~iomies such as in India. Given its large size, huge population and weak infrastructure and also because of its peculiar geography, India is visited by quite a few disasters (natural and manmade) every year. Consequently, every year huge amount of resources are mobilized for rescue, relief and rehabilitation worlts followirig natural disasters. Schemes for fi~ia~ici~ig expenditure on relief in tlie wake of natural disasters are governed by the ~*econlmendations of tile successive Finance Conimissions appointed by Gover~i~lleiit o f India every five years. Under the existing sclie~ne, each State has a corpus of funds called Calamity Relief Fund (CRF),

adlniliistered by a State Level Committee, Iieaded by tlie Chief Secretary of the State Government. Tlie size of the CRF is determined having regard to tlie of tlie Sate to different natural calamities and tlie ~nag~iiti~de of nbr1nally incurred by the State on relief operations. The ~ a l a l n i t y Relief Fund was first introduced by tlie Ninth finance commission set LIP by tlie Government of India which made recomlnendations for tlie five year period 1990-95. Tlie scheme is designed to enable tlie States to manage ancl provide for calamity relief on tlieir own by drawing upon tlie resources available with a fund constituted for that purpose separately for each State. The prescribed annual contribution to each State CRF are required to be made by the Centre and provides for an tlie concerned State in tlie proportion of 3:l the sclienie fi~rtlier accumulating balance witli tlie proviso that if there is any unutilized amount lelt at tlie end of five years, if would be available for augmenting the plan resources of tlie State. On tlie other hand. It is per~nissible under tlie scheme to draw upon a percentage of the next year's central assistance, if it becomes necessary to tide over tlie insufficiency of resources in tlie CRF in any pal.ticnlar year. The latest (I I"') Finance Co~nmissionwhile ~nakingrecommendations for tlie period (2000-05) lias continued CRF. Fill-tlier, it lias suggested tlie creation of National'Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF) witli an initial contribution of Rs.500 crore by Government of India and further aug~nentedthrough surcharge as central taxes. For example, a surcliarge of 2% on income tax was levied after tlie disasterous Blii~j(Gijarat) earthquake of 26'" January 2001. Tlie Eleventh Finance Commission also recommended the establishment of tlie National Centre . for Calamity Management (NCCM) to liionitor all types of major disastrous events at the central level. Relief is also provided by tlie other concer~ieddepartments/~iiinistries depending on requirements. Tlie Ministry of Health 1.1sua1i~ mobilizes meclicine stocks to affected area through their medical stores located all over tlie country. Other types of relief may be provided by concerned departments in the form of quick lines, distribution of restoration of essential services like roads, com~ni~nication rations. When the disaster is unusually severe, tlie armed forces may be called in to assist tlie civil authorities. Non-government organisations and philanthropic societies also extend relief assistance according to tlieir specialization.

Ministries and Departments at Centre and State Levels


Rehabilitation lneasilres are taken up if the magnitude of the disaster is high arid loss of life and property entails colnplete rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation lneasilres are taken up by Government with tlie assistance froin tlie international agencies, or large public sector agencies. Rehabilitation rls~~ally includes restoration of livelihood and slielter in existing places or in new locations depending on tlie situation. As such tlie rehabilitation works are long term interventions and may continue for several montlis/years.

Check Your Progress 2

Note: i) Use tlie space given below for your answers. ii) Check yoi~r answers wit11 those given at tlie end of tlie unit.
I .

Disaster' Management: Role of Various Agencies

1 ) CRF Stands for

a) b) c) d)

Central Reserve Fund Central Relief Fillid Calamity Relief Fund Crisis Relief Fund

2) Wliat are the main recommendations of the Eleventli Finance Commission for the period 2000-05 in tlie area of disaster ~nanagcment?


There is a well-defined governmental structure to tacltle disasters or any other emergencies. Depending 011 tlie type of disaster, separate ministry has been assigned responsibility to inobilize resources at appropriate levels. The Central Govern~nent usually is required .to intervene only when the calamity is particularly grave ancl beyond tlie capacity ol'tlze State Government to liandle it. Relief and Reliabilitation is carried out wit1 funds available from the Central and the State Governments. Much of the relief and telrabilitation work is carriad out by the government itself in pal-tnership with internatio~ialand national nongovel-nmet~tal organizations.



Growing The Ministry lnainly respo~isi bla Disaster of estren~e proportions Something that might happen in future

Nodal Ministry


S inha, Ani l and V.K.Shanna, 1999, Culture o f Prevention (Natural Disaster &fu~zngement: Irzdiu), Indian Institute of Public Admitlistration, New Delhi, ancl Ministry of Agriculture Depa~tmentof Agriculture and Cooperation, Govt, of India.

National Centre for Disaster Management, 2001, Manual on Natural Disaster Managenzent in India, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi.

Ministries and Departments at Centre and State Levels

Health Sector Contingency Plan for Management of Crisis situations in India, Emergency Medical Relief, Directorate General of Healtli Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.


Check Your Progress 1
e e

Your answer should include the following points: Ministry of Environment Ministry of Heslth Ministry of Agriculture

2) The correct answer is (c) Cabinet Secretary

Check Your Progress 2

I ) The correct answer is (c) Cala~nity Relief Fund

1 1

2) Your answer should include the following points:



The Eleventh Finance Co~nmission has recommended the continuation of the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) scheme wliich was started by the ninth Finance Commission (1990-95). The Eleventh Finance Com~nissionhas recommended the establishment of the National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF)


Objectives Introductio~i Types ofNCiOs, tlieir Objectives and Impel-tance With Regard to Disasters F~ulctio~ial Meclianisni Interaction and Coordination Let us S L UP I ~ Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to Clieclc Your Progress Exercises

After studying tlie i~nit, you slioulcl be able: describe the different type of NGOs ancl their important role in disaster management; and discuss tlie worliing nieclian ism of NGOs and tlieir partncrsliips witli other agencies.

Disaster Management is a multi-disciplinary and multi-di~i~etisio~ial effort requiring massive, large-scale and ofien long-term interventibn at s1io1-lnotice. I11 a vast and populous coi~~itry lilce India, it is not feasible for only tlie goverl~mental macliil~ery to undel-lake disaster management programmes satisfactorily. Active and willing participation of tlie people is essential. Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) including tlie community based ol.ganisatio~is(CBOs) play an iniportant effective role as a bridge between tlie gover~imentand the people. The non-governmental sector, due to its linkages with tlie co~iimunitybase and its flexibility in procedural :matters, has an advantage over governmental agencies in i~ivoking tlie i ~ i v o l v e ~ ~ of en the t people level. at comli~unity



NGOs can be of different sizes, witli different areas of operation and differentfields of expertise. The Non Governmental Sector covers a whole range of liiajor types of NGOs activities, tliroug1i its va1,ious types of Organisations. So~ile are as given ~ ~ n d e r :
1) NGOS with dedicated field operations and resource backup. These are large Organisatio~is,such as the International Red Cross Society, that liave specific areas in which they carry out field operations. They liave access to large resource bases, and liave tlie capability to extend material, financial, as 111tinies of disaster, their roles are very laudable as well as teclinical suppo~l. they garner support and resources ftom all over the world and come to the rescue of tlie affected persons al~iiostimmediaiely.

2) Development Technology related NGOs. Tliese are NGOs involved in developi~ig and propagating developnient technologies, sucli as Sulabh International, wl~iclihas renowned activities in the field of low sanitation. Tliese NGOs are active in times of peace, carrying out tlieir developniental projects, and can be called in at times of emergency due to natural disaster for providing tlie affected comniunity with immediate pliysical infrastructure that may be required. Eve11in non-disaster times their services are usefill for retrofitting in areas of building technology, s s as to niininiize death and destruction in fi~ture disasters.


3) .. Interest Groups. Tliese are also NGOs, formed with tlie objective of sharing interests and community service, sucli as the Rotary Club, However, such interest groups are vely active, and have come forward to lielp disaster victims in times of need. Most of these groups have good iinancial resources. Tliey call play a niajor role in resource mobilization for relief aid and rehabilitation purposes.

e ,

4) Associations of local occupation groups. Sucli associatio~is are formed on include d groups tlie basis of common occupational backgrou~ids,and c o ~ ~ l such as doctors' associations, traders' associations, Army wives associations etc. Sucli groups, as with interest groups, can play a major role in resource mobilization, and also in providing specialized services to the disaster . . victims.
5) Local Residents' Associations. These associations are formed by tlie local residents to look illto the interests of tliose living a shared community life in tlie area which may be rural or urban or in big towns. As such, these associatio~isare liiglily concerned about tlie welfare of tlie local coni~iiunity, and need no external motivation to take active part in disaster I-eduction. Thus, they can be a very useful tool for getting across tlie message o r coni~iiunityparticipation at the ground level and to muster co~ii~iiunity's willing pa~ticipation, They are very useful in coordiliati~ig disaster nianage~nentefforts sucli as distribution of essential supplies or providing local volunteers.


6) Religious and Cl~aritableBodies. Religious bodies are one of tlie most iniportarit NGOs groups tliat collie to the immediate rescue and relief of the disaster victims. Tliese bodies have a large and dedicated following in the community. They also liave control of tlie local places of worship, whicli are usually strong structures built on high and safe ground, and can serve as ideal shelters during disasters. Besides, they often have infrastructure to feed mass gatherings, wliicli becomes very useful in times of disaster.
7) Educational Institutions. Educational institutions Such as schools and colleges are also NGOs that play a crucial role in disaster management. Tlieir prime responsibility in this regard is to spread awareness on natural disasters .and preventive action needed to minimize damage due to them, as well as on have large immediate relief and rescue methods. Besides, these iristiti~tions for tlie victims i n times of disaster. , buildings wllich can be used as sl~elters

8) Media, Most of tile media, such as newspapers or tlie radioITV cha~inels that are not owned. by government come in tlie category of NGOs and tliey perform prime functio~ibkfore, during and after disasters as discussed in detail in u~iit 26 of tli,is Block.

Disaster Mnnngement: Role of Various Agencies

Latur A Case Study

A severe earthquake of lnagnitudti 6.4 011 tlie Richter scale strucl< the Marathwada region of'Maharashtra state in tlie early morning hours of 3oth September, 1993, at 3.55 a.m. The exact location of the epicentre of the earthquake was near the village Killari, a prosperous settlement about forty district headquarters and near tlie boundary of Laturkilometres south of Lati~r Os~na~iabad districts. Tlie damage caused by tlie eartliquake was enormouskillilig about ten tlioi~sandpersons and destroying about two hundred thousand dwelling units along with a huge loss of public and private property. The major cause of SLICII a wide-spread damage was tlie poorly constructed houses with locally available stones.

Tlie damage was more because tlie Martliwada region lies in Zone I as per theg eartliqi~akezoning map of India, wliich is supposed to be tlie least prone to earthquakes, Hence, tlie eartliqi~alte was totally i~nexpected and caught the people , . as well as the autliorities unawares. The response of voluntary groups wliicli came forward immediately after the eartliquake was spontaneoils and overwhelming. The inirnediate response group mainly comprised local religioi~sbodies and charitable trusts. They responded inimediately by undel-taking mass feeding programs and free distribution of essential itenis such as clothes, i~tensils etc. Few such Organisations were Akhil Maliarashtra Jain Sangli, Gurudwara Mandal, Seva Bhavi Sanstha and Gurudwara Siddlia Peeth. Besides such groups, a number of local and international NGOs sent medical teams and supplies to the site. The second category of Organisations that played a vital role were those iiivolved in developmental activities in different parts of the country. Tliese Organisations came forward to lielp tlie gover~iment in long term rehabilitation and recbnstruction programs. Tlie Organisatio~isconiprised religious and charitable agencies who in turn were provided with financial, infrastructure and research and support by a niimber of private corporate liouses, public sector Organisatio~is research & development agencies. The rehabilitation and reco~istructionprogram comprised pliysical development of villages, and socio-economic support to the affected community. As many as 23,000 new houses were to be constructed in 49 villages on entirely new sites. Tlie importance ofNGOs in any develop~nent process became further apparent as tlie difference i n tlie approaches adopted by the government agencies and that adopted by the lion-Governmental agencies became evident in tlie reconstructio~i programme. Tlie first category of houses whose construction started within one month of tlie disaster displayed inlierent weaknesses in design and quality of co~~stn~ction. For the secolid category of Iiouses, the construction of which started a little later, the quality of liouses was niuch superior and found wider acceptance it1 the commii~iity. Tliese liouses were constructed with lielp of non-., gover~i~nental agencies who in tul-n relied considerably on local material and technology; they also incorporated views of the com~nunitywhile developing building plans.


The essential function of tlie NGOs is to be the vital link between Government and the Community. Witli their reacli to the remote areas tbrough CBOs, NGOs also perform tlie very i~nportantfiinctio~iof "gap fillers" at places where the reacli of gover~i~nental organisations is somewhat tenuous. These functions are made possible in different meclianisms as the situation requires. For example, if tlie govern~nentrequires to distribute relief material to tlie community, NGOs may be requisitioned fo'r distribution arid more. i~nportantlyin. identi9ing the

persolis act~iallyneeding the relief. The various other functions that the NGOs lnay be expected to perfornl are briefly enumerated below:-

~o'n~~ove~nmentnl Organisations



Awareness and inforniation Campaigns Vulnerabi 1ity analysis of coln~nunities Training of local volunteers Inventory of resources available i n tlie comlnunity and nearby Advocacy and planning

During Disaster:

Immediate rescue and first-aid including psycliological counselling Supply of food, water, medicines and other immediate need inaterials
. sanitation and hygiene Damage and death assessnient Help in disposal of the dead Technical and reconstruction Monitoring material aid in


Assistance in seeking financial aid


Tliese roles are usually played under directions or divisio~isof functions as decided by the Government of the District Relief Committee. Thus while tlie local district office niay be overall incliarge of the disaster inanagement operations, certain functions may be singularly or jointly lia~idledby the NGOs sector. In case t11kre are more than one NGOs being able to perform different types of functions, then their roles may either be put in a hierarchy or alternately each of them could be directly i'esponsible for their own taslts and coordinate directly with tlie government agencies. ,

Areas of Contribution
NGOs can contribute effectively to the disaster management. efforts in tlie following areas:

Communication with Community - NGOs have a closer and inforinal link with . the coininunity and also have presence in the field, which puts tlwn in a better position to assess, decide and implement relief operations at time of disaster. Manpower - The manpower available with NGOs is voluntary, dedicated, and disciplined, prompt aiid highly motivated as it comprises basically vol~~iiteers socially co~iscientious who are involved at tlieir own initiative.


qnances and Materials - NGOs have very flexible means of mobilizing rksources and a number of them specialize in just resource mobilization to be able to fund the activities of other NGOs working in the field. Professional and Technical Services - A number of specialized technical services can be mdde available to the community by NGOs, wliicli would otherwise be too expensive and inaccessible to the common folk.


Disaster Management:

Role of Various Agencies


For an effective functional meclia~iis~n of the various agencies both government and nongovernrnent, an effective but simple coordination sclierne has td be in place, some of the ba~ic're~uirements of which are as follows:

Communication and interaction with the Government: A regular cbmrnunication and infor~nation exchange with the concerned government officers of department is necessary at all levels. This ensures, adequate preparedness depending on forecasts made by the government departments, providing manpower help in distributing gover~iment sponsored relief and ensuring complet'e coverage of disaster relief. Govern~nent of Indian has taken Committee the initiative to establisli a mechanism called GoI-NGO ~oordination for providing an interactive forum between Government and the national and i~iternatioiial NGOs active in tlie field of disaster management . Communication apd Networking with other NGOs working in the area of Disaster Management: This makes it possible to be able to .use each others strengths fi~llybut more importantly, it helps in ensuring that tliere is 110 duplicatioii of work in the same area tlie same time, there ire no areas left out for action. While coordination at bilateral or multilateral level exists between many NGOs in India, a proposal is under consideration to establish a nationwide network of NGOs with tlie National 'Centre for Disaster Managelmelit in New Delhi acting as the Convenor. This nationwide network of NGOs working for disaster management is likely to be called "Voluntary Agencies fof Sustainable Universal Development and Emergency Voluntary Action (VASUSEVA).

Communication and Interaction with the Donor Agencies: Donor Agencies would prefer that tlie resources available with them -for. disbursement are accounted for and'distributed properly so as to bring clear benefits to tlie affected community. This has to be based on an assess~nelitof realistic needs of tlie community. For this, NGOs, can provide the most appropriate and unbiased information. Transparency: An effective and acceptable form of interaction with adequate coordination sustains only if there is transparency in tlie operations and account. ~ r a n s ~ a r e ensures n c ~ that the focus of the various bodies involved is towards the single objective of quickly providing ~naxirni~~n succour to the community. Check Your Progress 1 Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at tlie end of the unit.


1) Mention any four major types of NGOs.

2) Describe the functions performed by NGOs during disaster

Non-Governn~ental Organisations


NGOs participatio~lforms a vital part of a Disaster Management strategy. 'This becomes clear form the multifarious fi~nctionsthe IVGOs are able to perform before, during and after disaster scenarios. Characteristics unique to MGOs such as their short response time ancl close link with tlie community make them tlie no st suitable agencies f i r specific activities of disaster management. In order to fully benefit fi-om the Non Governmental sectol*, there should be greater utilisation of tlie services of NGOs in disaster management. At the same time, the government's role vis-a-vis the NGOs role needs to be clearly identified so tliat S L I C ~ Ia mechanism call be ~nadeoperational within a short span of a disaster occui~rence.Caution should however be exercised that tlie government and the NGO sector do not try to compete or duplicate each other's efforts. I n fact, they sho~lld complement each other.




Put a new part or new ecluipment in machine or a building after it has been in use for so'metime or is damaged. Recommended a pa~?icularaction or plan. Helping to boost the morale of those affected meritally by disaster. A system of organising people into different ranks or levels of in~portance, e.g. in govern~nent or conlpany. Acting in a manner that is frank, factual, honest and open. I-Ielp Thin or insignificant

Advocacy Psychological Counselling Hierarchy

: :

Transparency Succour Tenuous


: :



Carter, W.N. (1992), Disaster Management: A Disuster Mclnager 's hundbook, Asia Develop~nent Bank, Manila. Natio~lalCentre for Disaster Management, 2001, Manual on Nutz(rul Disaster Managenzent in India,Ministry of Agriculture, Govern~netlt of India, New Delhi

- 5

Disaster Msnagemeot: liole of V:\rious Ager~cies


Check Your Progress 1
1 ) Your answer should include the following points:

Developl~~el~t Tecl~~~olo NGOs; gy Associations of Local Occ~~pational Groups; NGOs with cledicated field operations; Religious and Charitable Bodies.

2) Your answer'should include the following points: Immediate rescile and first-aicl; supply of food, water, medicine and need Inaterial; ensuring sanitatioll and hygiene; and other i~n~mediate damage assessment.


25.0 Objectives 25.1 Int~oductions 25.2 Int'ernational Agencies including United Natiotis: Role and Iniportance ill Disasler Mitigation 25.3 Imporlnnl Internalionill Agencies in Disaster Miligation 25.4 Financial and Logistical Assistance in Disaster Situations 25.5 Interaction and Coordination witli Governmental ancl Non-Gove~.nmental Organisations; Govern~ncnt'sPolicy for International Assistance 25.6 Lct 11sSilm Up 25.7 Key Words Readings 25.8 Rererences ancl F~~rtlier 25.9 Answers to Clieclc Your Progrcss Exercises.

After studyirig this tiit it yo11will be able to:

e r

discuss thc role of Inlernational Agencies in Disaster Mitigation; describe the itnportant Iiiterriational Agencies in Disaster Mitigation; explain tlie mcc11anis111 of linancial assistance by international bodies; a i d understat~dGovernmetit's Policy for international assistance

"Red Cross" is tlie first organized trans-national or inter~iational effort to provide relief to those affected by war- a manmade disaster. With'tlie experience gainccl in attending to the Austrian alid French victims of the Battle of Solferino in 1859, J.H.Dunant, a Swiss Pliilantliropist and I-lumanitarian, founded tlie International Conimittee of Red Cross in 1863 in Geneva when dclcgates (tom 14 countries adopted tlie Geneva Convention. Dunant received tlie Nobel Pcace Prize in 1901 and the International Committee of Red C ~ ~ o s was s Iionoured thrice witli [lie Nobel Peace Prize (1917, 1944 ancl 1963). It shared the 1963 Nobel with the Leagl~e of Rcd Cross and Recl Crescent Societies", also headquartered in Geneva. Both the organisations complement each other. Whilc the International Committee cleals ~ n a i ~ l witli l y war like situations, the League provides relief after clisasters and helps tlie development of national Red Cross natural and man~iiade Societies. This bacltground of internatio~ialassistance since tlie 19"' century has provided a great deal of experience and precedent on which other disaster assista~~ce programmes developed. Thus today, there is a reasonably clear ~~nderstanding, by both donors and recipients, of what is involved in disaster assista~~ce generally. Also, the increasi~ig interdependence of nations tends to give disaster assistance a respectable image and ~naltes it an acceptable part of international relations. It is agreed chat all disaster assistance programmes have their dificulties. I-lowever, the fact ~~einains ihat the overall concept of international disaster assistance is currently recognised by most nations as being valid, practicable and productive,

Disaster hli~n;lge~nent: Role o f Vario~ls Agencics

The increasing pop~llationand infrastructural gro\vth worldwide has resulted in worsening the effects of disastrous events (natural and ~nanmade).The fast d e v e l o p ~ ~ ~of c ncomm~~nications t and the visual impact of television images has upgraded the awareness and sensitivity worldwide irrespective of the location whcre the disaster occurred. The world witnessed a few terrible clisasters whicll took unprecedented toll of life and proper-ty and their effects are still being felt decacles afier iheir occul-rence. The Bangladesh Cyclone ( I 970), the Bhopal Gas Lealc (1984) and the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Disaster ( 1986) made the United Nations (UN) to take cognizance of the situation leacling to the 1989 Resolution o f the UN General Assembly that set forth an international fra~ncworlcof actlon at national ancl internatior~allevels and also prodded an international structure wit11 scientific, technical and financial support. The ~rlost important follow up was the launchi~~g of thc International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction ( 1 990-2000) which is better la1ow11by its initials IDNDR. A mid-way review of IDNDR was talcen by the UN Conference on Natural Disaster a was Reduction at Yolcohoma (Japan) in 1994 when the Y o k o l ~ o ~ nStrategy aclopted.

line with the thinking within the UN, major inter~~ational filnding agencies i~~creasi~lgly recognise the benefits of fundi11gdisaster related projects.

I~ere is that it must be the prerogative of However, a critical 1-actto be 1.ecog11isecI a striclce~l or potential recipient country to decide whether or not it needs international disaster assistance. J~lter~latio~lal agencies provicle assistance at various stages as follows
1) Pre-Disaster Assistance

Pre-disaster assistance from international sources takes


variety of forins.

a) Assistalice in building a system of dams, ai~lled to prevent flooding. b) Developme~~t of monitoring and warning systems.
(ii) Assistance in Preparedness

a) Provisio~~ of assistance in the formulation OF plans at national and regional levels; b) Provision of assistance in estal~lishing and developing clisaster management structures or lcey points; for instance, the establishment of a natio~~al disaster ~nanage~liel~t centre, office or section. c) Provision of systems and facilities in the form of warning systems, communication systems, emergency operations centres; eme,rgency broadcasting systems; d) Stockpiling of emergency items, sucl~as generators, chain saws, shovels, water purification plank, coolci~~g equipment, shelter materials, medical equip~nent.

2 ) Assistance in Response Operations

AS with pre-disaster circumstances, assistance in response operations can also . talce vario~!s ;Forms, lilte;

lntctnational Agencies

a) Monitoring and warning of potential disaster impact.

b) Post inipact survey for instance, aerial photog~.apliic or visilal reco~inaissa~ice.

c) Provision of eniergency assistance teams; for instance medical tearns, other specialist tearns. d)'Provision of enlergency equipment and supplies; for instance comm~~nications, power generator, clothing, shelter niaterials, food transport and medical supplies. e) Provisioli of specialist personnel; for instance, to install and operate water purification plant.

Te~iiporary provision of major response capabilities for instance, hqlicopter capability for vario~~s eliiergency roles (including survey and assessment and food distribution, shipping capability for movement of lieavy/bullcy supplies, offioad vehicle capability.

3) Assistailce in Recovery Programmes

Thc post-disaster recovery process i ~ s ~ ~ a consists lly or a series of distinct but inter-related prgoralnliies, for instance, covering infrastructi~re,medical and health system, education facilities, and so on. International assistance may or conil~rise therefore be directed towards a specific recovery p~Og~illll1lle, some for111of contribution to overall recovery. Therefore, lliey may take the form of a) Financial grants or credits b) Building Materials

Technical Eqi~ip~iie~it

d) Agricultul-e reliabilitatioli e) Extended feeding progl.ammes Specialists or specialist teams g) Food for work
4) Assistance in Future Development

In many cases, international assistance in post-disaster recovely may develop or nierge illto long-term development progranimes, for instance, development of transport systems, building of dalils and embank~lients.
assista~iceand assistance ill fiiture development tend to be of a routine nature and can be processed in a routine manner. Assistance ill response operations and recovery programmes usually has a high degree of q~~ic processing. k urgency, which ~iecessitates In some circu~i~stances, problems can arise .locally. For exilmple, tJie affected . commulzity ]nay become totally or over-dtplndent on aid. In sucli a case, original and traditional customs of dom bating disaster have been eroded. I n these circumstaiices self-coping lneclia~iis~iis of reliabilitatiorl have to be strengthened.


Disaster Management: Role o f V a r i o l ~ s Ageucies

Rapid injectioti of aid especially h o d items can upset a local economy. This particularly applies when local markets and rural production are interdependent. Such a situation adds considcrably to the problenj ill immediate post-impact conditions. Over s ~ ~ p pof l y aid is another well Itnown problem area which can pa~ticularl~ apply to severe and widely p~~blicisccl disasters. The Maharashtra Ea~-tIiqual<~ (1993), the Andlira Cyclone (1996) and the Gujarat earthquake (2001) are good exalnplcs of over supply of aid by international agencies. It lnay result in aid of ~~nsuitable varieties being 5liowered on a stricken people with little 01. no regard for its ~~sability or thc amount of aid already received. The work of international agencies depends vely significantly on the understanding between the agencies and recipient nations, hllost of the ~n'ajol. problems in international assistance can be avoided if a Sew basic factors are recogtlised. Assistance agencies need to exercise a sensitive approach and practice. When assistance is needed, tlie recipient nation is ~ ~ s ~ ~in al some l y form of post-impact shock. In such a situation, the recipient may have diffic~~lty in identifying assistance needs. 'T'lie desirable concept is one of a mutual relationship t l i r ~ u g l i o ~ tlie ~ t whole process of preparedness, response ancl recovery. In this way, when assistance needs to be applied, it is merely one pliasc of an ongoing dialogue, rather than a sudden slioclc response to an already traumatised recipient country.
Cllcclc Your P~~ogress 1

Note: i) Use tlie space give11below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of tlie t~nit.
1 ) Describe different stages at wliicll International Agencies provide assistance for disaster mitigation.

2) Mention any four Forms of assistance in recovery programmes provided by Ihternational Agencies.



International Agencies

There are four niajor categories of International agencies active in disaster mitigation.

Category I: Core Agencies of the U.N.

Department of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-DHA), Office of Disaster Relief Coordinator, Geneva. The agency assists in disastkr assessments and relief management. It also advises on hazard risk assessment, mitigation pla~~ning and imple~nentation.It provided the secretariat for tlie International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction ((IDNDR) and now houses tlie secretariat for its successor progranime viz., t l ~ eInternational Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).

FAO-Food and Agricult~~re Organisation

It offers teclinical advice on the reduction of vulnerability and monitors and advises in food production. It is headquartered in Rome.

United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS), Nairobi

It advises on settlement planning that will reduce risk and on post-disaster reconstruction.

The United Nations Develop~nent Programme (UNDP) with headquarters in New York incorporates disaster tnitigation in developmental planning ancl also provides financial aid for technical assistance for disaster management. It offers administrative support to resident coordinator and advises on flood loss prevention, ~nitigation and management through agencies sucli as UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP, Bangkok). UNDP has sanctioned the project to the Ministry of Agriculture (Govt. of India) on "Strengthening Disaster Management capacity' for tlie country.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Paris funds research in disaster mitigation and strengthening of heritage structures against flood and earthquake damage'. It is supportive of food manageinent programmes and runs a publicatio~~s programme.

Category 11: United Nations Agencies with Support,,Roles in Disaster Mitigation

The United Nations Centre for Regional Development provides training and and planning and related lields, for developing research in regional develop~nent 'countries. Its projects focus primarily on research and training, but include advisory services and information dissen~inationcomponents, Its operational units include the Regional Disaster Prevention Unit (RDPU). The United Nations Envirol~mentProgramme (YNEP) perceives and includes . disaster mitigation in its e~~virorbnental programming. It has a working relationship wit11 the UN Centre for Hu~nan Settlements (UNCHS) (Habitat) and '* has its ow11 publications prograitime.

Disaster Manilgement:
Role o f Various Ager~cies

'The UNICEF (United Nations Childre11's Emergency Fund) attencls to the wellbeing of women and chi!dren including that at the time of disaster. It collaborates with the World I-lealtll Organizalion (WHO) and World Food Programmc (WFP) in social programmes. including improve~nenl01' water supply, sanitation and health. Besides running its own publications progl-ammes, it is now entering, illto disaster preparedness, planning ancl mitigation work in alliance wit11 otller agencies. 'The UNIENET or United Nations International Emergency Networlc through a network of computers, places menibers of'tlie worlcl-wicle disaster riianagement comniilnity in direct co~nmunicatio~i with each other and provides tllenl instantaneously with both bacl.;ground and operational disaster related inlb~.malion. 'I'he UNHCR (U 11ited Nations High Conim issioner for Refugees) assists refugees tllrough cainps, financial grants and otlier assistance. l'he WFP or World Food Programnie provides targetccl food aid, son~etimes linl<ed to 'food for worli' programme ibr const~.uction of floocl protection structures and coordinates pre and post disaster emergency food aid. It also runs its own publicatio~isprogralnnle. Tlie WHO or World t1calth Organisation provides assislrzncc in post-clisastcr rapid response. It promotes 'ilealth cities' programlnes ancl is supportive of disaster mitigation measures. It also has its own plrblications programme. 'fhe WMO or Wo~~ld Meteorological Organisation providcs technical guidance, training and coordination to the national weathcr scrvices to upgrade [heir forecasting capabilities for the weather and climale related disasters.
Category 111: Major Intel-national Agciicies (outside tlie UN Systen~)

Tlie Asian Development Banlc located i n Manila finances projects in Asia and the Pacific. It is conimilted to ensuring disaster mitigation which is included in programming of its projects. It publislies mitigation lia~idbool<s. Publishi~~g programme and advisory worlc is being clone as part of technical assistance. 'Tlie Asian Disaster Preparedness Cc~itrc i l l Barigltolc provicles training and i~~formation services for countries in [lie Asia and the Pacilic region to form~~late policies and develop capabilities 111 all areas ol'clisaster nlaliagement. The European Comm~~nity Humanitarian Office is newly founded, but active in the developnient of disaster mitigation strategies. Its parent body, t l ~ e Commission of European Comm~~nities organises fi~nding of niitigation structures such as cyclone shelters in Bangladesh. The Inter~iatioual Institute for Environment ancl Developnie~it(IIED) of USA proniotes and disse~iiinatesresults o r research on tlie development of tenements and squatter settlenlents in ~ ~ r b aarea, i i social factors wliich cause or aggravate natural disasters and interventions that can limit their impact on tlie poorest sectors of society. It provides technical assistance to national ancl international agencies. Organisation for Economics Coope~.atio~i & Development (OECD) o f Europe Iias issued guidelines, tliroi~gh ils Development Assistance' Commitlee, to aid agencies on disaster mitigati41. The World Banlc (IBRD-I~iternational Balilc for , R e c o n s t ~ ~ ~ ~ c tand io~i Development) offers loans for structural adjustment and projects. It plays a ,

catalytic role in the development of mitigation strategies. It funds large-scale flood control and water nianagement projects, as well as running its publication programme The Bank has recently funded the Maharashtra Earthquake 1.eIiabilitation programme in India by providing loan.

International Agencies

'I'he International Federation of Red cross and Red crescent Societies (IFRS) assist programmes of tlie national Red-cross societies of various countries, In India, they assist and work with the Indian Red Cross Society. IFRS also publish a 'World Disaster Report' fio~ii its Geneva office.

Category IV: National Bodies Assisting Ovel-seas ODA

Overseas Development Administration (UI<) operates a disaster response unit and ~11ide1-talces advice ancl studies ill disaster mitigation. It finances consultancy ancl construction work for post-disaster and pre-disaster preparedness. It also has its own publications programme. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USA) liolds regional seminars on mitigation strategies. It also offers consultancy and issues publications. The National Centre for Disaster Management (NCDM) established by Government of India at tlie Indian Institute of Public Administration in Ncw Dellii provides training; research and consultancy in different areas of disaster management in India and to countries in the South Asian region.


NCDM/Iaclia -




Logistics liave been described as the procurement and dclivery of the right s~~pplie in s the right order in good contlition at the riglit place at tlie right time. Obviously, logistics play a crucial role in clisaster mitigation. International assistance siral ally boosts tlie availability ol' much-needed relief commodities provided liaison between the striclten cou11tl.y and international donors has ensured the preclusion of unnecessary relief items. If, however, good liaison is not maintained, inappropriate ancl often nusa sable items may be received. This can be a serious liability, since the in-country supply system liiay become cholted and valuable local resources may have to be deployed to sort i~sablccommodities from non-usable one. It is, therefore, ~ior~iially ilie responsibility of potential recipients to ensure that inapprop~.iate supplies (e.g. i~nacceptable foodstuffs or clothes) are made known to donors. International relief input ~lsuallyplaces additional demands on tlie in-countl-y logistic system. This may be a crucial sector if major ports, airfields roads and railways liave had their capacity reduced by disaster effects. Extra demands may also be placed on fitel and food stocks by visiting aircraft and various relief teams. Therefore, it is clear that i~lternationalassistance activities, whilst: contributi~ig many invaluable benefits also impose logistic complications. Any such complications need to the mininiised through prior planning ancl preparedness arrangements.

Disaster Ma~~agement: Role o f Various Agencies

hi the interests' of both the striclten country and the international assistance agency, it is important that no undue delays are imposed on international inputs by delays from customs or other formalities.
International Financial aid in disaster situations is released via four main channels

1 ) The United Nations contribute funds for disaster situations which are released on request from tlie stricken country. This assistance is channeled through the appropriate UN agency such as, UNHCR or UNWFP or UNICEF or UNDP.
2) Developecl nations i~suallyhave some funds set aside for disaster situations in the under-developed world. The amount they release is determined by a variety of factors lilte the magnitude of the tragedy, the relations between the two countries, etc.

3) International bodies like the European Union have also been assisting the disaster-affected countries.

4) Countries may have bi-lateral agreements among themselves that may include the c l a ~ ~that s e if either country is stricken by a disaster, the other will help with tlie required forrn of assistance - monetary or otherwise.
Major disasters impose a tremendous strain on a country's financial and other resources. In such a siti~ationit is almost i~npossiblefor it to cope on its own without financial aid from internatior~alagencies. In sucli a scenario, when aid starts flowing from various quai-ters, it becomes very essential to keep track of the amounts coming in and to ensure that they are utilised in an appropriate manner.

All interna~ional agencies require clearance fiom the national government. The international agencies operate at different levels. They usually have a branch head office in tlie national capital and some branches at state levels. The head office regulates the flow of fi~nds;receives orders and instructions from the agency headquarters and passes them on to the branch offices. It also liaises with the national government and finalises operational details. Non-Governmental Organisations usually work in close coi-?junctionwit11 the intenlational agencies. The agencies nor~nally work through NGOs. They finance the specific project and the NGOs do the ground work. This way, the country gets the firra~icialaid of the international agency and tlie agency, in working through local organisation (s), gets a true picture of the events and is able to utilise its resources more effectively. Alternatively, tlie agencies might fillid and carry out a programme on its own after first getting clearance from the gov.ernmenta1. Sometimes, these agencies prograinlyes in part or as a whole. simply fund t h e gover~irne~it

The policy of Government of India with regard to external assista~ice for relief in the walte of disasters is not to issue a formal appeal, either directly or tliro~~gh ally ilatio~lnlor international agency, to request relief assistance fro111 abroad. Idowever, any assistance donated on a voluntary basis is accepter1 and acl<nowledged as a tolten of international solidarity. If the assistance is in cash, it is to be sent to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund. If it is in Itind, it sllould pseferably be routed t111.0ughthe Indian Natiorlal Red Cross. Check Your Progress 2 Note: i) Use the space given below for your answcrs. ii) Check your answers with those given at tlie end of tlie i~nit.

I ) List the core agencies of the U.N. worlii~~g for disasters mitigation.

2) lBRD stands for:

a) International Bank for Rural Development

b) International R u r e a ~ for ~ Reconstr~lction and Developrncnt

c) Internationa.1 Bank for Reco~lstructionand Development.

d) International Bank for Recoustnlction Development.

3) Mention tlie salient feat~~ses of Govern~nent's Policy for international assista~lce in the event of disaster.

Disaster Management: Role of V a r i o ~ r s Agencies


When a major disaster strikes, it becomes very difficult for the country to manage the rescue and relief worlc and consequent rehabilitation on its own. In such a situation, the assistance of international agencies is required, pal-ticularl~ in developing countries. With the illcreasing recognitioli of the iniportance of disaster related matters, more and niore agencies are now providing aid in this field. There are four major types of international agencies active in disaster management. They interact with the national and state/goveri~inentsand get an idea of the alnount of lnoney and type'of material that are required immediat~l~. Many of the international agencies worlc in close colijunction with the NonGoverll~ne~ltal Organisations (NGOs).


Self-coping Infrastructural Reconnaissance Transnational Traumatised
To be able to manage by itself Collective term for fixed installations including roads, commu~iicatio~~s, bridges, etc. Process of surveying or inspection or gatliering informat1011 Across nations Upset, shocked


Carter, W.N. (199 1 ), Disaster Management; A Disaster Manager 's Handbook, Asian Developlne~~t Bank, Manila. The Institution of Civil Engineers (1 9 9 9 , Mega Cities; Reducing Vulnerability to Natural Disasters, Tlioinas Telford, London.


Check Your Progress 1
1) Your answer sliould include the followi~ig points: Pre-disaster stage Respo~ise Operations stage Recovery Programmes stage Future Development stage
2) Your answer slio~lldinclude the following points:

Financial grants or credits; Building Materials; Technical Equipment; Agriculture Rehabilitation, Food for Work.

Check Your Progress 2



1) Your answer sliould include following points: a UN-DHA, UN-FAO, UNESCO, UNDP

2) Your answer should include the followirlg points:


Internationnl Agertcies

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

3) Your answer should include the following points:

e e e

Government of India's Policy is not to ask for external assistance If aid comes voluntarily, it is accepted as token of international solidarity Cash aid goes to PM's National Relief Fund and material aid S I I O L I I ~ be ro~~te through d Indian Red Cross

26.0 Ol~jectives 26.1 I~itrocl~~ction 26.2 Impo~-tance and Role of Media
26.2.1 26.2.2 26.2.3
I~ili~rmative Suggest~ve Analytical

26.3 26.4 26.5 26.6 26.7

Facti~al and Etliical Reporting Let 11sSutn UP ICcy Words Referenccs and Further Readings Answer to Check Your Psogress Exercises


After reading this unit, you will bc able to iders erst and and discuss the following: What is Media? The importance and role of Meclia in a disaster siluation; The types of Media and l~owto malce tlie riglit kitid of klioice bctwee~i different Media available; and How the facts are reported by Media during and after a disaster situation?



Media is usually clefilied as impe~.sonal means of com~nunication by ~vliicli written, visual or auditory or sometimes a combination of sucli messages are transmitted directly to tlie audiences". In simpler terms, the word media denotes the means of cornmu~iicai.ion with large nu~iiber of people spread over communities, cities or countries through written or pritited word or sound and voice or visual images 01- a combination o r these. By the definition itself, we understand r.liat media is an organised means df reacliing large number of people, quickly, timely effectively arid ei'ficiently. There are two main clial~acteristicsof media,

i) It can reach nill lions of people in slio~-t time; eve11insta~itaneously.

ii) Audio media transceods the limits of illiteracy and tlie visual liiedia call be effective in a rnultilingual society as well.

iii) It is cost effective and generally user-friendly.

iv) Generally, media provide one way communication i t . to the receiving people.

Television, radio, ~~ewspaper, magazines, audio atid video as well as movies are exarnples of media. These are very ilsefi~lin the rnultilingual traditional and largely i l literate society in India.
,Types of Media : Media may be of various 161icI;but in disaster management,' following types of ~ned ia are important: /'


Print Media - Print Media (newspapers etc.) have made tremendous progress in India since 1780, when the first Indian newspaper 'The Bengal , Gazette' appeared. After Independence, tlie mass media assumed great . significance. As per official records, more than 25000 different newspapers, , magazines and bulletins are being publislied from various states in the cou~itry i n various larrguages.

ii) Broadcast Media - They comprise radio and television. Mcssages are
transmitted by thcsc media through satellite and received by viewers and rcwch listeners at clistant places of thc country very quickly. Raclio atid T.V. tilore number of people than print media. In disaster \vasning and crcating awareness. broadcast media are most effective especially a largc multilingual country like India with low levcl of literacy. Broaclcast media are sometimes termed as Elcclronic Media although the latter term would iliclude audio video cassettes.

iii) Display Media - This comprises the following:

a) Hoardings or Billboards 01. illuminated signs which can bc clisplaycd at busy public places like bus stands, railway stations, parks, etc. b) Wall paintings and posters on common places including railway stations, airposls psovicling specific awareness.
c) Small panels on lamp posts compartrncnts, taxis etc. d) Banners e) Window displays

inside or outside buscs, railway


Sky balloons in trade fairs

g) Small handbills, leafets. 11) Exhibitions and Fairs where special pavilions may be arranged to deal with the theme of disaster management.


i) Use tlie space givc~i below for your answers. ii) Chech your answers with tliose givcn nt the cncl of'llic nil.

1) Defirie Media and menlion its two characteristics.

2) Nai~ie various types of Media generally used?


Disaster Management: of Various Agencies


Media has a very important role in disaster management. In this context, it' performs rnajor fi~nctions mentioned below: i) Surveillallce of the environment, which means collection ancl distribution ~ inumber ~ent. of information concerning events in the c I i m a t e / e ~ ~ v i r o ~ ~A of climatic information is potentially related to the nati~raldisasters, which can be com~nunicated regularly and Inore freqi~ently at the time of disaster. The best example is cyclone, Media can play a very important role in dissemination of infor-mation SLICII as formation of depression on the sea, its movement towards the coast, areas lil;ely to be affected, etc. ii) Disaster Awareness Eclucation to the masses can be given by niedia. " Today we have about 50% illiterate people in India but most of them do have access to radio or television. iii) Long term preparedness and mitigation strategies can be explained effectively to tlie masses through various media. iv) Media I~elp in policy formulation by co~iducting public debate or surveys or polls.

Why Media Covers Disaster News?

This is because disasters are i~ni~si~al, sudden events which cause enormous loss of lives and property. It brings many dramatic anci traumatic stories. It depends on how the news is delivered by tlie journalists. Most of tlie time they try to find fault in provicling relief to the victims and highlighting the impact on affected community. So~neti~nes these news encourage international fundraising and create more public sympathy for the affected people. the amount, depth and period of coverage will depend on the scale and freq~~erlcy of the disaster, the speed with which the infonnation can be obtained, and the a n ~ o ~ lof n t interest in tlie public on tlie sub.jcct. TIie rnedia have a strong i~ilpacton the perception of and reponse to disasters. Tlius role of media in a disaster is multipurpose and can be broadly classlied in three categories:

a) Informative
b) Suggestive c) Analytical

26.2.1 Informative Role

Media can play informative role in all the three situations:



ii) At the time of disaster; and iii) Post-disaster In Pre-disaster situation, knowledge of disaster vulnerability of the community is very important. In monsoon season, rainfall predictions, water level in different rivers, water flow rate, possible breach of embankment etc. are the pieces of infonnation extremely i~sefi~l for the people living in the highly vulnerable areas. Media can highlight some of tlie important ~nitigation ineasures, which community should take up in the vulnerable zones of a 11atural disaster.

Similarly, some of tlie success stories of water-shed management in drought mitigation, can be useful in other drouglit affected areas of tlie country. Himalayan region is highly vultierable to a nulnber of natural disasters (viz. Earthquake, Landslides, Flash Floods, Avalanches etc.). A concept of ~nvironmenta~ protection, ecological balance and sustainable development in tllis region will celtainly help in disaster reduction in tlie region. Awareness in tliis regard can be generated by media 011 ly tlirougli informative reporting. AL tlie time of disaster, accurate information sliould be the first ailn of a journalist. It needs cooperation between local officials and media. Most of tlie tinie tlie local officials are unable or ~lnwillingto give information, because of selisitivity or seci~rityreasons or tlie news is still unconfirmed. I n sucli cases journalist sliould depend on reliable sources/agencies working in relieflor unbiased local community so tliat right information Iiiay reacli tlie people and other lisltiolial and international agencies. However, the media lias to ensure balanced reporting so as to avoid unnecessary panic and rumours.

In post-disaster situation, informative role of tlie media is to provide correct information about tlie continuing impacts of tlie disaster and tlie actual needs of tlie affected people so tliat tlie rehabilitation and reconstruction programmes call be tailored accordingly, The media helps to keep a check 011 various agelicies wliicli undertake reliabilitatioli programmes.

26.2.2 Suggestive Role

In a disaster situation, there could be many mitigation measures available, Sornetirnes it is difficult to find out tlie most suitable option for tlie specific disasier. For example, Flood is a very.comnion natural disaster. There are nwny states wliicli are prone to this disaster like Assam, U.P. Bihar, and West Bengal. In this context, media lias a significalit role in providing silitable suggestiolis for political attention and public illiderstanding for most acceptable options. Similarly, media lias a role in checking activities whicli lniglit aggravate tlie adverse impacts ofdisasters. In tlie process of rehabilitation and reconstruction, media call be used to muster expel? opillioli and solutions, e.g,

models of lloi~ses suitable building material suitable topograplly for building new houses Do's and Doli't in the constrilction work.

Similar suggestions can be provided in tlie retrofitting of weaker structures and houses in tlie ea~tliquake vulnerable areas.

26.2.3 Analytical Role

.The lnost critical role of media is analytical. This approach can be applied in analysis of


disaster preparedness disaster mitigation disaster relief disaster rehabilitation

- .-

Disaste~. Management: Role o f Various Agericies

There are preparedness plans for each disaster, After the disaster, the effectiveness of plan and lessons learnt from the disaster should be analysed in a constructive way. It will certainly improve the plan for future use. Similarly, if there are different mitigation approaches used by Government and nonGovernmental Organisations, the media can highlight both and strive to evolve a balance of approach. This type of success stories can be replicated in other parts in similar situations. of tlie cou~itry The analytical role of media is specially llelpful in rehabilitation and reconstruction work after landslide or eartliqualte disaster. The Latur earthquake rehabilitation of more than 50 villages is a good example of this kind. The media can give views of various role players about the success or failure of their prcigramme so that it can be a lesson for tlie authorities and the mistakes committed once are not repeated in similar circumstances.


Sincere journalists try to give accurate facts and figures. They try to get quick access to the disaster area and the affected people and follow all norms and ethics or faithful repo~ti~ig witliout fear or favour. Olhers ~niglitbe interested in "news" or "stories", and might co~icenlrateon failures only. Such repoitage might produce a saleable copy but most of tlie time it does not yield productive results. ~ e w s ~ i p e reporting rs of a disaster is very interesting. Suppose, tliere is an earthquake which has killed a few hundred or few tliousand persons. It will be a front page news. Or a cyclone killing tliousand persons will get front page coverage. On the second day, tlie news will be on tlie third or forth page, about the rehabilitation work and respollse from various sectioils of the society. If there is a VIP visit in the area, news may again come on tlie front page on tlie third/fourtli day of disaster. After that generally there is no follow up. There are no expert analyses. Media lias great responsibility pa~ticularlyin disaster situations. The ethical part is equally significant in reporting a disaster. In a riot situation or comniunity violence, how to give correct news in a way that it does not hurt senti~ne~its of any section of tlie society is very important.

Check Your Progress 2 Note: i) Use tlie space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at tlie end of tlie unit.

1) How media can be informative in disaster situation?

2) Wliat are inajor fu~ictions that media perform in disaster management?


3) Explain the analytical role of media in any disaster situation?


The term "Media" has been explained highlighting the cl~aracteristics,Types of media have been described and their major fi~nctionsin the context of disaster management have been discussed. The itnportauce and role of media at various stages of disaster maliagement have been brought out. Finally, the need for factual and ethical reporting of disaster situations liase been emphasized.



Audience Auditory Campaigii Surveillance Circulation Coverage Transcends
refers to the people who see or hear o; read the messages in the media. pertaining to the sense of hearing. refers to a planned programme of communication using media during a specified period. close watch number of copies of a newspapers or magazines sold per day or per month. nuniber of persons from target audience that see, Iiear or read the message rises above Very Important Person



Ten lakli or a tliousand thousand

Disaster Management: Role o f Various Agencies



Sharma, S.C., 1987, Media, Communication and Development; Rawat Publications, Jaipur. Golding, Peter, 1974, The Mass Media, London, Longman. Kuppuswamy, B., 1976, Communication and Social Development in India, Sterling Publisher Pvt. Ltd. The Educational Use of Mass Media, 198 1, World Bank Staff Working Paper No. 491, World Bank Publications.

WorldDisaster Report, 1993, International Federation of Red Cross a'iid Crescent Societies, Geneva.


Check Your Progress.1

1) Your answer sliould iliclude the following points:


Media are tlie means of communicating with a large liulnber of people tlirough printed word, or voice or visual images or a combination of these.

Characteristics of media are: d) Message can reach niillioris of people quickly. e) Even illiterate people can benefit from radio and TV; and

f) Media provide oiily one way coln~nilliication to tlie receiving people.

2) Your answer should include:

Print Media, Broadcast Media; and Display Media,

Check Your Progress 2

1) Your answer should include the followiiig points:


By highlighting the successful mitigation measures and the earlier success stories of pre-disaster measures. By providing accurate and unbiased news coverage during disaster situations. x By highlighting tlie continuing long term impacts in tlie post-disaster situation and the needs of tlie affected people,

2) Your answer should include the following points: Surveillance of the environment Disaster awareness education Informing the public about strategies for long term preparediiess and ' mitigation against disasters. Help

policy formulation through public debates, surveys or polls.

3) Your answer should include the following points:


Analytical role of media is very important because it enables through testing the effectiveness of a disaster management plan and makes it possible to undertake the necessary review and revision of the existing plans. The analytical role of media is equally applicable to all stages of a disaster inanagement plan such as the preparedness, mitigation, rescue, relief and rehabilitation. The analysis by the media should be unbiased and constructive.

-- -


Block Introduction
This is the first Block of tlie Course on Disaster Management: Methods and Techniques (CDM-02). It lias four Units. The block provides a detailed i~nderstanding of the occurrelice of tlie four ~iiajor disasters i.e. earthquake, flood, cyclone, drought by d them, the gover~imentpolicy perlaining to provision of and famine, damage c a ~ ~ s e relief and rehabilitation and ol.lier related aspects.

UNIT 1 Earthquake
Earthquake is one of the most dangerous and instantaneously destructive natural hazards. A large portion of India is vnlnerable to eartliqualte activity of varying magnitude particularly i l l tlie Northern I-limalayan region. This unit focuses on their impact on the life and property of tlie people, with pa~ticularreference to some recent ea~tliqi~akes i l l the country. V a r i o ~ ~ relief s and rehabilitation measures are discussed. The unit also highlights tlie lessons learnt from tlie past experiences so as to ensure earthquakes II-e to minimize the res~~llant damage. better handling of ~ L I ~ L

UNIT 2. Flood and Drainage

Flood and drainage congestion are the phenomena of nature that have caused great llavoc of disaster dimensions in India. The unit identifies the major flood prone areas in India, tlie extent of the vulnerability and damage expe~.iencedin tlie past due to floods and drainage congestion. It higliliglits the main tlir~~sf of flood management efibl-ts and tlie struct~~ral as also lion-structural measures to deal with floods. The unit also brings forth tlie lessons learnt from previous experiences in Ilandling floods that w o ~ ~ prove l d lielpful in future.



Tliis ~111it examines, in brief, the three major cyclones that wreaked Ilavoc in India in tlie recent years. Tliis includes the infamous super cyclo~ie of 1999 that struck Orissa. An analysis of tlie extent of damage caused by cyclones has been atlempted. The role of different administrative"agencies in providing tlic relief and rehabilitation has also been discussed.


Drought and Famine

Dro~~gllt and Famine have devastating lo~ig term el'fects on the ecoliolny leading to problems like social and economic destabilization, epidemics, malnutrition and migration. Tl~is unit analyses the damage caused by drought in India with particular reference to tlie two recent major dro~~gllts that have occurred in 1982 and 1987. It Ibcuses on various components of relief and rehabilitation measures. The government policy towards droi~glit management with its emphasis 011 integrated disaster preparedness is discussed. This unit attempts to develop a clear understanding of tlie lessons learnt fiom handling the earlier sit~~ations that woi~ld facilitate further improvements in drought Inanagement.

1.0 1.1 1.2 Objcctives Ilitroduction Some Damaging Earthquakes in India - An Overview
1.2.1 Uttarkashi Earthquake 1.2.2 L,atur Earthquake 1.2.3 BI1u.i Earthq~~ake

1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8

Lessons ~earnt'from tlie Past Experiences Government Action Pertaining to Relief and Rehabilitation Let Us Sum Up I<eyWords References and Further Readings Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit, you sliould be able to:

(Iisc~~ss some of tlie damaging earthquakes that have occurred i n recent years in India; describe tlie important aspects of rescue and relief in I.lie areas affected by earthquake; liigliliglit the lessons learnt from these earthquakes and identify tlie seisniic zones in-the country ; and unclerstand tlic goveniment action pertaining to relief and reliabilitation.



Eal-tliquakesare one of the niost dangerous and instantaneously destructive natural hazards. The impact of the eartliquake plienomenol~is sudden wit11 llardly any warning. It is not possible to forecast earthquakes in terms of exact time of occurrence, place of occurrence and magnitude of tlie event. Thus, such a situation gives no time for lnakilig preparatioiis at that stage to reduce tlie loss of lives and property. Tlie ~iiajor damage in case of earthquake takes place in ternis of collapse of buildings and daniage to infrastruct~~ral facilities, disrupting the nornial life., Electric sliort circuits and gas leaks can create big fires and broken water lnai~is ancl damaged water tanks can lead to severe flooding compounding llie misery of tlie affected community. A large portion of our cou~itry is vul~ierable to earthquake activity of varying magnitudes. Most of tlie liiglily vulnerable areas are in the Hi~nalayanand sub-Hi~iialayan~.egio~is, Andalnan and Nicobar Islands and Kutch area of Gujarat. These areas have faced at least six earthquakes of ~nagnitude 8+ on tlie Richter scale in the period of recorded history of eartliquakes in tlie country. Tlie nature atid impact of earthquake disaster is dependent upon a number of factors including its magnitude, geological and soil conditions, location of fault, construction of major structures and prevaili~ig construction practices in tlie particular areas. Tlie occurrence of eartliquakes of significance is increasingly felt even in regioiis that were earlier considered less vulnerable to earthquakes. For exa~nplc, tlie Latur eartliq~~ake o f Scptenlber 30, 1993, occurred in seismic zolie one. As per the seismic zone map of the country, this area was considered to be less active seismically. On tlie other hand, tlie devastating eartllquake at Bliuj (eljarat) on January 26, 2001 occurred in a highly prone area. Thus, no place seems to be fiee from tlie fear of eartliquakes, big or small. Hence it is essential to have a good understanding of this phenomenon in the Indian cpntext.



Earthquakes are categorized according to their magnitude in five categories as foIlows: Less than 3
il.1 magnitude:

Mild, micro or tremor;

3 to 4.9: sliglit;
5 to 6.9: moderate; 7 to 7.9: great; and

8 or more: very great

India has a very long history of ea~-tIiqualces.The occurrence of earthquake is riot a new phe~iome~ion for most of the northern parts of our count~y. In the past we have already faced some major earthquakes like Rann of Kutch ( 1 81 9) magnitude 8.0, Assa~n(1897) magnitude 8.7, Kangra (H.P.) (1905) magnitude 8.0, BiliarNepal border (1934) magnitude 8.4, Andaman Islands (1941) magnitude 8.0 and Assall1 (1950) magnitude 8.6. Besides these major earthqualces, a large nuruber of other moderate and minor earthquakes have been experienced in dirferent parts of the country. In the recent past, India experienced rnajor earthquakes at Uttarkaslii (1991), L a t ~ (1993) ~r and Jabalpur (1 997), Cliamoli (1999) and Blii!i (2001). In this section we will discuss in detail g few oftliese recent earthquakes.

1.2.1 Uttarkashi Earthquake

Table 1: Fact Sheet of Uttarkashi Earthquake
Magnitude oL'tlie Earthquakc Date of occurrence Focal depth Epicenter 'rime ~f occurrence People killed People in-jured Cattle head lost Houses fully destroyed I-louses partially damaged Villages affected 6.6 o n Richter Scale
20 October, I99 l
12 km

Village Agora (30.7' N, 78.68" E) 02 1 53 In 16 s

a) Seismic History of the Region The earthquake affected area has a ltnown Iiistory of earthcluake occurrence. In the last 100 years, this region had experie~iced about eleven ea~-tIiq~iakes of ~nag~iitude ranging 6.0 and 6.6 on Richter scale. The retwrn period for the earthquake of similar magnithde is about 8-9 years. Tile entire area is i~nder seismic zones 1V and V with a Iiiglie~~vulnerability for seismic losses. Widespread damage took place due to this earthquake. The detailed breakup of the damage under various categories grouped by Districts is given in Table 2.

Table 2: Damage Due to Uttailcashi Earthquake 1991

I District I Affected I Affected I Dasagcd Houscs

1 I 1 , ;1 , '
~ i l ~ a g e s Population (No.)

Human s e ;;

F m1


(in Iakh)

Ckamoli I)chladun


0.72 0.02 0.0 1

573 26

452 449



1 16

h ~ ~ ~ r i 72 (iarl~\val Nainital Total

2003 4.25

2 20222

4 44643 718 4774

Source: Deplt. Of IZeven~~e il~ldRelief, Govl, of U.I', Apri1.1994


Damage to BuildingsNouses:

'The buildings/lioi~sesin the ea~thquakeaffected area can be classified into' (a) engineered and (b) nou-engineered structures. It has been observecl that tlie perfor~nance of these two types of buildings during the eartliquake was different. Tlie non-engineered buildings fou~id throughoi~ttlie ri~ralareas and tlie old stone buildings ill thc towns suffered severe damage. The engineered buildings were also there in the earthquake affected area such as the buildings in the irrigation project colony at Maneri and Indo -Tibetan Border Police Colotiy at Maliitanda. Buildings in both these coloni& faced the eardl1 quakc in A very safe manner and suffered no darnage, except for minor cracks in tlie buildings that were observed.
ii) Damage to Infrastructural Facilities




Large scale damage to infrastructural facilities took place in tlie eal-tliquakeaffected area. The damage to roads was due to roclcfall. landslides and rock-slides along tlie road side slopes causing heavy damage to road ~ietworkin the earthquake affected areas. T11e other services like communicatio~inetwork and power supply system were affected very badly due to the severe damage to telephone and electric poles. 111case of social infrastructure, tlie bu i Id ings that house health and education facilges had suffered damage. Tlie surface water tanks at Uitarkashi and Maneri did not suffer any damage, however, the joiilts in tlie piped supply lines failed clue to ground shaking, resulting in clisruption of the water si~pply in certain areas for quite some time. iii) Damage to Bridgcs: Due to difficult terrain a large number of bridges were located to cross the rivers and deep river valleys ~tlirougliout the hilly area. Tlie performance df steel bridges was found satisfactory except the Cawana bridge 01.1 the road to Cangotri about six km. from Uttarkaslii. The stone

nlaso~lr-y tower suspension foot bridge suffered slight to me/dium cla~nages.

It was quilt a di1'f;cull tash for lllc aclnl~nrstratio~~ to orgalllse re1 icr \vorl<just

ci~~ toc Iicavy damage to roads, co~nmunicalionnetworl\ after tlie eartliq~~al\c and bridges etc. 7.11~ p~,i~n issue c r~~volved in the Iirst stage of rescue and relief was to reacli tlie al'l'ectcd \,illage w~itllIieccssary rclief rtiilterials like food, watln clolhes. meclici~~cs elc. For this purpose, the army and other para rnililnry forccs like Bo~.clcrSecurity Force (BSF), [ndo l'ibelan Border Police (1'1'131-') along\vith llic sclviccs o r 1)ircctorate Ge~leral for Border Roads (DGUR) we1.c pressccl ink) scr\/icc. A largc number o f other social groups l ilcc NC'C cadets, N SS volunteers, l'asli 1:or.ce of Uttarltashi admin istmt ion and several NGCIs also carnc forward lo llelp the local adminisll-ation ill the rescue ant1 relief operations. T o reacll 111c i~laccessiblevillages, the services of five heavy and seven light nrlny lielicoptcrs werc i~tiliscd i~nniedialelyafter the en~-thclual~c. 'I'he DGI3R tool< up the cllalle~ige of repairi~igthe damaged roads on a war fooling. 'The government p~ovidcd food itenis lilcc flour, pulses, rice, season was approaching fast, oil. sugar, milk, slicecl bread etc. As the ~vinler it was not possiblc to 1.econstrucl all damagecl houses; Iie~iceco~nmunity centres were inlmcclialcly constructccl lo provicle sheller lo llle affected communily. Besides Ihc conl~nunil:, ccnlrcs, lin sheels, tarpnline and tents alo~lg~1111 blanlcels were clistribulcd ficc of cost to protect people liom the colcl. Tlie clistrict wisc clislribution ofthese items is givcn in tlie Table 3. Table 3: Distrib~rtiotiof Rclief Materials

Tin Slicets


BI:in ltets

Source: D c p : ~ ~ . t ~ iul'l<c\u~iuc ic~i~ ant1 Rulicl: Govt of C1.P. 1,ucl~now

To proviclc i.clief to the people. who had lost every thi~ig as a result of this earthqualie. the government had i s s ~ ~ eorders d lo pay each family Rs.7501Later on, this amount per nio~llh from November.1991 lo J a ~ ~ u a r y 1992. , was raised to Rs.30001- per fhm ily. Tliis amount incluclecl the cost of 20 kg. of foocl iterns, one blanket per persvli upto a ~ila>tirnum of 5 blanl<cls per fanlily and a cash subsicly of Rs. 2001- per. unit per family.
a) Reconst~-uction of Eal.tIiqual<c Affected Area

In orrlel. to reconstruct the houses which had bcc11 clamaged conlplelely by the cartliqual<e, a detailed district wise schcmc was clrawn up. The finances for this sche17:c werc proci~~.ecl from I-IUDCO and undcr Indira Awas Yojna. The details of the reconstri~ctionand the progress reported i ~ p t o April 1994 is ~ i v e n in 'T'ahlc 4.


District Houses Constructetl



1 1798

Houses Under :;;structi::~

Indira Awas Yojlia I-louses Houses Construcled Under Co~lntr~~ction




0 ' 15520 26

Source: [)cpilrtn1cnlol'Revcnuc al~d IiclieE (jovt, ol'U.1'. Luclinow

1.2.2 Latur Earthquake

An earthquake of moderate ~nagnitudeof 6.4 (on liichtel3 scale) s t r ~ ~ cthe k Marathwada region of Maharaslitra state on 30"' Seplembei. 1993. The impact of this eartliqualte was felt in the adjoining states of Andhra Psaclesli and I<asnatal<a also. In all, eight districls in Maharaslitra and three districts in I(arnalal<a have been affected. Flowever, the severely ail'ected arcas were mainly tlle Latur ancl Osmanabad districts of Maliataslitta. Tlie total asca arrecled clue to this earthquake is given in Table 5. was about 52,000 sq. lim. Tlie fact sheet of the earllicl~ral<c

a) Seismic I-Iistoryof tlie Region

The ma.jor portion of tlie earthqual<e af'fected area lies in zone one of llie seismic zone {nap of Inctia. Accordingly, prior to tliis earthquake this area was considered relatively safe from tlie estrtliclualtc 11oint"of view because geologically speaking, it was located in a stable continental region (SCR). The village I(illari, where the impact of tlic earthquake was most severe, had earlier also, prior to tliis cnstliq~~ake cxperienccd s~nalltremors in 1962, In 1 992, about 125 tcrmors wcse felt betwecn A L I ~ L I S ~ 1967. 1983 ancl 1992. and October 1 8- 1 9,1992. Damage due l o Latur Earthqualte Widespread damage toolc place due to this ea~.thquake. A b o ~ 25 ~ t villages around the epicenter of tlie earthquake were damaged very scverely wliile anollies 58 villages surfercd severe damages. The enlirc region liacl a traditional systcm of dwelling nit construction which involved heavy stone walls, and a massive roof over the wooden timber sub-structure. The wall has bcen corlstructecl in such a manner that it could not resist tlie impact of any cal-thqualcc. During tlie eal-thqualce most of the houses were destroyed causing clcalli of people in large numbers as also a wide spread cla~nagcto installations and properties in the auected areas as indicated in Table 5.

I i

Table 5: Fact Sheet of Latur Eal-thqual~e

1 5.4 on Ricliler Swle


Focal tlepth Epicenter

Time o f occurrence Pcople killed Cattle head,tost , ' Houses I'ully clamagecl Houses partially damaged Villages atfected AFFected property

Scp. 30.1993 15Km. Villagc Killari (76.34'13. 18.03"N) 311, 55111.47.5 S 9484 14845 343 13 1b.5 lakh 95,8 30000

lncrensed Understanding
of Disasters I

Besides the housing, other infrastr~~clural facilities also received severe damages. The infrastructural losses i~lcurred in the two worst affected districts of Lati~r and Osmanabad are show11in Table 6. Table 6: Infrastructl~ral losses due to Latur Earthquake
Types of Infrastructure Amount Lost (Rs. in Million)

Electric Instz~lletion Water Supply System School buildi~igs

Smaj Mandirs

Health Depa~lrnent Buildings

PWD Buildings
Gram Palchayat Buildings Total
81.54 139.40

Source: Government of Mahnnslitra Rehabilitation Proposals

b ) Rescue and Relief:

In the aftermatll of the eartllquake an overwhelming response by was noticed. administration, voluntary organisatiolis and local coln~ni~nity Army services were pressed into action for the rescue operation. This involved clearance of rubble, rescuing the i~ljured,re~noval and cremation of dead bodies. The army p6rsonnel had succeeded in rescuing about 9000 people. Along with the treatment of injured , medical teams were deputed to take up the preventive measures against the spread of any epidemic. Provisions were made for temporary relief shelters to tlie survivors of the eal-thquake. These shelters were made up of G.1. (galvanized iron) sheeted roofs over the bamboo or wooden frames. About 30,000 families were provided the temporary slielters in tlie two worst affected districts of Lati~r and Osmanabad.

c) Rehabilitation of Earthq uake Affected Area:

The Government of Maharashtra had started a very ambitious programme for the rehabilitation of the earthquake affected area. The Maharashtra Earthquake Reconstruction Project (1993) was one of the most comprehensive. reconstruction and mitigation projects ever taken up in India. It enco~npassed all aspects of complete rehabilitation. This programme llacl the followillg yomponents.

Housing Construction and Repair Under the'rehabilitation programme, about 49 villages were rehabilitated on new sites with 23000 houses and all necessary iufrastructi~re and amenities. About 29,600 houses were reconstructed while 1,80,000 houses were retrofitted, for better earthquake resistance.

ii) Infrastructure
This comprise'd repair, reconstruction and strengthening of public buildings and other infrastructure including scl~ools, health centres, social service fac,ilities, roads, bridges, etc. .

iii) Econornic Rehabilitation

Tliis included the replace~nc~it and reconstruction on a grant basis, of business Iosses/agricultllral losses like minor equipment, bulloclts, milcll cattle. sheep, goats and repair and reconstsuction of dry wells. iv) Social Rc1iabilitatio1-r Undcr this head provision was ~nacle for special facilities and activities to adclress tlie weds of wonlen and cliildren affected by tlie eartliq~~ake alo~ig with tlie impl-ovenient of various facilities in all the affected districts. The restoratio~i of various social facilities have been t;iI<en up like old age Iiomes, balika sadans, homes for liandicapped, community centres for women etc.

v) Commt~nity Rehabilitation
Under this, provisions were made for tlie cost of worlcs and materials to re-establish essential services within tlie affected community. vi) Technical Assistance, Trailling and Equipment Under this tlie provisions were for design, supervision and monitoring of projecl components. The component also includcd tlic develop~ne~it of a disaster ~iianagement programme for tlie statc of Maharaslitra and o seis~i~ic ~no~iitoring and research programme for thc Governmen1 of [ndia.

1.2.3 Bhuj Earthq~~alce

on January 26, 2001, when tlie nation had just started tlie Republic Day celebrations. a dcvnslating earthquake struck near Bliuj in the I~acliclil~ region of Gu-jarat a~.ound 0845 liours ill thc morning. The magnitude oftliis eart,liquakewas 6.9 on the Richter scale and it was tlie borderline earthqual<e between tlie "nioderate" and "great" categories. 1-lilting a prosperous region of tlie country, its impacts were truly disastsous. 'The fact slieet is as in Table 7 below.
Table 7: Fact Sheet of Bl~uj Earthquake
Magnitl~tll: ofthc earlhrluakc 1)atc of occurrence

6.9 on Richter Scale

January 26.200 1


I 1

.. I IIIIC~1'0cc~1rrc11cc

23.40"~. 70.28'8 (near Ullnchao in Bh~!i district


IJeoplckilled Cattle I1,ead lost

18250 More than 20,000

I 1 louses destroyed
tlouses damaged Villages atl'ected

1 310657
524929 3825

'The destruction would have been much Illore but for theY'acts tliat Bhuj is a co~nparativelyless populated area, tlie ea~tli~uake 01-iginated at a relatively deeper focus (25 km as compared to the focal depth of 12 km in Uttarkaslii eartliquake and 15 Ian in the Latur ea~thquake), and it occurred at a time when everybody was

awake and most were in the open. Nevertheless, this q~ialteis tlie worst in the countly in rccent decades in terms of the persons ltilled and i~ijurecl.Gt~jarat being tlie seco~idmost industrializecl state in the country tool<a heavy beating in terms of adverse socio-econo~nicimpacts but it also had tlie resilience and tlie will to meet the emergency. The f'amous C~LI-jarati pli i lantliropy and an abundance of goodwill from across the country channelled relief supplies and services to augment tlie effo~lsof the central and state governments. Tlie international aid from govel.nmentaI and non-governmental sources also came in abundance. The devastation was considerable in Ahmedabad the biggest city and the commercia1 and educational capital of the state although it was located km from the epicenter. It was apparent that many multi-storied bt~ildings were constructed in defiance of tlie engineering norms and land-use regulations. Tlie initial estimates put tlie total property loss in Gujarat due to this earthquake at arouncl Rs. 15,0001- crore.

Checlc Your Progress 1

i) Use the space given below for your answers ii) Clieclc your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.

I) I-liglilight the damage occurred due to tlie Uttarltaslii Earthquake to buildings, inli.astructura l facilities and bridges. .

2) How y a s the rescue and relief organised in the areas tiffected by the

3) List the main components of the Maliaraslltra Earthquake Reconstruction Project laundied in 1993.



The lnost impor-tant lesson learnt by sti~dying the past occurrences o f earthquakes is that it has beco~llepossible to delilieable seismic zones in the country as shown
in Fig. 1 .


Fig. 1, Seismic Zones

It will be seen that the country is divided into five seismic zones with zon 5 being the most vulnerable.


The olhel- important less011 kom .recent studies is that these appears to be all increase in the occurrence of eal-lliquakes in recent years although there is no apparent scientific reason for this. If we take into accoulit the earttiquakes of magnitudes 6.0 and niore i.e. those earthquakes that caused damage to life and property, India has experienced one such earthquake once in two years during the last 14 years. On the other liand during the years (1950-75), there was one such eartllqi~ake in 6 years. In the period before such earthquakes occurred rougllly once ;il 13 years during the 1 30 years
On tlie disaster man&ement side also, if we take care of the various lessons learnt

froni the past earthquakes, we can minimise considerably tlie damage resulting from future earthquakes. Tile following are a few poiuts which emerged as a result of a study of past earthquakes.


Disaster Management evident that tlie preparation to face tlie After every eartliqualte, il bcco~nes calaniity is almost negligible. This fact lias been faced again and again. In order to avoid SLICII situations after tlie occurrence of eartliqualtes, we must start the requisite preparatio~is for facing the event. We can achieve this tlirough "action plans" prepared for different regions of the co~~ntry. These plans ~iiustbe tested for their effective firnctioning and ln~lstbe evaluated and updated Iregil larly accol.dilig to tlie changing requirements.

i i)

After every earthquake, a lot of relief material is sent by various voluntary P SO LIPS, adniinistration etc. Lac/( of coordination in the collection and proper distribution of such relief materials is very commonly felt after evely eartliqualte. Meclianism lias to be developed to ellsure proper distribution of relief material. Tlie narrow streets of tlie affected areas get blocked by tlie debris, on one hand arid on preventing the escape routes for tlie affected co~nmunity the other, Iianiperi~ig the rescuc and relief operations during tlic emergency period. Similarly, tlie approacli roads get blocked due to landslide and bridge failure in the aftermath of the ear-tliqualte i l l Iiilly regions. Alternative ~iietliods/tecliniq~~cs milst be identified for pi-oviding the necessary relief niaterials like food, clothes. meclicine, evacuation of iliji~recl, etc. People do not I ~ I I O W aclequately about the eal-tliquake resistant features in house constr~~ction as well as the necessary precautions to be taken during the dif'er.ent stages of earthclualte mariagement. For achieving this, awar.cness calilpaigns Iiave to be started 011a vely large scale. Awareness and sensitization process slioulcl start from schools and through Panchayats ancl NClOs. I-Ioose Construction Builclings with light weight buildilig materials like timber, bamboo etc., performed better than tlie heavy material buildings like stone, brick etc. Helice, to improve tlie performance of buildings, light weight hilildillg materials should be adopted.




Tlie performance of bui Id ings witli irregular layo~~ts is not satisfactory during tlie ear-tliqualtes, so buildiligs with simple, r e g ~ ~ l a layoi~ts r must be constl-~~cted. The perforriiance of lion-engineered buildings was not found satisfactory during tlie eal-tliquakes. So, the buildings should be designed by qua1ified engineers and tlie construction of thcse b~lildiligs shoilld be done as per tlie provisions in the code. It lias bee11estimated that colistr~lcting an eartliquake resistant buildirig adds o~ily about 10% to tlie construction cost o f a building. Tlie collapse of lieavy roofs is one of tlie major causes for heavy loss of lives during tlie earthquakes. So, tlie light material roofs witli proper con~iections to the wall systclirs must be adopted. Tlie perforrnance ol'properly laid RCC slabbed roofs was foulid quite satisfactory. If possible, RCC slabs must be provided for roofs.



Disaster management is. the responsibility of the state governments in India. Every state has fralncd regulations to provide relief and rehabilitatioli- to the affected community during and aftcr the disaster situations.

The basic pllrpose of relief measures taken up by the state gover.~ilnentis to provide immediate relief to the affected coln~nunitynot cotnpensating fi~lly for the losses incurred due to natural calamity. In case of earthquakes, the relief measures in terms of econornic help can be taken LIP under the following heads: i) ii) iii) iv)


damaged crops cattle loss clothes and i~tensils ex-gratia payment to tlie next of kin of the deseased persons and also to the i~ij used injured persons provision for free food in the tetnporary relief camps damaged agricultural implements

vi) vii)

viii) damaged llouses The atnount of relief provided by various states'during tlie time orcalalnity differs fiaom state to state. For example in the case of tlie Jabalpur earthqualte on May 22, 1997, the state government had talten LIP the following relief measures for lhe affected community. i) ii) a l 1'1 in urban areas) for 35256 It started 23 relief camps (12 in r ~ ~ r and affected people. Food was distributed free of cost in all these camps. The forest department of,Madhya Pradesh provided bamboos and wooden logs free of cost to the victilns of the earthquake, for temporary shellers in the affected villages.

iii) iv) v) vi)

A sum of Rs.1,00,000/- was provided to relatives ofthe dead persons due to ihis earthquake,
A sum of Rs.2,000/- to Rs.10,000/- was provided to thc ili.jured perscns, depending upon tlie severity of injury.

A sum of Rs.3,000/1- has been given to the house owners and tenants of rlie partially damaged liouses.
For the persons whose llo~ises had been damaged fully, a grant of Rs.l8.000/- and other necessary materials lilte bamboo and wooden logs etc. for reconstruction of liouses were provided.

Check Your Progress 2

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the ~ l n i t .

1) -Discuss in brief, the measures that can be taken to mininiise damage caused by
earthquakes in future.

I~icrcssedLJ ndcl.stnrtding of Disasters - I

2) What necessary steps can be adopted towards constri~ctionof ear-tliquake resistant houses? -

3) What is the basic pLlrpose of relief measures talcen LIP by the slate government in providing relief to people in case of earthquake? List- the various heads of giving economic relief.



India has a long history of ma-jor earthquakes parlicularly in the Himalayan Region. Earthquakes, as we have learnt in this Unit, cause extensive damage to facilities, bridges etc. and result. in loss of life and limb. buildings, infrastructi~ral Fire and flooding can rollow an earthquake. In any SLICII calamity, the prime issue is organising rescue and relief ta the affected. The Maharaslitra Eartliqualte Reconstruction Project embarl(ed by tlie government in 1993, cnco~npassing all aspects of rehabilitation was a significant measure in this direction. This ~ ~ n i t ' l ~ a s also highlighted tlie need to learn from past experiences t o minimise tlie damage sesul.ling from earthquakes whose frequency of occurrence appears to be on the ~ncrease.


As an act of grace o r favour, w i t h o ~ ~ t further responsibility or liability.

Engineered BuiIdings

These are those structures that have been designed taking into account tlie \mrious effects that would be caused due .to earthquake.

Non-Engineered Buildings

These are buildings that have been built without any guidance from a qualified professional and generally consist of oneltwo storey residential buildings. Rules, e.g. Building Code which nieans rules for constru~tion o f buildings.



ASIILI~OSII G a ~ ~ t a t 1994. n, Earthq~luk~ - '4 Natural Dismter, Ashish Publishing Ho~~se, New Dell-ri.
Departlnent of Earlllqualte Engineering, Eurlhyzluke Prohlen, Do's untl Dorz'ls for IJrotectioll, 1993, 11n iversity of Roorlcee, Roorltee. Green, Stephen. 1 980. 1~71~1"tt~1lionu/ D~,SLI,I.Y~CP RrliefI Towards A Re,s~~on,siite ,Cys/erns, McGraw I i i l l Boolc Company, New Yorlt. Ross Simon, 1987, Htrzurd Gcog1*~y?l7v, Longman, U.1C. Valdinlir Schenlt (Ed.), 1996, Eurfhq~llrke H~~zar trnd d Risk; ICluwer Academic Publishers, London.


Checlc Your 1'1-ogress 1

I) Y O L answer ~ should include the following points:

The non-engineered buildings suffered severe clalnage.

Large scale damage to infrastructural facilities especially roads, con~m~~nication net: work and power supply system. damage except tlie Gawana The steel bridges did not suffer rn~~cli bridge on tlie roacl to Gangotri. The engineerccl builclings especially those in tlie irrigation project colo~~ atyManeri and Mal~itanda received only minor damage.

3) Y O Lailswer I~ slioi~ld~ I ~ C I L I C the I ~ following poinls:


Necessary relief inaterials like food, warm clothes, medicines wcse provided to the al'fectccl villages with tlie liclp of army and otlicr organizations like the Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and BoiaderRoads Organization. The task involved the co-operation of Inany other social groups like tlie NCC Cadets, NSS volunteers, NGOs, tlie taslt force of Uttarkaslii administration. Utilisation of five heavy and seven light army helicopters. Provision of food items like flour, pulses, rice, oil, sugar, milk, sliced bread etc, by the government. Repair of the damaged roads by tlie Border Koads Organization, Reconstrilction of community centres to provide shelter to tlie affected co~nmunity.

3) Your answer s l l o ~ ~ include ld tlie followillg points:

I-lousing construction and repair Stre~igtl~ening of Infrastructure. Economic rehabilitation includilig replacement.and reconstruction of dry wells, provision of bullocks, ~iiinor equipment etc.

Social rehabilitation in tlie form of special facilities for women, children, handicapped.

Co~nm~~n reliabilitation. ity Provision for technical assistance, training and equipment.

Check Your Progress 2

1 ) Your aliswel- slio~~ld include the following points:

Preparation of actioti plans for different regions of tlie country and their periodic evaluation and update. Development or proper nlechanism to ensure proper distribution of relief niate~'ial.

Pla~ini~ig of alternate approach routes for the con~munityto escape during emel-gency. Identification of alternative metl~odsltechniques for providing necessary relief materials like f loocl. clothes. medicines etc. Proper campaigns to make people aware of various aspects earthquake management. of

Malting houses and buildings earthquake resistant either through proper engineered design at the construction stage or through retrofitting of the existing non-engineered houses.

2) Your answer sliould include the following points:

Use of light weight building materials in tlie construction of houses. Construction of buildings with simple, regular layouts. Design of buildings by qualified engineers and their construction as per the provisions ill the code. Provision for properly laid RCC slabbed roofs.

3 ) YOLIT answer should include the following points:

The basic purpose of relief measures talten up by the state government is to provide itnmediate relief to tlie c o l n ~ i ~ ~ ~ n i t y .

The various heads under wliiclz economic, relief call be provided in case of eartliqualces are: Ex-gratia payments to the injured and to the next of kin of the deceased Damaged crops - compensation for damaged houses Cattle loss Free medicines, clothes and ~~tensils Free food in the temporary relief camps Grant to replace damaged agricultural implements.



Objectives Introduction Flood Prone Areas in India Major Floods

2.3.1 Location 2 3.2 F~.eqllencyand Intensity 2.3.3. Damnpc Ctlllsed by Floods

C a ~ ~ sof e s Drainage Congestion Flood Management: Major Steps Post-Floocl Rehabilitation Meas~~res Lessons Learnt for Further Improvement Govern~nent Enactments Pertaining to Flood Management Let Us Su~ii Up Key Words Rcad irigs References and Furt1ie1Answers to Clieclc Your Progress Exercises

After reading this Unit, yo11should be able to:

0 0

identify tlie ~najor flood prone areas in India; discuss the various aspects relating to floods like theil4location, frequency and intensity ancl damage resulting from floocls; explain broadly the management and techniques of flood disaster mitigation; com~nent on their effectiveness ; and improvement. highlight tlie lessons learnt from tlie experiences, for fi~rther

As we have read in Unit 6 of the Foundation Course in Disaster Management, floocls and drainage congestion constitute a phenomenon that has disastrous effects at solne place or the other in the country almost every year resulting in damage, inconvenie~ice and even deaths. In l.liis Unit, we shall disc~~ss in solhe detail tlie flood scenario in India, tlie locations tliat are subject to such problems, tlie extent of tlie vulnerability and the damages experienced in tlie past due to tloods and dsainage co~~gestion for a better i~nderstanding of the ways to deal wi the problem, and analyse tlie experiences so as to draw appropriate lessons li~ture.The Government enact~nents, as they exist at present and tlie ones that under consideration along with tlie ways of handling flood and drainage problems will also be examined.


On tlie basis of tlie available literature, includi~ig reports of expert groups, commissions ancl studies sponsored by the government, it has been assessed tliat twenty five out of ilie thirty five States/Union Territories of India, are flood prone. These are Andlira Pradesh, Ar~~naclial Pradesh, Assam, Biliar, Clihatisgarh, Dellii, Gijarat, Haryan.a, Himachal Pradesh, Ja~nnlu and Kaslimir, Madliya Pradesh, Maliaraslitra, Manipur, Meglialaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Pondiclierry, Pulljab, Rajastlian, Talnil lVadu, Tripura, Uttaranchal, Uttar Praclesli and West .. Bengal. However, tlie states tliat are most affected by floods are Assam. Biliar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesli and West Bengal. The flood effects are also serious in

Iacrensed Understandi~ig
o f Disasters - I

Social reliabil itation i n teie form of special facilities for women, children, handicapped. Cornni~~nity rehabilitation. Provision for technical assistance, training and equipment.

Check Your Progress 2

1 ) Your answer should include the following points:

Preparation of action plans for different regions of the country and their periodic evaluation and update. Development of proper ~iiechanisni to ensure proper distribution of relief niatesial.

Planning of alternate approacli routes for tlie community to escape during emergency. Identification of alternative nietliods/tech~iiquesfor providi~ignecessary relief niaterials like flood. clothes, medicines etc. Proper canipaigns to make people aware of various aspects eartliqualte management. of

Malting houses and buildings earthquake resistant either through proper engineered design at tlie construction stage or through retrofitting of the existing non-engineered houses.

2) Your answer should include tlie following points:

Use of light weight building materials in the construction of houses. Constri~ction of buildings with siniple, regular layouts.

Design of buildings by qualified engineers and their construction as per the provisions in the code. Provision for properly laid RCC slabbed roofs.

3) Your, answer should include the following points:


The basic purpose of relief 1iieasilres taken up by the state government is to provide immediate relief to the community.

The various heads under which econo~nic. relief can' be provided in case of earthquakes are: Ex-gratia paynielits to tlie injured and to the next of kin of the deceased Damaged crops - compensation for damaged houses Cattle loss Free medicines, clothes arid utensils Free food in the temporary relief camps Grant to replace damaged agricult~~ral implements.





2.2 2.3

Objectives Introd~~ction Flood Prone Areas in India Major Floods

2.3.1 Locatioli 2 3 2 Freqllcncy and Ilitcnsity 2.3.3. 1)arnngo Cawed by Floods

2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.1 i 2. I2

Causes of Drainage Congestion Flood Management: Major Steps Post-Flood Rehabilitation Measures Lessons Learnt Tor Further Improvement Government Enactments Pertaining to Flood Management Let Us Sum Up Key Words References and Further Rcadings Answers to Cliecl<Your Progress Exercises

After reading this Unit, you should be able to:



identify tlie rnajor flood prone areas in India; discuss the v a r i o ~ ~ aspects s relating to floods like theili location, frequency and intensity ancl damage resulting from .flootls; explain broadly tlie management and techniques of flood disaster mitigation; comment on their effectiveness ; and Iiigliliglit tlie lessons learnt from tlie experiences, for f ~ ~ k l iimprovement., er

As we have read in Unit 6 of tlie Fo~~ndation Course in Disaster Management, floods and drainage congestion constitute a phenomenon that lias disastrous almost every year resulting in effects at some place or the other in tlie counl~y damage, inconvenie~~ce and even deaths. In i.liis Unit, we shall discuss in solhe detail tlie flood scenario in India, tlie locations that are subject to such problems, tlie extent of the vulnerability and tlie damages experienced in the past due to of tlie ways to deal wi tloods and dl.ainage congestion for a better ~~nclerstanding the problem, and analyse the experiences so as lo draw appropriate lessons Suture. The Gover~iment enactments, as they exist at present atid tlie ones that under consideration along with the ways of handling flood and drainage problems will also be examined.


On tlie basis of tlie available literature, including reports of expert groups, commissions and studies spo~isoredby tlie government, it lias bee11assessed tliat twenty five out of [.liethirty five Statesflnio~iTerritories of India, are flood prone. These are Andlira Pradesli, Arunaclial Pradesli, Assam, Biliar, Cliliatisgarli, Dellii, Gujarat, Haryana, Himaclial Pradesli, Ja~nniu and Kaslimir, Madliya Pradesh, Maharaslitra, Manipur, Meglialaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Pondicherry, Pulljab, Rajastlian, Tamil lvadu, Tripura, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesli and West Bellgal. However, tlie states tliat are most affected by floods are Assam, Biliar, Orissa, Uaar Pradesli and West Bengal. The flood efiects are also serious in


of Disasters - I

Increased Lll~tlerstending

Andlira Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Pur~jab,Rajastl~an,Tamil Nadu and the NorthEastern States. The National Flood Commission Report (1980) identified the count~y'stlood prone area as 40 million hectares. However not all areas are affected in a year and tlie situation Iceeps va~ying from time to time. On an average in a year about 8 million ha, get affected . A detailed analysis by a No11 Govelnme~it Organisation (NGO) identified 190 districts out ofthe totdl number of districts in India as prone to Iloocls. Acute drainage congestion is experienced in parts of Utlar Praclesh, Bihar, West Bengal, tIa~yana,Pul~jaband tlie deltaic areas of Andhra Pradcsli, Drissa apalt from some local areas in other states. The most flood prone areas in India lie in the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Baralc river basins. The Indus and its tribc~tariescause flood proble~iisin the Nortli-west region of India. Among tlie Central India and Deccan rivers, tlie Narmada, the Tapi, tlie Godavari, the Krishna and tlie Cauvery are important ones. Tlie regions covered by tlicse rivers cause Ilood problems but these are not pe~ierallyvery s e r i o ~ ~ ones. s There are occasional flooclings in some other smaller rivers like tlie Braliniini, the Baitarani and the Subarnarelclia. Most of these rivers also cause problems of flooding and drainage in their lower, particularly tlie deltaic regions. Tlie National Flood Commission, based on an atialysis of tlie llood afrected area and population affected as reported by tlic various States (1966-1 978) fo~oundthat more than halT tlie arca affected in Inclia by foods lie in tlie l.1iree States of Uttar Pradesll, Bihar and West Bengal. Si~iiilarly over liall'tlie pop~~lation in these three states are affected by floods. The figures in this regard were equally high in tlie States of Orissa, Assam and Andhra Pradesh.

In a vast country like ours, tlie probleni of floods varies fiom year to year and area to area. However broad generalisations were made by tlie Central Water Commission in respect of tlie identified flood regions of tlie major rivers such as the Brahrnap~~tra, Ganga, the Northwestern rivers and the Central India and Deccan rtvers .
The main problem in tlie Ganga-Bralimaputra region are clrainage congestion, bank changes. The erosion, land slides, aggradation, channel changes and their regi~ne Central India and Deccan rivers liave well defined and stable channels but drainage congestion and damage in the flood plains including the Delta arc common problems. The Central Water Commission llas been maintaining detailed data and derives information on state-wise flood prone areas and damage statistics. They also publish such infor~uation periodically. Tlie Flood Atlas of India published by them contains some vely u s e f ~ ~ information. l The Natio~ialFlood Commission has also . brouglit sucli useful details on flood prone regions of India and the efforts of administration towards flood management.


India has been affected significantly by heavy floods from time to time. During tlie past 50 years, tlie floods of 1954 caused widespread damages and attracted the attention of llle public and tlie Parliament and brought into sharp focus tlie inadequacy of the measures talcen to tackle the situation. The floods of 1954 ~narlted the launching, at the national level, of the Ilood control programme. The Central Water Commission started receiving from all thc State Governments details of damages caused by floods from 1953 and siilce then they liave bee11 compiling the flood damage details. Tlie summary flood darnage picture of India, as reported by t!le Cliief Engineer, Flood Management, Central Water Commission at a National Workshop held in 1993, is as ~ ~ n d e r :

So~rie Flood Damage Parameters (Period 1953-90)

SI. No.
Item Average Damage in 1953-90

Flood & Drainage



Area afl'ectcd (Million ha.)


Population affected (Million)

32.86 1.22 102.905 1532 937.56 618.248 ( 1 970) 1 I -3 I 6 (1977) 4630.30 ( 1988) (Rs. Csoscs)

f4ouses clan~i~ged (Million) Catllc lost (Nos.) I Iurn~unlives lost (Nos.) 7. 'I'otal tlnmage to crops. houscs and p ~ ~ b lutilities ic

Rep "l'hcnlr: paper - Disaster Managcmcnt Training Country Workshop New Delhi".

July I993 -- IIl'A.

It may be emphasized tliat tlie intensity and extent of floods and tlie corresponding flood clamages vary from year to year. Still the years 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1988 liave recorded severe damages, as reported by tlie states. In tlie decade commencing from 199 1 , the severe floods of 1995 would be too recent to be,forgotten. It will neither be possible nor necessary to discuss in detail all tlie floods that liave been experienced but we coi~ldbriefly set fo~tlitlie salient features of two or tliree major floods, tliat occurrcd in recent times.

- 2.3.1


Five states viz., B,iliar, Uttar Pradesli, West Bengal, Orissa and Assam have been identified as ~iiost pronc to floods. 'This does not mean tliat all these states will experience liigli floods in tlie same year or at the same time nor tliat tlie other states will not liave liigli floods. It will only indicate tliat, in an average year, the flood damages reported from tliese states are likely to be a very significant fsaction of tlie total damages reported in that year. But there are exceptions. For instance, tlie flood damage in 1977 in Andlira Pradesli alone was more Illan half tlie damage in India tliat year. In 1978, the flood damage in Uttar Pradesli alone was 56% of tliat experienced in India tliat year. During tlie period 1953 to 1990, the year 1978 witnessed a signii-icantly darnaging liigli flood. 'I'lie area arfected, the extent of loss to tlie population, houses as reported by tlie State Government were very liigli. The loss of l i ~ ~ m a lives n was tlie highest in 1977, which was essentially, due to the very high loss suffered in Ancllira Pradcsli tliat year. . Siniilarly tlie loss of cattle was tlie highest in tlie year 1979, which was mainly due to excessive losses in Andlira Pradesli, Gujarat and Rajastlian. I-iowever the total damage to crops, houses and public i~tilities was the highest in 1988. During 1978, Uttar Pradesli, West Bengal and Biliar accounted for more than two thirds of the area and population afFected in India. Over four fifth of the I~ouses damaged in India also lay in these three states. Over 90% oftlie cattle loss that year was in West Bengal; three quarter of tlie loss of lives was in three states inentioned. In short we could say tliat over two thirds oftlie national damage due to tlie tloods was in tliese three states viz., Biliar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesli. I n addition, contrary to normal or average picture, the area affected in Iiajasthan was also very liigli tliat year, perhaps next only to tliat of the highest recorded in 1 977.

Incrcasetl Untlerstnntlirlg-' of Disasters - I

The National Flood Co~nmissionhad noted that in the triennium of 1976 to 1978 floods and calamities of that type were widespread affecting more states outside the traditional flood prone zone. This latter group includes Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan and to a lesser extent Gujarat and Haryana. The year 1988 was marked by severe floods in the Ganga Brahmaputra river system. In fact the combined Ganga and Bral~rnap~~tra flows, that pass into the Bay of Bengal through Bangladesh created the severest flood conditions and the largest da~nage to date in Bangladesh. The Brahmap~~tra brolce all previo~lshigh flood level nlarlcs all along the rivers in Assam also. The Report of the Committee on Flood Management in the North-Eastern states affected, damage to l~ouses and loss of human indicates that the area, pop~~lation lives was the highest in 1988 during 1,he entire period 1953 to 1989. 'The total damage in Assam that year was also the highest on record in this period. West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh also suffered but the damage was the severesq in 1978 in respect of the extent of area and population aiyected.

2.3.2 Frequency and Intensity

The pattern of rainfall varies from year to year and location to location. The pattern of the river flows generated from precipitation and the run off into the rivers also varies from year to year. From a study of the b e l ~ a v i o ~ of ~ railifall r and runoff, wherever long periods of recorded statistics are available, many generalised inferences have beer1 drawn. 'The frequency and intensity of floods have also been assessed for different locations based on such data, wherever structures are constructed or proposed across or along rivers, in order to ensure their reasonable safety. It must also be kept in mind that flood losses in the flood plains tend to vary with the type of use to which the land is put. Also the relative safety of the designed structures, embankments etc., is a matter of balancing between the costs and risks that could be taken. It will not be always possible to plan for the highest degree of safety for all floods, irrespective of the anticipated intensity or frequency. Within the limitations of present knowledge and requisite data, scientists and engineers predict the intensity and frequency of the flood of different orders of probability. They indicate the statistical probability in terms of one in hundred or one in fifty years return period, It should be possible, with the help of available data to estimate the likely intensity and frequency of floods d facilitate in designing, constructing and at specified locations which wou I maintaining viable pl-otection schemes. As an exanlple it co~lldbe pointed out that ill the case of embanlcments, the height of embankments for different flood 'fieq~~encies and also the corresponding costs are worked ollt talcing into account the damage likely for these relative I~.oquencies.A common practice followed in many places is to design for a one in twenty five year frequency flood to protect of vital installations one predominantly agricultural areas whereas for protectio~~ in hundred year flood frequency is used.

2.3.3 Damage Caused by Floods

The dalnage resulting from floods is not only dependent on the intensity and frequency of the flood that occLlrs at a locatioll but also is a reflection of the extent of l~urnaninterference with nature such as construction of structures across qr along the floodway and tlie manner of ~~tilising the flood plains for human activities. The manner of assessing the damages is also to be talcen note of. The damage statistics are presently maintained by the state governments, and are subject to various limitations. The states also maintain these details only on the basis of adriiinistrative jurisdictions, 1 ilce taluk, village or district. Thus the flood dalnage statistics now available are mainly state-wise and year-wise; they do not indicate breakup event-wise, river-wise or reach-wise. Their scientific study and and not always possible. analysis become diffic~llt


Areas that are flooded when water due to rainfall and or river spill is not able to drain off as quickly as considered desirable, are referred to as cases of 'drainage congestion'. Stagnation behind embankments of water due to insufficient (/rainage,capacity in sluices falls in the same category. 'Thus ~ ~ s ~ ~ drainage ally congestion andflood are expressions used collectively in common usage. Numerous large scale saucer shaped depressions are found in Uttar Pradesli, Billar, West Bengal, Assarn etc., wliicll are locally called 'cliaurs', 'jheels', or 'beels'. Due to meandering nature of a river, rnany oxbow laltes are also formed. Tllese act as storages of flood water which do not get drained easily illto tlie river after the floods subside, most of these become drainage congested areas, In peninsular rivers also nearer the sea coasts, there are similar areas of drainage congeslion between laiown courses of rivers wliicli create drainage problems. Tllese get compounded by coastal drift wliich forrns bars across the seaface. Check Your Progress - 1 .Note: i) Use tlie space given below for your answers. i i ) Check your answers wit11 those given at the end of the unit. I) Identify some i~nportant problems arising duc to tloocls in India.

Flood Sr Drrinngc

2) Wliat do you ~~nderstand by drainage congestion?

3) Wliat are the p~*oblems arising out of assess~nent of damages due to floods?

Increaseti llndcrstn~~tling of Disasters - I



Since tlie stat? of the National Flood Management on a planned basis in 1954, the 111ain thrust of flood nianage~nent efforts has been on structural Ineasures to modify the floods and flood protection worlts. Essentially, these c0111prisethe following:-

i1 ii)
iii) iv) v) vi) vii) viii)

Em banliments/tl~odwal Is
Storage reservoirs Detention basins Channel improvements Banlt stabilisation and anti-erosion works; Town/village protection worlts Ring bunds Diversion works

The oldest and most common methocl is a system of embankments constructed along river banks to serve as artificial 11igh banlts during floocls. There is Ilo~ve~~er divergence of opinion on tlie role of e~iibanltmentsand their side effects. Large floocls are often due to intense rains for a few days followed by relatively drier spel I , This factor is talten advantage of for moderating tlie 17ood through a storage reservoir by storing water during the period of high flows and releasing it after the critical conclition is over. The effectiveness of reservoirs is however dependant on a number of factors, including the o1:h'er competing uses, the reservoir operation rules, the relief and rellabi.litation issues, silt load etc. Detention basins talte advantage of natural depressions, swamps and lakes to which a part of the flood water can be diverted. Channel improvements enable better carrying capacity at lower levels and thus help lower tlie flood levels for the same order of flows or by elimination of acute curves and bends which often lead to breaches. Bank stabilisation worlts and anti-erosion measures train tlie river so as to checlc the tendency to erode and damage new areas. Anti-erosion worlts deflect the water current away from areas vulnerable to attack. Ring bunds help in keeping the inhabitants from inundation but have other disadvantages. The other methods sucli as village protection worl<sand diversion works, though have ce~fain limitarions, are resorted to wherever possible. Notwithstanding the degree of el%ectiveness, these efforts have given some protection to about 14 mil lion ha. of flood-prone areas in India.
A summary of the progress of these worlts from 1951 to 1991 is given below:-

Embankments Drainage channels 'Towns protected Villages raised Area benefitted Cost


3 1888 I<m.


14.08 Million ha.

Rs. 291 0 Crorcs

Over the years, it has been realised that: flood msnagement is also possible tliroi~gl~ other types of activities, sucli as : lnodirying tile s~isceptibility to flood damage and rnodiQing tlie loss burden. Fload plain management, flood proofing, disaster preparedness, flood forecasting and warning, and redevelop~neritare steps that attempt to niodify the susceptibility to flood damage. In fact the realisation in recent years is that the nonstructural rneasilres are indeed very effective in reducing

I hese are also, in most cases, tlic least-cost solutions to tlic ~l~oc clnmages. l ol'mour~tinglosses. Emergency nicasirres lilie e\~acuation, lloocl fighting, pllblic tiealtl~elrot-ts and reclist~.ibuti\/e measures lilce disastel relief: tax relief' or flood insurance are steps towards ~iiodifjiingtlie loss burclcn. In llte ear,licr ~ ~ c ~ . i o d [Iierc was rnucl~depcntlcnce on stn~ctirrallueasurcs. As clamagcs contini~eclto ~nolint, the cu1.ren1c~npllasis is on the non-structi~ralrneasuI.cs.

Flood & Dr:linnge



'VIie main tliri~sLof disaster managenlent slioulcl be sliifecl away liom tile prescnt .. reliel' al,proach towa~.clstlisasler r n ~ l l ~ t t i o nIn . fact it is increasingly felt that all development prc!jccts in virlnerrtble arcas shoulcl be linlted with and used to tlie ~naxirni~m exterlt as clisaster mitigation machinery. In a poor country lilce ours, reliel' cloles and such recurring expenscs witllout atti~ckingtlie ri~otcausc by clisaster. mitigative cl'f\)~-ts \\!ill bc il \vnslel'i~l/LIXLII.!/. I le~iccill1 post-reliabilitalive nteasul-es should also aim at mitigation ofdisasrers Illat are lil;ely to arise in li~turc.

In tlie frclcl of floocl management In particular, we milst realise that a lack 01' disc~pl~ne in rcspccting tlie river's dollinin iri the hl-m of lloocl plain, witliout atlecluate safeguards is to be avoidccl. The approach to managcnicnt oS floods should inclirclc a package of mcasurcs likc assessnlent of llic vulnerability, clclineation of vulnerable areas, publishing the inro~.rnntionon \i~lncrabil~ty at cli~fci.cntlevcls of'probable Iloods, floocl plain I-cgulationetc.
In tlic present limited colitcxt of tlie disaster preparedness measurcs. at'tcr any [looil clisastc~ evcnt, tlic many desirable steps \+auld incli~cle the Ibllowing:
i) ii

A realistic assessment ol'tlamages;

recording {lie extent of tlie natural event, tlie flood level etc.

iii) resettlement o r affected pcr~sonsin arcns which would be sal'c in a liliely event o r similar natu~.e, in fi~turc; iv) reconstruction of safe ilnd flood resistant buildings.

Natural disaster nlanagcment, inclutling iloocl disasters, in tlie late sevelities involved an npproacli ol' risk manilgement, instead 01' the carlicr cl isis management approach; thereafter it reoriented itselr towards integrated clisastcr preparcdncss approach: This now involvcs re1 iablc early warning arrangements, carefi~lly planned eriicrgcncy responsc and better com~iiunitypreparedness. Such changed emphasis aims at restricting i~nproductivecomponents of relief activities and illcreased resources and activities l'or enabling tlie al'l'ected pcople to meet the ncxt liltely disaster ill tlie fi~ture in a better manner. It will be scen that tlic strategy ol' disaster ~iiitigqtio~i would lessen the impilct ol'clisasters i ~ i ~ llong i e run.



I lie experience of ha~idlingtlie flood management measures in tlie first three


decades was carefi~llyexa~liinedby a high lcvcl espcrl body, called tlie National Flood Comn~issionand its findings were made available in 1980. It had 11iildc many valuable recomrnendatio~~s for effective iloocl clamage reduction and offered suggestions lor a flood management policy. Anyone interested in a study of tlie tlood management in India would greatly profit by a carefill study of its report as also the guidelines and instructions L'or tlie implementation of the report issued by tlie Govcrnment o l ' India in 1981. Those who look forygd to on update thereof


uf Disnsters - I

Couldalso look up the reports of two committees set by the Government of India to study the flood situation in 1987, in the North-East and in lower Ganga basin as also Orissa rivers. The recommendations made in these reports are still valid to a significant extent. Tlie revised approach to disaster management mentioned earlier is another relevant matter. Tlie salient elements of tlie lessons drawn in flood management would include the following:i) Flood management sliould be viewed in a broad perspective forming all integral part of the overall water resources develop~nentand the econo~liic development of the region. Varioi~salternative measures, pliysical or ollierwise, sliould be sl~rdiedfor flood management and the optimum combination of measures selected. Elnbanltnients, storages, detention basins etc., sliould be considered in a comprehensive manner to identify and weigli tlie positive and adverse effects. Measures to modify tlie susceptibility to increasingly adopted. flood damage sliould be


iii) iv) v) vi)

Flood plain zoning which is one of tlie most effective ways of minimising flood damages should be adopted. Adequate maintenance of completed works should be ensured, to avoid adding to tlie dayage potential. Tlie active participation of tlie people concerned at all stages of a project for flood management should be ensured.

vii) Tlie importance of appropriate organisation, coordination macliinery, training, research etc, has to be empliasised. viii) Encouragement to disaster mitigation policies sliould also be urged.


Under tlie Constitution of India, the legislative jurisdiction of the Union Government on regulation and developlnent of inter-state rivers and river valleys is sub.ject to tlie extent to which such regulation and development under the control of the Union is declared by Parliament to be expedient in the public interest, Subject to this provision, the subject of water is within the legislative powers of the states. There have been no significant enactments or follow-up of available . provisio~isso far by tlie Union Government. There is no co~npreliensive enactment by tlie states either on flood ma~iagement. The National Flood Commission had recommended that the Central Government should prepare a model bill dealing with all aspects of flood management to serve as a guide to the State Govelnments. There were many other suggestions advocating legislation but there is no existing legislalio~~ dealing with flood management. The National Water Resources Council adopted tlie National Water Policy in 1987. This contains many elements relating to flood management. However these do not have any constitutional or legal binding as yet.


An examination of the ways to deal with floods and drainage congestion brings out the fact that there is no u ~ ~ i q solution ue to this problem which is applicable in all situations and locations. A package of available measures within the overall framework of water resource development is available and a specific measure or combination of measures in a given situation is a matter for careful study. In the same manner the mitigation of flood losses is a complex matter which involves in addition to nature's behaviour, human actions by way of intrusion into the

flood plains without adcquate safeguards. a ~iiattcr of benetlt-cost study of possible tllat is involvecl in difl'erent degrces of levels, rl'lius this'is a matter for expert making.
Check Your Progress 2

Tlie specific steps to be talten are also solutions considering the risk element protection uncler different probability multi-disciplinary study and decision

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Clieck your answers with those given at tlic end of tlie unit.
1) What are the ma.jor st~.ucturalmeasures i~ivolvedin flood management?

2) What are the components of post - flood rehitbilitation measures?

3) Discuss the salient eleilie~lts of l e s s o ~ drawn ~s in flood manage~neut.



Vast areas of India are subject to probleins of floods and drainage congestion. In particular, the states of Biliar, Uttar Pradesli, West Bengal, Assam and Orissa are likely to suffer more. Most of the time in a year large damages occur in one portion or the other of India, Essentially,~tllehigh precipitation concentrated over a few. days in a year and the inability of the active river channel to carry it away safely coupled wit11 indiscriminate liu~nanencroach~nentinto the flood plain are responsible for tlie mounting flood damages. There are a number of bossible ways of dealilig with the hatter and the specific solution or package of measures is a matter for expert multidisciplinary study and. decision making. While both structural and non-structural options are possible, the empliasis in recent years has been on non-structural measures and on planlied disaster

mitigatiol1 eff0l.t~.The costs and benefits are linkecl with the extent of risk taken or pern~itted~ ~ n d difl'erent er probability levels of severily of fi~tureflooding~. People's participation at all stages of such projects enhances the chances of cnliglitened cooperation uft.he people in disaster preparedness and management.


Aggt-atlation Banlc crosion I3encfit-cost analysis : Chenoel Flood fighting

Rise ol'tlie base of river due to silting. Cutting LIP of the river bank by the speeding water.

cconomic tecl~niquedesigned to compare inpi~ts(costs) and thc resulting outpilts (benefits).

Water way of a stream, clrain or river. Erforts to reduce the impact of floocls, such as temposaly dyltes, dowcl banl<s, attending to scour, slough, wave wash etc.

Return periotl Rislc analysis

'The period nftcr which a similar event coirld be

cspec~ecl to review.

. l I10 ~ S O C B S S 01' identifying, a l ~ d cli~kuntifying risks

based on hazard assessment, vulnerability analysis, risk assessment and 17iskappraisal.

Run off

Water that runs over tlie ground surfslce to 4 rives, drain, 01. lal<e, 'The efficient use of resoirrces to r e d ~ ~ ctile o probability that a disaster will occur by either reducing vwlnersbilily or modifying the hazard. Chance of happening c~lculated f r o n ~ past numerical data. Tlie capacity to withstand, proteot o ~ ~ e s efro111 lf or recover rapidly from R potelltially damaging event.

Rislc mwnagc~neut

Statistical probability : Valnerability

Osbow lake

A lake formed by a bend in c? rivcr

Sliding gates through which water is released at dams.



Central Water Commissio~~, Flood Ailas of Irzc/i~r. 1987, Government of India. Central Water Commission, Manual on Flood Forecnsling, 1989 Government of India. Ministry of Energy and Irrigation, Report ofihc. Rcrshlriyu Barh Aycrg (Nntional C1olnnli,ssion on Fl(>ocJ.~). 1980 Gover~iment of India, Ministry of Irrigation, G'zrid~line~v und 6?sbtlclion,sfor lhe inzplementrrlio?~ qf'lha reco~n~nend~r/ions of dze Rcrshiriyu Barh Ayog, September 1981 -Government, of India. I<ulslirestlia, S.M., 2000, Flood ,Mcm~rjie~ncl?t in Indiu, 'lnstitute Environment and Society, USA.

of Global






Flood & Drainage

Checlt your Progress 1

1) Y O L I answer ~ S I I O L I I ~ inclucle the Ibllowing points:

Drainage congestion Bank erosion Land slides Aggraclation Channcl changes


2) Your answcr should include tlie following points:


Drainage congcstion is said to occur when the areas ilooded with water due to rainfall and river spill are not able to drain ofT within a reasonal~le pcriocl of time, tl~us crcating flood.

3 ) Your answer should include the Tollowir~g points:


Tlie assessment of clamage arising out o f Floods is dependent mostly on tlie availability o r clamage statistics. 'rhcse statistics are mnilitained by the statc governments. But these are ~naintainedonly o ~ i the basis oT ad~ninistrative ji~risdictiot~ Iikc tnluI<,village 01.clistrict. The floocl clamage statistics are available ~nainlystate-wise a~idyearwise, They clo not give details which are event-wise, river-wise or reachwise. 'I'herefore, scientific allalysis and study become difticult.

Checlt your Progl-ess 2

I ) Your answer should include the following points:

1-lie mqjor stri~cturalmeasures involved in food managemelit are: a. Emban kments/flood walls

b. Storage
c. Detention Basins d. Channel improvements e. Bank stabilisation and anti-erosion works, f. To\vn/vi l lage protection works

g. Ring bunds 11.

Diversion works.

2) Your answer should include tlie fbllowing points:

A realistic assessment of dalnages. Recorcling the progress of the natural event and the flood Icvcl. Resettlement of affected persons in areas which wollld be safe in a likely event oi'similar nature in fi~ture. Reconstruction of safe and flood resistant buildings.

Ir~cr.cnsetIUnt~er-stilrlrting of D h s t e r s - I

3 ) Your answer should include the following points: Flood management should be viewed in a broad perspective fosrni~lg an integral part of the overall water resources development and the eco~lo~nic development of the region.

Proper examirration of various alternative nieasuses of flood manage~lhent a~id selectiorl of optimum combination of measures. Measures to modify the susceptibility to flood darnage should be increasingly adopted. Adequate maintenance of worl<sthat are completed.

Ensuring the active participation of the people concerned at all stages bf a project for flood nianagement. Appropriate osganisation, coordination machinery, training and research etc.

* Encouragement of flood mitigation policies.



Ob-jectives Introcluction Major Cyclones in India and Darnqge Caused

3.2.1 3.2.2 3.2.3 3.2.4 Andhra P~.adcshCyclone of ~ o v e l d b e 14-20.1977 r Orissa Cyclone ol'.)une 1-4. 1982 M:ichilipalnam Cyclone of May 5-9.1990 Orissa Super Cyclonc of Octobe1.25-31, 1999

Relief and Rehabilitation Measures

3.3. l Atiminisl~.alive Response 3.3.2 Contingency Action I'lan 3..3.3 Capacity Building through Relief and Rehabilitntiori Work

Firlancing Relief and ~ehabilitatiol\ Work: Gover~ime~it Rules Lessons Learnt for Further 1mprov4ment Let Us Sun1 Up Key Words liefcrences and Furf:lier Readings Answers to Clieclc Your Progresg Exercises

Afer reading this Unit, you should be able to : describe the major cyclones and damage caused by them; discuss the relief and rehabilitation measures; explain tlie rules regarding financial arrangements to mitigate cyclone disasters; and liigliliglit tlie lessons learnt for filrtlier improvement.



There is Iia~dly any year when India is not visited by a severe cyclone (also called cyclonic storm or Tropical cyclone). Tlie Indian mainland is flanked on eartli side by cyclo~ie prone Bay of Bengal and tlie Arabian Sea. Furthtrmore, there are two cyclone scasons viz., Pre- mousoon (April-May) and Post- monsoon (OctoberDecember). That is why, every year a few cyclonic stor~ns occur in tlie Indian territory: morc in tlie Bay of Bc~igalthan tlie Arabian sea, tlie ratio being 4:l approximately.

Cyclones, resulting in torrential rain, exceptionally liigli winds and enormotrs storm surge, are among tlie most destructive clisasters. This fact lias been already cliscussed (in CDM-01) and the extent of large loss of Iiunian lives in association with tropical cyclones in tlie past lias bee11 listed. The ptlrpose of this Unit is to provide more information on major cyclone disasters and the management systems, pertaining to relief and rehabilitation.


Tlie Andlira Pradesh cyclone of 1'Jovember 1977, Orissa cyclone of Jilne 1982 and anotliel. Andhra cyclone of May 1990 tliat occurred in Machilipat~iam are typical large loss of lives and properties. But examples of a few cyclones that have cai~secl tlie super cyclone of October 1999 tliat devastated Orissa is the worst in century i.e. since the time scientific observations and studies of cyclones began. These are dcalt with in some detail in the following subsections.

111ct-cesct~ ~~ntlct-st;~nt~ing of D h s t e t - s - I

3) Your answer should inclucle the following points:


Floocl management sliould be viewed in a broad perspective forming an integral part o r tlie overall water resources development and the economic development of the region. Proper exani~ration of various alternative rneasures of flood manage~ihent and selection of optimu~ii co~iibination of measures. Measures to modify the susceptibility to flood dalnage should be increasingly adopted.


Adequate maintenance of worlcs that are completed. Ensuring the active pal-ticipation of tlie people concerned at all stages bf a project for flood management. Appropriate organisation, coordination ~nacliinery,training and researclh etc.

Encouragement of flood ~nitigatio~i policies.



Ob-jectives I~~trocluction Major Cyclones in India and Da~nqge Caused

3.2.1 3 2.2 3.2.3 3.2.4
3.3. l 3.3.2 3.3.3

Andhsa I'sacicsli Cyclone of Noverdber 14-20.1977 Orissa Cyclone of.lune 1-4. 1982 Machilipalnam Cyclone o f May 5-T. I990 Orissa Super Cyclonc of' October 25-3 I, 1999 Adminislsalive Response Contingency Action Plan Ct~pacity Building through Relief aqd Rehabilitation Work

Rclief and Rehabilitation Measures

Financing Relief and ~ehabilitatio~i Work: Government Rules Lessons Learnt for FLII-tlier 1mprovc$~nent Let Us Sum U p I<ey Words Rcfcrences and Ful-thcr Readings Answers to Check Your Progresst Exercises

AAer reading this Unit, yo11sliould be able to : describe the major cyclones and damage causecl by them; discuss tlie relief and l.ehabilitation measures; explain the rules regarding financial arrangements to mitigate cyclone disasters; and Iiighliglit the lessons learnt for fi~~*tlier i~nprovement.



There is hardly any year when India is not visited by a severe cyclone (also called cyclonic storm or Tropical cyclone). The Indian mainland is flanked on earth side by cyclone prone Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. Furthennore, there are two cyclone seasons viz., Pre- monsoon (April-May) and Post- monsoon (OctoberDecember). That is why, every year a few cyclonic stor~ns occur in the Indian territory: more in l.he Bay of Bengal than the Arabian sea, tlie ratio being 4:l approximately.

Cyclones, resulting in torrential rain, exceptionally high winds and enormom stor~ii surge, are alnong tlic most destructive disasters. This fact has been already cliscussed (in CDM-01) and the, extent of large loss of Iii~rnanlives in association with tropical cyclones in the past has been listed. The pilrpose of tliis Unit is to provide more information on major cyclo~le disasters and tlie management systems, pertaining to relief and rehabilitation.



The Andhra Pradesh cyclone of FJove~nber 1977, Orissa cyclone of June 1982 and nnother Andhra cyclo~ie of May 1990 that occurred in Machilipablam are typical examples of a few cyclo~ies that ha,ve cai~sed large loss of lives and properties. But tlie super cyclone of October 1999 that devastated Orissa is the worst in a century i.e. since tl;e time scientific observations and studies of cyclones began. 'These are clcalt with in soliie detail in the following subsections.

Iricrcsscti U~itlerstnntiir~g of Disastel.~- I

3.2.1 Andhra Pradesh Cyclone of Noven~ber 14 - 20,1977

It was a very severe cyclonic storm which initially developed at a low latitude (6' N , 92"E) in the morning of 14 November, 1977. Tlie cyclone moving initially in a west north westerly direction, changed its course to north westerly directio~iby the 16"' cvening. Contin~~ing its 11or~1i westerly movement it struclt Andlira Pradesli coast at no11h of Cliirala around *I 730 l i o ~ ~on r s 19"' November 1977. The cycloile attained a maximum wind speed of 140 knots (260 lanph) during its life period. A ship "Jagatswamini" while passing througli the centre of the cyclone reported lowest atmospheric pressure of 941liPa (hecto pascal )at about 1200 IST on 17 November,1977. But the storm became iiiore intense later when the central pressure would have been fi~~tlier lower and was estimated as 91 1 hpa. This was tlie cyclone of tlie highest intensity so far observed in the Bay of Bengal and tile Arabian Sea. The cyclone caused loss of lives and properties on a vcry large scale. Tlie cyclone liad devastating effects as indicated below:

There were heavy to very lieavy rains and gales reaching 200kmllir which lashed Praltasam, Guntur, Krislina, East and West Godavari clistricts ~~prooting trees, bending telegraph posts, dislocating road and rail traffic, telecom~nunicationand powcr s ~ ~ p p in l y tliese coastal areas. thermal power stations at Vijayawada were sheared ori:

2) The fury of the cyclone can be gauged from the fact that llie steel columns of

3) About 20 villages in Divi Talulta and 8 villages in Kona area of Bandar Taluka

in tlie Krislina district were washed away by the storm surge. ('l'his is about 500 of the country side). 4) All standing crops lilte paddy, sugarcane, cotton, tobacco and coconut over an extensive area and harvested paddy in these coastal areas were damaged. The losses and damage were finally assessed as: Popi~lation affected (in laltlis) Crop area affected (in laklis of acres) Houses damagedldestroyed H~unan lives lost Cattle head lost Goats and other live stoclc lost Damage to public utilities (Rs. in crores) 71 36.04 10,10,335 8504 + 43 (missing) 2,30,146 3,44,05 8 171.66

3.2.2 Orissa Cyclone of June 1-4,1982

A very severe cyclonic storm struck the Orissa coast near Paradip on .June 4,1982. Tlie cyclone was associated with wind speed of about 200 I<mpIi ancl stor111surge of two to four metres height of sea water. The cyclone caused loss of lives and destruction of properties and facilities on a massive scale. Tlie damage caused is indicated below: Population arfected V i l lages affected Area affected Deaths Injuries Cattle lost

7,323,000 15,536 25,000 sq. km. 243 493

1 1,468

Crop area damaged Area saline inundated I-louses collapsed/damaged

1,589,000 hectares 89,0000 liectares 819,000 2,566 km. 314 1,840 302 2,384 13,478 km.


I'OII:C~ lilies lost

Sub-stations damaged Canal breaches

Em banlaiient breaches
Irl-igation projecls damaged lioads clamaged

Schools dcstl.oyecl Tube wells darnagecl Drinking water wells da~iiagecl

6,876 2,500 1,600


~acliilipainah Cyclone of May 5-9, 1990

A vely scvcrc cyclonic storm developed in tlic Bay ol' Bcngal in tlie first week of Mtly 1990, and crosscd A~ldliraPradcsli coast ncar tlic moutll of the river I<~.isli~ia on tlic 9"' evening. This was one of the most devastating tropical cycloncs in the Bay of Bengal tllilt developed in tlic month of May in llic prc-monsoon season. Tlie cyclonc liad a ~iiasimum wind speecl of about 127 ltts. A ship "Viswaniollini" repol-led lowest J ) ~ C S S L Iof ~ C 91 2 hl'a at 1730 hours of 8 May while passing tliro~~gli. tlie centre 01' tlie cyclonc. 'I'liis is the lowest pressurc ever recorded in a cyclone in tlie nol-lli Inclian Ocerr~i. Tlic cyclonc liad generated a storm surge of 5 metres inunclating tlic coastal areas ~ ~ pabout t o 20 li~iiinland in Machilipatnani-Cliallapalli sector o['Krisli~~a tlistrict. The cyclone o f May 1990 possessed a very high destructive pote~itialand causcd cxtcnsive daniage to highways, roads, bridges, power and communication lines, paddy a~iclplantation fields over vast areas of Andlira PI-adesh inspite of goocl preparedness by tlie government as well as public. Tlie loss of p~~blic and private (properties was estimated as Rs.2300 crores. Aboi~t5160 villages covel-ing a pol~ulationol'77.8 lalili~ tvcre rtffccted by tlie cyclone. I-lowevt'r the loss of human lives in $ndlira J'r.adesh due to the cyclonc was limited to 928. Tliis was because of tlie timely evacuation 01- about 6 lal<li pcople from tlie low lying arcas. Tlie stancling crops in 45000 hectares o r la~icl werc severely affected and more than 14 laltli houses were either Si~lly or partially damagcd. A very heavy rainfall causccl flash floods in coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh resulting in breaches of' ~aoads and rails and extensive clariiages to bridges.

3.2.4 Orissa Super Cyclone of October 25-31,1999

October 1999 was a pal-titularly unfort~~nate month for tlie cyclo~ie prone state of Orissa because it liad to facc the fi~ry of instense cyclonic storrns twice within less tlia~i two weeks and withi11200 Itm of each otliet.. Tlie devastated state had not yet completed tlie assessriient ol' tllc daniage done by the very severe cyclone that hit Ga~i.jamdistrict on October 17, 1999 canying winds of tlie order of 180 kmpli when anotlie~.cyclonic storm - much more ficrce - hit a wicle area of tlie Orissa coast oh October 29, 1999 with super cyclonic intensity seriously affecting 15 prosperous districts of tlie state.

The super cyclone took bi1.l.11Ihr away in tlie GulFof Thailancl on October 24 1999. Moving across the Malaysian peninsula, it emergecl in tlic North Andaman Sea as a well-marlced low pressure area by the rnorrling of October 25, 1999. It concentrated into a depression by tlie same evening. Moving west-northwest ward. it intensified into a cyclonic storm by the morning of October 36, 1999 when it was located no~-tlieastof Port Blair in the Andamans. Then onwarcls. it toolc a northwest warcl course and attained the stage o-f vcry severe cyclo~iein tlie late evening of October 27, 1999 when it was positioned about (500 k ~ i isoutl~easto: Paradip port on the Orissa coast. Within 24 hours i t . by the late evening of' October 28, 1999 1:he storm had reached the super cyclo~ie intensity with minirnu~ii winds of tlie order of 220 It111 in tlie sto1.111 and was about 400 km southeast of Paradip. Tlie lowest central pressure in this storm was estimated to be 912 Iipa, i.e. almost the same as in tlie Anclhra Pradesli cyclone of 1977 clescribed in Section 3.2.1 above. Tlie highest wind in the storm was estimatecl at 360 Icmpli. 11 crossed coast close to Paradip port around noon on October 29, I 999. A very peculiar feature (which contributed a great cleal to tlie devastation) of tlie storm was that even after crossing the coast and moving overlancl, it maintained its intensity at severe cyclone level (winds of the order of 90 Itmph 01. more) for almost 48 hours. Therefore it persistecl to lash the area with very heavy rain tuid winds. Furthermore, it rnovecl eastwarcls overlancl, made a loop ancl emerged in tlie sea again by tlie niglit of October 31, 1999 when it wealtenecl ancl finally disappeared. According to the White Paper published by tlie Orissa Gavel-nment, 13 million people in 97 bloclts ancl 28 urban areas wcre seriously affected by tlie super cyclone. As many as 9885 persons were verified cleacl and 40 were reporled missing. Tlie nu~nberof clwelling un~tsdestroyed or clamagcd was estimatecl at 16.5 lakli. Tlie affected crop area was about 18.5 laltli hectare ancl the damage caused to tlie agri61lt~1re sector was estimated at 1773 crore rupees. Almost the entire green cover, compr~singInore than 9 corore trees, clisappeared ducilo the storm. The inundatioo clue to saline water witli storm surge csceeding 15 meters at many places polluted the d~.inkingwater sources. About 3.5 laltli cattle perished. In tlie white paper, Orissa Government soi~glit an assistance or Rs. 62'78 crore for tlic relief, rehabilit;tion and reconst~*uction worlts. Tlie Orissa super cyclone of 25-31 October 1999 was indeed tlie wo~.stcyclo~lic storm to hit India in tlie 20'" century.

Check Your Progress 1 Note: i)

Use the space given below for Y O L Ianswers. ~ ii) Clieclt your answers with those given at thc cnd of the unit.

I ) Explain tlie occurrence of Andlira Pradesli Cyclone of 1977.

of June 1982 and damage caused. 2) Describe the Orissa cyclo~ie


3) Why is cyclone a frepent phenomenon in India?


The basic responsibility for undertalting rescue, relief and rehabilitation measures in tlie event ol'natural disasters is that of the concerned State Governments. The role of tlie Central Government is supportive, in terms of physical and financial resources and complementary i n sectors like transport, provision of warnings, inter-state movement of fo.od grains and other esse~itial commodities. The di~ne~isio~is of the responsibility at tlie level of National Government is determined by factors l ilte, tlie i) ii) iii) gravity of tlie disaster; scale of relief operations required; and need of central assistance for augmenting the material resources at the disposal of tlie State Government.

For ilndertalting eliiergelicy relief operations and rehabilitation, relief manuals and codes are available for each of the states. ?'li&e docuriie~lts provide guidelines for undertaking relief and reliabilitatiori work immediately, in tlie case of natural calamities.

3.3.1 Administrative Response

A broad view of the administrative response at the national, state and district levels is given in CDM-01 course but is briefly repeated below:

For effective implementation of lnitigatio~iand relief measures, a Cabinet Committee on Natural Calamities Iias been constituted under tlie cliair~nanship of the Prime Minister. 'There is a National Crisis Management Co~ilniittee (NCMC) under tlie chairmansliip of Cabiliet Secretary consisting of Secretaries of different ministries concerned.

I~~cre;~setl Understanding of Disasters - I

For dealing with matters relating to rclicf in the wake of major natural calamities, a Crisis Management group (CMG) lias been set LIP ~ ~ n d the e r chairmanship of Central Relief Commissioner (CRC) in tlie Ministry o f Agriculture wit11 representatives of tlie concernecl Ministries ancl Departments. The responsibility is to review, every year, the contingency plans formulated by tlie Central Min-istriesiDepart~iie~its, tlie measures required for dealing with a natural calamity and coordinate tlie activities of tlie Cenlral Ministries and State Governments in relation to disaster preparedness and relicf. At tlie State level, there is a standing committee under tlie chairmanship of Millister in-charge to direct and control programmes for reducing tlie adverse impact of natural calamities. r At tlie administration level, there is a State level committee ~ ~ n d ethe ~IiairrnansIiip of Chief Secretary to ensure prompt ancl adequate relief measures and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure. It also decides on the norms and iterns of assistance. For coordinating relief activities, a separate Relief Department has becn set up ill many of the States lieacled by a senior officer of tlie rank of Principal SecretaryiCommissioner. Tlie actual relief oper;itions are ~~ndel-talten at tlie clistrict level by a group wliicli is lieadecl by District Collector. tIe is assisted by the field level organisations and voluntary organisations constituted at the block, telisil and village levels. The committees at tlie dis~rictlevel have adequate rcprese~itationof people's representatives, concerned Departments, NGOs, other members 01' pi~blicand local el S-govcrn~iient bodies.

3.3.2 Contingency Action Plan

A National Contingency Action Plan (CAP) lias been notifiecl and this is updated every year. Tlie CAP idenlilies tlic initiatives requireci to be takcn by various Central MinistricsiDcpartmls i n [.he wake of natural calamities, sets down tlie procedure and determines tlie focal points in the aclministrative macl1i1ie1.y. At the State level, tlie State Relief Commissioner (or Secretary, Dcpal-tment of Reveni~e) directs ancl controls the relief operations tlirougli Collector or Deputy commissioner, who is responsible for all relief operations, coordination, direction and control at tlie district level.

3.3.3 Capacity Building through Relief and Rehabilitation Work

I d

Tlie growing awareness of tlie interrelation between disaster, cnvironment and development lias led to a shift in emphasis from relief to mitigation. Tlie capacity to respond to tlie challenges of natural disasters is del~endentupon tlie cxtent of preparedness to mitigate their impact and reduce their occurrence wliicli is possible o~ily through sustainable develop~nent efforls. Therefore ilie prcsent day eelnpliasis is to steer relief and rehabilitation work towarcls capacity building of tlie community so that future can be handled effectively. Some of tlie lo~ig term mitigation measures lilte construction of cyclone shelters along the coast, construction ~Tembanknients, clyltcs ancl reservoi~.~, afforestation of tlie coastal belt, reconst~.uctionof cyclo~ieresistant Iiouses, enforcement of str~~ct~~ insurance res, cover, lancl use zoning building codes for cyclone prool?~ig and legislatior1 and education and training are among tlie items wliicli could be take11LIPas a pal* of ~'elief and rehabilitation work, which in the long rLln will be benc'ficial to tlie coastal population. 1'11~1s111c prcscnt day relief and

seliabilitation measures are aimed not only to provide immediate help to the \iictilns but also towards tlie requisite capacity-building or the community to fight fi~ture disasters effectively. Some of the reconstr~~ction projects taken LIP the devastating cyclones towards the beginning of tliis decade are formulated containing eleliients of mitigation measures. Tlie following are some recent examples of comprehensive reconstruction efforts with mitigation plan built into them. i) l'he Cyclone Reconstruction Projcct (1990) was initiated in the coastal A~idliraPradesh. 'I'his consistecl of s~lchcomponents as housing and pi~blic buildings, reconstruction of electricity transmission lines, dl4ainageancl ri~ralwater supply. It also includcs such mitigation efforts as expanding road networlc, colnmunication network, planning of shelter belt trees and building ilp of cyclo~ie slieltcrs. This project was completed in 1994. 'The Cyclone Reconstl.i~ctionPro-iect (1992) was started in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnatalca. Under tliis Project, the liouses destroyed during November 1992 cyclone have been suitably reconstructed with assistance liom Housing and Urban Development Corporation (I-IUDCO), Ciovernment of India, tlie concerned State Governments and contribution from tlie beneficiaries.


- --

i i)



:5cliemes for financing expenditure on relief and rehabilitation in tlie wake of natu~.aI calamities are governed by tlie recommendations of Filialice Commissions appointed by tlie Government of India every five years. Under the existing scheme in operation for tlie periocl 1990-95, each State has a corpus of filnds ca511ed Calamity Relief Fund (CRF), aclministerecl by a State Level Committee,, headed by the Chief Secretary of the State Government. Tlie size of tlie corpus is determinccl having regarcl to the vulnerability of the State to diffei-ent calnliiities and tlie magnitude of expenditure normally incurred by tlie State on relief'operations. Tlie corpus is built by annual contributions of the Union Gov.ern~ncnt and tlie State Governments concerned in tlie ratio of 3:l. At present. tlic aggregate iui~iual uccretion in tlie State CRF amounts to Rs. 8040 million. The states are frec to draw upon this corpus for providing relief in tlie evelit of any natural calamity, In the event of a major disaster warranting intervention at i:lie national level. a provision e ~ i s t for s tlie Union Government to s~~pplement the financial resources neecled .for relief operations. Many nongovernmental ancl voluntary agencies also play significant roles during tinies of distress.
In addition to above, funds are also available through some of tlie on going developmental, programmes in tlie country, like the Indira Awas Yojana and Jawalial. lZc?igar Yojana. Limited funds are also available from tlie Prime Minister's Rclief Fund to provide iln~nediaterelief to tlie victims of natilral calamities.



It has been observed that there is a good possibility of saving lives and properties from cyclone disaster by adopting suitable sliort and I'ong term disaster mitigation measures and preparing tlie community to efrectively handle cyclone

disasters. Tlie cyclone reco~lst~.~~ction pryjects as were ~.ecently talten LIPin states liJte Andhra Pradesli also sel-ve as an esaml7le In this direction. One of the crLlcialshol-t term cyclone clisaste~ mitigation measures include tlie ti~nely evacuatio~i of people and live stock wliich is [lie only pl-escribed measure to save lives and properties especially i n the case of storm surges leading to coastal inundation. The benefit of sucl~ preparedness ancl evacuation was amply demonstrated in the case of two cyclorles which struck the same place of Anclhra Pradesli with allnost the sariie intensity once in November 1977 and later in May n in 1977 November cyclone was about 8547 1990. ']'he loss of I ~ u r i ~ r l l~ves whel*easthe loss of 11~1man lives i n May 1990 was limited to 928. The difference was rnainly due to the better Ic\/el of p~.cparedness shown by the disaster management officials as \veil as ~ ~ ~ l b 111 l i 1990 ~ . the people and government ~nacl.rinery\Yere better prepared and ~ ~ n l i k ine 1977 about half a million people were evacuated to safer places on receiving of warnings.
Checlc Your Progress 2 Note:

i) Use tlie space given below for your answers. ii) Checlc your answers with those given at the encl orthe unit.


Discuss in briefthe administrative response regarding relief and rehabilitation measures.

2) Briefly explain the role o r contingency action plan.

3) Describe any two examples of comprehensive reconstr~~ction efforts with mitigation plans built into them.


The winds of a cyclone cause death and ii~juries froill structural collapse or flying ol~+jects, witli devastating effects on Iiouses and other buildings, agriculture, critical facilities e.g. communication facilities and lifelines. Often loss of life from tlie cyclones is mostly due to drowning, either from the rise in sea water i~lundatingtlie lalid or frani floods resi~lti~ig from excessive rainfall. This unit Iias given us an idea about tlie damages caused by cyclones witli tlie help of few examples. It throws light on tlie iniportance of relief and rehabilitation measures. ~thas briefly described tlie financing of relief and reliabilitatio~i work.



Co~itingencyPlans: It refers to series of assessnients and evaluation as to tlie likelihood of an event occurrence, when and wliere it miglit occur, its possible magnitude and i~iipactfollowed by tlie development of proposed plans of action involving;

a) identification of tlie potential threat, e.g., proximity of tlie cyclone, settlements on seismic .faaults or flood plains etc.; b) identification o f lilcely impact of diMter e.g. number of people potelltially affected, da~iiage to property etc; and developing opti~iiuniresponse to sucli a threat, e.g., educate c) a~iticipati~ig people to potential risk, develoflnotification and evacuation plans etc; d) ide~itificatio~i of existing resources, e.g., areas wliere shelters could be establislied, sources of food, location of reconstruction equipment.
White Paper: Government Report on recent investigations of an i~nportant matter or event. Knot ( I d ) : Nautical mile per hour (unit of speed over tlie sea) Reliabilitatio~~: It refers to action taken in two weeks or months, immediately following a disaster to restore basic services, construct te~nporaiy liouses etc. Relief It means meeting immediate needs of food, clothing, shelter and medical in tlie care for disaster victim; assistance given to save lives and alleviate sl~fferiiig shortest possil~le time followi~ig a disaster. Hecto Pascal (hpa): Unit of at~iiosplieric pressure


Carter, W. Nick. 1 99 1 , Dis~rster Manugement, A Disaster Manager's Handbook, Asia11Development Bank: Manila. Prakasli, Indu. 1995, Di,~uster M~~nagellzent, Rashtra Prahari Prakaslian, Gliaziabad. Thomas, Babu, 1993, D i s ~ ~ s l eResponse: r A H~mdhookfor Emergencies, Clii~rcli'sAuxiliary for Social Action, New Delhi.


Check Your PI-ogrcss1
1) Your answer shoulcl include tlie following points:
0 0

It was a very severe cyclonic storm. The cyclone initially clcveloped i n a low latitude on November 14,1977..

Increased Understanding of Disasters - I

It clialfged its direction by the evening of 1 6"l November. It struck Andhra ~radesli, Coast on 19'" November . It was a cyclone of tlie highest intensity so far observed in the Bay of Bengal and tlie Arabian Sea. It caused a very large scale loss of lives and properties.

2) Your answer should include tlie following points:


India is flanked on either side by sea areas (Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea) where cyclones take birtli. India lias two cyclone seasons viz. Pre-monsoon (April-May) and Postmonsoon (October-December). That is why cyclones occur every year in India and some of these become severe.

3) Your answer should include the followi~lg points:


India is flanked on either side by sea areas (Bay of Bengtal and Arabian Sea) where cyclones take birth. India has two cyclone seasons viz., Pre-monsoon (April-May) and Postmonsoon (October-Dece~iiber). That is why cyclones occur every year in India a i d some of these become severe.

Check Your Progress 2

1) Your answer should include the following points:


The Cabinet Committee The National Crisis Management Co~n~nittee The Crisis Management Group

State Level Committee District Collector

2) Your answer should include tlie following points:

A National Contingency Action Plan lias been notified.

It identifies the initiatives required to be taken ministries/departments in the wake of natural disasters. It sets down the procedure.

by central

The plan determines the focal points in the administrative machinery. Your answer should include tlie following points:

Cyclone Reconstruction Project in tlie coastal Andhra Pradesli. Cyclone Reconstruction Project for Taniil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.


Objectives Introduction Major Droughts experienced in India

The Largo-scale Drougl~l of 1982 'I'he I'hcnonicnal I)sougl~t ol' 1987


Relief and Rehabilitation Measures Government Policy Relating to Drought Management Lessons 1,earnL Let Us S u m Up Key Words References and Fustlier Readings Answcss to Check Your P~~ogrcss Exercises

Afler stuclying this unit, you slioi~ld be able to :



explain tlie difference between drouglit arid famine; describe the mqjor d~.ouglitsin India; discuss the adverse irnpticts caused by drouglit; describe tlie relief and rehabilitation measures; llighlight tlie government policies; ancl understand tlie Icssons learnt from past experiences.



Tliere is no urliversally accepled definition of dro~~glit. Accorcli~ig to Na~iiias (1989), drought involves a scarcity of rain to tlie extent that it interferes with some sector of economy sucli as agriculture, waler supply 01.other water related activities. Thc severity of drougllt depencls on:
0 0 0

degree of moisture deficiency duration of dry spells extent of irrigation facilities; and size of the nffectecl area

Fan~ine is defined as tlie situation when food available to the people is extremely scarce and it leads to liunger and starvation, Thus drouglit and famine are not tlie same. Famine can occur due to mismanagement even wlie~itliere is no drouglit. On the othw hand, a drought il'~iianagedwell will not turn into famine. The link between droi~glit and familie can be broken through good drouglit management slid enha~lce~iient of the purcliasing power of tlie economically weaker sections of tlie society. That is why since indepe~ldence there havc bee11severe droughts but no widespread famines.


Increased Understantling
of Disasters - I

It changed' its direction by tlie evening of 16"' November. It struck Andlira ~ r a d e s h Coast on 19'" November . It was a cyclone of the highest intensity so far observed in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. It caused a very large sca.le loss of lives and properties.

2) Your answer should include tlie following points:


India is flanked on either side by sea areas (Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea) where cyclones take birth. India lias two cyclone seasons viz. Pre-monsoon (April-May) and Postmonsoon (October-Deceniber). . Tliat is wliy cyclones occur every year in India and some of these become severe.

3) Your answer should inclitde tlie following points:


India is flanked on either side by sea areas (Bay of Beiigtal and Arabian Sea) where cyclones take birth. India lias two cyclone seasons viz., Pre-monsoon (April-May) and Postmonsoon (October-December). Tliat is wliy cyclones occur every year becotlie severe.

India and some of these

Check Your Progress 2

1) Your answer should include the following points:

Tlie Cabinet Committee

l'lie National Crisis IliIanage~nent Comliiittee Tlie Crisis Management Group State Level Committee District Collector

2) Your answer should include tlie followiiig points:


A National Contingency Action Plan has been notified. It identifies the initiatives required to be taken ministriesldepartlnents in tlie wake of natural disasters. It sets down tlie procedure. The p!an determines the focal points in ilie administrative machinery. by central

3) Your answer sliould include the followiiig points:


Cyclone Reconstruction Project i11 the coastal Andhra Pradesh. Cyclone Reconstruction Project for Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.



Objectives lntroduction Major Droughts experienced in India


The 1,argc-scale Drought o f 1982 'l'he Phenomenal D l a ~ ~ g l 01' i t 1987

4 2.2

Relief and Rehabilitation Measures Management Government Pol icy Relating to Dro~~glit Lessons Learnt Let Us Sum Up Key Words Readings References and Ft~~-ther Answcrs to Checlc Your Progress Exercises

After studying this nit, yo11should be : explain the difference between drought and famine; describe I.he major droughts in India; cliscuss the adverse impacts caused by drought; describe tlie relief and rehabilitation measures; Iiighlight the government policies; and ~~nderstand the lessons learnt From past experiences.



'Tlicre is no universally accepted definition 01' droughl. According to Nainias (1989), drouglit involves a scarcity of rain to the extent that it interferes with some sector of economy such as agriculture, water supply or othcr water related activities. The severity of drought depends on:

degree of moisture deficiency duration ofdry.spelIs extent of irrigation facilities; and size of the affected area

Famine is defined as tlie situation when food available to the people is extremely n e not the scarce and it leads lo hunger ancl starvation. Thus drouglit and f a ~ i ~ i are same. Famine can occur due to mismanagement even when there is no drought. 011 the other hand, a drought if managed well will not turn into famine. The linlc between dro~ight and famine can be broken tlirougli goocl drought manage~nent and enhancement o r the purchasing power or tlie economically weaker sections of the society. That is why since i~~dependence there have been severe droughts but no widespread famines.


of l)i$:t5tcrs - I


worst drougllt 011 record in India is that of 1899 when tlie rainfall d e l i c i e ~ l c ~ of monsoo~i season for the country as a whole was - 26.2% and 83% of tlie area experienced deficient rainfall during the monsooli season. klowcver the drought of 1877 was a close contender because although tlie area affected was m~lch less at 66.8%, the rainfall deficiency for t l ~ emonsoon season was rnl~cliworse at 79.1%. Thus, while the pllenomenal drought of 1899 affected a larger area of the country, that of 1877 was more intense in the areas in which it occurred. Both these droughts led to s e r i o ~ ~ famine s conditions mainly because of the lack of communication, information and transport. Three widespread droughts occurred in India in receilt times during 1979, and 1982 and 1987. The country is lucky not to have faced large-scale droughts since 1987. Tliis is mainly because the monsoon, which gives about 80% of the annual rainfall in the country, has been behaving fairly well all these years. However, tlie monsoon rains are highly variable both in time ant1 space. That is why there are always some localised areas of low rainrall or local drouglit eve11 in tlie years of very good monsoon rains. The 111ostrecent droughts of 1982 and 1987 are described here in some detail,

4.2.1 The Large-scale Drought of 1982

The drought experienced in 1982 was quite bad with a monsoon rainfall deficiency of -1 3.7% and 46.4% oftlie area suffering from deficient rains. Although the Inonsoon started on time in 1987, its pl-ogramnie slowed down. Further~nore,the rainfall was meagre, especially in the first hall' of the four month monsooli season. To add to the problems, monsoon receded earlier. The north, north west and southern parts of tlie country suffered most. Among these the regions that suffered the worst rain deficiency were Himachal Pradesli (-50%), Sauraslltra and Kutch (-46%), Jammu & Kashmil* (-37%). West Rajasthan (-36%), Tamil Nadu (-36%), Bihar (-30%) and Vidarblia (-28%). The food grain production, as a consequence, was adversely affected. A loss of 9.5 million tonnes was reported in the Kliarif (monsoon) crop itself. As the efforts to increase food grain production in the following Rabi crop succeeded due to good drought management, the year finally ended with a sllort fall of otlly 3.8 million tons over the previous year's food grain production.

4.2.2 The Phenomenal Drought of 1987

The drought of 1987 is counted among the five "pl~etlo~nenal" drougl~tson record, the others being 1877, 1899, 191 8 and 1972. Tile monsoon season's rainfall deficiency was -19.3% and the area under deficient rainfall was 64.3%. Although tlie onset of monsoon over Kerala was almost on time on 2 June 1987 (i.e., only one day late), its advance was slow. The monsoon further delayed in advancing to the ~iorthand north west of India. There was an all time record delay for tlie monsoon to reach these areas, which are among tlie major food' prpducing zones of tlie country. The worst effect of this drougl~t condition was felt in tlie north, west and central regions. The areas which had rainfall deficiency of -50% or worse are indicated below:


~a~lrashtra, IC~~tcll & Dill West Rajasthan Haryana & Delhi ~{imachalPradesh West U.P East Rajasthan


Drought % F ~ m i n e

-67% -67%

-51% -50%

Tile above ~nentionedregions account for about 20% area of tlie country and include prominent food producing regions of the country. The other parts of the co11ntrywhich suffercd deficiencies of rainfall between -20% and -50% were: Jammil & ICashmir, Uttaranchal, East Uttar Pradesli, East Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Viclarblla, Maratliwada, Madliya Maharaslltra, lcerala, Gujarat, Coastal Andhr-a Pradesli and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
In terms of overall annual food grain production in tlie country for both ICharif

ancl liabi, the 1987 drought rcsulted in a loss of production of 3.0 million tonnes only ;IS against that of 3.8 mil lion tonnes in 1982. However, the drought of 1987 lialtcd the 11iomenti1111 of agricultural growth established during tlie early 1980s. It affected 15 states n11d 6 Union Territories, damaging crops on a11 area of about 59 million hectares spread over 267 districts. Gujarat and Rajasthan were tlle worst affected states. Nearly 285 million people have been the direct sufferers of thc adverse socio-economic impact of this drought and of these, around 92 million people belonged to economically weaker and socially deprived sections of society. Thc droirght arfccted about 1 68 million cattle. The scarcity of cattle feed caused a serious problem and conccrn. All such major widespread tlroughts have ~.esultedin a marlted reduction in the foodgrain production giving a setback to the economy and food security.


National level ef'forts arc very important in dealing wit11 drought and famine situations. I'unds arc arranged through:

Calamity Relief I:i~nd (Structured grants to the States). National ITi~ndI'or Calamity Relief (Started in 1995). Pri~ne Minister's National Keliel'Fund (Discretionary Grant). NGOs


The main objectives of short term relief measures is to protect people's access to food through: a) b) ensuring tlie availability of food in the affected area and protecting tlle entitlements of all groLlps within the affected society.

So~iie ofthe important lneasilres for maintaining food security are:

. food subsiclies
'0' 0

price stabilization by pl-eventing hoarding and starting Fair Price Shops employment generation programmes supplementary feeding program~nes special programmes for livestock a~id other household assets


cornple~nentary liealth programmes clean drinking water programmes general food supply and tlislribution programmes

The reduction oftlie impact of drougl~t requires measures like:

ilnprovcd water resource managemetit tliro~~gh digging new wells, improve existing wells, construct retention dams, construct subsurface dams to trap water in sandy I-iverbeds, recharge tlic aquifer watcr catchments wliicli trap water and allow it to seep quiclcly down into tlie water carrying strata; plant drought-resistant crops; implement countcr- desertit?cation measures e.8. tree planting.

Rehabilitation involvcs assisting the affected people to increase their purchasing power tlirougli work programmes, to keep u p their liealtli, and to replace assets lost during tlie drouglit arid famine situatio~i,Tliese type of programmes arc nceessary after severe periocls of temporary food insecurity and famincs when liouseliolds have lost most assets, been forced to migrate and have experienced high rates of mortality. The programme involves liealtli care services, ~iiaking available counselling, providing'material support like coolcirig i~tensils, trallsportation back to previous Iiome sites, re-establish homes and productive I activities. The timing of reliabilitation intervention is specially important, e.g, seed distribution programme should be completed bcforc tlie start of the next sowing season. For achieving success, the intervention has to be planned and implemented alongside relief activities. The seed progralnme is a I<ey cornpollent of rehabilitation efforts. The rationale of this programme is tliat since tliroitgli repeated retlie affected people tend to exhaust tlieir seed stoclcs citl~er sowing or consuming Illem as food, tlie rcquired seeds need to be niade available to iliem. During the drought of 1987, itnports liad to be resorted to the tune of 200,000 tonnes of pulses, 30,000 tonnes of butler oil, and 22,000 tonnes of skimmed milk powder. 7790 Fair price shops wcre set up in tlie drought affected arcas within Lliree months. As scarcity of cattle feed caused a serious concern, cattle shelters atid fodder banks had to be set up. Paddy straw was moved in from Punjab to Gujarat and R~jastlian to serve as substitute for fodder. In order to manage the droughl situation, massive initiatives were undet-taken for relicf and rehabilitation measures by tlie Government of India and the concerned states. All these prompt atid expensive relief and rehabilitation measures ensured tliat the phenomenal widespread drought of 1987 did not become a famine.


Check Your Progress 1

Note: i) Use tlie space given below for your answers. il) Check your answers with i.liose given at tlie end of lie utiit.

1 ) List tlie two major droughts experienced in India.

Drought & Farnine

2) Briefly describe tlie socio-economic impact of the drought that occurred in 1987.

3) I~iclicate any five i~nporta~it lneasures for ~naintaining food security.


Tlie experience of 1970s and 1980s sllows that the drought management approach lias shifted from crisis response to risk management, at all levels ofthe government. The emphasis has been on integrated disaster preparedness through early warning arrangements, planned emergency response and better preparedness. This policy proved very useful while dealing with the drought of 1987 which, incidentally, was the last major drought of the 20"' century. TIie risk inanagelnent measures co~isist of the following components: Public Distribution System. Food subsidy throi~gli central buffer stock. Availability of food grains from states or fro~n Supplementary feeding programmes. Drinking water and health programmes, sector Easy credit for agrici~ltural Piice ~Jabilisation. E$iployment generation.

Increased Understanding of Disi~sters,I


is semi nation of information

Special programrnes'for farming communities and for their livestock..

The major initiatives taken by the Government of India during the drought of 1987 are listed below: Campaign for enhanced agricultural production in the next season through: Better Water management. Increased Area coverage. Upgraded technology package of seeds and fertilizers and extension service. Relaxed credit terms through the National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD). Special programmes for energising 150,000 pumpsets through Rural Electrification Programme. Additional supply of petroleum products to drought affected areas. Distribution of 137,000 mini kits in drought affected areas for enhancing the cultivation of vegetables. Works regarding Employment generation 54 major irrigation projects.

32 tnediun irrigation projects.

Minor irrigation projects e.g. Soil conservation . Laying of road I inks. Provision of Drinking Water. Cattle feed. Subsidy to small and marginal farmers and growing fodder on 230,000 hactares. Free irrigation.

The Government of India has launched various development programmes to serve the long- term needs of the different sections of the drought affected communities. The important programmes are listed below: Desert Development Programme (DDP).

Drought Prone Area Programme'(DPAP). ~ o o for d Work Programme (FWP). National Rural Employment Programme (NREP). Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP). Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP).

Accelerated Rural Water supply Programme (ARWSP). Indira Awas Yojana (IAY).

e e

Jawahar Rozgar Yo.iana (JRY). Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS) - to assure 100 days of ernploy~nent during'lean agricultural season in d r o ~ ~ gprone, ht tribal and hilly areas.

Drought & Famine

These programmes targeted specially the poor inhabitants of rural areas and tried to co~i~bine development with drought management. Section 18 of the National Water Policy (GO1 1987) dealing with Drought management, states as under: 18.1 Drought Prone Areas should be made less vulnerable to drought associated problems through soil-moisture conservation measures, water harvesting practices, the minimisation of evaporation losses, the development of the ground water potential and tlie transfer of surface water from surplus areas, where feasible and appropriate. Pastures, forestry or other modes of developlnent which are relatively less water-demanding should be encouraged. In planning water resource pro-jects, the needs of drought-prone areas should be given priority.

Relief works undertal<en for providing employment to d r o ~ ~ gstricken ht 18.2 population should preferably be for drought proofing." Under tlie Government of India, the main responsibility for natural disasters as well as Inan made disasters, except drougl~t at present rcsts with tlle Ministry of Home Affairs. The responsibility of drought management is with tlie Ministry of Agriculture. The Natural Disaster Management Division f~~nctions under tlie Ministry of I-Iome Affairs. The Ministry of Water resources deals with and coordinates improved irrigation coverage in the various states of India. The Central Government, yith its large physical and financial resources is able to encourage emergency preparedness, provide crisis response and immediate of financing the disaster relief expenditure, while assistance. Under tlle sclle~ne the execution of ,relief operations is tlle major responsibility of the concerned State Goveniment, the Central Government supports and supplements the efforts assistance. by extending financial, physical and tecl~nical As none would like tile liistory of the Bengal Famine of pre-independent India to repeat itself in future, the need is to make the system, resilient, stronger and more efficient.




The nianagelnent of the drougllt of 1987 underlines the fact that by appropriate institutional support and proper co-ordination of efforts, crises could be met confidently and the policies co~lld be translated into practice no st expeditiously. This experience also embodied the re-orientation in the approach to drought management and marked a major departure in terms of caring for the quality of ~ to providing sustenance to mitigate hardship. life and not i ~ l e r e lconfining Prolonged drought may undermine the self-confidence and self-reliance of affected communities. The affected people should be assisted and supported to r~place tlieir assets lost during the temporary phase of food insecurity and where it is required, their livelihood sllould be re-established. Response requirenlents involve major commitment and expenditure of resources. A long-range mitigation measure is tlle policy of providing irrigation facilities to si~pplement the rainfall and thus to ensure agricultural production in all vulnerable areas of India. This will have to be a continuous effort and made an integral part of the development programme,of the area.

lrrcreasetl Understar~ding

of Disasters - I

Extensive socio-economic develop~ne~lt of drought prone areas would provide a solution in the long term. However, the short term needs must aim at generating avenues of employment, in order to enhance tlie purchasing new sl<illsand fu~zlier power of the affected population, especially tlie weaker sections of the society.
Clieclt Your PI-ogress 2

i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.

1) Mention the salient points pertaining to d r o ~ ~ g h management t contained in the National Water Policy of Government of India.

2) Highlight the major initiatives undertaken by the Government of India during tlie drought of 1987.

3) Briefly discuss the lessons learnt for further improvement in drought management.



This unit has brought out tlie distinction between drought and famine. In order to increase the understanding regarding major droughts and famine in India, two representative droughts of 1982 and 1987 have been dealt with. It has thrown light on tlie relief and rehabilitation measures. In addition, it has highlighted the goveriiment policies pertaining to drought. Lastly, this unit has developed a clear understanding about the lessons learnt for further improvement.



Drought & Fnrni~~e

central Buffer Stock: The Central Government maintains a stock of foodgrains that feeds the Public Distribution system through Fair Price Shops on which the economically weaker sections of society depend. This has improved the benefits of this system specially during serious disaster situation, like major droughts. The buffer stock is replenished through open market purchases at liarvest times and it is generally not allowed to fall below 12 million tonnes. Pasture: Land suitable for grazing of cattle. Subsidy: Money contributed by government to keep down prices of essential commodities. Price Stabilization: Keeping prices under control; prevention of undue increase in prices of essential articles during difficult times.



Prasad Ka~nta and B. D. Singh, 1994 Drought Disaster and Develop~nent,Mittal Publication, New Delhi. Namias, J., 1989, Mc Graw Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Science & Technology Sen. A, 198 1, Poverty und Fanzine, Clarendon Press, Oxford. Government of India, 1987, National Water Policy, Ministry of Water Resources, New Delhi. Singh Tapeshwar, 1995, Drought Disaster and Agricultural Development in India, People's Publishing House, New Delhi, Tl~omas Babu, 1993, Disaster Response: A Hundbookfor Enze~gencies,Church's Auxiliary for Social Action, New Delhi. Report of Irrigation Commission, 1972, Govern~nentof India, Ministry of Irrigation and Power, New Delhi. Kulshl-estha, S.M., 1997, Drought Mcznagen?e?zt in India, Tech. Report No. 1, Insti9ute of Global Environment and Society, U.S.A.



Check Your Progress 1


Your answer should include the following points:


The large scale D r o ~ ~ gof h t 1982 The phenomenal widespread Drought of 1987

2) Your answer should include the following points:

Economic impacts such as reduced income of far111 lands, fall in industrial oiitput, ~~nemployment, inflation and higl!er prices, decreased t , of livestock, reduced prices, poor purchasing agricultural g ~ ~ t p uloss power.

Social impacts i.e. malnutrition, poor hygiene, i l l health, migration and increased stress and morbidity.

Incrensetl l ' ~ ~ i I c ~ . s t : t ~ ~ c l i l ~ g of Disasters I

3) Your answer shoultl include tlic Ibllowing points:


Price stabilisation by preventing hoarding and starting Fair Price Shops; Food subsidies.


Increasing purchasing programmes.





Special programtne for livestoclc and other household assets. General food s ~ ~ p pand l y distribution programmes.

Check Your Progress 2 1) Your answer should i~iclude tlie following points:

Drought prone areas should be made less vulnerable to drought associated problems through various means. Modes of develop~nent, that demand less water, should be encouraged in tlie plannilig process.
I11 platitling water resource prospects, preference should be given to tlie needs of drought prone areas.

RelieF works i~ivolvingconstruction projects should aim at drouglit proofing of tlie area.


Your answer should include the followi~ig points:


Campaign for enliancing agricultural production. Relaxed credit terms.

Special prograin for energising pump sets. Distribution of agriculture mini kits. Employment gerieratiori works. Provision of drinlcing water.


Your answer should include tlie follawiug points: Appropriate institutional support arid proper co-ordination of efforts provide positive results. The affected people shou Id be supported and assisted.

Rehabilitation needs should be properly assessed. Proper respolise needs long time commitment of resources and should preferably be made integral part of tlie development programme of the drought affected area.




Objectives Introduction ~ a j o Disasters: r Landslides and Snow Avalanches in India

5.2.1 Vulnerable Areas, Frequency and Intcnsity 5.2.2 Kind and Magnitude of Damage 5.2.3 Relief Steps taken 5.2.4 Mcasures for Rehabilitation

Lessons Learnt Government Rules Let Us Sum Up Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying tliis Unit, you sliould be able to:

discuss tlie occurrence of landslides and snow avalanclies in India with reference to tlie likely rcgions, frequency, and intensity explain the kind and magnitude of damage due to tliese disasters describe tlie possible lneasures for relief and rehabilitation; and liigliliglit tlie lessons learnt from these disasters and tlie need for rules and regulations to reduce tlie risks.

As we all know, a largc part of India consists of ~nountainous terrain. In the north, there is tlie extensive I-Iimalayan mountain system extending all along from tlie west to tlie east. Its lofty peaks rise to more than 8000 metres Iieight. The middle ranges of the Himalayas are about 5000 metres high on tlie average while the foothills rise to about 6000 metres. The Himalayas abound in glaciers and are the origin of many rivers and streams. There is abundant rainfall and snowfall ofien accompained by strong winds. The peninsular region of India starts from the Vindliyaclial ranges and consists of the Deccan Plateau wliich slopes eastwards. On its edges, tliis great plateau is bound by tlie mountain ranges of the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats. The Nilgiri mountains are in the soutliern parts of the plateau. The west-central parts of tlie country have the ranges of the Aravali mountains.

Many of these mountain syste~ns are relatively new (in the geological sense) and are still growing such as the Himalayas. - The rock systems are therefore fragile, Given tliese special geological and geographical features and combined with the heavy rainfall system of tlie two monsoons (the summer monsoon and the winter monsoon) and also the not-so-rare occurrence of eartliquakes, it is but natural that the mountainous areas of India are vul~ierable to the hazards of landslides. In the snowy regions of tlie Himalayas, snow avalanches are tlie additional dreaded d isasters.

I ncre:~sedUndcrstancling of Disasters - 11

111the earlier part, i.e., Block 3 of the Foundation Coi~rse,we have clclined land slides and snow avalanches, described their characteristic feati~resand discussed the effects and causes of landslides ancl snow nvalanclies. In this Unit, we will discuss these two disaster phenomena in more cletail and with specific reference to India. We shall also discuss relief and relinbilitation measures, as also the lessons learnt from past experience.



Landslides and snow avalanclies affect tlie remotely located, often isolated, small communities in villages or lia~nlets in the mountain regions of the country where external assistalice takes time to reach in timcs of emergency when tlic normally difficult terrain and tracks ,may become almost inlpossible to negotiate. Many a times, even the information about the occurrence of such events and the damage done takes days to reach tlie district and state Iicadcluarters. Becai~se of these reasons, landslides and snow avalanclics assume tlie stati~sof major riatural disasters eve11tliougli tlie affected area and population may be rather sriiall.


Vulnerable Areas, Frequency and Intensity

Landslides: Landslides are a frequent and recurring phenomenon in the various hill ranges of India from Kerala to tlie Himalayas. Arcas prone to landslides include the Eastern and Western Ghats, the Nilgiris. the Vindhyachals, the mountains in the northeastern States and tlie great Himalayan range. The irlcidcncc of landslides in these regions is a recurring feature especially during and after spells of heavy rains. As the geological history of the rocks and the rainfall regime have strong bearing on the incidence of landslides, there are variations in the occul.rence of landslides in different parts of the c o u ~ i t ~ as y is indicated in Table 5.1 given below.

Table 5.1 : Incidence of laildslides in Inclia

Himalayas Northeastern Hills. Westerti Ghats and the Nilgiris Eastern Ghats Vindhvaclials

Inciclence of Landslides
High to very high High Moderate to liigli Low Low

~andsl'yde Zonation Mapping is a modern metliod to identify landslides prolie areas and it lias been in use in India since tlie 1980s. In this method, tlie vulnerability of different parts of a landslide-prone region is assessed in terms of past occurrences, steepness of slopes, conditions of rocks, and rainfall rates and the different areas are given "ratings" like Very I-Iigli, Higli, Moderate, Low, Very Low, wliicli indicate tlie li#eliliood of occurrence of landslides in those areas. Sollie of tlie regions for which such zonation mapping lias already been completed or is nearing completion are : North S ikkini

Garhwal Himalayas including Yamuna Valley Satlij Valley in I-Iimaclial Pradesli

The roads in Himaclial Pradesli, Jammil & Kaslimir and Uttaranclial arc l?articularly prone to landslides. The phenomenon assumes alarming proportions in the hill districts of north Bengal, Silckim and tlie northeastern States.

Landslides and Snow Avalancl~es

Snow Avalanches: The Himalayas are well known for the occurrence of snoy avalanches particularly tlie Western Himalayas i.e., the snowy regions of Janimu & I<asli~nir,fHimac1ial Pradesli and Uttaranclial. Broadly speaking, an area of aboqt 200,000 square kilonietres in these tliree States is vulnerable to snow avala~iclle disasters. Snow avalanches also occur in the eastern parts of the tlimalayas but the denser forest and vegetation cover on the eastern and tlie northeaster11I-Iimalayhs (clue to heavy rains in these mountains) act as binding force and inhibit excessibe accumi~lationand slippage of snow mass, The western Himalayas liave mahy vulnerable sites prone to snow avalanches where Iiundreds of lives are lost and the social ancl economic life is disrupted evely year. Tlie formation zones in tjiis region are located between 3000 and 5000 metres height.

I n Jammu & Kasli~nir, tlie most affected areas are in tlie bigher reaches of I<ashliiir ancl Gurez Valleys, Kargil and Ladalcli and some of tlte major roads there. In Himaclial Pradesli, tlie vulnerable areas are : Cliamba, I<ullu, Lahoul-Spiti and Kinnaur. Specitic villages liighly prone to snow avalanches liave been identified in these districts of I-limaclial Pradesli. In the Garliwal I-Iimalayas in Uttarancllal, parts of Tehri-Garliwal and Chamoli districts suffer from snow avalanche problbm. Just as zonation napping is done for areas vulnerable to landslides, Zone Planning is done for snow avalanche sites and tliree types of zones arc identified pertailling to the frecluency and intensity of snow avalsu~cliesaround an avalanche site. In other words, Zone Planning provides a means to assess the anticipated danger due to snow avalanclies at the vulnerable site. Tlie tliree types o r snow avalanlclie zones are : 1 , Red.Zone : Tlie most dangerous zone where sriow avala~~cl~es are nlost frequent and have an impact pressure of Inore than 3 t o n ~ ~ per e s square metre. 2. Blue Zone : Where the avalanche force is less than 3 tonnes per square mdtre and wliere living and other activities lnay be permitted with constn~ctionof safe designs but SLICII areas may have to be vacated on warning.
3. Yellow Zone : Wliere snow avalanches occur only occasionally.

in tlie context It is important to note that the word "Zone" appears in two ~liea~iiiigs of snow avalanches., Firstly, the different areas covered by a s~iowavalanclie during its life cycle are called zones, e.g. Starting Zone and Run out Zone as discussed in Unit 9 of Block 3 of CDM-01, Fouridation Course. Secondly, the word zone is also used to describe the places of most occurrence, less occurrence and least occurrelice, e.g. Red, Blue and Yellow Zones described above.

5.2.2 Kind and Magnitude of Damage

Thcre is no doubt tliat anything that comes in tlie way of n landslide or snow avalanclie will suffer severe damage and may even be totally buried or wiped out. Anything located on top of a landslide will also not survive when the rock or mud slips out from below it.

Lancislides: More often, the major landslides are cornbinations of rockslide and of mass (soil, debris or rock). The process of rockfall. They all involve tnove~nent movement of mass may vary fro111slow soil creep to abrupt and sudden rockfall. Landslides, also known as laudslips, range from low angle and rather slow slides to sudden vertical falls.

of' Disasters

I~~cre:tsetl tJ~lderst;~ntlir~g - II

Based on the type of movement, relative rate of movement and kind of material involved, landslides can be designated into 5 Itinds as follows :

Slump with earth flow Debris slide Debris fall Rock Slidc Rock fa I I


Landslides, being niore widcspread in different ~nountainous or liilly regions of tlic countly (as against snow avalanches which are confined to the snowy regions ol the Himalayas), cause darnage wliicli is Inore varied and more widespread. Increased pol,ula~ion, spurt in quar~ying,mining and construction activities near unstable liill slopes, ill-conceived developmental activities in the vulnerable liilly areas, have rcsulted in more landslides and greater damages. Apart from the catastrophic damagcs suffered by communities living on or near unstable liill slopes as their houses along witli persons and property ]nay be destroyed by a landslide, the 111ostcrippling damages due to landslides are suffered by (i) roads and (ii) productive soil. Damage to roads leads to considerable inconvenience and econv~nic loss. The disappearance of land and the cultivable top soil takes away the agricultural potential of the affected area t l i ~ ~ depriving s them of their already meager livel ilioocl. Landslides are also known to result in bloclcing of streams or overflowing of lakes thus causing flash floods because large v o l ~ ~ ~ n of es debris falling in a lake or reservoir caiise its watcr to overflow or tlie temporarily blocked stream may suddenly relcilse the liugc quantity of impounded water to cause a devastating flash gqod downstream, Snow Avalanche: In case of specific kinds of snow avalanches, the resultant damage is quite characteristic. For example, the "slab" type snow avalanche, in which massive slab or slabs of hardened snow come hu~tling down, tlie liit is very hard and s~naslies anything that takes the liit. It is on record that in 1975, a group of mountaineers climbing the Dliaulagiri region of tlie Hi~nalayas saw a massive "n~attress" of snow 15 metre thick poised for collapse as a slab type snow avalanche. On tlie ot!,er had, "loose snow" kind of snow avalanche covers a large area. Due to tlie fragile nature of the rocks of tlie still-growing Hi~nalayanmountains, the snow avalanche may also carly large quantity of debris comprising loose soil, small stones, and large boulders. "Airborne" avalanches occur on tlie slopes of tlie greater I-limalayas and are one of the most devastating kind affecting large areas in tlie vsll leys. Wliile occurrence of snow avalanches is dependent on tlie arnount of snow, the nature of the terrain and tlie prevailing meteorological (weather) factors, tlie magnitude of damage done depends directly on the population density and tlle . nature cF human activity in the region liit by a snow avalanclie. Every year, litelally thousands of SIIOW avala~icliesare triggered off at numerous avalanche sites in the higher hills of the three most vulnerable States viz., Jaminu & Kaslimir, ~in~acl/a Pradesli l and Uttnranchal. Though it is not possible to get complete reports of damages and casualties because avalanches occur in remote areas, the Snow & Avalanche Study Establisl~ment (SASE) of tlie Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) in Manali (Himaclial Pradesh) has been monitoring snow avalanche activity over important mountain ranges in the I-Iimalayas. SASE is also the nodal organization for forecasting snow avalanches. It issues forecasts 18 to 24 hours in advance of the likelihood of avalanches


identibing tlie likely areas. The warnings are issued to tlie Defence Services and para-military forces as also to lhc civil population in the area. The statistics collected by SASE on the loss of lives due to snow avalanches during the 20 year period (1 974-94) are given in Table 5.2 below : Table 5.2 : Loss of lives in snow avalanclles (1974-94)

Landslides and Snow Avalanches



Number of Deaths Reporter1


11 23 S 14 258 6 50 110 132 39 6 72 NIL 259 12 42 24 I. I 11 13

It will be seen from the above Table that the years 1978-79 and 1987-88 have becn the worst on record in terms of h u ~ n a casualties ~~ due to snow avalanches. All the three States (J&I<, I-I.P., ancl Uttaranchal) sui'ferecl the wrath of snow avalanches in March 1979. In 1-I.P., 235 17ersons were reported killed in Lahoul-Spiti district alone. The loss of properly, cattle and forest assets rarl into crores of rupees. Bamni village near Badrinatli. was completely buried under snow. Destruction in .I&K was also enol.lnous. I h e snow avalanches of 1988 were also very damaging. On a single day (1 7 March 19S8), 52 persons were killed in Zanskar and 57 in Kargil (.J & K). It is noteworthy that both in 1979 and 1988, major darnages were in March when the risi,s of snow avalanche increase as the accumulatecl snow starts ~nelting and there is fresh heavy snowfall combined with strong winds. About 2500 km of major roads in the Himillayas are exposed to the dangers of damage due to snow avalanches. Continuous avalanching in winters disrupts communications by road bloclis or road damages. Janimu-Srinagar, Srinagar-Leh and Manali-Leh roads are particularly vulnerable to such obstructions. At times, the avalanches deposit as much as 20 metre deep snow on thcse roads which are the supply lifelines in these areas. A very d d a s t a q ~ i g type! of denage occurs due to Rash floods when debris from snow avalanche blocks a water stream, or even a river, te~nporarilyi~npourldi~ig large volunies of water which, on overconling the blockage, rushes to inundate large areas downstrea~n.A prominent example of this type of damage occurred in March 1979 itself when flash floods generated in Saraswati and klaknanda rivers due to snow avalanches caused extreme damage to roads and agricultural lands in the Vishnuprayag arqa of the Garhwal Himalayas.

Il~crcased Understanding of Disasters - I1

5.2.3 Relief Steps Taken

Reduction of losses (life as well as property) would by itself be an immense relief. So the basic question behind any possible relief is : how might the losses on account of landslides and snow avalanclies (or any other natural disaster for that matter) be reduced? This can be achieved through the following four fi~nda~ne~ital steps : a. Modify the Cause, i.e., reduce the forces of nature 01. their intensity to the extent practicable.

b. Modify the Hazard, i.e., channelize or divert the forces of nature as much as possible. c. Modify the Loss Potential, i.e., prepare, plan and waln to tlie fullest extent. d. Modify the Impact, i..e., rehabilitate and reconstruct quiclcly and wisely. In tlie pa~ticularcontext of landslides and snow avalanches, we can achieve (a) above to some extent by artificial release of landslides at weak points and by blasting off unusual acculnulations of snow and by building protective fences and restraining struct~lres such as "cribbing" or "piling" at sites known for landslides or snow avalanches. Modification of hazard as mentioned at (b) above can be done by reopening the flow of water in a stream blocked by a landslide or snow avalanche before it assumes the dangers of a flash flood. ~ o d i f y i n ~ ' t f iloss e potential (Item "c" above) needs long term preparation and constant vigilance. These would involve awareness of hazard and la~idslidesand snow avalanclie, for~nulationof forecasts, arrangements to receive and clisseminate warnings, and action plan to face the hazard when it occurs. The final item (d) above pertains to relief steps ilnmediately after the event, i.e., to rehabilitate and reconstruct quickly (to reduce hardship to the affected colnmunity) and wisely (to reduce tlie adverse impacts during ally future recurrence of disaster). Essentially, the relief steps comprise tlie followi~~g

1) Search and Rescue

2) Medical assistance to the injured
3) Disposal of tlie dead

4) Food and Water

5) Emergency shelter for the ho~neless

6) Opening up access roads if blocked; and restoration of cornm~lnication channels

7) Psychological counselling of the survivors who have lost their close relatives
8) Repair of houses and facilities

9) Assistance (technical and financial) to restart economic activity to restore regul,ar work and income

10) Reconstruction through proper planning.

5.2.4 Measures for Rehabilitation

Measures for the rehabilitation of a .community affected by landslide or snow avalanche will depend very much 011 the extent of the damage done by the disastrous event.

If the damage has not been severe, the rehabilitation will take the form of (a) shortterm relief to restart norrnal activities and (b) taking long-term measures so that any firture landslide or snow avalanche does not hurt the co~nmunityat all or at least, not as much. We have already listed the short-tern1 relief steps in the preceding section. As -regards the long-term measures, these will comprise the fol-lowing:

Landslides and Snow


I ) Reducing the hazard proneness of the site through engineering measures such as strengthening or modifying the slopes, removing fragile and unstable pol-lions, securing snow accumulations by snow fences, snow nets or by cribbing, and improvement of drainage.
2) Stopping indiscriminate quarrying and mining in moi~ntain areas.

3) Afforestation of zones prone to landslides and snow avalanches so that trees and vegetation provide a binding force to prevent slippage of debris, rock, and snow.

4) Creation of a voluntary, commi~nity-based preparedness-system of watch, monitoring and alert. This will not only be useful in times of a disaster but will provide enough self-confidencc (and thereby self-reliance) which is an essential objective of an effective rehabilitation programme.
5 ) Provision of assistance for economic rehabilitation by arranging work, employment, loans, and grants.

In the extreme case of sevcre damage to a community by a landslide or snow avalanche, the site may be rendered totally unusable. In that case, rehabilitation takes the form of relocation and reconstruction, In such an event, the new site should be carefill ly chosen so as to minimize vulnerability and risks.
Check Your Progress 1 Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. .. 11) Checl<Y O L I answers ~ with those given at the end of the Unit.
I) Which areas in India are. pa~licularly vulnerable to landslides arld snow avalanches?

2) Describe briefly the Itind and ~nagnit~rde of damage resulting from snow avalanches.

Incre;rsccl Understanding of' Disasters I1

3) What are tlie relief steps that need to be taken in tlie aftermath of landslides or now avalanches?


The most important lesson learnt is that landslides and snow avalanches are among the serious and frequent disasters occurring in India. This is because the large mountainous regions (the Himalayas, the Eastern and Western Ghats, tlie Nilgiris, and even the Vindliyachals) are prone to landslides. Snow avalanches are coinmon in the Himalayas, especially tlie Western parts of the Hilnalayas. Secondly, there are preferred sites where due to reasons of g e o l o ~ and climate, such disasters occur often. It is useful to identifj, such sites and p e p i r e zonation maps. Thirdly, flash floods resulting from the blocking (and later release) of a hill stream or a river by the debris of a landslide or snow avalanches can create a dreaded disaster. However, a vely important lesson learnt is that there are relief steps that are possible in pre-disaster as well as post-disaster stage. Careful zonation mapping and pre-disaster engineering steps will go a long way to reduce tlie frequency of occilrrence and tlie intensity of impact of landslide or snow avalanche. A community which has been hit by a landslide or snow avalanche will need longterm rehabilitation process_tornalteit recover from tlie trauma of the disaster and to render it safe from future catastrophes of this type.


The responsibility to deal witli landslides and snow avalanclie lies witli tlie State Government. The Central Gover~ilnentmoves in to assist tlie State Gover~~ment depending on the seriousness of the situation. The District Administration (the District Collector) is the nodal functionary on behalf of the State Goverliment and they can requisition the assistance of the Defence Services sliould the situation warrant it. However, there seem to be no government rules as such specifically for landslides and snow avalanches. When these occur, these are treated as a natural disaster and dealt with accordingly., Most of the actions lie in short-term relief and rehabilitation to the affected communities.

Landslides and snow avalanches have been receiving considerable attention in research mode by central agencies such as the Department of Science & Te4hnology (DST), Central Road Research Institutk, (CRRI), Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), ~ e b l o ~ i cSurvey al of India (GSI), the Indian Institutes of Technology (IlTs), and University of Roorkee. The Snow and Avalanche Study

~stablishment(SASE) of the Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) specializes in the studies of snow avalanches. These institutes have prepared zonation maps by integrating ~nultiple data bases such as topographical data, geological data, remote sensing data, geo-technical investigatioli data, climatological data and actual occurrence data. Hazard zonation mapping based on tliis technique of integrated multiple database is used for forecasting arid forewarning. As already stated in Section 5.2.2 above, SASE is tlie nodal organization for forecasting of Snow avalanches. Strict enforcement of existing rules and framing of new rules to stop indiscriminate quarrying and mining near vulnerable slopes and to stop deforestation in high risk areas will go a long way to reduce the hazards due to landslides and snow avalanches. The houses and roads in the vulnerable zones should be built only according to the prescribed building codes which need to be enforced strictly.
Check Your Progress 2

Lmndslides and Snow Avalanches

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end ofthe Unit. I ) What are tlie lessons that yoit have learnt fiom tliis Unit?

2) What are the govern~nentrules to deal witli disastcrs due to landslides and snow avalanches?

3) Can you suggest some specific aspkcts which should b e covered by government rules in order to reduce the hazards due to lalidslides and snow avalanches? .

of Disasters - I1

increased Understanding


This Unit brings out the fact that landslides and snow avalanches arc among the major disasters that-affect the-mountainous regions of India. The areas prone to these disasters and the frequency and intensity of these disasters have been discussed. The kind and magnitude of damage resulting from landslides and snow avalanches have been described. Possible relief steps and rehabilitation measures are have been indicated. Specific aspects on which strict rules and enforce~nent required have been mentioned.

Climatological Data Cribbing

Data pertaining to climate. Making a bin type retaining wall consistiilg of interlocking members of steel, concrete or wooden logs and used to stabilize slopes and toprotect road cuts in the high hill. Digging or blasting for collecting building stones. Sudden, but short-lived torrential flood carrying load of solid debris. an i~nlnense

Quarrying Flash Flood Formation zone Slump Zonation Mapping

: :

Where the avalanche starts; also called starting zones. Mass movement involving an actual breaking away of rocks leaving a fresh mark on a hillside. Mapping ]nap of identified zones.


Indu Prakash, 1994, Disaster n~anugement, Raslitra Prahari Prakashan, Ghaziabad.

D.S. Upadhyay, 1995, Cold Clinzate Hydron?eteorology, New Age International (P) Ltd., New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai.


Check Your Progress 1

1. Your answer should include tlle following points:

Areas in India particularly vulnerable to landslides are: I-Iimalayas, Eastern & Western Ghats, Nilgiris. Areas particularly vulnerable to snow avalanches are: Hi~nalayas especially tile Western Himalayas in the three States, viz., J&K, H.P. and Uttaranchal.

2. Your answer should include the following points:

Damage from-snow avalanche depends very much on the kind of the snow avalanche, e.g., slab type or loose snow type or air-borne type. Slab type avalanche,smashes everything in its way or airborne o;'loose snow type covers a very wide area. Roads suffer the worst damage. Sonletinles if the avalanche falls in a lake or reservoir or blocks a river of stream, it can result in a flash flood.


Your answer should include the following points. o Esselltially, the relief steps comprise the following:

Landslides and Snow Avalanclres

Searcli and rescue Medical assistance to the injured Disposal of the dead Flood and Water Emergency shelter for homeless Opening access roads and restoration of communication Psycl~ologicalcounselling to survivors Repair of houses Assistance to restart economic activities Reco~lstructio~~ through proper planning


Check Uol~r Progress 2


Your answer should include the following points:


Landslides and snow avala~lches are serious and frequent. There are preferred sites where these occur These call also give rise to flash floods. Yet, relief,steps are possible.



2. Your answer should include the following points:


There are no government rules as such. Even where there are ~.ules(e.g., to regulate quarrying and mining near mou~ltai~l slopes), these are not enforced strictly.

3. Your answer sllould include the following points:


Stringent rules and strict enforcement are required to stop indiscriminate quarrying, mining, and blasting near unstable slopes of .mountains in disaster prone areas. Si~nilarly 1:here should be stringent rules and strict enforcement to prevent deforestation in vulnerable areas.



Objectives Introduction Major types of fires in India

6.2.1 6.2.2 6.2.3 6.2.4 6.2.5 Forest Fires Coal Fires Gas Fires Oil Fires Building Fires

Location, Frequency and Intensity

6.3.1 Damage done 6.3.2 Prevention and Protection 6.3.3 Lessons Learnt

Government Rules Let Us Sum Up Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to Check Your Progress Exel-cises

After studying this Unit, you should be able to:
e e

recognize the seriousness of tlie liazards due to fire and forest fire; understand the cliaracteristics associated with fires in forests, coal, oils and buildings; appreciate the extent and severity of damage due to such fires and the methods of fire prevention and protection; and have a general idea of government rules for precautions against fire hazards.

In tlie Foundation Course (CDM-01) in tlie Unit 10 of Block 3 dealing with fire and forest fire, a basic idea was given about the different types of fire hazards indicating tlie causes and impacts. A number of precautions, wliicli would prevent tlie occurrence of fires or retard their spread, were also listed. The occurrence of fires and forest fires s e e m to be on tlie increase and they cause very considerable damage and liuman misery including death and disfigurement as also disruption of eco~iomicdevelopment. Therefore, it is necessary to illcrease our understanding of the phenomena of fires and forest fires.


6.2.1 Forest Fires
The first thing to note is that except in rare cases of lightning strike, forest fires in India are almost always man-made. Tlie main causes are: smokers throwing 'beedi' or cigarette butts, or travellers, shepherds or picnic-makers leaving behind burning or smouldering embers.

I 6

Forest fires seldom occur in rain forests or decicluous broad leaf forests. But all coniferous forests and even the evergreen broadleaf forests in hot and dry regions often develop conditions suited for spread of forest fires. Of course, the basic requirement is that both the air and-the burnirig fuel (grass, bush, fallen leaves, branches of trees, deadwood) should be dry. Hot sunny days wit11 low humidity and strong breeze are coriducive to tlie rapid spread of fire in a forest. Many trees in forests give out oily or wax-like substance, wliicli helps burning and i~itensificatioli of forest fire. Once started, forest fires are seen to travel as much as 15 km per hour dowliwind side while spreading slowly sideways too. Extinguisliing a forest fire is not easy. Generally forest fire once started, continues until there is heavy rain or tlie burning fuel is finished.

Fire nnd Forest Fire

In almost all cases, a forest fire starts as a "s~~rface fire" in which dry leaves, slnall bushes and deadwood lying on the ground in a forest get burnt. Flames may rise to about one to two metres at tlie most. But if surface fire intensifies, thiclter buslies and small trees start burning and flanies [nay reach heights of about five metres. On fu~.tlierintensification, bigger trees start burning and flames may reach tlie tops of tall trees burning the top portions (the crown) of tall trees. Sucli vely intense forest fires are called "crown fires" and are extremely clestructive. Sometimes tlie trunks of big trees explode while burning in such intense fires.
Burning forests give out considerable amount of smoke, gases and hot air going up in tlie atmosphere and hurl them upwards. These also carry burning e~iibers in tlie neighbouring areas upto distances wliicli could even be one or two kilometers away. . Tliis depends on the strength of prevailing winds. Such burning embers, thrown out of fiercely burning forest fires are very liazardous as these can start fresh fires citlier in tlie neiglibouring forest areas or even in the residential areas or agricultural fields near the forests.

6.2.2 coal Fires

Coal is a cornmon and cheap source of energy and is utilized tlirough the process of burning. In other words, coal needs to be burnt so that it can be i~tilized as a source of energy. But this property of coal niakes it a liazardous substance when large amounts of coal burn accide~itallyand without much co~itrolon tlie resulta~itcoal fire. Thus, coal fire can occur either in large stocks of con1 (coal pits or coal dumps) or in coal mines below the ground surface. Therefore, the coal mining areas such as those in Billar, West Bengal, Orissa and Madliya Pradesh a~id Alidhra Pradesh are prone to such disasters. Coal fires generally get started through negligence or ignition of combustible gases. Sometimes, soft coal (especially in deep mines or big dumps) gets so hot due to gases tliat it may itself start a coal fire (without an external source of fire or ignition) particularly'whe~ithe atmosphere around is very hot and dry. Sucli occurrences are called "self-ignition".

In many areas of coal mines (e.g., Jliaria in Bihar), there are underground fires burning in coal mines for decades and travelling along the coal-bearing areas below the ground. Such instances transmit considerable heat to the ground surface wliicli often cracks and emits gases and smoke which-heat and pollute tlie area and make it unfit for-livin g . Thus, coal fires burning inside coal mines cause, double destruction - firstly by destrqying the coal inside the mine and secondly by making the area on the ground surface hot, polluted and unfit for living or econo~iiic activities.

Increased Understanding of Disasters If

6.2.3 Gas Fires

The increasing use of cooking gas in houses and hotels both in cylinders and through pipes is indeed a fire hazard. This gas is also used in cars in some cases. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is being introduced in a big way in public buses. These gases are mostly supplied in compressed form and-transported by trucks. Some industrial gases are also inflammable. All these constitute a ,widespread fire hazard.

6.2.4 Oil Fires

Inflammable liquids such as kerosene oil, diesel, petrol, spirit, liquor, ghee, other oils, paints, tar and certain chemicals are prone to fires which can be grouped together in tlie category of "oil fires". Such liquids catch fire easily through naked flame or an electric spark. Then they burn on the surface and spread out, thus spreading tlie flames as well. If the oil is in a container, there could be the vapours of the oil and these are also inflammable. This could lead to an explosion in the container. In fact, many such inflammable liquids are also prone to self-ignition because they undergo oxidation on coming in contact with the oxygen in the air. Tliis heats tlie liquid. If the temperature rises enough, the "flash point" is reached when the liquid starts burhing by itself. Therefore, such hazardous liquids or oils are stored carefully away from residential areas or crowded places. Further, good air circulation, cooling and ventilation is to be ensured to avoid the danger of oil fireg. Petrol storage depots, airpdrts, and oil tankers are,particulal-ly vulnerable sites.


Buiiding Fires

Building-fires are the rn st common among the fire disasters. Increasing pop_ulation, increasing conce~{rationsof population in closely built small Iiouses -06 jhuggi-jhoparpattieso r in multi-storeyed buildings in cities, increase tlie fire hazard. Unnecessary accumulation of co~nbustibleor inflammable articles or hazardous material add to the danger. Hotels and Cinema houses need special mention in this context. Lack of water or equipment for fire fighting allows the fires to burn fiercely. Hot and dry seasons add to the possibility of fires as also -, An the careless use of electrical equipment, naked wires and loose joints. electric short-circuit or a spark is often responsible for large-scale fire disasters tlie like of which are reported every summer from many cities. A large number of building fires owe their origin to the residents smoking in bed and'falling asleep while smoking. Accidents in kitchens are also among the major causes of fire^ in buildings.

In their start and further spread, the fires in buildings are as varied as the
buildings tliemselves. For example, buildings can house residential units or , apartments, hotels, schools, colleges, hostels, laboratories, business houses, I industrial establishments and factories, stores and shops. Buildings may be closely situated in a colony or be independent bunglows or farmhouses with considerable vacant area around. Buildings could also be multi-storeyed. Heating syytems and air-conditioning plants, especially in large and-tall multistoreyed buildings add to the fire hazard. The air conditioning ducts offer easy path for fumes, gases and smoke to be conveyed to other parts of the building quickly and false ceilings of inflammable material add to the hazard. In fact, for the majority of deaths in a fire choking due to smoke-or-soot is the cause incident.

indicated above, the electric i~istallationsand the wiring call cause fire in buildings when these get heated due to overload. People often do not realize that putting extra electrical load above tile berlnissib~elimit causes overheating or breali in the insulation in tlie electrical equipment which can either result,in a spark or explosion or bum due to overheating.

Fire and Forest Fire

Check Your Progress 1


i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at tlie end of tlie Unit.


Wliat are tlie most common causes of tlie start and spread of fires and forest fires?

2) What are the major types of fires in India?

3) Wliat are tlic basic requirements for spread of forest fires?

4) In forest fires what are termed as "Surface Fire" and "Crown Fire"?

Inct-eased Undel-standing o f Disasters - I1

5) What do you know about ~~nderground coal fires?

6) Can there be an oil fire without an outside source o f fire'?

7) How does increasing population in urban areas add to fire hazards in


8) What are the ma-iol. causes of start of fire





A s regards location, no place is free from the hazards of tire but the risk is more in congested areas, badly arranged stores, near combustible or i~iflammable material, badly maintained electric installations, multi-storeyed buildi~igs,coal mines, forests and in locations with hot atid dry climate over long periods OF ti~iie. Based on these fundamental considerations, it is easy t o appreciate that major fire disasters occur i n crowded large cities with multi-storeyed buildings and large clusters of jhz~ggi~jhoparpc~t~i~z~s and in vulrierable places like coal mines, illdustrial areas and stores of combustible and inflammable siibsta~ices and chemicals.

There is no inlierent Freqk~encyin tlie occurrence of fires or forest fires but it is clear 11iat ignorance, carelessness, negligence, and bad maintenance add very considerably to tlie possibility of occurrence of fire disasters. Complete or rcliable data for tlic entire count~y are not available but it has been estimated that about 30 fire incidents occur in 11icliaannually resulting in aboilt 15,000 deailis cvery year. Thcse tigures appear i~nbelievable but these are reasonably correct estimates. In Dcllii, for which reasonably correct ligures arc available, about 400 fire events arc repurted every year on the average. There are Inore tirc incidents during the sllmmer months when on tlie average about 30 calls are attended by the Dellii Fire Service. An estrelne example relates to 17 and 18 June 1997, when tlie number of lire incidents reported was 53 and 70, respectively. The intensity of a Fire event clepencls vely largely on the nature and amount of tlie combustible and inflammable material available for feeding tlie fire. Hot aricl d ~ y \reather conditions add to the intensity of a fire event. Strong winds fan tlie fire and make it sprcad rapidly downwind.

Firc anrl Forest Firc

6.3.1 Danlage Done

As already mentioned, more i.lian 30 lakli fire and forest fire events of various sizes occur every year in the country. These result in physical damages runni~iginto thousands of crores of rupees. It is vely i~nfortunatetliat fire rclated deaths also run into tliousands per year in the country. Besides, a large number of clomestic animals are also killed or maimed in iires.

Forest fires destroy very large areas, depleting natural resources, taking a heavy toll of life especially the wildlife. Forest fires destroy valuable bio-diversity.

6.3.2 Prevention and Protection

Prevention, is better than cure - so goes tlie old saying. In the context of fires also, prevention is definitely better than protection. But if a fire does happen, protectioll becomes most important. Protectio~ifrom lire consists essentially ofdeteciion of tlie tire as early as possible and extinguishing it as soon as practicable. Thus, safeguarding life ancl properly from fires and forest fires involves three basic as~ccts, which are: (i) Prevention; (ii) Detection and (iii) Extinguishing.

Rcsearcli into causes of fires and forest fires, identifying methods of preventing different types of iires and devising new techniques o r fire prevention are part of the specialized s t ~ ~ d i e ins different branches of engineering. But now the idea of absolute fireproofing or complete prevention of fires whetlier it is coal, oil, gas, buildings or forests, is considered to be impractical because one cannot decongest the buildings nor stop everybody from careless habits of smoking or burning slnall fires in or near forests, nor even put a total ball on fireworlts which seem to be a must during festive occasions like Diwali. Therefore, the present day emphasis is on creating conditions or designs so tliat hazardous materials wjll be stored safely, fire sources will be handled carefi~lly, electric equipment maintained properly, and tittings and fixtures niade of such material that will not catch fire easily or burn slowly. Ful-tlier, the buildings should be so designed that fires will be isolated in Illat portion of tlie building where it started and not spread immediately to the whole building. Finally, periodical inspection and rectification of defects are very important part of the fire prevention process. Above all, creating awareness among people is tlie niost important part of fire prevention. Evely person sliould be made aware of tlie serious risks and dangers to him or her, the family, the home and the work place from fire hazards. Proper awareness will enable one to avoid conditions that would start a firc or spread of

Increased Understanding

of Disasters - II

fire. Basically, this means keeping fire source and colnbustible or inflammable material separated and under correct conditions of control. Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the media can play a very helpful role in spreading the awareness among the public. Periodic "fire drills" would also spread such awareness. Schools could play an important role in creating awareness fro~n the early stages.

Detecting a fire, as early as possible after it starts, is the most crucial step in protection from fire hazards. The three principal indicators of a fire are: (i) smoke, (ii) heat, and (iii) flame. The success of early detection of a fire'lies in recognizing one or more of these indicators of a fire. Detection can be planned through (i) selfhelp by every person by being vigilant around him or her, (ii) a system of alert volunteers for a s1,ecific place like a forest or a coal godown or a crowded place like circus or a religious or social congregation, and (iii) automatic detectors or sensors such as heat sensors or flame detectors or smoke detectors in multistoreyed buildings, markets, cinema halls, hotels, factories, offices or cotnpitter centres.

Once a fire or forest Ijro 114s been detected, immediate action is required to stop it from spreading and to extinguish it totally. Towns and cities have fire brigades. But every moment is precious and fire should be tackled immediately till professional fire fighters arrive on the scene. Where there are no fire services, ihe citizens have to deal with the fire themselves. For extinguishing a fire, the basic strategy is to isolate the fire that has started, to stop it from receiving oxygen by preventing its contact with air atid to cool the area so that the fire is extinguished. 111 most cases, fires are extinguished by water and/or sand. I11 case of oil fires, special foam chemicals are used. Electric fires are extinguished, by switching off electricity and using carbon-di-oxide or halbn gases to extinguish the fire. Forest fires are exti~lguisliedtnostly by beating the burning bushes with handtools and by cutting a strip through forest to prevent fire from spreading. In case of fierce forest iires, huge quantities of water or special chemicals are dumped over burning forests with the help of specially equipped helicopiers. But SLICII fierce forest fires generally do not occur in our country. Moreover, this method is very cos'tly.

6.3.3 Lessons Learnt

The most i~nportant lesson to be learnt is that no place is imlnune to fire and every persoli Ilas to be always alert to the possibility,of a fire hazard. Further, allnost all fires and forest fires srp nian-~nade. It takes the careless or ~ ~ n w i action se of one person to begin a dest~,uctive fire. Therefore, it is the sacred civic d l 1 6of every citizen to ensure that he or she does not cause a fire or a forest fire to begin or spread. Secondly, combustible and inflammable material' should be stored, handled and trhsportqd safely to avoid the risk of fire.

rrllirdly, all electric equipments and wiring should be maintained properly so that the risli of short c i ~ u ior t spark is avoided. People passing through or visiting forests should not leave burning or smouldering embers behind. Smokers should be careful to extinguish cigarette or beedj butts completely before throwing away. They should never smoke in bed. Buildings in crowded localities, especially multi-storeyed buildings, should be properly designed and maintained. The exit routes should not be locked or otllerwise obstructed and these should be well marked by "signs". Early detection of a tire is a vely crucial step in fire protection ancl tliis should be ensured through individual alertness, volunteer system and automatic fire detection systems.

Fire and Forest Fire


Fire prevention and protection often become "State" subjects which means that the with the State Governments. Therefore, the main rules responsibility lies pri~narily for fire prevention and protection are laid in the form of Slate Regulations or Municipal Bye-laws. Idowever, at the national level, there is the National Building Code Part IV which deals with fire prevention, protection and guidance by specifying standards for construction, plumbing, electric installations including wiring, safety, sanitation, lighting, ventilation, heating and air-conditioning. As already explained, absolute fire-proofing is not a practical proposition. Therefore, Building Code presents a compromise between fire safety and cost of construction. At the initiative of the Delhi Fire Service, the Delhi Administratioh and the Ministry of I i o ~ n e Affairs of Government of India, the Parliament passed the Fire Prevention Act 1996 making it essential to provide the minimum prescribed protection measures for getting buildings certified before these are declared fit for occupation. In addition to rules by Government, there are also the guidelines from such organizations as the Loss Prevention Associati011 of India, the Bureau of Indian Standards, the Institute of Fire Engineers (India), the Central Building Research Institute, tlie National Safety Council, and Insukance Companies. However, all the rules apply only in cities and towns wliere there is some kind of municipal control. There also, the rules are not always adequately enforced and fire are flouted more than observed. But for tlie vast rural areas of tlie count~y, prevention and protection depends entirely on the Initiative, alertness and resourcefi~lness of the local. individuals and the communitjy. No wonder, we have such large numbers of fires occurring in our country, year dfter year.

Check Your Progress 2

Note: i) Us,e the space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1 ) What types of locations have greater risks of fire?

Incl-cased Understanding

of Disasters - 11

2) Wliat are the tliree basic aspects in fire safety?

3) What are the rules governing fire safety?

4) What are the important lessons that you have learnt after studying this unit?



Fires and forest fires 'are very destructive disasters and are almost always manmade. While there are distinct features of each fire event depending on the nature of the burning material (coal, gas, oil, building, forest etc.), location (crowded area, multi-storeyed building, village, jhuggi cfusters, forests, etc.), weather conditio~is (hot, dry, strong winds); the colnlnon result is loss of life and property and misery for the surviving victims. Multi-storeyed buildings, jhuggi clusters and large congregatio~is such as marriage and religious gatherings, where there is abundance of thatched or tented housing and where there is fire kindled for cooking or fireworks, etc., are specially vulnerable to fires. Electrical shortcircuiting, sparks fsom loose connections, and burning cigarette and beedi pieces are very cornmon causes of starting fires. Needless to say, fires also pollute the atmosphere. Fire safety or fire protection involves tliree important aspects, viz., (i) prevention, (ii) detection and (iii) extinguishing. Public awareness of what to do before fire, during fire and after fire is of critical importance. Municipalities and Government Departments make Bye-laws and Building Codes to guard against fires. But vast rural areas are not covered by these rules.

- -


Dense forests created by a climate of heavy rains. Mountain area tree which bears cones sucli as pine tree. . Those plants and trees that shed their leaves annually and thus collecl a lot of dry leaves on tlie1groundcreating a fire hazard. Always green; trees having green leaves, all tlie year round. Such trees also shed their leaves but only after new leaves have appeared. Therefore, sucli trees also, in cl~y climates, produce dry leaves wliicli can burti. Dampness; Amoiuit of moisture in the air. Burning or smouldering pieces of coal, wood etc.

Fire ant1 Forest Fire

Rain Forests Coliiferotls Deciduous


Humidity 'Embers
J11 uggi-tjlioparpatties

Clusters (large groups) of huts, tempora~y shelters built from wooden planlts, thatched roofs, plastic sheets etc. all of wliich are combustible. Rules by wliicli local autliorities control l.lle construction or alteration of builclings. Rules made by municipal autllorities. Through wliicli information can be conveyed to tlie public. For example, newspapers, magazines. radio, television. Made of hay or straw.

Builtling Code Bye-laws Media


Indu Pral<ash, 1994, Disuster M~incg~.m~ent, Raslitra Praliari, Pral<aslian,Gliazinbad (U.P.) W.L. Waugli Jr. and R.J. Hy (Editors) 1990, licn~clhook o f A4~rn~7gcmenf, Greenwood Press, New York, NY, USA Emergency

A.E. ,Cote and J.L. Linville 1986, Fire Protection Hundhook, lvational Fire Protection Association. Quincy. MA, USA


Check Your Progress 1

I ) Your answer should include the followillg points:

Human negligence or human indifference Strot~g winds Dryness (low humidity)
2) Your answer should include the following points:

Coal Fire

; OilFire

o f Disasters

l~rcrersetlUnclerstaoding - I1

Gas fire Building Fire Forest Fire

3) Your answer should include the following points:

* Dly fuel (leaves, grass, bush branches of trees)

Dry weather

Strong breeze

4) Y O Lanswer I~ should include the following points:


Surface Fire: when dry grass, leaves, deadwood and small bushes burn. Crown Fire: when, on intensification, forest fire starts burning the tops of tall trees.

5) Your answer sl~ould include the following points:


These burn inside coal mines and spread inside over large areas These burn for decades These generate intense heat even on ground surface which cracks thereby emitting gases and smoke On one hand coal is destroyed inside the underground coal deposits while on the other it becomes unfit to live or have economic activities on the ground sulaface.


6) Your answer should includc the following points:

Yes, through self-ignition

7) Your answer should include the following points:


Closely built houses

* Multi-storeyed buildings

Jhziggi Jhopc~rpatties

* Accumulation of combustible and inflammable niaterial

8) Your answer sliould include the following points:

Bacl electric connection or electric equipment Smoking in bed and throwing burning cigarette or beedi carelessly I<itchen accidents Use of combustible and inflammable ~natesialin fi~rnishing and decoration Storage of hazardous cliernicals without adequate safety.


e e e

Check Your PI-ogress 2

1 ) Your answer should include the following points:

* Coligested areas * Badly arranged stores * Electric equipment not maintained properly * Multi-storeyed buildings
Jhz~ggi-jhoparpatti clusters




Coal mines Oil Storage areas Forest

Fire and Forest Fire


2) Your answer sliould inclede tlie following points:


Prevention Detection Extinguishing

3 ) Your answer should include tlie following points:

e e

Municipal Rye-laws Building Codes Fire Prevention Act Guidelines from organisations such as Loss Prevcntion Association of India, Burcau of Indian Standards, Institute of Fire Engineers (India), Natiolial Safety Council, Insurance Companies.



4) Your answer sliould include tlie following points:


Allnost all fires and forest tires are lnanlnade While it is allnost impossible to ensure totsll prevention of fires and forest tires or to make absolute fire-proofing of buildings, preventive precautions can help in reducing the occurrence of fires and forest fires uid also reduce tlie damage to life and property when fires occur. Multi-storeyed buildings and crowded places like hotels and cinema halls should be properly designed. Electrical equip~ne~it should be well maintained Early detection of fire and forest fire helps. Rules and gi~idelines pertaining to construction of buildings and fire prevention should be followed.



Objectives Introduction Special Features of Industrial and Technological Disasters Tlie Industrial Hazards
7.3.1 7.3.2
The Chemical I-Iazilrds The Nuclcar tlazards

Transportation Accidents Industrial Disasters: A Case Study of Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster Chemical and Biological Warfare Disasters
7.6. l
Chemical WarFdrell'errorist threat

7.6.7 Biological Warfilre/'l'errorisl tlircat 7.6.3 Nuclear Warlhrell'errorist Threat 7.6.4 [nstitutibnal Arrangcmenls

Let Us Sum Up Key Words References and Fultlier Readings Answers to Check Your Prog~xss Exercises

After studyi~ig this ~ ~ ~YOLI i i t should , be able to :

understand tlie subtle difference belween industrial and technological disasters; learn about tlie types of industrial and technological disasters and their special features; highlight the case of Bhopal Gas Leal<disaster; and discuss chemical and biological warfare disasters.

Tlie industrial and tecli~~ological hazards do not have a very well defined definition. In general, both these types are tlie result from accident, failure, mishap or misuse of some kind of technology. Tlie disaster may be brought about by causes like leakage, spills, radiation fallout, explosions and fires, structural failure and transportation mishaps. All the teclinological innovations have certain amount of risks and very well defined benefits, as the use of the available technologies in appropriate manner make life easier and elljoyable. For example, the transporlatio~~ sector is serving the manlcind in a big way thro~~gh co~nfortable and short duration journeys for long dista~ices; at the same time the accidents involved in this sector cannot be ruled out. The major reason behind the large number of accidents is either machine fault or tlie failure of human beings in one form or the other. The case is alniost similar with all disasters involving usage of technology which is getting more and more complex. However, for the sake of convenience in study, industrial'hazards'coverthe onside and off-side disasters emanating from large installations or u~idertakings. All other hazardous events occurring at public places or private premises while using or transporting technical devices or rnetl~odology are grouped as technological disasters.


~nclustrialand technological disasters are characterised by tlie followilig special features: Pretlictability: I~idustrial and technological disasters have no predictability as such because ol"the inherent nature of tlic causes indicated under introduction above. In case of tlie machines and equipment, there is a concept or "mean time between (MTBF)" but it is not necessary tliat evely mechanical or eq~~ipnnent failure will lead to a disaster. In fact, the technological and industrial systems are designed to slni~t oft' partially or totally once there is a sub-system Sailure. In major industries or technological installations, there are more than onc safety systems. But disasters do occur due to a combination of technical circumstances or due to human fatigue or I'ailure. In any case, there is no usable concept of predictability in industrial and tecli~iologicaldisasters. C:ontrilrtutory Factors: Most of the industrial and technological disasters are ;~ttribi~table to Iii~ma~i error (due to erroneous judgmcnt or operator fatigue or negligence in operation andlor maintenance) or due to system failure (malfiunction of cquipmcnt or macliine or structural railure). 'I'he probability of their occurrence is not prdictablc as explained above. However, there are factors tliat aggravate tlie chance of occurrence. 'I'liese arc:

Industrial and Technological Disasters

* * *

Laclc of proper mainte~iancc of the installations Lack of adequntc training oi'opcrational and maintena~ice stafS Lack orawarcncss of the serious consequences of negligence Lack ol' safety rehearsals Deactivation of safety systc~nisfor repair or niaintenance without alternate safety cover Sstbotagc :i-om williin or outside

I-lence cternal vigilarice is tlie key to reduce the chances ~Foccurrence of industrial a~icl tcclnnological disasters. Typical Adverse Effects Industrial and technological disasters lead to adverse effects that are typically spread over a smaller area as compared to natural disasters but tlie resultant human mise~yand econo~nic loss are sonleti~nesmore colossal and cruel. The common are: adverse effec~s (i) Physical damage which may extend to neighbouring areas (ii) Large number of casualties involving deaths and serious illjuries requiring urgent medical attention on a large scale (iii)Trapped persons requiring special techniques and equipment for retrieval and treatment (iv) Environmental degradation of air; water and land which sometimes may take years to be rectified and may therefore, necessitate relocation of the population (v) Loss of employmelit of not only the involved persons but also of the affected area at large.

increased Urltlersta~itlir~g o f Disasters - I l

Immediate Post-disaster Iiequirrments

Induslrial and technological disasters occur wilhout any notice and tlie disaster management systcm has to be bsoi~glit into action as early as practicable. Therefore, the first and forornost requirement is that tlie incident should be brougllt to tlic notice oftlie local ant1 distsict autlio~.itles (Civil and Police) immediately by the fastest communication mctliods available Simultaneously, fire fighting has to comnicnce beca~~se most of tlic industrial and tcclinological disasters result in fire. Iiowever, tliese being different fio~nnor~nalliouseliold or building fires, need special equipment and fire-retardant material depending on tlie causes and nature of tlie fire. In most cases of Fircs resi~ltingfrom industrial and teclinological clisastcss, ~ l fire ~ epersonnel need to wear. spocial protective gear and masks. Search and rescue, medical attenlion inclutling trauma care and evacuation become essential immediately. Industrial and teclinological disaslcrs need a thorougli clcan up mission to retrieve and salvage as much as possible and to arrest tlie spread of adverse environmental effects.


'I'lie accidents in various types of industries like manufacturing, power production 'etc, and in storage and transportation of various liazardous materials used in tliese industries fall under tliis category. Tlie risk involved under this category is deiined as tlie chances of deal11 or illjury per person per number of hours exposed. Tlie major disaster threats have emerged in the chemical and nuclear industries. Tlie manufactu~~ing, processing, transpol-tation, distribution/storage and tlie application/use of many products of tliese two aseas are hazardous. Tlie .following paragraphs highlight some aspects under these two major groups.

7.3.1 The Chemical Hazards

The chemical industry is massive tlirougliout the globe, n~anufactusing a liuge annually. At present four and a half million clie~nicals are quantity of che~nicals are registered with the 'Chemical Abstracts', and thousands of new clie~-\~icals created every year. Tlie creation of new chemicals becomes imminent for higher standards of every day life. Tlie advances in tliis particular industry are due to substantial demand. In our country, tlie cliemical industry is about US$20 billion-a-year industry. Tlie chemical industry faces multiple risks involved with production, tra~isportation, storage, usage and disposing off tlie effluents containing residual cliemicals. Tlie studies conducted on tlie clieniical disasters' show that tlie incidence of clie~nicalemergencies and disasters are on increase throughout tlie world. Even tlie risks involved within tliese types of industries are liiglier due to the i~ivolvement of larger anlounts of materials involved. For example, the tonnage carrying capacity of the sea going petrocl~emicaltankers increased seven times during tlie period 1960-1980. Similarly, trucks carrying chemicals, evcn petrochemicals, have increased along with tlie liiglier carrying capacity. Tlii~s, tlie risk involved in tlie increased capacity is autoniatically liighcr. From tlie tecli~iologicalhazards points of view, 1984 was tlie worst year, where three major disasters took place in the world. I n these three disasters, about 3,500 people died. These disasters were:


Bhopal (India,2/3.12,84) - more than 2000 deaths, 34,000 eye infections, 2,00,000 people left the city. Release of toxic gas from the factoly in tlle urbari area. The Bhopal disaster have been discussed in the Section 7.5 in detail.

lntlustrial and Tccli~~ological Disasters

ii) Mexico City (Mexico, 19.11.84) - 452 deaths, 31,000 homeless and 3,00,000 evacuated from the site. LPG explosions in a high density residential area near the industrial site. iii) Cubatao (Brazil, 25.2.84) - 500 deaths in the petroleum spillage ancl fire in an illegally built town near tlie industrial site.

7.3.2 The Nuclear Hszarcls

The nuclear power ind~istry was developed bccause initially, it seemed to offer a relatively dependable and inexpensive source of energy. The history of nuclear industrial development is about half a century old. After a few accide~itsin this industry lilte Chernobyl (former USSR), the industry is being considered as a major hazardous one. Majority of developing countries including India are using n~~clear power increasingly to get rid of contin~~ously increasing need of imported sources of energy. According to the 1nter.national Ato~nic Energy Agency (IAEA), developing country's present share of world's installed nuclear power plants is about 7.0%. A total of 21 developing countries either have nuclear power plants in operation or have tlie plants i n construction or plaiining stage. This number will be increasing in fi~ture.As per the estimates of IAEA, nuclear energy production is growing at an average of 2.8 to 3.9 percent per year worldwide i? the periocl of 1989-2005. Besicles, tlie in-plant 'nilclear plant' problems, risks are associated with tlie transportation and disposal of nuclear wastes over lolig distances including other increasing byproducts of the nuclear plant processes.


As mentioned in the preceding section, transportation is very niuc11 i~ivolveclin industrial and technological activity. l'herefore, transportation accidents constitute a special category of industrial and technological disasters, Tlie accidents in various modes of transport like roadways, airways, railways and seaways fall iinder this category. . The risk involved under this category is defined as the cl~al~ces of death, or injury per kilometer travelled. Tlie piiblic transport systems in present tilnes are ~nuclisafer in conipariso~~ to few decades ago. The innovation in tlie safety systems have reduced the clia~ices of occurrences of disasters considerably. With all available sources, tlie number of deaths in the 11-ansportationsector are on the rise due to increased number of Lravellers and enhanced travelling distances. Tlie nobility at present is very high due to increased businesses and higher toirrist activities tlirougliout tlie globe. The transport related risk is also high due to higher occupancy of the vehicles used for travelling by air, rail or road ways. Even a majority oT passenger vehicles have large capacity to acco~nmodate tlie large n~~tnber of passengers. Tllus any accident results in inore deaths or ilijuries. One example of this type of disaster is tlie mid air collision over Charkhi Dadri near Dellii in November, 1 996.

Mid-air Collision betwechiSaudi-~azakh Aeroplanes:

On November 12, 1996 around 6.40 P.M. two planes owned by ICazak11 Airlines(KZA 1907) and Saudi Airways (SVA 763) collided in tlie air near Charkl~ Dadri, 80 Knl north-west of el hi. The following is the fact sheet of the disqter:


Increased Underst;rnding of Disasters - II

Collision height Average speed at itlipact Total people ltilled

about 5000 metres above mean sea level. 500 km, per hour 351 (3 12 on board the Saudi Airways Boeilig 747 and 39 in tlie Icazakh Airlines IL-76) about five kilometre about seven kilometres bctween the two planes about 500 tonnes o f the wreckage


Radius of debris Separation between the debris

Approximate weight

Tlie clironology of tlie events leading to the disaster call be summarised a s . following:

Saudi Airlines fliglit took off from the Indira Galidhi International Airport at Delhi at 6:33 P.M. for Dahran and Jeddali, with 3 12 persons on board. Tlie Air Traffic Controller at Dellii airport tells tlie pilot to climb to a height of 14000 ft. and standby. At the satlie time, a Kazakh Airlines plane coming to New Dellii witli 39 persons on board is cleared to descend to 15,000 ft. by tlie Air Traffic Controller. Both tlie pilots confirmed the stipulated heights as given by tlie Air Traffic Controller . Within a minute, the radar in tlie control room liad two blips on screen, indicating two planes approaching each other and merge witli each other. Tlie blips disappeared from tlie screen just after merger. A US plane saw the bright glow in tlie sky and two fire balls falling down to the ground.

As the debris was spread over five I<m radius area, without proper road connection, it took about 2 hours by tlie local authorities, to reach the debris site. Tlie local people started tlie rescue and search operation immediately after tlie disaster.

There was'no survivor. Tlie cause was faulty equipment in aircrafl and pilot error.

Check Your Progress 1

Note: i) Use the space given below for your alrswers. ii) Clieclt your answers witli tliose give11at tlie end o f the Unit.

1) What do you understand by industrial and tcclinological disasters?

27 ' "


2 ) What are the various types of industrial Ilazards?

I~ldustrialand Tesl~nologicrl Disasters


Describe any disaster related to transpo~lationsector.


One of the most disastrous events since the history of chemical industry occurred in Bllopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, on the night of Deceniber 02, 1984. in the factory of Union Carbide of India Ltd. (UCIL) due to lealtage of Methyl Iso Cynate (MIC) gas. UCIL, a subsidiary of the multi national company Union Carbide Corporation (USA) was in the business of manufactul-ing pgricultural pesticides among other things. MIC was required in these rnanuFacturing activities and was therefore, man~rFdctured and stored at the UCIL plant in Bhopal.
C.'iiaracteristicsof MlC

NllC has very special characteristics which make the chemical very hazardous. Some of die properties of the MIC are:

It is extremely volatile and vaporises very easily It can boil at a tempet+atureof 38degrees C, so it is very important to be kept cool.

It is chemically very active and reacts violently with water. It is highly toxic, it is about 100 times lethal than cyanide gas,

* It is heavier than atmospheric air, it stays near the ground after release.
Tlie Disaster

Iluring the night of December 2-3, 1984, about 45 tonnes of MIC (Methyl ISo Cynate) gas leaked from the UCIL (Union Carbide of India Ltd.) plant at Bhopal. MIC was stored in the underground tanks, which became contaminated with dater. The contamination produced chemical reaction, followed by a rise in gas pressure and a subsequent leak. Tlie chronology of the events leading to one of the most disastrous events in the history of chemic(zl industry is as follows:

I l~cl.easecl Understnntli~ig of Disasters - I I

Chrorlology of the Event

Decenlber 2, 1984, was a routine day at the UCIL factory in Bhopal


MIC was stored in an ~~ndergroilnd tank. The pipeline washing starter1 at 9:30 p.m. as a routine maintenance operation Retween 10:30 - 1I:OO p.m. : workers engaged in pipcline washing became aware of a leak. Little attention was however paid considering it a normal leak. A casiral attempt was made to trace the source of leakage, but of no use. The leak continued. Around 12:15 - 12:30 a.m.: The pressure in the MIC tank -I..,, ~ p t o55 pounds per square inch (which was the maxim~~rn cne gauge c o ~ ~ l read). d The temperature had also shot up to 2 D O degree C and was increasing. An operator saw that the co~~crete above the tank was cracking. About 12:30 a.m., the relief valve of tlie tank gave away arid large quantities of MIC gas leaked into the at~nosphere. The workess at the factory realised the risk of a massive disaster. 'They tried to activate tlie safety systems available at the factory at about 12:30 a.m. The three safety systems available within the factory arid tlieir condition at that time were as under: Turning on the flare tower to burn off toxic gas. This system was not in working condition as a piece of pipelinc Icading to the tower had been removed for maintenance. Using the vent gas scrubber, whicli was considered 1:he main line of defence. It was also not in an operational condition. Transferring the MIC from the tank into a nearby spare tank. 'I'lle gauge of the spare tank indicated that the tank already contained something. This gauge indicator was found defective, later on.

After failure in all the three safety systems, tlie worl<ers atteriipted to douse the leaking gas with water spray. Tlie water spray reached a height of 100 ft. from the ground, while the leak was at 120 ft. above tlie ground. At 1 .OO a.m., realising that nothing coirld be done to stop the leak, the workers at the plant fled.

At about 1 . O O a.m. tliousands of people living around tlie plant were awakened by the suffocating, burning effects of the gas. As on three sides, tlie UCII, plant was surrounded by slums and other poor settlements, the people living in these colonies were the worst sufferers. There was no warning or guidance to the general public around this time. There were two types of alarms in the factory, one mild siren for workers and one loiid pi~blic siren. Tlie public siren was started only at about 2:30 a.m. Aboi~t2.00 a.m., a large number of people were rushing out of tlie town through the liigl~waysleaving Bhopal. The Inad rush on the main roads of the city resulted in stampedes. About two lal<li people hacl f e d the city by 3:30 a.m.. The gas cloitds dissipated around 3:30 a.m..

By 4:00 a.m. hospitals were crowded with suffering people.

In the wake of the tragic disaster, a large number of people lost tlieir lives and received illjuries, many to tlieir lungs and eyes. ~ c c o i d i n g to the Government reports, 1754 persons had died and 200,000 wcre injured.
Removal of dead bodies of livestock The real problem was the removal of dead bodies of livestock, which was still littered on the streets and houses of tlie affected areas. About 20 dumpers and six

cranes were pressed into service to remove 790 buffaloes, 270 cows, 483 goats, 90 dogs and 23 horses. During the burying operation or dead bodies, adequate care was talien to check tlic spread of epidemic.

lndustrinl and Technologic~l Disasters

Emergency Response and Relief Operations

~ h reparation c for coping with a major accident of ~~nprecedented dimensions affecting the surrounding communities like this one was minimal. After the event thc immecliate response was chaotic and inadequate. I~iTormation regarding the gas release was late and incomplete. The police and medical services were unaware initially that there had been a release oTMIC gas. No one knew about tlie adverse erfects of tlie gas release and tlie treatment methods of [lie affected persons. For the relief purposes of tlie affected persons a relief commission was createcl directly ~ ~ n dthe e r Chief Minister. Two additional collectors were made incliarge of relief and rehabilitation respectively. Tlie main duties of the additional collectors included tlie proper field work coordination and to ensure the implementation of administrative directives. Various gas affected localities were divided into seven administrative zones. Each mne'was under tlie administrative control of a deputy collector. Tlie ncxt of liin ofthe dead persons were paid immediate ex-gratia compensation of Rs. 10,000. The poor fsl~nilicsin the gas affected wards were paid an cxgratia of Rs.1500. Wheat and rice were distributed free in tlie affected local'ities. The local administration faced problc~ns in the absence of reliable socioeconomic surveys which made tlie identification of poor families very difficult. The gas relief commission and the state department of industry lau~iclied scliemes to provide alternative employment for the affected people.

Check Your Progress 2

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Check Y O L Ianswers ~ with those given at the end of the Unit.


Write a note on Methyl Iso cyanate.

2) Explain in detail the Bhopal gas leak disaster.

Incressctl Ur~cIcrctantIing

of Disasters - 11

3) Explain tlie variol~srelief measurcs taken Bhopal gas leak disaster.

LIP by

the administration after the


The threat of chcmical and biological warfare has been tallced about frequently in the past years but thc likelihood of sucli occurrence lias assurned serious concern in the emerging terrorism dominatecl cnviro~iment. Such tactics have been rightly given the name of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

Cheniicals, in the f o m of poisons, liave been used as agents of hal-m since times immemorial. These assume disastrous proportions when used for large scale or mass killings. Such situations can arise either inadvertently, or thro~tgliignorance or in a criminally planned manner. Inadvertent use of poisonous substances - by children in many cases or mixing of toxic clietnicals or poisons in country liquor, are well known examples. In tilncs of strifc, tlicre are threats of poisoning the water supply of entire tow11or city and hence special vigilance is to be maintained around water works atid water tanks in case of actual or perceived threats of this typeii)

Toxic Gases

Quick acting, toxic gases have been envisaged as the tileans of ilnniobilizing or and are reported to have been ~nanufactured killing large segments of pop~~latio~l and stored by many countries during wars or war like situations although it is not very clear if these were used as Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) so far. The chemicals, in the form of gases, that havc bee11usually talkecl about in this context are the following: (a) Nerve Gases are basically highly toxic insecticides and act by inhibiting important enzyme activity in human body, These are generally the colnpounds of fluorophosphoric acids with alcohol and known as esters. In a well repotted case, the A u ~ nShinri Kyo cult in Japan released Sarin nerve gas in Tokyo subway in 1995. It resulted in the death of 12 persons and many more had to receive medical treatlnent for extended periods. (b) Pllosgene is the name given to carbonyl chloride and is a poisonous gas used in certain chemical and dyestuff manufacturing processes. It acts on human body by danlaging the lungs quiclcly. (c) Hydrogen Cyanide interferes with the transfer o r oxygen from the blood to the li~lrnalitissue. This was the killer agent in the BI~opalgas tragedy of 1984 , when the Methyl Iso Cyanate gas in contact with the moisture in human eyes, nose and lungs generated hydrogen cyanide which blocked the supply of

oxygen to tliese organs and blinded and killed thousands. That was a clieniicaI accident but a siniilar sccnario of a chemical disaster can be created by a terrorist 01'enemy agent. id) Muslartl gas is also called yperite and is clicmically identiliecl as dicliloroclielhyl sulpliide. I t lias a faint odour of garlic. It causes co~ijunctiviti~ in tlie eyes leading la blindness and creates very painfill bliste1.s on tlie skin. Relcase of a poisonous gas at siligle point or even a m~~ltipoint ground based release may aSfect only thc people in tlie vicinity or tlie down wind communities. I-lowevcr. aerial spray li-om low flying vehicles such as helicopters or crop.;praying light aircraft is a Inore dangerous proposition.
~f peoplc can gct nw:ly cluickly or otlier\vise limit cxposurc to tlic poisonous gas a~~ can d seccivc p r o ~ n ~ medical ~t attention. chances oS survival with manageable in.jusies will he quite high. But this will depcnd ~ l p o the ~ i ability of the medical l~crsonnel to con.cctly identiSy tlic toxic gas liom the first symptonis on the victi~ns antl tlie availability of antidote medicine in tlic required cluantity.

Industrinl a11c1 Technological Disasters

Tlie All Ilitlia Instit~rteor Mcdial Sciences in Ncw rlcllii lias established tlie National I'oisons Inforniation Centre in its prcriiises to collect and tlisse~iiinate inforn1:ltion about difl'ercnt poisonous substa~iccs.


Biological Warfare / Terrot-ist threat

I n tlie contest of biological disasters, menlion is often niatle of botulism, small ~ic (VEE) and; tlie last onc being tlie pox, Venezuclan E q ~ ~ i En~cplialitis one that has rccently collie into great prominence bccause determined efforts appear to liave been madc to LISC it as n weapon of harming targeted individuals cltli~~ there ~gli lias been no evidencc of its use as and terrorizing tlie gcneral p ~ ~ b lii~ a weapon or mass destruction.
(a) Botulism is perhaps tlic most Ictlial bicllogical agent. It is made by a bacteriuni ancl sprcads tlirougli co~itanii~iated air, foocl or wntcr. Death occurs within-24 hours clue to paralysis of breathing muscles. Antibiotic treatment, to be erfectivc, niust st:lrt I d o r e sy~iil~to~iis ap~xa~'. (b) Small Pox: Evcn tliougli small pox as a disease lins been eradicated fro111 the I S been prcsel-vcd in a few reputed laboratories and is kept world, tlic V ~ ~ L has ~ ~ n d liigli e r security. 'I'lie Sear is that if it colncs in tlie Iiands of a terrorist aerosol spray. The problem is that organization, it may be releasecl tli~~ougli there is no effective d r ~ ~ g and vaccinatio~iprogramliies liave long been stopped.
(c) Venezuclan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) is fatal among humans and there is no

I<~iown cure so far. It lcills tlirougli inflammation of brain tissues. id) Antlirax is caused by tlie spore forniing tlie bacterium Bacillus Anthracis and is really a disease associated with herbivorous animals. Thc disease occurs contract the disease naturally in arcas where people raise livestock. H~~nians tlirougli cuts in tlie skin or by breathing in anthrax spores or by eating antliraxinfected meat. If anthrax spores are collected in a concentrated form and spread in tlie atmosphere on a large scale quietly, as a colourless odourless and invisible spray, it can certainly turn into a biological disaster because it spreads rapidly when it is inhaled into the lungs. At that stage, it is difficult to control altliougll alltibiotic treatment of antlirax is available. Tlie problem here also is that tlie antibiotic treatment must stai-t before tlie development oFsy~iiptoms of the mortality rate is almost 90%. fever and cough, otl~erwise


Nuclear Warfaremerrorist Threat

Even tl~oughInany countries possess nuclear at.senal, yet on a realistic assessment it is sensible to tliinlc that these may never be used as lias been seem for over a half ccntuly that such lethal weapons liave been in existence. But the possibility, always remains of some terrorist organizations ~naking a crude device. Noting tlle complcxities of design and ~nanufactureand the need for a long distance delivery system, the use of a nuclear device by terrorists would perhaps be a remote possibility. Even if it takes place, the incident would not posc problems inore colnplex than those associated with a technological accident in a nuclear power plant. which we liave ci iscussed earlier.

7.6.4 Institutional Arrangements

A Nuclear Biological and Cliernical (NBC) Warfare Girectorate has been set up by the Defence Services. An inter-services coordination committee monitors tlie
Thc Defence Research and Developlnent Establislilnent (DRDE) of the Defence for Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is the premier establish~nent studies it1 toxicology and bioclieliiical pharmacology and development of antibodies against bacterial and viral agents.



This Unit brings out the fact that industrial and technological disasters result from accident, failures, ~nisliap or misuse of some kind of technology. The disaster may be brought out by tlie agents like technical spills, radiations fallout, explosions and of industrial fires, structural failure and transpol-tation misliaps. Special feat~~res and technological disasters have been discussed in some detail. A case of Bhopal Gas leak disaster has been presented. Finally, cliemical and biological warfare disasters have bee11discussecl.



Mici.oscopic or even smaller single-called organisms occurring in enormous nu~i~bers every where in nature in air, water, land, sea, plants and animals. They can start clie~nicalchanges including disease and decay. An industry using raw materials \vliich by themselves, produce sucll products which could lead to massive disasters and heavy loss. Minute reproductive bodies produced by plants or animal cells. Animals that feed on plants and vegetation. Unco~ltrolled leakage and eventual spread of a liazardous gas, e.g., Ammonia, Chlorine, and other more toxic gases which call be fatal and can cause asphyxiation, i.e., difficulty is normal breathing. Some of the gases - like the Methyl Iso Cyanale in Bhopal Gas Tragedy can leave far reaching disabilities among shrvivors. Sudden shock either physical or meiita! or both.

Hazardous Industry :

Spores Herbivorous

: :

Toxic Leak




Green, Stephen, 1980, Irllernalional Disu.sfer Reliqfi Towards A Respo~~sh,e Syslenz, McGraw Hill Book Company, New York. ROSS, Simon, 1 987, Hc~zar.~J Geography, Longman, U.K.

Industrial and Technological I~isasters

Sliarma, Vinod I(., 1994, Disaster hfllnugenlcn~,Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Dcllii.

Hazards, (School Edition), Assessing Risk Smith, Keith. 1996, Envirw~w~e~rltrl and Reducing Disaster, Routledge, London.


Clleck Your Progress 1 I ) Your answer slio~~ld include tlie following points:

There is only a si~btledifference between industrial and technological disasters. While almost all inclilstl-ial disasters are also teclinological disasters, all technological disasters are not industrial, e.g., transportation accidents. Industrial disasters have on-site and off-site aspects.

2) Yoi~r answer sliould i~lcli~de the following points:


Chemical hazards Nuclear liazards

3) Your answer sliou Id include the following points: A major transportation disaster occurred near Dellii in November 1996 when two aircrails collided in mid air about 80 km from airport.
One aircraft was ascending while the other was descending. There was no survivor and all the 351 persons on board tlie two aircraft perished. The cause was faulty equipment in aircraft and pilot error.

Check Your Progress 2

1) Yoiir answer should incli~de tlie following points: MIC is very volatile It boils at 3 8" C and has to be kept cool It reacts with water violently It is highly toxic-~nuclimore lethal than cyanide

It is heavier than air and spreads near ground surface;

2) Your answer sliould include tlie following points: It occurred on the night of December 2, 1984 All three safety systems were either inoperative or did not work Gas leaked and spread around There were populated areas on three sides of the factory Nobody seemed to know the defensive methods against the gas 1754 persons dead and 2,00;000 were injured.

lrlcrcased Understanding of Disasters - 11

3) Your answer should include the following points:

* Affected persons were treated in hospitals

Next of kin of dead were paid Rs. 10,000/Poor families were paid Rs. 15001- per family for immediate expenditure
a e

Dead bodies of cattle were buried to avoid epidemics Ernploy~ilent schemes were launched for surviving persons.



0b.jectives Introduction Major Epidemics in India

(Ciujarat) Plagiie Epidemic - 1994 8.2.1 'I'he Si~rat 8.2 : ! Dcnguc Epidcmic ill Delhi 1996

1,essons Learnt
8.3 I P l a p ~ ~ e 8.3.2 Dcngilc 1:evcl.

Let Us Sum Up Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

Afcr going through tliis Unit you should be able to:

explain an epidemic situation , identitj/ the causes for occurrence of epidemics; and list tlie steps involved in the control of epidemics

You have alrcady Icarnt in tlie earlier unit on epideniics (Unit 12, Block 3, CDM01) about its meaning, causation and tlie control measures for preventing epidemics. In tliis unit, we shall describe two epidemic situations in tlie recent ~ncdiaheadlines. You past, wliicli liave been in the national and inter~~ational will also learn about tlie magnitude and causative factors of these epidemic situations. Towards tlie end of iliis unit, the lessons learnt from these particular situations will be liigliliglited.



India is endemic to Inany diseases such as Malaria, Kala-azar, Cholera, Tuberculosis. These erupt in epidemic form when conditions are favourable for their spread. Epidemics are disasters by tliemselves but these call emerge in tlie aftermath of other disasters as well.

In the recent past, two epidemics, viz., plague and dengue inflicted tlie Indian population very badly at Surat and Delhi, respectively. I-lowever, these occurred by tlie~nselves and were not tlie result of any other natural disaster.

8.2.1 The Surat (Gujarat) Plague Epidemic - 1994

Plagt~e is a disease known to mankind from ancient times. Indin lias undoubtedly a long history, which is replete with plague epidemics and havoc caused by them. This recent outbreak of plague generated a tremendous concern in and outside the country. No other disease so anienable to prevention and control lias generated such serious concern in conte~nporary times. If its present epidemiological picture is appropriately examined, it does not deserve the attention it received. The rcasoli for its larger than life size attention in the media ill the country and outside, and tlie reason for tlie controve~*sies wliich plagued this plague outbsealc are possibly due to an inappropriate perception of tlie

of Disasters - 11

Increased Understanding

3) Your answer should include the following points:

Affected persons were treated in hospitals Next of kin of dead were paid Rs. 10,0001@

Poor families were paid Rs. 15001- per family for immediate expenditure Dead bodies of cattle were buried to avoid epidemics Employment schemes were launched for surviving persons.



Objectives Introduction Major Epidemics in India Lessons Learnt

8.3.1 Plague 8.3.2 Uengi~c Fever

8.2.1 The Surat (Gu,jarat) Plaguc Epidemic - 1994 8.2.2 Ilengue Epidemic in Dellii - 1996

Let Us Sum Up Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

Aftel*going thro~~gli tliis Unit you sliould be able to:

* explain an epidemic situation


* identify the causes for occurrence of epidemics; and

list tlie steps involved in the colitrol of epidemics



You have already learnt in tlie earlier' ~ l ~ i 011 i t epidemics (Unit 12, Block 3, CDM01) about its meaning, ca~lsationand tlie control measures for preven~ing epidemics. In tliis unit, we shall describe two epidemic situations in the recent past, which have been in tlie national and inter~iationalniedia headlines. You will also learn about the magnitude and causative factors of these epidemic situations. Towards the end of tliis unit, the lessons learnt from tliese particular situatio~is will be highlighted.



India is endemic to many diseases such as Malaria, Kala-azar, Cholera, Tuberculosis. These erupt in epidemic form when conditions are favourable for their spread. Epidemics are disasters by themselves but these call emerge in the aftermath ofother disasters as well.

I n tlie recent past, two epidemics, viz., plague and dengue inflicted tlie Indian populatio~lvery badly at Surat and Dellii, respectively. tlowever, tliese occurred by tlielnselves and' were not the result of any other natural disaster.

8.2.1 The Surat (Gujarat) Plague Epidemic - 1994

Plague is a disease known to mankind from ancient times. India has undoubtedly a long history, which is replete with plague epidemics and havoc caused by them. This recent outbreak of plague generated a tremendous concern in and outside tlie country, 1'40 other disease so amenable to prevention and control has generated such serious collcern in colitelnporary times. If its present epide~iiiological picture is appropriately examined, it does not deserve the atte~ition it received. The reason for its larger than life size attention in tlie media in tlie country and outside, and tlie reason for the controversies which plagued tliis plague oi~tbrenkare possibly due to an inappropriate perception of tlie

P~~crcased Understnrldi~~g of Disasters - I1

changing epidemiology of plague in modern era, when we have powerful management and diagnostic tools to contain the disease. This outbreak occurred in h a t on I 9'" September, 1994. Following the sudden increase in the number of admitted cases with acute onset of fever, chest pain, cough, hemoptysis and deaths between 19"' and 20''' September, 1994 in different city hospitals, a sense of deep concern arose. As no history of rat fall could be elicited and typical bubonic cases were not seen, primary plleumonic plague outbreali was considesecl a possibility. The clinical presentation and the course of the disease pointed towards the pneulnonic plague. Though stray cases were reported from other parts of the city, the major concentration of the reported cases came from the two adjacent localities of Ved Road and Katargarn where the population were by and large Maharashtrians, the sanitation was very poor and the localities were highly congested slums. Furtller~nore, these areas are situated adjacent to river Tapti which was flooded between 7''' and 9"' September, 1994 due to heavy rains. About five lalth cusecs of water was released from the Ultai reservoir which led to the heavy water logging of the area. When the flood water started receding on 14'" and 15'" Septelnber, 1994, the people of the localities startcd cleaning the areas and perhaps many of them handlcd dead wild rodents and animals. The Ganapati festival was observed with pomp and grandeur on 18"' September, 1994, when a large procession passed through the area and thereby getting infected probably. While the first patients were hospitalized on September 19, the panic was so great that by September 29, about 2 lakh persons (one-third of the population) had fled the city. During tlje period of the outbreak, 52 deaths were recorded from Surat city of which majority occurred before 25"' September, 1994. A total of 1088 cases were suspected, about 146 were presumptive cases and 52 deaths due to plague took place during the period from 19"' September, I994 giving an overall case fatality rate of 4.8%.

A study was carried out in Surat city during 8-19 November, 1994. Several ideritifiable risk factors were studied like occupation o f t h e people, their visits the incubation period, exposure to a case, pal-ticipation i n outside Surat dut.i~ig the Ganapati procession festival, participation in cleaning operation, any associated illness, consumption of antibiotic, which could be accountable for the thing was that the National sporadic spread of the epidemic. The s~~rprisi~lg Capital Delhi was also hit by the plague soon thereafter, although located faraway at about 1000 kin. from Surat.
Coiitrol Measures Apart from identifying the patients and providing them proper medical treatment and care, a massive cleaning and sanitizing operation was conducted by the Municipal Corporation of Surat under the inspiring guidance of its Chief Executive whose efforts at cleaning up the city and thereby protecting it from epidemics were lauded nationally and internationally,

8.2.2 Dengue Epidemic in Delhi - 1996

Dengue epidemic struck the Capital from mid-August to end-November, 1996, with Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF) and Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS), tlle worst ever in India's history. The virus, viz., Type I1 Dengue was identified as the causative agent in a number of clinical samples. There were in all about 10,000 cases with nearly 400 deaths as reported from all parts of the city.

following reasons were identified for tlie dramatic emergence in India of DengueIDHF as a major public health problem:
1) Ineffective Mosquito Control Progra~nmes


2) Major denlographic and social changes, the most important being ~~ncontrolled ~~rbanization, excessive population growth and urban decay characterised by substandard housing and inadequate water and waste disposal systems; and

3) Inadequate medical and health services.


Dengue fever is caused by the bitc of a rnosqirito known as Aedes Aegypti which prof~~sely breeds in coolers, storage tanks, earthen pots aild other receptacles with rainwater or storcd clean watcr. There are a large number of other possible breeding places of Aedes Aegypti, viz., flower vases, neglected cups of jugs, liouseliold collection of water, neglected features of buildings, uncovered cisterns. wells. roof gutters, cracks in the masonry, traps of drains, flus11 tanks, ant traps, water receptacles of various kinds, rain filled c~npty cans or food tins, leaking water supply, water meters, sluice water chambers, water for birds, broken bottles, garden tanks, tree chambers, tree holes, fountains, t~.ougIls,a variety of dumps for engineering goods, trees, scraps and many more.


Following the report of six deaths due to dengue at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Thc Timcs of India on September 13'", 1996, the Municipal Corporation of Dellii (MCII) deputed two senior officers from tlie Antimalaria Department to collect the details. Containment measurcs were immediately talten in tlie localities from where these cases were reported. By September 14, 1996. I.he total number of' cases admitted as DHF in Dellii was 1 I , The MCD and the New Dellli Municipal Committee (NDMC) took the following measures: 1) I-louse to liouse survey for detection of vector breeding sources
2) Intensification of anti-larval operation

3) Focal spray wit11 pyrethrum extract

4) Intensification of lieollth education Activities Public notice by way of newspapers to educate tlie people regarding dengue and to control the domestic breeding of mosquitoes was done. Likewise equipment like spray pumps, fogging machines were put in operation in large numbers. Control room for monitoring the siti~ation and distribution of pyrethum solution to the NGOs was also takcn-up.

In i.hc year 2001, dengue again seemed to appear in Dellii and a few cases were reported in October. Timely campaign against breeding of mosquitoes by public education and public liealtl~~neasuresensured illat tlie disease did not attain epidemic status.
Clleek Your Progress 1

Note: i)

Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Chccli your answers with tllose given at the end of the Unit.

o f Disssters

Increased IJnderst:lncling - II

1.) Explain the reasons for the outbreak of plague in Surat in 1994.

2) Give reasons for the emergence of DengueIDHF in India.



8.3.1 Plague
1) The diseases of the past can make their resurgence if favol~rable environ~nent conditio~~s are present. Efforts to prevent the resurgence of such deadly diseases have to be made by way of good sanitary conditions, hygiene andcleanliness. decaying material itlcluding dead anin~alsin the unsanitary conditions 2) T l ~ e that usually prevails after the occurrence o f destructive natural disaster situations such as earthquakes result in the spread of diseases1 epidemics as was seen in the case of the Latur earthquake of 1993.

3) People living in poor sanitary conditions, congested s l ~ l ~ and n s overcrowded localities are more' prone to commu~~icable diseases like plague.

4) Migratory population and people participating in crowded f u ~ ~ c t i duri o ~ ~I s I festivds and processions create conditions co~~ducive for the spread of such diseases.
5) Surveillance and monitoring programme for the diseases like plague are lacking at present. For want of required datafinformation on various causative factors, these epidemics cannot be forecast, thus further deterring timely preventive measures.

6 ) Public needs to be educated about the signs and sy111ptornsof likely diseases so as to enable the early detection and preventive measures of sucl~ diseases.

7) Local l?ealth autl~oritieshave to keep a constant vigil on the epidemic prone


8.3.2 Dengue Fever

1) The outbreaks of dengue including dengue lle~norrl~agic fever (DHF)/dengue shock syndrome (DSS) can be anticipated through a system of surveillance and n~onitoring of Vector densities.

2) A check on the spread of epidemics by means of adequate control and has to be monitoring measures before and after the occurrence of epide~nics ensured.


3 ) Breeding conditions ancl the vector around Dellii and in other parts of thc country pose a constant threat of dengue in India. Desert coolers. water storage ta~ilisand utensils, leaking \vatel. supplies, wclls and fountains, rain water collections and water bodies, tyre dumps, junk cans, rain-soalced and uncleared garbage dumps, etc. provide excellent places for Aedes breeding.
4) DHF has become endemic and would surface periodically beca~~sc oi' tlie very high vector breeding. The only practical approach to avoid f ~ r t ~ ~ r e epidemics lies in preventive vector control with main reliance on source reduction and sanitation.

5) Extensive training progl.amme to update their I<nowledge and slcills in this

area is essential for health workers.
0) We must accept and face the reality that dengue can surface again and to

prevent future outbrealcs, especially in tlie absence of any specilic antiviral treatment 01.vaccine, s~rstainedpreventive comm~uiitymeasures is the only key to success. Public education in this regard is very essential. Clieck Your Progress 2

i ) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Clreclc your answers with tllose given at the end of tlie llnit.

I ) What are tlie lessons learnt after the outbreak of plague in Intlia?


I-las dengue become endemic in some parts of tlie country? Ifyes, wliat should be done?



I n this unit you have learnt about the two major epidemic situations of the last tlecade.
'rlie Plague epicle~nic occurred in Surat in the year 1994 whereas dengue fever epidemic gripped the country's capital in 1996. You have learnt that in both these epidemics not only large number of people were affected but a sigriificant number of persons also lost their lives. The likely causative factors have been explained and tlie i~nporta~it lessons learnt Iiave been higlllighted.

Increased Undcrstandi~~p o f Disasters - II


A disease situation involving swelling of glands in the body Action to kill tnosquitoes at tlie larva stage itself. A condition or illness that is colnlnon among the people tliroughout the year. Disease in which blood flows oul The study of the occurrence of a disease in human population. Insect that spreads disease, e.g., ~nosquito Pertaining to pneumonia which is a disease in which lungs get infected and develop swelling.

Bubonic Anti-larval operation :





Purk. K., Text Book ofpreventive and Socinl Medicine, M/s. Banarsidas Bhanot, Jabalpur.
Maclnohan B. and T.F. Pugh, Epidenziology : Pririciples and Me~hods,Little Brown Boston. Anderson M., An Introduction to Epidemiology, Macmillan, London. Ver~naB.K. and Brij Bhushan, Disaster Manugement in India: A Cornn2unity Perspective, in the book "Disaster Management"edited by V.K. Sharma, IIPA, New Delhi

Manual of Epidemiologyfor District Health Managenzenl, WHO, Geneva.




Check Your Progress 1

I) Your answer should include the following points

e e

The surroundings were generally very unclean and unhygienic. The flood that preceded the plague outbreak brought dead bodies of wild rodents and animals. While cleaning up the area,. people came in contact with these dead rodents and animals.

2) Your answer should include the following points

Dengue spreads through the Aedes Aegypti type of mosquito which breeds in clean but stagnant water, the like of which is available in and around houses.

Effective mosquito control programme is a major reason for the emergence of dengue. Inadequate medical nd ublic health services have also contributed to the 7 emergence of dengue.

Check Your Progress 2

1) Your answer should include the following poirits


Good sanitary conditions are esseritial to avoid plague. Crowded places should be avoided. Regular surveillance and monitoring are necessaly.

Such epidemics can stall after major natural disasters also. Public education is essential.

Yo11ranswer should include thc followi~ig points


Yes, dengue is endemic in Dellii and other parts of India. Strict monitoring and co~itrol of breeding of mosqi~itoes has to be ensured. Public education is necesqary.



Objectives Introduction Defining a Map

9.2. I

l'ecl~niquesto Reacl and Interpret Maps

Tecliniques for Area Mapping Zoning of Seismic Activity Industrial Zoning at Micro Scale Mapping Prominent Disaster Prone Areas Let Us Sum Up Key Worcls Readings References and Fu~-ther Answers to Checlt Your Progress Exercises

Alter you have ~.cacl this llnit, you should be ahle:
e e

LO learn about maps and mapping techniques; to innclerstand tlie usef~rlness of disaster niapping; to appreciate the importance of disaster mapping as a tool for risk assessment and damage evaluation for different types of disasters; to explain Geographical Information System (CIS) in [:he context ol'disaster mapping; and to describe disaster mapping as a powerf~11 tool Tor clisaster maliage~nent.



Disaster mappingis a tool for. assessing, storing ancl conveying infi)r~iiation on tlie _reographical location of a disaster occurrence and spl-end of tlie effects or 13robableel'hkts ol'disasters. Every year ill a country like India, natural disasters lilie foods and cyclones are of such fairly frequent. Eartliq~lalcesalso occur time aricl again. The occ~~rrences disasters, tlieir intensity, tlie arealregion of their occurrences and 1.lieir i;iipact lias to be assessed, so as to have inlbrmationldata about the damages caused by tlie~n to tlie area/population specific or probable damages or impact likely to be causeil. ['roper mapping will be lielpf~~l not only for pre-disaster preparedness but also in rescue ancl relief operations with greater accuracy zuid speed. With the datalinformatio~~ collection, storage, retrieval becoming highly leclinological ancl scientific, new specialized tech~iic~ues like Geographical Inlormation System (GIs) are increasingly used for disaster mapping and these aw proving to be very L I S ~ T L I I .



Map ,,iS delined as a representation of a por-tio~lof eat-tli's surface in a twodi~ensional depiction. Accorclingly, mapping de~iotes tlie making of a map i.e. sefti~ig out various physical geographical Features on a map. A map may show lixecl features such as cities or mountains or variables such as temperatures or populations. Maps can be on computers '(GIs). Pre-disaster and post-disaster maps will show the impact of disaster. In order to be precise and accurate, most maps are geo-referenced, i.e., they are portrayed with reference to irniversally standardized geographic references, as in latitude, longitude and altitude.

Prep:~recl ness i ~ r i t l


Techniques to Read and lrlterpret Maps

l'raditionally, maps Iia\/e becn prepared bascd on physical surveying. These maps are the11 pl.esented as liarcl copies, i.e., tliey are printecl on paper, using colours, symhols, labcls and other drawing elcments to represent geographic are facts. Such a map is on 'scale'. which means that its di~iie~isions pr.oportionate to tlie actual area it represents. A typical town may be con\leniently ~~eprcsc~itl'cl 0 1 1 a scale of 1 :20,000, meaning that one unit length on tlie m a p reprcscnts 20,000 unit lengths in reality. 111other words, a distance of onc c.m. sliown on tlie map represents 20,000 c.m., or 200 m, of actual distance on gl-ound. Various land uses, activities, zones etc., are shown with different colours, tlie C O I O L I ~ cocle being explained in a legend, or ltey, on 1,he map itself. Different s t r ~ ~ c t ~ l or r especif-?c s locations are shown using various symbols, wliicli again are explained in tlie legend. A compilation or collection of maps is called atlas. al with such maps is that they are tedious and time consuming to The ~ ~ s uproblem to maintain. Tlicrefore, now-a-days prepare, diflicult to upclate mid inco~ivenient remote sensing is becoming popular as a means o r collecting data for nlap preparation, and Geographical Information Systems (GIs) is being ~ ~ s efor d storage. analysis and retrieval. Under re~iiotesensing tecliniques, maps are ~ig data or aerial pliotograplis, and are then digitised and prepared ~ ~ s isatellite stored on co~np~lters using G1S software. Once this is clone, tliey can be retrieved and viewed on the computer ally tinie. They can casily be enlarged or reduced, and even printecl in multicolour format. Disaster maps usi~allysliow rid\ zones or disaster impact zones. These c o ~ ~ l d inclucle flood zone maps, seismic zone maps, industrial risk zone maps etc. A number of such maps may be overlaid on a base map of tlie area to give a composite disaster map that covers the risk of a number of types of disasters because many geograpl~icalareas are prone to more than one type of disasters. The vulnerability atlas oi' India Contours are ~1sef~11 maps of this type covering vario~~ disasterk. s


Area mapping involves lbur basic steps. First is tlie task of data collection. This woulcl include spatial clata on physiography, liydrology, geology, population dist~'ib~~tion, Innd use ant1 activity pattern, str~~cturalconclitions and * socio-econo~nicdata. Some of the data, mainly tlie pl~ysicalclata, can be collected through I-emote scnsing. The tlata would then have to be verified on ground. Thereafter tlie data would need to be plotted on a spatially rcfereneed medium. either on paper. or using computers. After proper coding, the relevant inforinat ion w o ~ ~ l bc d added to the Inap.



Zoning of seismic activity is a highly tecllnical field and requires collection and detailed study of a time-series data on ea-thqunltes stretching over decades, or eve11 centuries. The seislllic history of an entire region has to be al-talysed in dctail. and depeilcli~lg on the freclueilcy and illtensity of seisimic activity in cliffereilt parts oTt11'he regioi~, seismic zoning is carried out for that region. '['he presence of active faults and 1-iclgesin the subterranean region are also studied and act as detenminants in thc process of seismic zoning. Seismic zoning has to be updated alter every major seismic activity in low seis~nic zones. as happened in the case or l a & Eai-thquake in Maharashtra.


l .


compared to seismic zoning, which has to be carried out at regional scale, inclustrial zoning can bc carried out at a micro scale due to the co~nparatively localiscd impact of i~ldustrialdisastcrs. 'This is I,nown as micro-zonation. lntlustrial rislts may arise due to the hazardous process involved i n tlie industry, 01 during storagc. or transportation of lia~arclous materials. Depending on tlie nature ol' r i k , as wcll as tlie activity pattern and intensity in tlie vicinity, risk zones arc identilied. 71'lie risl, dire to air pollution is generally most widespread. That of water may cxtcnd over longcr clistances In case of surrace water-, but woi~lclbe more channelled. 'Tlie risks of land degradation, and subsu~.face water and also noise pollution are more localisccl.

Disaster Mapping

i'lieclc Your Progress 1


i ) llsc thc spacc given below for your ans\vers. i i ) Cliecl, your answers with those given at the encl of this Unit.

I ) What do you undcrstnncl by Disaster Mapping?

7) Bl.ict1y expl~in Seismic and Industrial Zoning.





Earl) \varning of dro~~glit co~icIiti~)~is will help to ~~ndertalcc contingency agrici~ltu~~al strategies and to organise relief where ancl wlien it is most neeclecl. Il~~ouglit rcliel' nianagement el'rorts have been greatly helped by remote sensing 21ncl lli5uster mapping techniques. 'The condition or tlie crops as also the amount ol'\t:~tcrin tlie water bodies or even tlie extent of moisture in tlic ground can be iii~~pped \\ill1 the help of remote sensing tecliniques. Targeting o r potential g~.ol~l~cl \\ atel. sites for ti~king up emergency well digging programmes has been maclc ~x'ssiible by tlie use of satellite data. Tlie success rate of such wells had been significantly higher than wlien using ground methocls alone. Tlie first pliase ol'tlic Drinking Water Mission of Govcrnmcnt o r India consisted of district-wise gro~lnd\vater potential maps using liigli-resol~~tioli Landsal/lRS data.

Prepnredness a ~ ~ d


Long-tenn drought prooiing programmes calling for base-line information on the natural resources of the district or river basin have been greatly helped by the use of satellite data. A drought ~nonitoring project reccntly talcen up by tlie Department of Space in collaboration witli thc State concerned covers management of water resources. agricultilral and land resources and fodder resources, and integrates natural resource physical data base and socio-economic and demographic data base. Data from IRS satellite in 1:50,000 scale was used to generate resource data. Resource maps such as soil, land-use and liydro-geo~iiorpliology have been prepared tising IRS data on 1 :50,000 scale. Otli,er maps such as slopes, drainage -and watershed, tl.anspot-t network ancl settlement location ancl rairifall data have been prepared from the secondary data slvailablc on Survey o f India data topographical sheets and with tlie Census Depal-tlnent. Tlie socio-econo~nic has been collected from the respective district acl~ninistrations.The conventional resources of information, socio-economic-and demographic data arc integrated with the resource data obtained from the IRS satellite imagery in order to prescribe appropriate land use, fodder and water management practices.

Floods ant1 Cyclones

Each year cyclorles bring copious rains, wliicli submerge lands. Rivers overfow during flood times and inundate land. 'The extent of such s u b ~ ~ ~ e ~ . varics s i o n froni time to time depending upon the intensity oTflood flows. Tlie traclitional method of mapping areas that gets flooded (for different levels of probabilities are lo use a map of suitable scale ( 1 : I 5,000) on which inundation information is added. Over a long period it would be possible to indicate different probabilities of flooding in these maps. The Central Waler Commission in cooperation with the State has done pioneering work in India in this regard and has publisl~edthe Flood Atlas of India long ago (CWC-1987). In recent decade or two, satellite data has been mostly used for mapping and monitoring the flood-inundaled areas, flood dan~ageassessment, flood liazard zonilig, and post-flood survcy of river do~~figuratio~i and protection wol*ks. Near real lime flood mapping was performed in the year 1986 in respect of tlie i~nprecedentedhistoric Godavari floods, as well as floods that occurred in parts of Ganga basin lying in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Near real time was continued during the flood period o f 1987 in respect of various rivers like Ganga, Ghagra, Icosi, Gandliak, Mahananda, Brahmaputra, Teesta, Jlielu~n elc., in different parts of tlie country. Floods in Jhelum and Brahmaputra rivers and in Orissa State cluring I992 were mapped. Recent availability of satellite data has helpecl flood mapping inspite of cloud cover. This data has bee11 used recently (1993) for flood 111appingof the Bralimapulra, North Bellgal and Pulljab floods. Floods in Jhelum and lCosi have also been mapped. Efforts are also being ~liade to compute the flood damage in various parts of the country by combini~igwnotely sensed data and conventional ground data. A pilot project is i~nderprogress in a part of Brahmaputra Basin. An analysis of database on flood inundation during successive years can help delineate areas si~sceptible to floods of differing ~nagnitudes. Preliminiary flood risk zone maps along Kosi and Brali~iiapi~lra rivers have been made ~lsingmulti-year satellite imagery corresponding to dirfering Rood magnitudes and reti~rliperiods. This provides valuable illputs to regi~lati~ig food plain land use. High-resolution satellite data has been used to nap post-flood river configuration in order to identify vulnerable .reaches of ellibankments to enable corrective action. Erosion prone areas alolig the Bralimaputra river have been identified through multi-year satellite data to delineate river reaches for flood protection works.

Volcanic E1-uption and Fires Though volcaiiic disasters are not co~ii~iion to India, Antlaliian Islands have two volca~ioesthat have becn silent. Tliese arc tlie Narconduni and Barren Islands. I'lle Barren Island \/olcano remained donnant for ncarly 200 years and cruptcd in March 1991, wliicli continued till November 1991. The volcanic eruption was ~iionitoredusing h/lultitlate satellite data of both day a~id nigh1 passes. Tlie extent of reach of lava flows was monitored. Satellite imagery in tlie infrared regions and actual grou~icllaerialphotographs has bee11employed to map areas damaged by forest tires. 'Tlie data has been ~ ~ s lo cd study and map a number of forest fires and to monitor Llic vcgctntion regeneration over burnt areas. 'Tlie 1 I-day repent cyclc providccl by tlie Indian [<eniote Sensing Satellites (IRS) l ~ a sbeen found to be extreniely valuable in monitoring tlie forcsl fires.

Disaster Mapping

EartIiqual<ephase data collectecl by tlie National Seismic Tele~iietry Network for the past one hundred years were a~ialysed using a computer, ancl epicentral para~iieters were determined. Tliese locations wcre shown in maps. The epicentral maps are irsed for preparing scismic liazarcl map. Seismic zoning liiap is tlie basis for tlic code for designing earthquake resistant structures. Apart ti-on1 tlie earthquake clata, geological factors, soil data etc.. are i~scd for preparing tlie building codes. Llpgradation of this code is a continuous process for which o purpose tlie building code is reviewed From time to time. I-lowever, in order L assess the exact nature of risk, several otlict. impel-lalit Sactotassuch as gravity, mugric~ic, gcocletic, a ~ i d climalic data arc necessary. Tlicsc clata are thcn i~sed lo prcpare ~iiicrozonationmaps. which are used, for ~ ~ r b and a n ~wralplanning.

Landslide zonation map comprises of a map demarcating tlie stretches or arcas of shows varying degrees of anticipated slope stability or instability. 'I'lie map tlii~s tlie factors co~iducivc to landslides and, hence it has a n inbuilt elcment of forecasting and is therefore of probabilistic nature. Depelicli~ig upon the melliodology aclopted and tlie co~iipreliensive~iess of the iriput data usecl, a lariclslide hazard zonation map be able to provide help conce'rning one or more of relevant aspects such as location, type of occurrencc of landslide, and affected of slope Inass. people area and mass ~novement

One of tlie early prqjects on zonation was c rried out by the Central Road Research Institute, New Delhi in 1984, in ~Iiich~liazal~d zonation techniques were used to clioose a riiost suitable alignment' from tlie possible alternative alignments on landslide affected stretches in Sikkirii area. Subsequent monitoring has sliown that t.1ie choices made have proved successli~l. During 1989, a landslide hazard zonation [nap was prepared for a part of .~<~tli~oda~n-~a liigliway. i ~ i i t a l This ]nap was prepared with the objective to evolve a suitable maintenance strategy to keep the hillslopes along tlie road free OF la~iclslideproblem.

Preparation of a comprehensive landslide liazard zonation map requires intensive and sustained efforts. Tlie problern is highly interdisciplinary in nature. A large large slope areas has to be. amount of data concerning many variables, collecfecl, stored, sorted and evaluated. Finally, the degree of risk of sliding has to be evaluated and zonation maps prepared. The use of aerial pliotograplis and adoption of reliiote sensing tecl~niqueshelps in tlie collection of clata. For storage, retrieval and analysis, adoption of computerised tecli~iiqucsis usefill.

Preparedness aatl klitign tion


I-lazard zonation maps have multifarious uses, some of which are listed below:

In the preparation of development plans for townships, dams, roads, and other development.
General purpose Master Plans and Land Use Plans. Discouraging new development in hazard prone areas. Choice of optimu~n activity pattern based on risk zones. Quick decision mal<ing in search, rescue and relief operations during disaster and post-disaster situations.

0 0

Clearly such maps have a large number of users, including several Govenlment Departments, and private agencies as well as NGOs involved ill any type of construction of disaster- management work. clevelop~nent, Checlc Your Progress 2 Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. ii) Checl; Y O L I answers ~ with those given at the end ofthis Unit.

I ) What do you ~~nderstand by a 1 :50000 Scale maps?

2) Brietly describe the ~isefillness o r hazard zoning.


Disaster Mapping is an important and powerful tool at all stages o f disaster manage~nent.Now clisaster mapping ~~tilizes new and more accurate techniques such as remote sensing and Geographical Information System (GLS). Disaster Mapping leads to zoning for varioi~sdisasters such as floods, earthquakes, disaster maps include tlic impact of a number industrial disasters etc. Co~nposite of different disasters liltely over the sallie area.



Indian Remote Sensing Satellite Possibility of sonietliing unpleasant or undesirable might Iiappen lilte floods, eartliquake, cyclone, etc.

Gcomorpl~ology Hazard sphtial Zoning Renlote Sensing


Study of origin, development and characteristics of land. Something that is dangerous like earth tremor, flood, cyclone, etc. Relating to area or space. ~arniarkin an ~ area of land or sea from tlie point of the occurrence of tlie disaster. Techniques such as Satellites which record data about a distant location Disaster maps including tlie occurrence and impact of a number of different Disaster disasiers over the same area.

Disastcr M a p p i n g

Mapping Pllysiography

Scientific description of the physical features of

the earth.


Bawa. D.S. " N ~ M S f)r c r t e ~ ,for ) Industrial Developtr7e11tof' Flood and Drought Prone Arccrs", New Delhi, 1980.

C WC. "Flood Atlus of Irru'iu", 1 987. for Reseurch cmd Palm, Risa .I. "Nutzrral Hazcn-d's: An Integrative Frun~e~vork PI~mning", Hopltins University Press, 1990.
" Vz~/nerubili~~ Atlus


lndiu ", Government of India, 1997.


Check Your Progress 1
I) Y O Lanswer I~ shoi~ldinclude the following points: Disaster Mapping is a tool for

Assessing Storing and Conveying, the information on tlie geograpliical location of a disaster occurrence and its impacts.

3) Y O Lanswer I~ slioi~ldinclude tlie folrowi~ig points:

Industrial Zoning involves preparations of regional scale (or micro scale) maps, indicating industries of different types and tlie nature and extent of 'tlie adverse effects that may arise f r ~ m any disaster to or fro111these industries. Seismic zoning is on a much larger scale such as tlie entire country, which is divided, into various seisniic zones on the basis of the niagniti~de and freqitency of occurrence of earthquakes in the country.

Cl~eck Your Progress 2

I) Your answer should include the following points: One unit of length on the, nlap represents 50000 units o r length on the actual ground. . Tliis means that one-cm distance on this map means 500 metres or half kilometer acti~ally.

Preparedness and

2) Your answer should include the following points:


Preparation of developnle~lt plans Preparation of Master Plarls and Land Use Plans Discouraging construction in hazardous areas '~uick action during seal.cIi, rescue and relief operations in disaster and post-disaster sit~~atiolls


Objectives Introduction Predictability, Forecasting and Warning: Meaning and Inter-relationship
10.2.1 10.2.2 10.2.3 10.2.4 3 1 10.3.2 Plediclability Polecasting Warning Inter-relationship

Activities and Techniques with reference to Specific disasters

Prcdic~ability I:olecasting Warning

l~npo~-ta~ice and Significance Let Us S L I M Up Key Words References and Further Readings Ans.wers to Check Your Progress Exercises

Al'ter studying this Unit, you s h o ~ ~ be l d able to:


discuss the time and space variability inherent in tlie occurrence of disasters; esplain tlie status of predictability o r specific disasters; describe the existing forecasting and warning arrangements; and highlight the importance and significance of warning.

Tlie earlier units have provided basic i~nderstanding of the various disasters and tlie assets, adverse impacts that they make on tlie people and national infrastl~uctural A 1I types of disasters do not occur at a1I places - or at al l times. Tlie occurrence of disasters is highly variable in time and place. Even tlie same phenomenon - if and when it recurs - would differ in intensity, coverage, duration and impact. TIiis inherently variable nature of disasters makes it very important that we study the preclictability, forecasting and war~iing aspects of disasters. These aspects will be covcred in tliis i~nit.




10.2.1 Predictability
Predictability of a disaster is the key to i~nderstandits nature and thereby to assess thc chances of its occ~rrrence and the fury of the event. P~aedictability is an attribute i-eallyapplicable to natural disasters. For ~nan-~iiade disasters, it is the Iiiiriian error or mechanical fault or organisational failure that is responsible. Therefore, there is no concept of predictability as such for man-made disasters. Mock drills, regular ilispections and updating of precautionary measures take tlie place of predictability, lorecasting and warning in case of man-made disasters. -



Preparedness n t ~ d M itigi~tion

2) Your answer should include the following points:

o o

Preparation ~Fdevelopmenl plans Preparation of Master Plans and Land Use Plans Disco~rragir~g construction in liazardous areas Quick action during search, rescue and relief operations in disaster and post-disaster situations



Objectives Introduction Predictability, Forecasting and Warning: Meaning and Inter-relationship

10.2. 1 10.2.2 10.2.3 10.2.4 O . 31 10.3.2 10.3.3 1'1'cdictability Forecasting Warn~np I~iter-relationship

Activities and Techniques with reference to Specific disasters

Prcdiclability I'orecasting Warning

I~nportance and Significance Let Us S ~ ~ i Up ii Key Words References and Further Readings Ans.wers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit, you should be able to:

discuss the time and space variability inherent in the occurrence of disasters; explain tlie status of predictability of specilic disasters; describe the existing rorccasting and warning arrangements; and highlight the impol-tanceand sigiiificance of warning.

The earlier units have provided basic understanding of the various disasters and the advcrse in~pactsthat they make on the people and national infrastructural assets. All types of disasters do not occur at all places - or at all times. The occurrence of disasters is highly variable in time and place. Even the same phenomenon - if and when it recurs - would difrer in intensity, coverage, duration and impact. This inherently variabl-e nature of disasters makes it vely impel-[ant that we study the predictability. forecasting and warning aspects of disasters. These aspects will be covcred in this unit.



10.2.1 Predictability

I i



Predictability of a disaster is the key to u~lderstand its nature and tliel-eby lo assess tlic chances of its occurrence and the fi~ry of the event. P~.eclictability is an attribute really applicable to natural disasters. For man-made disasters, it is the li~~man error or mecha~iicalfault or organisational failure that is responsible. Therefore, there is no concept of predictability as such for man-made disasters. Mock drills, regular inspections and updating of precautionary measures take the place ofpredictability, forecastingarid warning in case of man-111adedisasters.

10.2.2 Forecasting
For natural disasters tliat have a fair amount of inherent predictability, forecasting is the next step in disaster management. Forecasting has to be based 011 sound scientific principles and operationally proven techniques. It lias to be done by authorised agency or individual who, besides being co~npetent,responsible and of tlie end-use of the forecast and the dependence of the accountable, is co~iscious s~iccessof disaster management on tlie forecast. In order to be effective, the forecast has to be clearly worded and it sl~ould be transmitted q~~icltly to the user.

10.2.3 Warning
Once a forecast is available regarding an anticipated disaster event it lias to be converted qllicltly into an area-specific and time-specific warning, urtliermore, the war~iings also need to be user-specific because tlie capacity of different users to withstand the impacts of a disaster are different. For example, tlic gcneral warnings for the public would be different from those required specifically for tlie safety of a railway bridge during cyclone conditions because a strong structure such as a railway bridgc is designed to withstand certain level of Iiigli winds and to permit a certain a~noulit of river water flowing ~ ~ n dit. e r The warnings in this case have to be issued only if the anticipated winds and river-flow are expected to go beyond t11e specific safety tliresliolds. I-lowever, for the public, where houses of var,ious types and str ngth have to face cyclone filly, tlie warnings will have to be in terms of the anticr ated winds and rain in the hope that the individuals and colmmunities will be prepared and take prompt action witli the help of government and non-government orga~~isatiorls wherever the anticipated impacts are likely to prove dangerous.



A warning has no value ~ ~ n l e s its reache's the users quicldy and well in time. Therefore, quick communication is very important at the warning stage.

10.2.4 Inter-relationship
The inter-relationship between predictability, forecasting and wa~.ning is self-evident and sliould have been cl,ear from the discussion in tlie preceding paragraphs. To repeat, a warning cal;--onty be iss~ledon the basis of a useful and . reliable forecast and' a disaster can be forecast only if it has an inherent predictability about it. Even if an event is predictable, a useful forecast is available, the appropriate warning Iias been issued, and it has reached the users in time; the whole egercise will be fiuitful only if the warning is believed and acted upon by the user. Therefore, credibility is very essential at every stage of tlie process of forecasting and warning. That is wliy the concerned agencies responsible for forecasting and warning of disasters strive hard to build credibility for their forecasts and warnings so tliat users develop confidence in these and take required action imniediately and effectively.

Check Your Progress 1

Note: i) Use tlie space given below for your nnswers. ii) Check your answers witli tliose given at tlie end of tIiis'Unit.

I ) Why is predictability basic to tlie process of warning?

Predictability, Forecasting and Warning

2 ) Why is it necessary that warnings sho~l(ld be area-specific, time-specific and user-specific?

3) How are Predictability, Forecasting and Warning inter-related?




All nntu~.aldisasters takc their toll whether they are floods, cyclones, earthq~~akes, droughts, landslides, avala~ichesand forest fires. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss the predictability, forecasting and warning with reference to each of these phenomena.

10.3.1 Predictability


Predictability of Floods and Droughts


It is usefirl to consider these disaster phenomena together in tlie coritext of predictability because both floods and droughts are ma~iifestationsof the same weather element, viz., water. Floods occur due to excess of water whereas lack of water results in droughts. Tlierefore, the predictability of floods and droughts in fact ~iieans the predictability of water, i.e., rain and run off. Further, as about 80% of the annual -rainfall occurs in the sLllnlner monsoon season of June to September, the predictability of floods and droughts depends heavily on the predictability of tlie monsoon rains in the partici~lar area.

l'reparedncss and Mitigation


! i

There are additional aspects, which determine whether a particularly heavy rainfall will result in floods or scarcity of rain will create drought. For example, repeqted occurrences of heavy rainfall over an area already soaked with rain will certainly give floods. Excess water in a river, due to heavy rains in the upper regions of the river, will create flood downstream. Absence (or lack) of drainage in any area will aggravate flooding Iliere. Siini larly, repeated seasons of scanty rainfall will lead to dro~~gllt co~lditions. Therefore, predictability of floods and droughts hinges on (i) the predict bility of rainfall (predictability of ilie monsoon); (ii) whether the earlier rainfall in the area lias been freque~it or infrequent; (iii) whether aoy river flowing through the area is bringing excess water from upstream regions; and (iv) wliether there is a drainage probleni resulting in accurii~~lation of water in tlie area. As these aspects are either predictable or monitorable, it is reasonable to conclude that floods and droughts have a reasonably good predictability. Predictability of Landslides, Avalanches and Forest Fires l'hese three phenomena are being discussed together because these are basically tlle hazards of mountain areas. Ful-thermore, rainfall (or snowfall) plays a crucial role although man-made causes increase these hazards to a very large extent. Landslides arc in fact downslide movement of soil and rock under the influence of gravity. Erosion due to rainfall a~idfloods, or excess loading due to heavy snowfall, or weakeni~igof ground due to stream erosion, mining quarrying, or earti~quaketremors create landslides. In case of avalanclies, snow loading and strong winds are the basic causes. Laclc of rainfall and the resulting dryness over large forest areas sustain forest fires triggered by natural causes such as liglitning strike or friction, or by ~nan-made causes sucli as a burning 111atchstick or cigarette. Strong winds fa11tlie forest fire and spread it. While rain. snow, dryness and w<inds are predictable, factors sucll as erosion, excess loading and man-n~adecauses are not predictable. Thus, the overall predictability of clisasters such as landslides, avalanches and forest fires is less as compared to floods and droughts. Predictability of Earthquakes Earthquakes are caused by volcanic activity or geological activity. These changes take place deep inside the earth and the processes are not yet fully understood. - Therefore, earthquakes are not predictable to the extent that the place and time of their occurrence can not be anticipated. However, the general areas wliere earthquake activity occurs are known and on a statistical basis, it is possible to indicate that a major earthquake c o ~ ~perhaps ld occur sometime solnewhere within a large region. But, as mentioned above, it is not possible to predict the location or time of an earthquake. Therefore as of now, earthquakes have no predictability in a practical sense. Predictability of Cyclones Cyclones have the highest predictability among all tlie disasters. This is nlainly because the scientists know quite well how cyclones are formed and how they behave. As soon as formed over the ocean, cyclones can be detected and tracked continuously with the help of modern instruments such as weather satellites and weather radar. The accompanying hazard of storm surge is alsp predictable tlirough techniques which take .into account the parameters of the' approaching .cyclone as well as the cllaracteristics of tlie coast including the coastal slope under tlie sea in the area where the cyclone is expected to hit the coast.



10.3.2 Forecasting
Forecasting of Floods
For forecasting floods in tlie major rivers of tlie country, tlie nodal agency is tlie Central Water ~ o l n ~ n i s s i o (CWC) n under tlie Ministry of Water Resources of the Government of India. CWC's headquarters are in New Delhi witli field stations located in the major interstate river systems. Flood forecasting for rivers means basically that an estimate is made of the future stages or watcr levels in the river at selected points along tlie river during flood season. Tlie aim is to forecast the crest and its time of occurrence at a place along tlie river. For this, it is necessary to have liydrological data (characteristics of the river basin and the flood plains) and liydro~iieteorological data (rainfall in the catchment area, weather forecast, current levcls of water and flow along the river). Tlie meteorological data related to weather and climate and tlie weather forecasts are provided by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) of Governnient of India to CWC who use this information, along witli the hydrological data generated by their own organisation, lo formulate flood forecast. For floods other than river floods such as flash floods, blockage of water due to inadequate drainage, forecasting takes the shape of monitoring because forecasting of such local events is not practical and the only effective method is to mount a monitoring and reportirig system locally.

Predictability, Forecasting and Warning


Porecasting of Droughts
Droughts are a slow developing and creeping process as against floods, which are quick and rapid. As already mentioned, it is basically the scarcity (or absence) of rains that initiates a dl*ougIitsituation. Long absence or less tlian nor~nal quantity of rainfall creates a Meteorological Drought, which is forecast on the basis of the forecast of rainfall. But if tlie rainfall continues to be scanty or totally absent to the extent tliat tliere is scarcity of water in rivers, ponds and wells, it is called Hydrological Drouglit. If tlie dry conditions make the land parched to the extent tliat 110 seeds can be sown, standing crops (if any) wither and tliere is scarcity of water for irrigation, it is termed as Agricultural Drought and it is forecast by taking into consideration tlie condition of the crops and soil moisture in addition to the forecast for rain in tlie coming days.

Forecasting of Landslides, ~valanches and Forest Fires

The basic forecast in these events is that of rainfall (or snowfall) atid stroqg kinds but additional factors have to be kept in view. For landslides, tlie stren&li of the rock and any damage already occurred at ground have to be considered. For avalanclies, any undue accumulation of snow at a place or in a form where it could eventually break and come down heavily has to be watched. For forest fires, the extent of dryness of the forest wood and the accumulated dry material (leaves, twigs, grass) has to be taken into consideration because these could get ignited either by a liglitning stroke or by other causes.




i i

Forecasting of Earthquakes
As already discussed, there is no technique available at present by which the place or time of occurrence of an earthquake can be forecast.



T';~rcdncss and \I~l~e;~tion

Forecasting o f Cyciorles

The systeln of forecasting cyclones is quite well developed. The weather forecasters (meteorologists) are able to detect tlie formation and 'subseq~~ent movement of cyclones on weatlie]- cllarts that they prepare regularly based on observations of atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity and winds. Sim~~ltaneously, they locate and traclc tlie cyclones through satellites ant1 liigli power cyclone detection radar. The images of cyclone tl~rough satellite and radar enable a constant monitoring of the intensification or weakening 0.f tlie cyclone. Even then, Forecasting ol'tlie rnovement of a cyclone and tlie place where it will hit tlie coast is a Iiiglily sltillecl task. Cyclones do not travel in straight lines. Their Iracks are curved and they ol'ten make small loops as they go along. Cyclo~les do not move witli tlie same speed all along their path. Sometimes they slow clown or remain stationary 01,suddenly increase their speed. Tlierefo~.e,a cyclonc is kept - generally every under constant surveillance and the forecast is frequently ~~pdatecl Ilour and more frequently if consiclerecl necessary.

Warning of' Flootls Tlie Central Water Commission (CWC) through its Flood Forecasti~~g Centres issues flood warnings. The State Governmenls, based on the local experience. fix a "Danger Level" for a river at certain places such as near cities or bridges. CWC river level at a given place reaches or is expected issues llood warnings when tl~c one metre below the "Danger to reach the "Warning Level" wliicli is ~~sually Level". CWG i. Issues flood warnings in the form of "Daily Water Level and Flood Forecast Bulletins". ~ u r i n gflood seasons, State Govern~i~ents set up control rooms at State and District Headquarters wliicli receive the warnings from tlie Flood Forecasting Centres of CWC and transmit tlie warnings to the affected areas. -rl~eFlood Forecasting Centres also broadcast tlie warnings tIi~.oughAll India Raclio as well as Doordarshan and also publisll in newspapers for widest possible publiciiy. Tlie warnings are regularly ~~pdated as new observations and forecasts become available. Warning of Drougllts As droughts develop slowly and are caused primarily by continuing deficie~lcyin rainfall or other sources of water, the resulting situation needs to be watched and effective relief action is to be initiated as soon as sowing of seeds or standing crops begill to get affected. 'rller.efore, there is no warning system as SLICII for droughts. However, tlie Agriculture and Revenue Departments of the states remain watclif~~l (luring tlie dry weather seasons and tlie situation is monitored reg~rlarly especially for those areas. wllicli arc known to be drought prone due to local climatic conditions, scarcity of ground water and absence of irrigation facilities. Warning of Landslides mid Avalanches Further, As discussed, heavy rains and heavy snowfalls initiate tlie~e~phenomena. these occul. rno1.e frequently in areas, wliicli are prone to these disasters due to the peculiar local geological features such as weakness of soil or rock. Therefore, warnings of heavy rainfall/snowfall combined witli carefill watch by local people serve .as an effective alerting system. A local volunteer systeln is found to be of great benefit and is Tollowed even in the developed countries.


Warning of Forest Fires Periods of extreme dryness combined with absence of rain/snow are the first indication of tlie hazarcl of forest fires. Accumulation of co~nbustiblematerial (such as dry leaves and wood) on the ground adds to the problem. I n most cases in our country, I'orest fires start due to human carelessness. In such circunistances, a system of advance warning is not feasible and usually the s~nolte or flame is tlie first war~iing. Warning of Earthqualccs As earthquakes cannot be forecast as yet, there is no warning system for ealthqualtes at present. I-Iowever, there are areas, which are known to be prone to ea~-thcluake activity. Such areas liave a standing warning so to say. The country is divided into zones representing the extent of liazard depending on tlie n ~ ~ ~ i iand ber severity of eal-tliqualtes that liave occurred in tlie past. Regio~is with a history of strong earthquakes are Inore hazardous and special care needs to be talte~iin constructing structures such as multisto~~ied buildings, bridges and dams. If areas, which liave experienced major eartliqualte activity in the past. remain undisturbed , for long periods of many years, this can be talten as a warning (on a statistical basis) that an eal-tliquake coiild occilr somewhere and sometimes in the area. But tliis can only be talten as a general warning because the exact place and time of the next ealtliqualte in the area cannot be indicatecl. Another warning indication is tlie continued occurrence 01' tremors at a place although it is not possible to be sure whether tlie tre~iiorsare indicative of an impaiding eartliclualte or they denote nature's metliocl 0.F releasing tlie eartli's internal stress in short bursts of tre~iioss.

Predictability, Forecasting and Wartling


I n ce~iain cases, some warning signals occur before an eartliqualte such as ~lnusual ' behaviour of animals ancl reptiles, sudden lowering or rising of water level in wells and widening of existing natu~.alcracks ill the eal-tli's surface.
W i l r ~ i of ~ ~Cyclones g Cyclone warnings are issuecl by tlie India Meteorological Department (IWID) tluougl~its Area Cyclone Warning Centres (Mumbai, Kolltata and Clie~inai) and Cyclone Warning Centres (Ahmedabad, Bliubancsliwa~. and Visaltliapatnam). In thc first stage of warning, a 'Cyclone Watch" is maintained during thc cyclone seasons in tlie pre-monsoon and post-monsool~ancl post-monsoon montlis. In tlie second stage, "Cyclone Ale11" is issued 48 IIOLI~S (two days) before the expected commencelnent of bad weather along the coast. Warnings to ports and fislicrme~i start earlier. 'I'lie ports display tlie warnings by hoisting special visual signals to warn boats and ships. Warnings are i~pdatedregularly according to tlie progress of the cyclone, which is kcpt i~nder constant observatio~i through satellite and radar ecli~ipment. "Cyclone Warnings" are commencccl 24 hours before the anticipated lanclfall i.e. tlie anticipated time tlie cyclone is expected to hit the coast. These every d hour and Inore frequently if tlie situation so cyclone war~iingsare ~ ~ p d a t e demands. Finally about 12 hours before the s t o w is expected to fall below the cyclone category i.e. the winds fall below the speed of '60 kni/h, "post-landfall scenario" is issued. Cyclone warnings are sent to tlie ports, airports, railways, State and District authorities. These are issued to press and broadcast through radio and television. For qi~icltand effective comniunicatio~iof cyclone warnings to tlie field areas liltely to be affected, a special system callcd Disaster Warning Sysle~i~ (DWS) has been implemented in the coastal areas. By this system, cyclone warnings in local language are broadcast from the Area Cyclo~ieW a r n i ~ ~ Cerltre g oTIMD to the field



P~.el)ared~~ess and Mitigation

area directly via INSAT and this warning is received through a small apparatus installed at scliools or district offices or pancllayats in the coastal region. A large number (about 300) of such apparatus have been installed 011 the east and west coasts in area prone to cyclones, and more are to be installed.


Wliile it is not possible to prevent the occurrence of disasters, it is certainly adequate preparedness possible to reduce the resultant disaslrous effects tl~ro~~gll of timely action is greatly enlianccd tlir0~1gl1 and timely action. The efl'ectivet~ess accurate forecasts and prollipt warnings. Herein lies the importance and significance of forecasts and warnings of disasters. However, it is to be noted tliat forecasting and warning are possible only for. those disasters, wliicli have some inherent predictability. Check Your Progress 2
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. . ii) Check your answers with those given at tlie end of this Unit.

I ) List tlie factors on wl~ich cleperlcls the prediclabi lily oI' floods.

2) Which is the most predictable iiatural disaster and which one is not predictable at present?

- 3)

Altliough ea~tliquakescannot be predicted, these are certain indications that could aleit the people to the possibility of an ea~tliquake.List these.


For effective management of disasters, we need aclcquate, reliable and timely warnings cvliicli can be formulated only on the basis of accurate Sorecasts. Further, accurate forecasts can be made only Sor thosc disasters that are predictable. I-lence, rhcre is a close ancl significant link between Predictability, Forecasting and Warning in respect of any disaster phenomenon. As man-made clisasters occiu mostly duc to human error or mechanical railurc and are, tlicrefore, not predictable it is not possible to issue a timcly warning for such disasters. Among tlie natural disasters. cyclones are the most predictable and therefore are not prediclable as yet and cyclone warnings prove most effective. Ea~~liqi~akes hence ilsable warnings are not possible in advance.
In our countty, the Central Water Conimisiion through its Flood Forecastilig

entres issues food warnings. 'The India Meteorological Department (IMD) ~ ~ r o ~its ~g Area l i Cyclone Warning Centres arid Cyclone Warning Centres issues cyclone warnings.



Movemelit of soil or rock from one place to the Ibrce of running water, moving another i~nder ice, rain, snow, or wind.
A flood that develops quickly and also recedes qi~icltly with allnost no advance warning. It happens due to exceptionally heavy rainfall over a s~nall area. In the hilly areas, accu~nulation of large quantity of water (rain water or river water) due to blocking of a narrowstrearn also results in flash flood when the bloclcage gives way under intense force of the acculni~latedwater.

Flasl~ Flood


Pertaining to hydrology - tlie science and engineering of water resources, Pertaining to tlie atmospheric aspects of liydrological matters especially those related to water resources and floods. Pertaining to the atlnospliere or the science of tlie atmosphere.

Hydrometeorological :

Rivcr Stage

A measure of the lieiglit of tlie water sulface in a river at a given place.

Storm Surge

An abnormal rise of the sea across the coast under the influence of a cyclone. This results in destruction and flood due to enormous 'quantity of saltish seawater crossing over to inland areas.
electronic equipment for detection and tracking of weather phenomena such as rainstorms and cyclones.
A satellite having the capability to take pictures of weather over tlie earth and transmit these pictures to a receiving station on the earth. Usually weather satellites are also eqilipped with instruments to measure other weather parametors such as temperature of cloud tops.

Weather Radar

Weather Satellite

1 ,

Prepareclness irncl



Agrawal, S. and N.B. Srivastava (Translators), 1986, Prukritik Pr~rlcop (in Hindi), Centre, Gurgaon. Joint Assista~lce Deslipandc, B.G., 1987, E~7rthyuakes, Aninials nnd Man, Maliarashtra Association for tlie Cultivation of Sciences, Pune. Indu Praksali, 1994, Di,sca/er ~Mcrrr~igement, Raslitra Prallari Pral<aslian Sahibabad, Gllaziabad, (U.P.) Jain, N.K. (Guest Ed.), 1995, Moving Technology, Vol. 10 No. 1, Co~~ncil for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), New Dellii. Misra, G.K. and G.C. M a t h ~ ~ (Eds.) r 1995, Naturul Dis~~ster Reduction, Reliance Publishing House and Indian Institute oTPublic Administration, New Dellii. Rangacliari R., 1986, Flood Forccusting uncl Warning Network on Interstute Rivers of lndiu, Central Water Commission, New Dellii. Rangacliari R. (Editor), 1989, hhiiitlul on Flood Forecusting Commi,r..sion,New Del hi.

Central Wuter

Sharma, V.K. (Editor), 1995, Dis~~stcr Mun~~genleiit, Indian Institi~teof Public Administration, New Delhi.


Check Your Progress 1
1) Y O Lanswer I~ slionld incluclc the following points:

Predictability is tlie lcey to understand tlie nature of any disaster phenomenon and thereby to assess tlie chances of its recurrence. U~lless a disaster has predictability, its occurrence cannot be forecast and therefore warning will not be possible.

2) Your answer should include tlie followi~ig points:


Place-specilic so that people there are prepared and relief agencies are ready for action around the specific area instead of being dispersed over a large area. Time-specific so that proper precautions can be taken around that time because people catinot remain in a state of high preparedness indefinitely for long periods.

User-specific so that the persons likely to be affected or those concerned with relief work can be alerled specifically and quickly.

3) Your allswer shoi~ldi~lclude the following points:

A useful warning can be issued only on the basis of an accurate forecast, wliicli, in tul-11,is possible, only if the particular disaster phenomenon has inherent pred ictabi 1ity.
Thro~igho~~t the chain of predictability, forecasting, and warning, creclibility is essential at evely stage so that tlie,forecast and warning are believed ancl acted upon.


Clieclc Your Progress 2

I ) Your answer sliould include the following points:
a a

Prcdictn bility, Forecasting and 'Warning

Predictability of rainfall (i.e., monsoon). Whether there has already been rain in the area. Whether any river is bringing excess water from upstream. Wliethcr there is a drainage problem in the area.

3) Your answer should include the following points:



i 5

most predictable.

EarLIiquake is not predictable at present.

3) Your answer sliould include the following points:


Tremors Abnormal behaviour of animals and reptiles Suddcn lowering or rise ofwater level in wells Widening of natural cracks in the ea~th's surface.

o a o



Ob-jectives I~itroduct ion Impo~tance and Significance Cliaracteristics, Nature and Scope Methods For Preparing Plan
1 1.4.1 1 1.4.2
Shorl-tcm Plan Long-tern1 I'lan

Let Us Sum Up ICey Words References and Furlher Readings Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this nit, ~ O LshouIc1 I be able to: state thc impol-tarice and significance of Disaster Preparedness Plan; describe the nature and scope of Disaster Plans; and disc~~ss the essential featuses of Long-term and Short-term Plans.

Disasters cause sudden disruption to tlie normal life of a community and cause damages to property and lives to such an extent that normal social and economic mecha~~is~ns available to the community get disturbed. People and officials are both caught unawares and in the circumstances so~iieti~nes tend to lose tlieir sense of initiative and direction. Consequently, relief work is hampered and unnecessarily delayed.
In such cases, tlie existence of a well tliouglit out and tested disaster-preparedness plan is very useful. Tlle officials then liave at their hand, a complete set of instructions, whicli they ian follow and also issue directions to tlieir subordinates and the affected people. This has the effect of not only speeding up the rescue and relief operations, but also boosting tlie morale of the affected people.


Disaster plans are also usefill pre-disaster situatiolis, when war~iingsliave been issued. The plan also serves as guidance to officials ancl precious time is saved whicli might otherwise be lost in consultations with senior officers ancl getting formal approval froni autliorities.


The need for disaster preparedness plan is self-evident, llational and international experience mostly indicates that where plans did not exist or planning was inadequate, tlie ill effects of disasters have been worse than would have otherwise official is said to have remarked after been the case. A senior disaster ~nanagenient a recent cyclone: "When we look back on the cyclone and wliat it did to our country, there is 110doubt that liundreds of people are alive here today because we had proper disaster plans".

A disaster preparedness plan essentially contains nieasures to be taken before, during and after disaster strikes. It contains an inventory of wliat materials are available where and with whom, and the delegation of responsibilities and

coordination ~iieclianisms among v a r i o ~ ~ gover~irlient s officials and departments, It gives location of temporary slielters and guidelines about pa~tnersliipswith other ill , a11 boclies lilic NGOs, social worlters and inter~~ational agencies. T ~ L I S emergelicy situation, authorities have a ready g ~ ~ i at d eIiand tuid are fi~lly aware of llle steps to be talcen. Creating awareness among the people and preparing the i~npo~ta objectives ~lt of communities to deal with ariticipated situations are tlie ~iiost a disaster prepal-edness plan. Disaster Preparedness Plans also contain certain lon~~,-ter~ii, wide-ranging measul-es to be carlied out. It includes measures like constr~~ction of e~iiba~ikments alolig rivers, retrofitting OF houses, periodic irlspection of critical river stretches, establishing a systelii of c o ~ i ~ ~ ~ i u ~ i i c a t i o ~ i , constructioli of relief centres, and land use measures.

Disnster Preparedness


A plan has to be practical if

it has to succeed. For this purpose, it necds to be

~eviewed cal-eii~lly at periodic intervals ancl amenclcd as necessary in tlie light of tlie experience gained. Conlpetent plan executio~iby tlie administration has nLlnieroLls ;~~l\jnntages. It ensures that clevelopment arid disaster preparedness do not disturb caLii other but compleiiient each other. It also ensures that, should disaster strilte, the t r 1 1 1 , 1.11,cn to r c t ~ ~ to r n nor~iialcy is rnini~~iized and that loss of life and property is minimum.
Check Yol~lProgress 1

Note: i) Use tlie space given below for your ansyers. ii) Checli Y O L I answers ~ with those give11at tlie elid of this Unit.

I ) What do you ~~nderstand by Disaster Preparedness Plan?

2) What is the importance and significance of Disaster Preparedness Plan?


Tliere is no rigid or standard format for disaster preparedness plans. In fact, the reverse applies, ill that the format needs to fit the cirdumstances in which tlie plan is the recluirements, which it is designed to meet. The essential point being ~iiade'and but also practical. I-lence is tliat tlie disaster preparedness plan should b~.exliaustive certain common features telid to appIy to.most - plans. These are discussecl below:

Preparedness and

Clarity of Aim
The aim needs to be caref~~lly and accurately selected, because it determines the whole thrust and scope of the plan. All information, guidelines, directions and instructio~is, which are included i n the plan, need to be in line witli the aim.

The plan must be realistic in the sense that it relates to an accurate assessment of the disaster threat and tlie vulnerability of the community and that it takes into account the scale and capability.of counter-disaster resources which are available. In most cases, the plan will be used under difficult disaster circumstances when, perhaps, commui~icationsare adversely affected; therefore, tlie plan should be able to respond to various contingencies during a disaster scenario.

Level of the Pian

Tlie plan must be accurately related to the level witli which it is concerned, e.g., Village level, Block level, Taluka or Tehsil level or District level.

Disaster circumstances tend to vary and do not necessarily follow set patterns, counter-disaster plans also need to be flexible. Flexibility is best achieved by planning to cope with the fill1 range of possible disaster threats and ensuring that, within tlie overall plan, response arrangements can be rapidly adapted to new ,and changing circumstances. Planned decentralization, where appropriate, is a useful way towards achieving flexibility.

Since coordination of efforts is a key factor in counter-disaster activities, the plan sllould include an o p t i n ~ i ~ system ~ n for direction/coordi~iation.

Assignment of responsibility

It is critically impo~tant that respolisibilities are clearly and unambiguously defined and nssigned in the plans. Tllis reduces to a n i i n i ~ n ~ ~ tlie m possibility of misunderstandings, duplications and o~nissionsin the various activities the plan covers. Of equal importance is the fact that clear definition of responsibilities sigriifica~itly lielps in achieving coordinsttio~l of effort.

Ease of Use
The plan should be for~nulatedin such a way that it is easy to understand and easy be clear and readily identifiable. Also, to use. References within the plan slloi~lcl the text of the plan needs t o be kept as clear and concise as possible, with annexes being used for very detailed information.

Plan Components

There are a n~lmberof options for dividing the plan into sections or components. One way this can be achieved is to have:


A main plan (or main action plan) which contai~ls the primary parts of the plan,
such as the anticipated disaster threat, vulnerability of the community (including its strengths and weaknesses in relation to each anticipated disaster

scenario), tlie main requirenients for dealing with the threat, resources, organisation, direction and coordination, warning, operational implementation of tlie plan, counter-disaster operatioils, recovery policy, and post-disaster review process. i) Sub-plans which are a pait of the main plan but which may be required to amplify parts of tlic riiain plari wliicl~need special consideration, sucli as evacuation, relief camps, pl~blic in'for~natiotl, arid so on. iii) Special plans which tnay be required to deal with special contingencies sucli as an outbreak of co~nrno~i or rare clisense, which would require specialist personnej arid procedures, Such special plans wo~lld normally be designed to work in harmony wit11 the main plan arid utilize the overall counter-disaster effort as necessaty. Viability
The Plan slio~~ld i~lclude arrangeme~lts for periodically reviewing so that it is kept

Disaster Preparcdness


LIP-to-date and firlly viable for the purposes for which it is designed. Structul-e of the Plan

A typical disaster preparedness plan is itructured as follows:


Contents Authorization


(iii) Map References (iv) Introduction


( )

The Disaster Threat National Policy and State Policy General Concept for Disaster Action

, (v)

(b] (c)'

Ainl of the Plan

(vi) Defl!~itions

(vii) Relatio~iships with other Plans (viii) Main requirements for dealing with Disasters in the area (ix) E~nergcncy Powers (a) Disaster Legislation Other Legislation





Counter-Disaster Resources

(b) (xi)

Wit11i11tlie area

In tlie neighbourliood
Prime Minister


Organisational Structure and Respo~lsibilities





Chief Mi~~iste~./Admi~i,istrator (of Union Territory)


(c) . Nodal Ministry at tlie Centre and state National Disaster Management Struct~~re State or Regional DisasteP Management CommitteesDistrict Disaster Manage~nent Stri~cture


Prepnredne'ss and




c .


Non-government Organisations active specializations and resources

in the area and their

(11) (i)

Other community based organisations in the area Defence Services and Para Military Forces available in the area for Disaster Management work

('j) International Assistance Arrangements


Coordination of Planning, Organisational and Operational MeasuresControl Room Media cooperation General National Level State Level District and/or Co~n~nunity Level Training and Public Awareness Progra~limes

(I) (a)

(xii) Preparedness Measures

(c) (d) (e)

(xiii) Communications (General and Emergency) (xiv) Opel-ational Direction and Coordination

Responsibility for Operational Directi~n and Coordination National E~nergency Operations Centre - Control Room State Emergency Centres - Control Iioo~n District Emergency Centre (Control lioom) Field Control Rooms


(c) (d) (e) (xv)

Warning Arrangements
(a) (b) (c)

General Agencies Originating Warnings Transmission of Warnings

iss semi nation and Public Broadcast of Warnings

Notification of de-alert or All-Clear messages


(xvi) Operational Implen~entationof Plan Stages of lmple~iientation (xvii) Counter-Disaster (or Response) Operatio~~s (a)

Precautionary Measures


Activation of Emergency Operations Centres (Control Rooms) Direction and Coordination of Operations Information Requirements Operational Requirements in disaster stricken areas

(d) (e)


Operational Action - National Level Operatiortal Action - State, Regional and Local Levels


Period of Disaster Operations (Emergency Phase)



Disaster Preparedness Plan

(a) (b) (c)


Statement of Pol icy for Recovery Kesponsibility for Recovery Programme Cross-referelice to Recovery Plan (if applicable)


Post-Disaster Review

(a) (b)



Review of Plans and Organisations

(xx) Support Measures (a) Training Public Awareness


(xxi) Annexures


Distrib~ltion Lists Telephone Numbers, cell fi~nctionaries phone numbers and addresses of

(c) (d) (e)

List of Resources Functional Diagrani of Organisatio~i Allocation of Roles and Responsibilities to Reso~~rce Organisations Guidelines for International Assistance Arrangements Comni~~~iicatio~is Detailed Information on War~ii~lg Preca~~tionary Measures on R'eceipt of Warning Guidelines on Training Guidelines on Public Awareness Format for Departlnental Standard Operational Procedures

(11) (i)



(m) List of media persons and agencies with telephone ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ n b e r s

Checlt Your Progress 2


i) Use tile space given below for your answers.

ii) Check your answers with tliose given at the end of this Unit.

I ) What are the main cliaracteristics of a Disaster Preparedness Plan?

Preparedness and M itigntion

2) List at least five main items in the structure of a Disaster Preparedne~s P!an.


11.4.1 Short-term Plan
Shol-t-term plan comprising relief to be provided immediately following a disaster is generally based on past experiences. Short-term plans are action based and aimed in the shortest possible time. at restoring nor~nalcy One of the foremost requiremeilts of any plan woi~ldbe to define the area where it would be applicable and. the agencies that would be responsible for its implementation and coordination. Once the boundaries are defined, the following inputs would be required: (i) The amount of resource material likely to be required as relief based on the statistics on the intensity and spread ofvarious disasters in the area in the past ten year period. (ii) Certain areas are prone to disaster and each time relief is provided, a number of short-comings come to light; these become lessons to serve as inputs for future planning of relief and rescue exercises. (iii) Short-term l'lans should be based 011the vulnerability of the area to particulat types of disasters. Forecasts on future disasters, if available, should b e ~~sefully interpreted into action plans.' . , .

(iv) Short-term Plans should incorporate suggestions and capabilities of all departments concerned of the District/State, Non-Government Organisations and Community Based Organisations. Therefore, plans !nay be prepared by setting up c o ~ n ~ n i t t at e eappropriate ~ level to include their inputs.

11.4.2 Long-term Plan

I ,

The situation may not always warrant long-term plans, but such plans should have the ability to build a culture of disaster mitigation and be aimed at reducing I vulnerability of the area. As such any long-term plan should include policy directives on preparedness as well as post disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation phases (the latter as afollow up of the short-term contingency plans). The following are the basic attributes of a long-term plan:

(i) The foremost requirement for' the preparation of a long-term plan is estabiishing its need i n ail area, Need may be establisl~ed on the basis of the vulnerability of the.area, resborce availability and trade off between the cost of its implementation and other competing needs for overall development. In this context the long-term disaster ~nitigationplan or rehabilitation phn, as part of plan becomes significant. overall dexelap~l~eiit

( i i ) In case of rehabilitation plan, the Level of damage that has taken place in the

Disrster Preparedness

c o r n m u ~ decides i~~ whether long-term intervention is required or not. Tlie strategies of the Rehabilitation would depend considerably on tlie damage assessment report. (iii) A detailed survey of the community, which studies tlieir needs and expectations in detail and seeks out their traditions and customs wliich they would lilte to preserve, has to be carried out. This would serve as an important . input in deciding an intervention strategy that is acceptable to tlie comniunity. (iv) Tlie long-term plan sliould seek an objective of acliieving overall development and by satisfying basic needs - shelter, economic and social - of the community. Reducing disaster vulnerability should be a means to achieve the objective of overall develop~nent and not a11elid in itself. (v) Long-term plans being resource intensive, many of tlie interventions decided tlierein are limited by the availability of resources. For example, in riialiy cases, where tlie need for rehabilitation tlirougli relocatio~iis established, tlie same may not be implemehted due to lion-availability of land. (vi) Long-term plans may be implemented successfully o~ily through partnersliips participation. iity The involvement of with NGOs and with active c o ~ n ~ n i ~ ~ these bodies should be at the outset itself in deciding the interventions ired. req 11
Check Your Progress 3 Note:


i) Use tlie space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at tlie elid of this Unit.

1 ) What are the items on which a Short-ter~iiPlan sliould be based?

2) ['splain tlie steps in prkparing Long-term Plan.



A well-coordinated, comprehensive disaster preparedness plan is a v'ery essential
of disaster mitigation. Since a disaster mailagement pla~i part of any progra~n~ne contains gilidelines 011 how to act in, before and after disaster strikes, it gives a . sense.of diiection in tirnes of crises and contributes a great deal towards minimizing damage in disaster situations. However, not all plans are guccessful or utilized. If a

Preorredness and

disaster-preparedness plan is attractively-presented,clear and easy to read, it will be referred to. On the contrary, if tlie plan is a jumbled document, overwhelmed by masses of statistics, no one will bother to read it, let alone act on it. Since there is basically no rigid format for a disaster preparedness plan, this flexibility should bc utilized to tlie niaximu~n and plans should be practicable in the specific area they are intended for. Plans can be both long-term and short-term. Depending on the disaster they are targeted at and the time period, different methods are used to make these plans.



transferring the responsibility from central control to lower levels in an organized and planned manner. the capability of tlie activity/plan to do what it is intended to do. resources for combating disasters or their effects. organizing activitieslpeople together to work properly. the ability to cllange easily and adapt to different conditions and circunistances as they occur. awareness of the facts about the situation.


Counter-disaster resourcesCoordination Flexibility Realism Stalteholders

all tliose (Goveniment, NGOs, Public) who are involved slid interested in disaster management.


Army Training Command, Policy Approach and Role o f various org~mi~surions.for Disaster Miwagenlent in Indiu. Carter, W.N. (1991), Ma~~rlgement: A D2,s~/,ster MUI~LI~CI-!Y Hc~irll,ook, Asian Development Bank, Manila, Institute of Civil Engineers for Overseas Development Autliority (1995), Meg~rcities: reducing vulnerability to ncrtz~ral disusters, T l i o ~ ~Telford, ~as London.


Check Your Prog~.css 1




I ) Your answer should include tlie followi~ig points:

oxliairstive infor~nation and Disaster preparedriess plan co~~iprises guidelines for use during all phases of a disaster situation viz., pre-disaster, during disaster and post-disaster phases. Disaster preparedness plan should be easy to i~~>dersta~id It can be a iiatia~ialplan or a state plan plan.

a district plan or a community

2 ) Your answer should include the following points:


Disaster Preparedness Plat1

The situation during or afier disaster is chaotic and difficult to deal wil.11 ~ ~ n l ethere s s is a plan of action to follow. As the plan is prepared in consultation with all involved agencies (government or non-gover~~ment), the coordination is ensured which is vital for maximum results.

Check Your Progress 2 1 ) Your answer should include the following points:

(a) Clarity o-fAim (b) Rea I'Ism

(c) Level of the Plan

(d) Flexibility (e) Coordination

(f) De.finitionof responsibility

(g) Viability
2) Your answer sl~oulcllist at least .five out of the 21 items (i to xxi) mentioned under "Str~~ctirre of the Plan" in Section 1 1.3.

Cl~eclc Your Progress 3

1) Your answer should i~lclucle the followi11gpoints:


liesources likely to be required based on experience of past ten years.

I,~SSOIIS learnt cluring past disaster situations.

Vulnerability assessments. Suggestions and proposals of stakeholders.

2) Your answer shoulcl include the following points:

Establishing the need for a long-term plan.


Assessing damages in the past cases.

Surveying the community for their long-term needs accordirlg to their traditia~i and custom.


Coordinating long-term disaster preparedness plans with development plans of the area. Seekingpartnersliips with NGOs and the peopl,e in the area.



12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4

Objectives Introduction General Policy Considerations for Disaster Management Issues at the National, Regional and Local Levels Zoning Controls
12.4.1 12.4.2 12.4.3 12.4.4 12.4.5 12.4.6 12.5.1 Land Use Macro Zoning Land Use Micro Zoning Sub-division regulations Building or Location I-'erniits Open Space Controls Building Codes Implications in Town Planning

12.5 Location of Activities and Land-Use 12.6 Application of Remote Sensing and GIs 12.7 LetUsSumUp 12.8 Key Words 12.9 References and Further Readings s Check Your Progress Exercises 12.10 ~ h s w e rto

After studying this Unit, you sl~ould be able to: understand the relationsllip between land-use zon'ing and disasters; know how faulty allocations of land-use can ofteq become the cause of disasters;both man-made and natural; and describe how judicious land-use zoning can help not only in'jdisaster mitigation, but also in disaster relief operations.

The rapid growth and spread of population in harardous areas is a matter of increasing concern because it leads to mounting costs of disasters in terms of lives lost and damage to property and investments. Besides, the high residential in hazardous areas. The risk is further increased by densities add to the problen~s the drama& increase in infrastructural investments and development assets that get destroyed by disasters. There land-use has to be decided keeping in view the vulnerability to disasters. In other words, land-uselzoning has t~ be done so that different land zones can be earmarked for major activities in accordance with the risks that they are likely to withstand. Land-use zoning for disaster prevention and mitigation may act as a spur to comprehensive land-use planning, morerso is disaster prone regions. The major elements of land-use planning may be summarized as follow: i) Land-use policies and plans setting out the social, "economic and environmental of comprel~ensiveland development and their stages of development;

i i ) Land ownership and land tenure patterns identif'ying the legal, social and economic basis of ownership and tenure;

Land-Usc Zoning for Disaster Management

iii) Land values and prices, reflecting the forces of supply and demand for land; and iv) Land-use controls which may be subdivided into three broad categories, i.e., legal, fiscal and directive.



Land-use policy is only one of the possible strategies to mitigate disaster, and all measures must be responsive to the economic and-social resource balance of the region. The major concerns of national or regional policy formulation deal mainly with economic and social goals but with environmental goals becoming increasingly important. Regional policies emphasize local considerations and correspondingly appropriate physical planning and hence are particularly relevant for disaster management. Regional policies may include objectives such as a balance between various areas in the region by directing econon~icdevelopment into backward areas, or the ericourage~nent of urban development to allow for social mobility and progress necessa~y for industrial activity.' Major co~nponents of regional policies include the selection of areas designated for transport networks, industry, agriculture, and urban growth. The area aspects of regional planning are a vital link to national planning efforts and constitute a basic means of implementing disaster prevention policies. Thus, guiding the location of activities within a region may not only serve social, economic and environmental goals but may also serve as a means of mitigating disasters leading to very significant benefits in the medium to long-term. Local policies (including urban policies) are extremely important in the total d e specific area distribution of human activities. planning process, for these g ~ ~ i the It is here that investments are made and the development of human settlements take place. and it is here that specific llazard mitigation programmes are really required. India being a developing count~y,most areas iinder developmental planning and land-use is decided/assigned accordingly. But the requirements of disaster mitigation tend to receive lower priority because of the overriding considerations of expediency. Tlle apparent clash of interest between development and disaster management arises because of the following considerations: i) The pressures for development are frequently so overwhelming that disaster risk is often overlooked in the hope of sI101.t-term gains, and little weight is likely to be given to disaster prevention in land-use policies.


Traditional systems'of land-use have over a long period adjusted to periodic disasters; but the pace of develop~nent over the last few decades has upset the natural socio-economic modes of adjustment. This pace is not likely to slow down, i t least, in the foreseeable future.

iii) Traditional and i~lter~nediate indigenous econo~nic systems are highly sensitive to regulation and the economic costs (measured by employment or employment growth losses) or uprooting, relocating, or i@i6iting development . qan be' very high in labwr intensve employment s&&fs. This llampers landuse zoning ' to take*care,~fdisastqr mitigation, .

iv) Growth of populalion and Inntl ~Iior.tagesliave tended to make tlie poor pool-cr and sli~l'lto marginal lancl. s ~ ~ cas l i ravines, steep slopes, low flood plains or even siverbccls. This ma~ginalland is prone to floods, landslides or ot[ier adverse natural phenomena.


In tlie Sormulation of land use ~policics in a broad rra~neworltat ~iatiorialand regional levels, tlie rollowing issues have bcen founel to be important in the context of disaster management. Tlie cliscussion here is with reference to floods, wliicli are tlic mosl li.cqucnt natural disaster.

i) Tlic conflict between irrigat~onand tloocling provides a basic dilernrna for gains of extra agricultural produce through irrigation planners. Some of' ~Iic can be legitilnatcly claimecl to be preferable to tlie less tangible henefits of extra flood manageme~~t and niitigation measures since reservoirs for irrigation water ~hviouslynced to be I q t li~ll.whereas for flood prevention tlie need is for empty reservoi~.~ to absorb floods when they come. In our country, most of tlie big reservoirs are for irrigation and not lor flood control. Orily tlie ~cservoirs of tlie Dnmoclal. Valley Corporation cater to food control in addition to i r ~ igdtion. ii) Floods provide si It for increasing soil re12ility, while botli floocl prevention and irrigalio~ican either eliminate tlie silting or limit it to well-defined areas. Large nu~iibersol'small t'armcrs can lose tlieir Iiveliliood 01-have their illcome reduced if tlieir interesls are not talten into account in the new plans. iii) Tlie relation between flooclplain management and watershed area management has still not been suficicntly clarified; lio\vevcr, it is generally agreed that ~lncontrolleddcforcstation and shifting agricultural cultivation can cause soil . erosion, lower water Iioldirig capacity of tlic lalid and increased risk of flooding through silting or riverbeds. iv) Rapid urbanisation has producccl large concentrations of urban squatters who liave by ancl large settlecl on unoccupied land (boll1 p ~ ~ b l and i c private) in ~~nattractive or undesirable locat~ons,inclucl~ngmarshes and other low-lying lalid exposed to periodic: or seasonal flooding, but where they are close to aritl s difficult employment oppot-[unitiesand services. 01ieof tlie most s e r i o ~ ~ to provide safe and suitable urban challenges to land-use policics is tlic ~ieecl land for all segments of thc population, including the lowest income groups \vho call least afrortl tlie disr~~ption"!qought about by having to live in areas o disasters. constantly subject L Tlie relocation of squatter settlements from low lying flood-prone areas is often hampered by the high cost of suitable alternative locations, and the extremely high per capita costs of new infrastructure and services, for which subsidies directed at Llie lowest income groups are rare because of unbalanced Iiousing policies and tlie low capacity of loan repayrner~tamong this segment oftlie population. FUI-tliermore, as mentioned above the lowest income groups tend to congregate as near as possible to tlieir sources of employment, whatever tlie risk. In sum, nothing sliort of comprehensive policies atid prograliimes can effectively cope with problems of disaster prevention in urban clevelopment. The comprehensiveness of a policy framework is apparent where land-use policies are supported by corresponding social and economic policies. Thus, tlie reservation of new urban lalid for housing, especially where low income

families are concerned, should be linlced to transport and employment facilities, education ancl other social services. The modes of investment in, and development of, new urban lands are complex. The most feasible approach is one that ~~~iclertalies the clevelopment of infrastructu~-e services ancl Iiousing in progrcssivc pliases, employing wherever possible popular pa~ticipation techniques to rcduce capital costs by investing tlie l a b o ~ ~ and r savings of tlie intc~.estcdpopulation itself. One may cite core-housing. sites and services, and the creation of small savings and loan societies or co-operative as components of tlie total land development process;

Land-Use Zoning for Disaster Managcrnent

With increasing i~rban and industrial development resulting in drainage congestion, tlie risli of floocling increases. On Ilie other hand alternatibe urban clevelopment strategies aimccl at clecentralisation and the creation of secondary u~ban cc11t1.c~ arc iicqucnlly hcyoncl thc available resources.

vi) In virlnerable towris and villages, the land-use planning process is confronted with many of tlic same social arid econoriiic dilen>masthat can be found in Ia~ncl-use plarlning for floods and otliel- liazards. The most vulnerable areas are the portions wit11 tlie oldcst housing. The poor- generally live in thc older ancl most crowded sectors. The economic and social cost of uprooting, clisturbing ancl resettling this population may inliibit employment and inco~ne growtli alid also disturb tlic delicately balanced traditional social system especially in tlie villages. Tlii~s,tlie rezoning o r land in tlie olcler poorly built or higli-risk pol-lions of towns can have unfavourable incomc distribution cffects. Noncllielcss. preventive measurcs are required, but should be closely Iiarmoniscd with both land use ancl Iiousing policies clesigned to respond to the problcm ol'social and economic development.
, I

Chcclt Your Progress 1


i) Use tlic space given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of this 1Jnit.

Why arc land-usc policy considerations rele\lant for disaster management i n illc corltest ol'development?


What issues at the national and regional level play an i~nportantrole in land-use zoning for disaster management?

Zoning and sub-division controls are two means by which government can regulate and control both land use pattern and development in both rural and urban areas. Legal controls are increasingly used to regulate the activities of the private sector by placing location restrictions and rni~ii~iii~~ii standards on specific types of land uses and activities. 'These controls can take tlie following forms:

12.4.1 Land Use Macro Zorli~~g

Macro zoning is the establishn~ent of land use planning zones at regional levels. Such zones gelierally establish agricultural, urban, industrial and recreational uses incorporating existing and future patterlis. Specitic uses a1.e allowed in designated areas, altliougli macro-zoning plans are lcvised at appropriate intervals to take into account changes and growth. Such zoning is an efficient tool to control the over-all location of various human activities. Macro zoning has a broad firnction in the seduction of risk since hazardous areas can be zoned permanently for agricultural or recrcational uses, ~ni~ii~nizing as far as possible urban or sen~i-urban concentrations of population or ind~~stry. Nati~ral hazard macro-zoning is a technique of somewhat longer staliding and more general application, but has been of limited use for detailed land-use planning, since it: applies hazard napp pi rig to the national and regional scales only. However, the demarcation of a country or 'regions into broad areas of natual hazard is ~rsefulfor outlining general national policies in disaster.prevention and mitigation. As an example, land use planning with respect to flood plains can 'have two objectives: i) To bring about the most effective beneficial use of tlie flood plain with least pbssible risks, consistctit with over-all community development; and

ii) To promote the healtla and safety of the present occupants of land prone to flooding.
During the forniulation of the land use plan, certain parts of the flood plains can be studied in the following format. i) If residential and other public interest uses are to be permitted in tlie floodway fringe area, it shoi~ld be only ,'after adequate safeguards in tlae form of construction desigri criteria, which should be enforced to render structures safe from floods. ii) Unless economic and location factors greatly over-balance the risk of potential flood damage, industrial development in flood hazard areas slioi~ldbe limited to a certain type of industry to areas beyond the limits of the floodway (e.g., pulp and textile mills, chemical and metal processi~igplants which require large quantities of water and discharge great amount of effluent). iii) Site needs for wholesale and distribution uses, which require the stocking of large quantities of goods particularly susceptible to water, are flexible enough that locations free from flooding can ~~sually be found. iv) Flood plain land can be left as natural parks or developed as golf courses, picnic spots and stadium areas. An evaluation of land use must include an analysis of public works and improvements and their relation to the local flood problem. The planning of public improvements, sucll as water and sewage treatment plants, transportation facilities and public buildings require the same type of consideration that is accorded tc private developme!lt with respect to floading.

12.4.2 Land Use Micro Zcxing


Land-Use Zoning for Disaster Management

Micro zoning is the detailed preparation of land use maps by local bodies and public authorities, particularly in urban settlements, fixing speciric land - uses for each site (such as residential, educational, colnlnercial, etc.). Micro zoning also details the density of land uses at pal-ticular sites. Furthermore, micro zoning establishes a detailed land use pattern within ,the natural hazard macro-zoning framework. From the point of disaster prevention, micro zoning is a basic tool which relates natural hazard assessment to land-use planning. Detailed risk analysis for given locations assists in determining both land-use and building criteria. It can be said as a general rule, that whereas natural hazard macro-zoning maps are based on tlie broad geological and geographical configuration of a given region coupled to records of past hazard frequency and magnitude, natural Iiazard micro-zoning is essentially a detailed study of the probability of natural hazards in a given site as determined principally by the detailed stucly of sub-soil conditions. Naturally, hazard zoning identifies not only probable intensities but also probable return periods or frequency. Micro-natural hazard niapping allows tlie land-usc planner to employ quantitative as well as cli~alitative criteria for establishing land use z o ~ i n g guidelines. Similarly, it enables tlie civil engineer to formulate Inore precisely, than wo~ildotherwise be possible, building codes for public worlts, housing, industry, education and health facilities and transport networl<s.

12.4.3 Su b-division Regulatioi~s

Sub-division regulations, like zoning, provide public control over the development of land. The sub-division regulation is a widely used tool that seeks to ensure tlie proper development of ~lnusedland. This is accomplished through approval of plans by the designated government authority where the criteria for approval cstablisli restriction governing the exact way land is subdivided and tlie provision ~nadeI'or p~11)lic facilities and infrastructure. Tlie developer is proliibited from commencing development until tlie authorized government agency approves a niap of the proposed design of the sub-division.

12.4.4 Building or Loeation Permits

Building and location permits provide planncrs and government oficials with an opportunity to exercise ~nicro-controlsover development. A building permit can be ilsecl not only to regulate tlie type of land use activity and the structure it occupies but also enables the authorities to control employment opport~~llities tllereby inllilencing patterns of development. Tlie point here is that land use controls SI~OLIICI not be limited to those areas tliat experience flodding, but sliould be expanded to include areas tliat ]nay in fact contribute the hazard potential e.g. by blocking drainage.

12.4.5 Open space Controls

Land use policies that regulate the location of agriculture or green area have a direct impact on the provision of open spaces in the total planning area w d vice-versa. Agricultural lands, parks and otlier types of open spaces can play an ilnportant role in ilnproving tlle environment and also mitigating Llie effect of ;iatural disasters. ,Not only do open space lielp reduce capital losses, but equally important, they serve to limit tlie ldss bf life because of their tendency to generate minimum human activity. I-Iowever, it should be noted that open space does not inlply the total non-use of land. Clearly, such areas may be used to satisfy a wide variety of social and cconomic needs. Thus, open spaces may serve to prevent or mitigate disasters while providing some econol~!ic1.e~1u.n~ as wcll.

Preparedness and Mitigation

12.4.6 Building Codes

Any discussion of disaster prevention and mitigation must consider not only "where" but "how" a particular building is built, and this leads to the regulatory instrument of building codes. Building codes or building by-laws in the present context establisli minimun~ standards of design, constructio~i and materials in order to avoid struct~~ral collapse under conditions of severe pllysical stress caused by extreme natural phenomena to which that land might be vulnerable. Although building codes are extremely important for mitigating the effects of natural disasters, tliey should not be considered as separate from land use controls, especially zoning. The co-ordination of land use controls and building codes is one of tlie most effective local level devices for disaster prevention and mitigation. Since building codes are not retroactive, tlie use of performance standards for the repair or rehabilitation of older structures could serve as a supplementary means of improving tlie safety of existing structures.


As a basic principle, major functional land uses sliould be segregated and not mixed as far as possible. Mixing of land uses, especially between residential and Iiigli-risk industrial, sliould be avoided. All sucli industrial plants and storage areas of explosive atid combustible ~iiaterial-ands~~bstances slio~~ld be separated from of green belt. residential development by a syste~ii In order to diminish tlie rislc of total paralysis of productive or administrative activities i n disaster prone areas, tlie industrial and business zone sliould be decenlralised and located in more than one centre in tlie city. ltey supply facilities, and All important installations like centres of commu~iication, even Iiistorical lnonu~nents and cultural landmarks require special attention in case of a catastrophe. These elements sliould be located in such way that tliey are well accessible and well protected. Density of developnient in a disaster-prone area should be Itept as low as possible. In case of a conflict due to economic criteria (cost of land a~iclinfrastructure) or with functional demand (accessibility or proximity) the compromise, if unavoidable, should be a fi~nction of tlie level of risk in the area, building technology atid material, and lieiglit of buildings and cost of infrastructure.

12.5.1 Implications in Town Planning

Urban planning is a state responsibility and as s~iclitlie plans are prepared under tlie respective Town and Country Planning Acts. Such acts slio~~ld be amended to include disaster mitigation as an integral coinponent of a master plan. Similarly, techniques of plan preparation sliould include risk mapping and vulnerability analysis to identify tlie extent and nature of vulnerability. A modification of steps in master plan preparation would also be ~sequired.Instead of a detailed zonal plan being prepared after tlie overall lalid use plan, a broad zonal structural plan 6ased upon risk zones identified should be prepared be for^ the overall land use plan. This will reduce tlie time lag between master plan and zonal plan preparation. Existing develop~nent in each zone can be accomlnodated and modified to suit the risk factor of any zone.

a li~~tlier follow-up, building codes need not be i~niforrnin each zone. Higlil.isI< zones, wliicli are consequently Illore vulnerable, should have lower Floor Area Ratio (FAR), wider set baclcs, more open spaces, ancl restriction on liigli rise develop~iient. Use o r builcling materials that increases structural safety should be mandalory in liigli-risk areas. The rear set back, in case of industrial plots, should be kept larger than the front sct baclc to prevent factories from being built baclc to bacl<which rcd~iccs availability of open spaces for rescue operations.

Land-Use Zoning for Disaster Mnnngement


'I'lie data supplied by cart11 observation satellites can often provide information such as maps and images wliicli are usefill at scales 1 :500,000 or better. Maps of watersheds, river and stream patterns and coastal plains can be produced and gcograpliical maps completed. They can also be used to show inhabited setilc~nents whicli are of the order of 1 Ian or larger in dimension. Satellite observations of tlie earth can be used to map flood plains and delineate areas of potcntial floocl impact. Observations by the satellite (e.g., Indian Remote arid revisit capability of Sensing Satellite IRS-IC with a spatial revolution of 5.8111 5 days) can provide information on surface cover changes, which when processed using Geographic Information Systems (GIs) can lielp in producing a judicious land use map and also lielp in assessing tlie impact of various alternative land use plans. Satellite data can also provide maps of destruction caused by a disaster (flood, eartIiqual\e. drought, even pests and cliseases). As G1S is a computerized and studied. system, tlic maps in G1S can be easily and quickly ~nanipulated

Note: i) Use the pace given below for your answers. ii) Check your answers with those given at the cnd of this Unit.

1 ) Explain the various components of zoning control as a tool for disaster management.

2) Write the steps you would follow in preparing a town plan keeping disaster management as a top priority.

Preparedness and Mitigation


In this unit we have learnt how impo~lantland use planning and zoning regulatio~~s are in the context of disasters. Careful land-use zoning can prevent disasters, and also reduces the extent of damage both to lives and property. We also saw'tlla, with varying sub-division regulations, relief operations can also be made smooth and quick.

' I I

Land Use

The observed (or planned) dominant activity that occurs at a particular location at the scale of a region or a city. Locally adopted laws governing the process of converting Regulations L I I I L I ~land ~ ~ into building sites. Together ~ ' i t l lzoning, these regulations approve or disapprove permissions to make improvements or to divide and sell a developer's land based ilpon development standards set folth i l l the sub-division regulations. Zoning provides for the divisign of an area into zones by categories of allowed and/or prohibited land uses, such as industrial zone, residential zone or greenbelt zone. Zoning is also done according to the perceived risk of disasters on the basis of vulnerability.





Ansari, Jamal H., 1997, Fluodr: Con Lurid Use Planning Help? Journal of the Institute of Town Planners, India, Vol. 16, No. 1 (171), .Iuly, 1997, New Delhi, pp. 4-6. Kulshrestha, S.I<., 1997, Hzmzm Settlenzents in Dis~~,rter-Prone Areus: Plunning, Pri17crple,surrd Design Cbnsiderutiuns, in Spatio-Economic Dcvelopment Record, Vol. 4, No. 1 , Jan-Feb 1997, New Delhi, pp. 23-30. Mahavir, 1982, Druinuge Churacterislic.~ of an Area CIS LI Delemintmt o f Urbu?~ Development, Unpublished MSc. Thesis, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. Srinivasan, Sum itra; 1993, Disnster Mitigation and Urbun Plcmnir~g:Indzislriul Areas cfDelhi, ~n~ublisl;ed Thesis, School of Planning and Architect~~re, New Delhi. United Nations, 1984, Dis~~ster Preventioli and Mitigutiori; A Canzpendiunz oj Current Knowledge, Vol. 5, Land Use Aspects; Office of the Unitecl Nations Disaster Relief Co-ordinator (UNDRO), Geneva, United Nations, New York. United Nations, 1984, Disaster Prevention and Mitigation: A Corrzpsrrdizltn uf Czlrrerzf Knowledge, Vol.1 1, Preparedness Aspccts; Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Co-ordinator (UNDRO), Geneva, United Nations, New York.



Land-Use Zoning for Disaster Mnnagcn~ent

Checlc Your Progress 1

1 ) Your answer should include following points:

more pressure 011 urban land; pace oFcliange of land use is faster than the society can handle; socio-economic cost of relocating people is very high; economic presgilres are pushing the poor into marginal lands prone to disasters; and ~ overall economic resource crunch.


2) Your answer sliould include following points:


conflict between conservation storage such as for irrigation and dedicated flood storage reserve in large reservoirs; relation between floodplain nxnagement and watershed management; rapid i~rbanizationprocess and pressure on urban land; increasing change of larid use from agricultural to non-agricultural land uses: and general resistancc to sliitiing of population.

Check Your I'rogress 2


Your Luiswer slioulcl include the following points: Macro zoning, ~nicrozoning, sub-division regulation, building permits, open space controls, building codes, arid develop~nent controls.

2) Your answer sliould include following points:

broad zonal plan basecl on risk zones; building codes; building material supporting structural safety; and

monitoring tlirougli techniques o.fRemote Sensing and GIs.



Ol7jectives Introduction Meaning and Significance of [EC Ways to Prepare Community Through IEC Let Us Sum Up Key Words References and Further Readings Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

Information, Education and Communication (IEC) is one of the most effective means for disaster preparedness, as it deals with pre-disaster action for capacity building of tlie community tlirough Icnowledge upgraclation. After reading the unit, you will be able to:

explain tlie meaning and significance of IEC; describe the ways to increase tlie disaster preparedness of a community tliro~~gli IEC; discuss the Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) method and tlie three most commonly used tools to accomplish PRA; and highlight tlie essential means for creating an awareness campaigns.

Disasters can be defined as events that are beyond tlie capacity of normal focal resources to cope. Tlie definition provides a Iielpfi~l starting point when consideri~igdisaster response. The definition of clisaster as an ~~nrnanageable extreme event suggests that response can be organized at one of tlie two levels either within local capacity (by strengthening local preparedness and response mechanisms) andlor from outside tlie local contexl. Tlie former provides the best option in ternis of providing long term sustainable disaster preparedness; the latter, if relied upon too ~ i i ~ ~ ccreates li, a dependency, and is costly, timeconsuming and reduccs tlie local initiative and responsibility within the coni~iiunity. In the liglit tlie stre~igtlieningor local preparedness of the community should always be tlie primary ol?jective. Experience shows tliat disasters are mitigated being well prepared. Tlie best by those affected (co~ii~iiu~iilieslgroups) development of sustainable mitigation and preparedness measures comes from developi~igself-reliance. Hence tlie bclief that the management of disaster is primarily tlle responsibility of those affectcd by it should bc reinforced wliencver possible. As such, tlie local preparedness capacity is tlie prirne I-esource for disaster manage~nent,and this is the target area for. Inforniation, Education, and Communication inputs. In otlie~. words, we need to build LIP the disaster preparedness capacity of tlie community tlirougli thc processes of IEC.


Each of tlie three components of IEC, i.e. information, education and communication, has its own clistinct significance, origin, perspective and focus area. l'liese aspects are discussed below:

Prcparing Community Through IEC

Preparing tlie community for disaster management through information means tlie transfer of basic knowledge by means of facts, figures and processes to IIie coln~nunilyso as to increase tlieir awareness. The lcey i s s ~ ~here e is- tlie availability of data to tlie people, bascd on which they may fot.~ii more realistic perspectives, and be better prepared to anticipate and face the disaster. It is useful for the administration and other agencies for planning purposes, and usefill to tlie community for developlnent of internal coping mechanisms. Adequate information provides correct answers to tlic questions of What, When, Where, How arid How Much with respect to the expected disaster. It also addresses tlie issue of probability of tlie occurrence of the disaster, more easily understandable in terms of extent of risk; risk being the cu~nulativeeffect of hazards and VLIlnerabi I ities. So information in this context tel Is the community about the hazards, sucli as floods and tlieir causative mechanisms sucli as release of waters from the upstream reservoirs and tlie time lag betwecn sucli release of water and actual floods in tlie community locality. The downstream vulnerabilities such as deficiencies in the Ilousing structures, insanitary conditions, lack of knowledge of epidemics and tlieir ca~lses and treatment also known as also the details of probable adverse effects that c o ~ ~occur ld need to be clue to the combined effect 01' tlic hazards ancl vul~ierabilities, Infor~nation,in this manner creates a picture of tlie reality for tlie community, lielps them realize tlie risks and motivates tliem to take preparedness acliou.

Education goes a step beyond information And aims at an awakening of tlie people ratlicr tlian just awareness. It sensitizes the people in tlie community and besides ~iiaking tliem aware of tlie risks, it enlightens tliem about tlieir individual and collective stake, the actions needed to be taken and tlieir roles, and it also motivates them to act. Education conveys to tlle people an idea of tlie meclianism of tlie occurrence of disasters. It tells them what to do and what not to do for preventing or mitigating clisasters. It tells them how to manage situations, and provides them with the possibility of alternatives. Many a times people are seen to be having a fatalistic allit~lde toward disasters. 'They treat disasters as iuiavoidable acts of nature and express total Iialplessness to do anything against them, thereby surrendering i o them. Edu