MP A R
Munich Personal RePEc Archive
Natural hazards and disaster management in Pakistan
Himayatullah Khan and Abuturab Khan
12. October 2008
Online at http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/11052/ MPRA Paper No. 11052, posted 12. October 2008 23:59 UTC
Natural hazards and disaster management in Pakistan
Himayatullah Khan Professor, Department of Development Studies COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad and Institute of Development Studies NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Abuturab Khan Assistant Professor, Department of Development Studies COMSATS Institute of Information Technology Abbottabad Email: email@example.com
Abstract: The present study explains the various concepts used in disaster management. The concepts explained include: Disaster, Hazard, Vulnerability, Capacity, Risk and Disaster Management Cycle. In addition to the terminologies, the study also seeks to explain various types of disasters. It also gives a detail of various disasters occurred in Pakistan as well their management and mitigation strategies. The paper also discusses disaster management policy at national level as well as disaster management and national plans in Pakistan. Keywords: Natural Hazards, Disaster Management, Pakistan JEL classification: I 30, I 00, A10 I. Introduction Disaster is a sudden adverse or unfortunate extreme event which causes great damage to human beings as well as plants and animals. Disasters occur rapidly, instantaneously and indiscriminately. These extreme events either natural or maninduced exceed the tolerable magnitude within or beyond certain time limits, make adjustment difficult, result in catastrophic losses of property and income and life is paralyzed. These events which occur aggravate natural environmental processes to cause disasters to human society such as sudden tectonic movements leading to earthquake and volcanic eruptions, continued dry conditions leading to prolonged droughts, floods, atmospheric disturbances, collision of celestial bodies, etc. (Joshi, 2008). Disasters have always co-existed with civilizations. With technological advancement, development initiatives resulted in the creation of a lot of infrastructure and permanent assets. Gradually material development detached man from nature on one hand, and increased vulnerability of the human population, on the other. The progressive increase in loss of life, property and deleterious effect on environment due to disasters moved the international community to look at disaster management in a new perspective, which transcends international barriers, anticipates possible threats and enables tackling of disasters from the pre-stage. The last decade (990-1999) was observed by the International Community as the ‘International Decade for natural disaster reduction’, a decade dedicated to promoting solutions to reduce risks from
natural hazards. The international dimension of disasters was realized and a protocol sought to be established so that when it comes to suffering of humanity, help from the International community flow in right earnest. Almost everyday, newspapers, radio and television channels carry reports on disaster striking several parts of the world. But what is a disaster? The term disaster owes its origin to the French word “Desastre” which is a combination of two words ‘des’ meaning bad and ‘aster’ meaning star. Thus the term refers to ‘Bad or Evil star’. The United Nations defined Disasters as ‘A serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society causing widespread human, material, economic and environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected community / society to cope using its own resources’ (UNDP, nd). A disaster is a result from the combination of hazard, vulnerability and insufficient capacity or measures to reduce the potential chances of risk. A disaster happens when a hazard impacts on the vulnerable population and causes damage,...
References: Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), (2006), Natural Hazards and Disaster Management. Delhi: Preet Vihar. Joshi, S.R. (2008), Natural Disasters in North-East Region and its Management: An Essay, Centre for Science Education, North Eastern Hill University Bijni Complex, Laitumkhrah, Shillong – 793 003, Meghalaya.
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) (2006), Draft National Disaster Management Framework, pp 14-17. Pakistan Metrological Department and Norstar Norway, (2006), Seismic hazard analysis for the Cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, February. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2008), Disaster ManagementPreparedness Methodology In Assam. http://data.undp.org.in/dmweb/ArticleDRM%20Assam.pdf (accessed on March 25, 2008) Warfield, Corina, (2008) The Disaster Management Cycle. http://www.gdrc.org/uem/disasters/1-dm_cycle.html (accessed on March 25, 2008). WCDR (2005) A R e v i e w o f Disaster Management Policies and Systems in Pakistan, Islamabad, January 2005. World Disasters Report (2003), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Geneva.
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