Kinds and levels of disasters

THE HANS INDIA |   Aug 10,2017 , 04:58 AM IST


Primarily disasters are triggered by natural hazards or human-induced. The human society is also vulnerable to Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) disasters, as per the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) A publication of: National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Disasters arising from natural hazards are classified into five major categories: 1. Geophysical: Geological process or phenomenon that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage; 2) Hydrological: Events caused by deviations in the normal water cycle and/or overflow of bodies of water caused by wind set-up; 3) Meteorological: Events caused by short-lived/small to meso-scale atmospheric processes (in the spectrum from minutes to days); 4) Climatological: Events caused by long-lived meso- to macro-scale processes (in the spectrum from intra-seasonal to multi-decadal climate variability); and 5) Biological: Process or phenomenon of organic origin or conveyed by biological vectors, including exposure to pathogenic micro-organisms, toxins and bioactive substances that may cause loss of life, injury, illness or other health impacts et. 

Human-Induced Disasters: The NPDM notes that rise in population, rapid urbanization and industrialization, environmental degradation and climate change aggravates the vulnerabilities to various kinds of disasters. Due to inadequate disaster preparedness, communities, and animals are at increased risk from many kinds of human-induced hazards arising from accidents (industrial, road, air, rail, on river or sea, building collapse, fires, mine flooding, oil spills, etc.). Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) hazards rank very high in among the human-induced risks. Terrorist activities and secondary incidents add to these risks and call for adequate preparedness and planning.

Levels of Disasters: Level-L1: The level of disaster that can be managed within the capabilities and resources at the District level. However, the state authorities will remain in readiness to provide assistance if needed; Level-L2: This signifies the disaster situations that require assistance and active mobilization of resources at the state level and deployment of state level agencies for disaster management. The central agencies must remain vigilant for immediate deployment if required by the state; and Level-L3: This corresponds to a nearly catastrophic situation or a very large-scale disaster that overwhelms the State and District authorities. 

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