Hazard, Risk, Vulnerability and Disaster

Hazard, Risk, Vulnerability and Disaster

Hazard: represents a potential threat to human life and welfare. Earthquakes, Tropical Cyclones, Floods, Volcanoes and many more natural & man made hazards are examples of threats both to human life and welfare.

Risk: represents the probability of loss (a combination of loss of human life and economic loss) by a particular natural event, say Tropical Cyclone.

Vulnerability: represents a potential loss or extent of a loss from a particular event. We, humans, create human & economic assets at a location which are vulnerable to a hazard & risk. If we have no human life, no animal life, and no economic assets, there is absolutely no risk. Hazard may exist but no risk.

Disaster: represents an event that is hazardous impacting a community of individuals or a society in adverse way that the essential structures and functions of that society are disrupted. So no cell phones, electricity, rail/road service etc. disruption of the society.

Ports have developed and become mega cities all over the world. Large number Humans live in these cities with huge assets. They are the economic growth centers. The port cities in the tropical regions are vulnerable to the hazard of Tropical Cyclone/Hurricane. Look at Mumbai which was hit by Severe Cyclonic storm (which is not classified as a Hurricane under the international Saffir-Simpson scale) in the year 1940 and today’s Mumbai with far more human population and assets. The vulnerability/risk exposure of Mumbai is many times bigger.

We cannot stop Tropical Cyclones/Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Floods but we can help to reduce or mitigate the disasters. We can build structures/infrastructures which can stand the furies of the Tropical Cyclone/Hurricane and prepare disaster plans to come back to normalcy in minimum time with no human losses.

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