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South Asia Disaster Report 2007

Chapter 13

Other Man made Disasters
Man made disasters cover a wide range of events created largely due to accidents, negligence or sometimes even by human design, which result in huge loss of lives and property every year in South Asia. These include road, rail, river, marine and aviation accidents, oil spill, building and bridge collapse, bomb blast, industrial and chemical accidents etc. These also include the threats of nuclear, biological and chemical disasters. At present there is no organized system for collecting data on man made disasters. EM-DAT does collect data on some technological disasters, but these do not cover the complete range of information on man made disasters. As per EM-DAT sources a total of only 21 technological disasters had affected the countries of South Asia killing 569 people, but road accidents alone had reportedly killed more than 135,000 people which is several times more than the total number of persons killed due to natural disasters. Table 12.1 Technological disasters in South Asia in 2007 (Appendix-VI). Country Afghanistan Bangladesh India Nepal Pakistan Sri Lanka Total Number of incidents 1 1 13 3 2 1 21 Number of Persons Killed 40 41 362 61 65 569

Source: EM-DAT, The CRED International Disaster Database

As per estimate by World Health Organisation (WHO) by 2020 the road crash injuries will be the third highest threat to public health, outranking other serious public health problems such as tuberculosis, diarrhoeal diseases, HIV/AIDS and lower respiratory infections. In South Asia alone, road traffic fatalities are expected to increase from 135,000 in 2000 to 330,000 in 2020. 85 percent of the world’s road deaths occur in developing countries - South Asia region has one fifth share in these fatalities. South Asia has 20,000 km of rail length which is also vulnerable to different levels of rail accidents due to several technical and human causes. Although there were...

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