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Class note

Disasters and Disaster management In India

Based on the essay of Anjana Majumdar




  • A common phenomenon
  • A real challenge
  • An increase in frequency and intensity
  • Human beings can’t prevent disasters
  • Modern technology helps to reduce the impact of disasters
  • Attacks both developed and developing countries
  • Causes great loss of lives and property
  • Floods are the most common disaster
  • Drought is the deadliest
  • Asian continent has the highest number of mortality rate due to disasters




Earthquake Accidents
Floods Plane crashes
Cyclone Riots
Hail storm



India is highly prone to disasters because of its geographical location and geological formation. India has longcostaline, snow-clad peaks, high mountain ranges and perennial rivers. India has to support 18 percent of total population of the world with 2 percent of the total land.


  • 3 D’s – Damage, destruction and death
  • Badly affects
  1. The lifeline support systems (water supply, power supply, communication, drainage, etc)
  2. The commercial and economic activities
  3. The working of healthcare and hospitals
  • Gives emotional shock to the victims.



Reasons for building destruction

  1. Lack of a master plan
  2. The use of inferior quality of materials

While constructing the buildings, guidelines prescribed by the law should be followed. People should get awareness about the weakness in their construction. A monitoring mechanism should be set up in disaster prone areas to ensure the fulfilment of building codes.




State level National level
Senior secretaries of various departments and the representatives of NGO’s Cabinet secretary and the secretaries from the major departments of government
Plays the major role Plays the facilitating role


  • An integral part of disaster management
  • Needs sudden responses because disasters are non-routine events
  • Ensure proper coordination of various department
  • Provide speedy relief to the victim
  • rescue teams need to be well-equipped with latest technologies


It is not to prevent disasters but to mitigate the impact of disasters.

Prepared by


1.    Disasters :

•    Bhopal Gas Tragedy (1984) – The  Bhopal gas tragedy, was a gas leak incident in India, considered the world’s worst industrial disaster. It occurred on the night of 2–3 December 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Over 500,000 people were exposed to methyl isocyanide gas and other chemicals. The government of Madhya Pradesh confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release. A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial injuries and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries.

•    Earthquake (2001)- The 2001 Gujarat earthquake occurred on January 26, 2001, India’s 52nd Republic Day, at 08:46 AM and lasted for over two minutes. The epicentre was about 9 km south-southwest of the village of Chobari  of Kutch District of Gujarat, India. The earthquake reached amagnitude of between 7.6 and 7.7 on the moment magnitude scale . The quake killed around 20,000 people (including 18 in South eastern Pakistan), injured another 167,000 and destroyed nearly 400,000 homes.

•    Heatwave (2003) – The 2003 European heat wave was the hottest summer on record in Europe since at least 1540. France was hit especially hard. The heat wave led to health crises in several countries and combined with drought to create a crop shortfall in parts of Southern Europe. Peer reviewed analysis places the European death toll at 70,000.

•    Floods (2005) – The 2005 Maharashtra floods refer to the flooding of many parts of the Indian state of Maharashtra including large areas of the metropolis Mumbai, in which at least 5,000 people died. It occurred just one month after the June 2005 Gujarat floods. Large numbers of people were stranded on the road, lost their homes, and many walked for long distances back home from work that evening. The floods were caused by the eighth heaviest ever recorded 24-hour rainfall figure of 994 mm (39.1 inches) which lashed the metropolis on 26 July 2005, and intermittently continued for the next day. Torrential rainfall continued for the next week.

•    Tsunami (2006)- The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea mega thrust earthquake that occurred on Sunday, 26 December 2004, with an epicentreoff the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The earthquake was caused when the Indian Plate was subducted by the Burma Plate and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing over 230,000 people in fourteen countries, and inundating coastal communities with waves up to 30 meters (100 ft) high. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. Indonesia was the hardest-hit country, followed by Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand.

•     North India Floods (2013) – In June 2013, a multi-day cloudburst centered on the North Indian state of Uttarakhand caused devastating floods and landslides in the country’s worst natural disaster since the 2004 tsunami. Though some parts of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in India experienced the flood, some regions of Western Nepal, and some parts of Western Tibet also experienced heavy rainfall, over 95% of the casualties occurred in Uttarakhand. As of 16 July 2013, according to figures provided by the Uttarakhand government, more than 5,700 people were dead.  Destruction of bridges and roads left about 100,000 pilgrims and tourists trapped in the valleys. The Indian Air Force, the Indian Army, and paramilitary troops evacuated more than 110,000 people from the flood ravaged area.
•     Phailin (2013) – Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Phailin was the second-strongest tropical cyclone ever to make landfall in India, behind only the 1999 Odisha cyclone. The system was first noted as a tropical depression on October 4, 2013 within the Gulf of Thailand. Over the next few days, it moved westwards within an area of low to moderate vertical wind shear before the system was named Phailin on October 9, after it had developed into a cyclonic storm and passed over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. During the next day Phailin intensified rapidly and became a very severe cyclonic storm. The cyclone prompted India’s biggest evacuation in 23 years with more than 550,000 people moved up from the coastline in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh to safer places

2.    Seismic Zones in India:
The Indian subcontinent has a history of devastating earthquakes. The major reason for the high frequency and intensity of the earthquakes is that the Indian plate is driving into Asia at a rate of approximately 47 mm/year. Geographical statistics of India show that almost 54% of the land is vulnerable to earthquakes. A World Bank & United Nations report shows estimates that around 200 million city dwellers in India will be exposed to storms and earthquakes by 2050. The latest version of seismic zoning map of India given in the earthquake resistant design code of India  assigns four levels of seismicity for India in terms of zone factors (Zone 2, 3, 4 and 5).  Zone 5 expects the highest level of seismicity whereas Zone 2 is associated with the lowest level of seismicity.
Zone 5 covers the areas with the highest risks zone that suffers earthquakes of intensity MSK IX or greater. It is referred to as the Very High Damage Risk Zone. The state of Kashmir,the western and central Himalayas, the North-East Indian region and the Rann of Kutch fall in this zone.Generally, the areas having trap or basaltic rock are prone to earthquakes.
Zone 4 is called the High Damage Risk Zone and covers areas liable to MSK VIII. The Indo-Gangetic basin and the capital of the country (Delhi), Jammu and Kashmir fall in Zone 4. In Maharashtra the Patan area (Koyananager) is also in zone 4.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, parts of Kashmir, Western Himalayas fall under Zone 3. This zone is classified as Moderate Damage Risk Zone which is liable to MSK VII.
The region liable to MSK VI or less  is classified as the Low Damage Risk Zone (Zone 2).

3.    UNDAC – United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination
The United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) is part of the international emergency response system for sudden-onset emergencies.  UNDAC was created in 1993. It is designed to help the United Nations and governments of disaster-affected countries during the first phase of a sudden-onset emergency. UNDAC also assists in the coordination of incoming international relief at national level and/or at the site of the emergency.
UNDAC teams can deploy at short notice (12-48 hours) anywhere in the world. They are provided free of charge to the disaster-affected country, and deployed upon the request of the United Nations Resident or Humanitarian Coordinator and/or the affected Government.
Assessment, coordination and information management are UNDAC’s core mandates in an emergency response mission. Specifically in response to earthquakes, UNDAC teams set up and manage the On-Site Operations Coordination Centre (OSOCC) to help coordinate international Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams responding to the disaster – essential if USAR assistance is to function effectively. This concept was strongly endorsed in United Nations General Assembly resolution 57/150 of 16 December 2002, on “Strengthening the effectiveness and coordination of international urban search and rescue assistance”.
(adapted from http://www.unocha.org/)

4.    Precis writing – general ideas
•    It is generally accepted that a précis should be a third of the passage given. If the original passage has 300 words, the précis should not be more than 110 words in length.
•    A précis should be in the language of the précis-writer. The original passage is not to be reduced in length by just removing unimportant or unnecessary sentences and by reproducing the rest as the précis. It should be a brief gist or summary of the passage expressed in the writer’s own words.
•    A précis should contain all the essential thoughts, ideas or fact in the original passage. It should not contain repetitions or observations that are not relevant to the main theme of the original.
•    A précis is always written in Reported Speech. The passage given may be a speech made by a person in Direct Speech, but the précis is to be in Reported Speech or the Third Person or in the Past tense.

(adapted from http://www.bankersadda.com)

5.     Word Root List (Reference)

6.     Crossword answers:







7. ICE





7.     Cohesive devices: (list)
again         equally         in fact        also         furthermore moreover     and         in addition (to…)     too         and then indeed        what is more           besides     compared with     in the same way     similarly     in comparison with     likewise
besides         naturally         still         but         nevertheless
whereas     however     of course         while
in contrast     on the contrary     yet         instead
on the other hand
first(ly)     second(ly)         last             on top of (that)
finally         next to             (begin with)
in the (first) place             more important          then
as (evidence of…)             such as         for example
thus         for instance         to show what (I mean)
let us (take the case of…)
If not,…     otherwise        In (that) case         that implies
in short     on the whole         in brief         in conclusion
to sum up  after (a while)         before (that time)         since (then)
afterwards         finally                 so far
at first             in the end             at last
meanwhile         (up to) then
at (the same time)     next  accordingly         for that reason         as a result
hence             therefore             consequently
the (consequence) of that is…             thus
in other words     that is (to say)             rather
to put it more (simply)
Again             (better) still             the alternative is…
Alternatively         on the other hand  As far as… is concerned                 now
As for…         to turn to…
Incidentally         with (reference) to…

8.     Powerpoint presentation: (how to create ppt)
•    http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-PowerPoint-Presentation
•    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_4R6U1fDwE

9.    Video Links:

1.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJg19W8x_Ls     (Bhopal gas tragedy-documentary)
2.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLIJm55F9jM     (Gujarat earthquake – bbc news)
3.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx2940wcooo     (Heatwave – bbc news)
4.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM-5j4s0Mj0    (Mumbai floods 2005 – personal video)
5.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQnHySnvViY  (kedarnath floods – ndtv report)
6.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgD4Xfg6w6I   (tsunami reasons – discovery video)
7.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPg9RLSMS2w   (Phailin –  ndtv live weather news)
8.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhD85cQejTg  (disaster management education animation video – United Nations Development Programme)

Watch this video






  1. It is a very detailed description. Moreover, it contains the solutions and directions for all textual and grammatical activities. Very useful and helpful. Hope that the summaries of all other lessons also to be like this.

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