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Causes of Man-Made Hazard Disasters PDF
A man-made disaster could be defined as a man-made event, sudden or progressive, which impacts with such severity that the affected community has to respond by taking immediate and exceptional measures including help from outside the community.
These disasters could also be termed human-induced disasters or of anthropogenic origin.
An even broader definition of human-made disaster acknowledges that all disasters are caused by humans because they have chosen for whatever reason to be where natural phenomena occur, which result in adverse impacts.
Hence, a man-made disaster is an emergency situation in which the principal direct causes are identifiable human actions, deliberate or otherwise.
Like all disasters, man-made disasters disrupt the normal pattern of life, affect people, impact social structures, and wreak economic damage.
Distinction from Natural Disasters
In most cases of natural disasters, the hazard is directly attributable, however, the main causes of man-made disasters are complex and interrelated.
Except for accidents, man-made disasters have a slow onset, as the underlying causes would be brewing up over a period of time, for example, social problems lead to riots or terrorism.
Man-made disasters could also result from natural disasters as, for example, earthquakes may render a large number of people homeless and without a livelihood, which could lead to social and political consequences.
Like all disasters, manmade disasters also exacerbate the vulnerabilities of an area and its people.
The manifestation of natural disasters like droughts and floods could also be related to indiscriminate human activities which result in the degradation of the environment and of the delicate natural infrastructure which is damaged.
This causes imbalances in nature. Hence, to a certain extent, even natural disasters may sometimes be considered human-induced disasters.
Areas with severe deforestation, erosion, cultivation, and overgrazing tend to be hardest hit by disasters.
Causes of Man-made Disasters
Human-induced disasters occur due to many and varied causes. They could arise from indiscriminate industrialization, overpopulation, increased consumerism, use of hazardous substances or processes, or simply accidents of various types.
Negligence on the part of professionals as well as the public along with ignorance increases the possibility of man-made disasters.
Manmade disasters could also be caused due to unintentional or inadvertent activity, such as a fallout of poor maintenance, low-quality work, or human error.
On the other hand, they could also result from wilful, deliberate, and intentional acts, such as sabotage, mischief, revenge, riots, mob fury or. enemy attack.
Sometimes, man-made disasters, especially those related to industrial and technological causes, are the results of system or process malfunctioning as in the case of nuclear radiation, gas leaks, explosions, and fire.
Notwithstanding what has been stated in the preceding paragraphs, man-made disasters have the following distinguishing features which are basic characteristics of man-made disasters: D Predictability is nil in most cases. Hence, forecasting and warning are not possible.
Even in the case of ecological disasters, while we know that we are on a disastrous path, the time and location of when and where the hazard will turn into a disaster cannot be predicted.
it) No system is really fail-safe. Safety can definitely be improved through careful and timely maintenance and monitoring.
Vigilance and monitoring tend to degenerate in the absence of a mishap. Furthermore, safety and evacuation plans are either non-existent or not enough.
Practice drills are conspicuous by their absence in most industrial or technological sites.
ill) Not only do the “point-zero” and the immediate neighborhood suffer, but the adverse effects are carried farther by wind, water, or travelers.
iv) System failures or mere accidents occur due to (a) Technical Malfunction and/or (b) Human error/negligence.
v) Man-made disasters shall increase in number and magnitude as hazardous industries grow in number, size, and technological complexity and spread into the countryside.
The growing population in general and very large cities with multi-million inhabitants increase the vulnerability considerably.
vi) The awareness about the location? f a serious man-made hazard in the neighborhood of the community is minimal. The general public is ill-equipped mentally and physically to deal with
CONCERNS IN DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Disasters are no strangers and occur quite frequently. Agencies responsible for managing these disasters have played a crucial role and the outcome of their efforts continues to receive mixed reactions.
The fact remains that there is a need and scope for improving the disaster management systems including those for man-made disasters. The main concerns are discussed below.
i) Weak Coordination
A disaster cannot be managed by one single agency, particularly when the magnitude of impact is high.
When more than one agency is involved in managing the disaster, the need for proper coordination between them cannot be overemphasized.
Weak coordination between the agencies, or lack of it, renders the rescue and relief operations ineffective.
ii) Inadequate and/or Irregular Flow
of Resources Adequate resources, such as materials, funds, trained manpower, etc. need to be made available to effectively manage any disaster.
Generally, the resources are inadequate, but at times some of the items may be in excess.
The issue is how best the agencies can formulate resource plans and also ensure that the gap between the requirements and availability can be bridged.
iii) Frequent Transfer of Trained Personnel
The outcomes of disaster management efforts have a direct bearing on the availability of trained manpower.
While there is a serious shortage of trained manpower to manage disasters at the place of occurrence, such resources are sometimes available elsewhere but not properly utilized.
Their availability at the right place at the right time is a serious issue when managing disasters. Thus, many times trained manpower remains unutilized. In public systems, an officer after getting trained in a particular discipline can be posted to a different place in due course.
iv) Lack of Motivation among Personnel
The personnel involved in disaster management must be motivated to be able to perform effectively. The extent of preparedness for man-made disasters is affected when the officers show reluctance or are slow to proceed to the disaster-prone or disaster-affected areas.
Such an attitude towards the responsibilities assigned to them only shows a low level of motivation among officers charged with the task of disaster management.
v) Lack of Accountability
The personnel in charge of disaster management operations are generally not accountable to the victims of disaster or the public at large.
When a road accident takes place the police and other department officers are responsible for recording the first information report, arranging for medical / help for the victims, and clearing the road for traffic.
However, in practice, the operations get delayed which causes all round hardship. It is also difficult in such circumstances to hold anyone responsible.
vi) Golden Hour Concept
The time is taken to respond to an emergency after its occurrence is termed as ‘Golden Hour.
This concept is much more valid in a man-made disaster. If the time span could be reduced, loss of life and damages to the property could be minimized.
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Man-Made Disasters Causes and Effects PDF Free Download