[Polity] 2nd ARC: Disaster Management (3rd Report) Gist of Chapter 1 to 3

Disaster Management: EarthQuakes

[Polity] 2nd ARC: Disaster Management (3rd Report) Gist of Chapter 1 to 3

This content is taken from 3rd report of 2nd Administrative reform Commission (Crisis  Management). The reports of 2nd ARC are important because they provide truckload of fodder-material in UPSC exam General Studies, Public Administration, Essay and interview.

  1. Crisis vs Disaster
  2. Disasters: why increasing?
  3. Disasters in India
    1. Earthquakes
    2. Cyclones
    3. Tsunamis
    4. Floods
    5. Landslides
    6. Avalanches
    7. Industrial Disasters
    8. Reforms after Bhopal Gas tragedy
    9. Epidemics
    10. Nuclear Hazards
    11. Desert Locusts
  4. Slow Onset disasters
    1. Climatic Change
    2. Droughts
    3. Desertification and Soil Degradation
    4. Sea Erosion
  5. Disaster Response Mechanism in India
    1. Constitution of India: Disaster  Management
    2. State Government & Disaster  Management
      1. Role of CM
      2. Role of Chief Secretary
      3. Role of District Collector
    3. Union Government & Disaster  Management
      1. Role of cabinet Secretary
      2. Where does the money come?
      3. Role of Army
  6. Timeline of Events: Disaster  Management in India

Crisis vs Disaster

  • crisis’ may be defined as “an emergency situation arising out of natural or human activity which poses a threat to human life and property or leads to large scale disruption of normal life.
  • A crisis may degenerate into a disaster if it is not properly managed resulting in avoidable loss of human life and property on a large scale.
  • Second Administrative Reforms Commission, in its 3rd report discussed the Crisis  Management.

Disasters: Why Increasing?

  • Natural disasters have been an integral part of human history right from the dawn of civilization. The rise and fall of the Indus Valley and Babylonian civilizations are a testimony to this.
  • globalization, urbanization, large-scale migrations of human population and climate changes = more disaster.
  • The scourge of terrorism has created new types of crises
  • increasing dependence on communications and computer networks have increased the threat of newer emergencies in case these are disabled by accident or design.(Net-banking, sharemarket, Financial Terrorism etc)
  • modernization, information explosion, transnational migrations, and the economic interdependence among nations have all contributed to extending the impact of crisis situations.
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) came to the conclusion that, worldwide the frequency and magnitude of all types of natural disasters are on the rise
  • In some regions of the country, the frequency and intensity of droughts have increased over the past few decades.
  • Extreme rainfall events will increase over many areas, resulting in greater number of floods and landslides.
  • Mid-continental areas would generally become drier, thus increasing the risk of summer droughts and forest fires.
  • tropical cyclone expected to be on the rise.
  • Such increasing trends in natural disasters will inevitably create crisis situations.
  • Therefore Disaster management will become a very critical issue in the coming years.
Disaster management matrix

Disaster Matrix (Click to Enlarge)

Types of Disasters

  • caused by acts of nature
    • Climatic events
      • cyclones
      • storms (associated sea erosion),
      • floods and
      • drought
    • Geological events:
      • earthquakes,
      • tsunamis,
      • landslides
      • avalanches;
  • by environmental degradation
  • by accidents.
    • by biological activities
      • public health crises, epidemics etc;
    • by hostile elements
      • war, terrorism, extremism, insurgency etc;
    • by disruption/failure of major infrastructure facilities
      • by large crowds getting out of control

Life Cycle of a crisis

  • It is also necessary to recognize that often a crisis does not emerge suddenly; it has a life cycle, which may take days, months or even decades to develop depending on its causative factors.
  • This ‘life cycle’ of crisis management may be divided broadly in three phases –
    • pre-crisis,
    • during crisis
    • post crisis.
      • Recovery
      • Rehabilitation
      • Reconstruction
  • Most of the natural disasters can now be predicted with a fair degree of accuracy (earthquakes are an exception).
  • Similarly, a reservoir of knowledge and experience now exists about managing all aspects of disasters. The challenge is to ensure that the community at large and the decision makers are empowered with this knowledge.

Traditional Knowledge for Disaster Management

  • Why should people be brought in for a community approach to disaster management? The answer should be easy to appreciate. If tribals in the Andamans could survive the tsunami, it was because their existing warning systems worked well in comparison to our non-existent modern systems
  • The fact that traditional houses of wood and stone survived the Uttarkashi earthquake not so long ago while modern buildings collapsed offered a similar lesson.
  • This intelligence needs to be tapped for devising approaches to management of disasters.

High Cost of Disaster

  • India is very vulnerable to natural hazards because of its unique geo-climatic conditions. Disasters occur in India with grim regularity causing enormous loss of life and property.
  • Almost 85% of the country is vulnerable to single or multiple disasters and about 57% of its area lies in high seismic zones.
  • 40 million hectares of the country’s land area is prone to flood
  • 68% of the area is susceptible to drought
  • investment in disaster prevention and mitigation is highly cost effective: for example, every dollar spent on mitigation saves three to five dollars on relief and rehabilitation
  • Unfortunately, long-term benefits of crisis prevention and mitigation have not been duly factored into our planning and administrative systems
  • A brief description of some major crises/disasters, which India faces is given in the following paragraphs


Disaster Management: EarthQuakes

  • Himalayas – the youngest among the mountain ranges
  • very severe earthquakes in several parts of the Himalayan and surrounding regions
  • This makes the entire region covering fourteen states (located in western and central Himalayas, northeast, and parts of Indo-Gangetic basin) highly prone to earthquakes.
  • The other seismically active regions of the country include the
    • Gulf of Khambhat
    • Rann of Kutch in Western Gujarat,
    • Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Earthquakes can neither be prevented nor predicted in terms of their magnitude, or place and time of occurrence
  • Therefore, the most effective measures of risk reduction are
  • Building construction norms
  • effective rescue and relief actions immediately after the occurrence of the earthquake.


Disaster Management: Cyclones

Tropical Cyclone Exaplained: Click to Enlarge

Share this post