Day 74 – Q 4. Hazard can be natural but disasters are anthropogenic. Comment.
4. Hazard can be natural but disasters are anthropogenic. Comment.
Hazard is associated with the processes that have the potential to inflict social, economic or environmental losses. It can be natural or anthropogenic.
- Natural hazard are earthquake, tsunami, droughts, floods, landslides, wildfires, thunderstorms etc.
- Anthropogenic hazards are dealing with hazardous material, nuclear power plants, chemical weapons, collapse of structures, train collisions, airplane crashes etc.
- Hazards can thus be from natural causes with no control of anyone over them.
- Disasters, however, are anthropogenic in nature as these are the impacts of the hazards.
- An earthquake of same magnitude in a sparsely populated region will cause much less losses compared to in a heavily populated region.
- Urban floods though involve natural hazards like torrential rainfall but the floods are due to poor management and encroachment of natural wetlands. E.g. Chennai and Mumbai floods.
- Landslides are a natural occurrence in hilly areas and occur frequently. Human intervention and construction activities have created instability in the Himalayas and is responsible for increased frequency of landslides in the region.
- Inefficient or insufficient use of adequate technology, like early warning systems also result in disasters whose impact could have been reduced otherwise, e.g. Okhi cyclone.
- Even in case of man-made hazards, the disasters are often caused by human ignorance, mismanagement or deliberative action.
The disasters are a result of human intervention, and it is the latter that can prevent those too. Appropriate mitigation techniques, creating awareness, providing appropriate structures and not interfering with the nature can help reduce disasters or their impact.
Best answer: Point Nemo