Disaster & Relief
According to the report entitled Disaster Management in India (2011), Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI, http://ndmindia.nic.in/UNDP-020811.pdf:
Table a and table b show the major disasters faced by India.
Table c shows how disasters affected India economically between 1980 and 2009.
Table d shows the damage caused due to floods, cyclonic storms, landslides etc. during last ten years in India.
• During the second half of the 20th century, more than 200 worst natural disasters occurred in the different parts of the world and claimed lives of around 1.4 million people. Losses due to natural disasters are 20 times greater (as % of GDP) in the developing countries than in industrialized one. Asia tops the list of casualties due to natural disasters.
• India has faced more than 260 events of disasters and over 3.5 million people were affected between 1975 and 2001.
• The number of disasters events globally which was 73 in 1900-09 increased to 4495 during 2000-2009. The rise in disaster events between the decade of 1900-99 and 2000-09 has been 6057.5%. The number of hydro meteorological disasters events increased from 28 in 1900-09 to 3529 in 2000-09. The number of geological disasters events increased from 40 in 1900-09 to 354 in 2000-09. The number of biological disasters events increased from 5 in 1900-09 to 612 in 2000-09.
• Globally, 78.4% of the disaster events during 1900-2009 comprised hydro meteorological events. Nearly 653128 persons died due to hydro meteorological events during 1900-2009.
• According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), data of major natural disasters/ extremes that occurred around the world during the period 1963-2002, indicates that floods and droughts cause the maximum damage.
• During the last thirty years’ time span India has been hit by 431 major disasters resulting into enormous loss to life and property. According to the Prevention Web statistics, 143039 people were killed and about 150 crore were affected by various disasters in the country during these three decades. The disasters caused huge loss to property and other infrastructures costing more than US $ 4800 crore.
• In India, the cyclone which occurred on 25th November, 1839 had a death toll of three lakh people. The Bhuj earthquake of 2001 in Gujarat and the Super Cyclone of Orissa on 29th October, 1999 are still fresh in the memory of most Indians. The most recent natural disaster of a cloud burst resulting in flash floods and mudflow in Leh and surrounding areas in the early hours of 6th August, 2010, caused severe damage in terms of human lives as well as property. There was a reported death toll of 196 persons, 65 missing persons, 3,661 damaged houses and 27,350 hectares of affected crop area.
• Out of 35 states and union territories in the country, 27 of them are disaster prone. Almost 58.6 per cent of the landmass is prone to earthquakes of moderate to very high intensity; over 40 million hectares (12 per cent of land) are prone to floods and river erosion; of the 7,516 km long coastline, close to 5,700 km is prone to cyclones and tsunamis; 68 per cent of the cultivable area is vulnerable to drought and hilly areas are at risk from landslides and avalanches.
• India is one of the ten worst disaster prone countries of the world. The country is prone to disasters due to number of factors; both natural and human induced, including adverse geo climatic conditions, topographic features, environmental degradation, population growth, urbanisation, industrialization, non scientific development practices.
• During the last two decades of the 20th century (1982-2001), natural disasters in India had claimed a total death toll of around 1,07,813 people (on an average more than 5,390 death toll every year).
• India with its extended coast line is exposed to five to six tropical cyclones on an average, both from the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal annually.
• During the complete 124 year period there were three occasions i.e. 1877, 1899 and 1918 when percentage of the country affected by drought was more than 60 percent). In the span of 124 years, the probability of occurrence of drought was found maximum in Rajasthan (25 %), Saurastra & Kutch (23%), followed by Jammu & Kashmir (21%) and Gujarat (21%) region. The drought of 1987 in various parts of the country was of “unprecedented intensity” resulting in serious crop damages and an alarming scarcity of drinking water.
• The average annual rainfall is less than 13 cm over the western Rajasthan, while Mausiram in the Meghalaya has as much as 1141 cm. During the period from 1871 to 2009, there were 27 major drought years in India. One of the major reasons for these droughts has been a strong link with the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) patterns and its linkages with Indian food grain production.
• Around 68 percent of the country is prone to drought in varying degrees. Of the entire area 35 percent receives rain falls between 750 mm and 1125 mm which is considers drought prone while 33 percent which receives rainfalls between less than 750 mm is considered to be chronically drought prone.
• Thirty one disaster management centres have been set up throughout the country, one in each state and two each in Assam and UP.
• The 13th Finance Commission has recommended an initial grant of Rs. 250.00 crores in the form of a revolving fund to be provided to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to keep an inventory of equipment and material for immediate relief during the outbreak of disasters.
• A Scheme for Strengthening of Fire and Emergency Service in the country was launched in 2009 with an outlay of Rs. 200 crores (2009-2012).
• The Government of India has launched a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in April 2009 with an outlay of Rs. 100 crore during the 11th Five Year Plan for revamping of Civil Defence setup in the country (2009-2012).