Disaster Management in India: Some Policy Measures

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V. Munusamy, Dr. R. Asokan


India has a history of being particularly susceptible to natural disasters due to its particular geoclimatic characteristics. Landslides, earthquakes, cyclones, floods, and droughts have all been frequent occurrences. Over 40 million hectares of the continent is vulnerable to floods, over 60% of the landmass is sensitive to earthquakes of varying intensities, 8% of the landmass is vulnerable to cyclones, and 68% is vulnerable to drought. Every year between 1990 and 2000, there were around 4344 fatalities and 30 million individuals affected by disasters? The amount of individual, communal, and public assets lost has been enormous. The super cyclone in Orissa in October 1999 and the Bhuj earthquake in Gujarat in January 2001 underlined the need to adopt a multi-dimensional endeavor involving various scientific, engineering, financial, and social processes. They also highlighted the need to adopt a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach and incorporate risk reduction in the development plans and strategies. In this country's policy framework, disaster management plays a significant role because the poor and underprivileged are the ones who suffer the most from tragedies and disasters.

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