Saturday, November 1, 2014

IMPACT OF DISASTERS

Developing countries are more prone to disasters than the developed states. As economies develop, there are fewer disaster related deaths and damages. However, increasing wealth causes relatively higher losses in high income nations. Increase in income increases the demand for individual safety, thereby enabling additional costly precautionary measures.
-Not all disasters result in significant ecosystem impact
-Some extreme events have a positive impact on the ecosystem. (floods help rejuvenate floodplain vegetation and are important ecological drivers for many ecological processes in flood plains)
-the non-market impacts due to natural disasters are difficult to quantify (positive impact due to floods)
-Impacts of natural disasters on the environment may be direct, indirect and tangible
              - Direct losses are physical effects that reduce functionality of an individual or structure. This                            includes damage to people, vehicles, buildings, clean-up and disposal costs.
              - Indirect losses affect society by disrupting utility services and local businesses. This includes loss                    of revenue, increased cost, expense incurred due to provision of assistance, lodging and drinking                    water.
              - Intangible losses include psychological impairments due to both direct and indirect losses that                        individuals during the disaster.
-Impacts of natural disasters on infrastructure: These kind of impacts can be quantified. Damage to buildings depends on several factors.
The amount of loss depends upon the condition of the building after the occurrence of the disaster. The building could be:
              - Collapsed
              - Unusable due to structural damage
              - Unusable due to loss of functionality or
              - Habitable with little damage
Damage to roads can affect one or more of the following sub elements(bridge, tunnel or roadway). The damages are listed below:
              - Road breakage causing traffic interruption for days or months
              - Temporary interruption without breakage
              - light damage without traffic interruption
Even in railways as in roadways, the effect depends upon damaged sub-elements. Damages are listed below:
              - Rail breakage causing traffic interruption for days or months
              - Temporary interruption without breakage
              - light damage without traffic interruption
Productive activities include industrial, commercial, handicraft, tourism and farming. The kinds of losses in this category are listed below:
              - Prolonged service interruption of large areas
              - Temporary service interruption of large areas
              - Local and temporary inefficiencies
              - Light damage without inefficiency
Impact of natural disasters on development:
Disasters severely impact the development of a region. All the funds and manpower are diverted to mitigate the efforts of a disaster. The  entire socio-economic activity comes to a grinding halt. A lot of time, money and manpower is used-up in response, reconstruction and rehabilitation work. The government is forced to put all work on the back burner and bring the disaster in focus till the effects of the disaster are minimized and life limps back to normal.

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