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everyone should always be cautious about tackling natural disaster
Aivee Akther Environment Protection Environmental Features

Everyone should always be cautious about tackling natural disaster

Everyone should always be cautious about tackling natural disaster


International Day for Disaster risk reduction is held every year on 13 October. Natural disasters are becoming an unavoidable part of life on the planet. Despite the frequency of disasters, human-made environmental pollutions, weaponry competitions, the damage of soil, water, and the atmospheric layers are going on.

The incidence and severity of extreme weather-related disasters are increasing due to climate change. As a result, natural disasters are raging all over the world. Somewhere there is a storm, somewhere there is a flood, somewhere there is a drought, somewhere there is a fire, somewhere there is a cold wave. There is no benefit in blaming nature.

Because this dark side of nature appears as a consequence of human misdeeds, people act against nature. Nature also suffocates in the anger of losing its resources and balance. At one point, nature burst into angriness and destroyed the livelihood.

Disasters are natural or human-made events or extreme situations that disrupt everyday human life, damage property and the environment or cause loss of life. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, tidal surges, tsunamis, droughts, torrential rains, wildfires, cyclones, thunderstorms, epidemics, famines cause extensive damage to humans well as the environment.

The economic, social, and cultural sectors all suffer from disasters. Natural disasters also wreak havoc on development plans, investments, and growth. Nevertheless, the development of the socioeconomic system got stifled.

Every day thousands of people lose their everything due to these disasters. Among them, low-income countries cannot stand up because of disasters.

The recent cyclone ‘Komen’ in the Bay of Bengal flooded the coastal areas of Bangladesh. The developed countries that are speaking out against fossil fuels that are harmful to the environment are the ones that are using these fuels the most, which led to an increase in harmful carbon dioxide emissions.

The ozone layer, which protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation, is depleting. Droughts, fires, torrential rains, storms, tidal surges, and freezing periods are becoming increasingly common. The world’s biodiversity is on the verge of extinction. The environment is in jeopardy. We are like silent spectators watching the world deteriorate as though no one had anything to do.

According to the data, Bangladesh was ranked fifth among 171 countries in disaster severity in 2016. Martin Fowler, Head of Operations of the International Red Cross Society Asia Pacific, praised Bangladesh’s progress in disaster response.

Over the years, Bangladesh has faced some severe disasters that caused immense loss of properties and livelihoods. For example, the floods of 1988 affected about 10 million people. In 2007, about 15 million people were affected by floods and river erosion in the country.

Crops, houses, cattle, plants — everything is destroyed. The country’s agricultural economy collapsed. In 1991, about 0.15 million people lost their lives on the coast of Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong. According to the Global Climate Change Risk Index 2017, Bangladesh ranks sixth as a vulnerable climate country.

Floods and cyclones cause a loss of 3.2 billion dollars every year in Bangladesh, 2.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Another report of 2020 reveals that eight out of the ten countries with the highest frequency of disasters are in Asia. The number of deaths due to disasters in the last 20 years is more than 1.2 million, and the loss was about US$300 billion. Bangladesh has been the ninth most affected country in the last 20 years of this century.

During this time, 11,20,00,000 people of Bangladesh have been victims of disasters directly or indirectly. According to the report, the highest number of disasters happened in 2002, in the last 20 years.

That year, 656 million people got affected. In 2015, 430 million people got affected. On average, 200 million people worldwide are affected by disasters every year, and 0.06 million people die.

According to a United Nations report, the world’s direct economic losses from natural disasters in the last 20 years amounted to US$2908 billion. Among these, extreme weather disasters cost US$2,245 billion, or 8 percent of the total.

According to the report, about 1.3 million people have died in climate-related and geophysical disasters in the last 20 years. About 4400 million people have been injured and displaced.

Earthquakes and post-earthquake tsunamis caused most of the severities. Despite so many disasters, the world’s affluent countries have yet to take any actions to protect the environment, which is quite unfortunate.

The reality, however, is that in disaster-stricken countries like ours (Bangladesh), one disaster strikes before another, giving no time to recover the previous damage. South Asia is prone to climate change disasters such as cyclones, floods, tidal surges, droughts, landslides, and avalanches.

If the global temperature rises by just 1.5 degrees, the danger in our region will increase manifold. So, countries worldwide need to play a more substantial role in tackling climate change and raising awareness, including enhancing regional capacity to deal with disasters.

We need to play a more proactive role in tackling climate change for our survival. In addition, we must continue our efforts to collect compensation from developed countries for their carbon emissions as per the Paris Agreement.

If all the countries do not save the people from the disaster, humankind may have to pay huge compensation. So everyone should be aware of protecting the environment.

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