Question: Vulnerability is an essential element for defining disaster impacts and its threat to people. How and in what ways can vulnerability to disaster be characterized? Discuss different types of vulnerability with reference to disasters.
Answer: Disasters are major events that can result in upsetting the current established mechanism in a society. The impact of disasters is wide ranging and multi storeyed.
Characterstics of disaster vulnerability
- Magnitude of impact
The disaster is gauged based on the impact it creates on the society and citizens. If the effects are widespread the disaster is said to be hazardous.
Ex: Indian ocean Tsunami in 2004.
Based on number of people that are assumed to perish due to the disaster, the vulnerability of society towards the disaster is calculated.
Ex: The Chernobyl nuclear disaster was highly fatal due the high number of deaths that incurred.
Different trypes of vulnerability
- Vulnerability to infrastructural destruction
The infrastructural vulnerability can be considered a situation in which large scale infrastructure is at risk of being destroyed due the disaster.
Ex: Himalayan cities are vulnerable to infrasructural destruction due to earthquakes.
- Vulnerability to economic stability
Any disaster that may occur in form of natural or man made can cause large losses to the state due to destruction of economy of the state as well as citizens.
Ex: Sri Lanka is vulnerable to economic collapse if its tourism industry is impacted due to disasters like Tsunami.
- Vulnerability to political stability
Disaster can have widespread impact on political situation in a country. Such period usaully is susceptible to protests that can cause political instability.
Thus, we can conclude that the challenges posed by any disaster is humongous and its impact is deep and intense. A multi sectoral approach is the need of the hour to negate any threats posed by the disasters.