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A Clinical Review of Natural Disasters

Having been a counselor and co-ordinator of school clubs, I have made teachers explain the importance of accepting the powers of nature.

Meaning and Reasons

Major adverse, and catastrophic events on our earth like avalanches, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, wildfires, and tsunamis are known as natural disasters.

Such natural disasters cause heavy loss of lives and damage to properties. They leave behind extensive economic damage to the place.

All such natural disasters are catastrophic events that are caused due to atmospheric, geological, and hydrological reasons.

Earlier their origin was more because of natural actions taking place in our globe. But today these events are caused more because of human activities.

Yes, in this era there are environmental policies in place all over the globe. But these laws on environmental protections are hardly heeded to by any country. The result is but visible to all.

Basis Issues

Natural disasters are basically due to man's desire to live luxurious lives. So we have gone about harming, and destroying the ecological balance of the atmosphere. But we have only succeeded in degrading our natural resources.

Man has blatantly been destroying the forest areas, cutting down trees, and developing industries everywhere. Then to develop these industries we require electricity and water.

Thus dams are built to guide water and electricity to our factories, and residential areas. The consequences are disastrous.

We humans don't have the power to stop these natural disasters when they occur. So ways should be brainstormed and rules framed to avert such disasters.

Types of Disasters

Disasters are not only caused due to human activities but natural phenomenon as well.

There are various kinds of natural disasters: But the most ferocious and dangerous types are mainly these six:-

  • Avalanches
  • Tsunamis
  • Volcanic Eruptions
  • Earthquakes
  • Tornadoes
  • Wildfires

Avalanches: Features & Source

Avalanches are massive masses of snow, ice, and rocks that break away from the mountains and hurtle down its side without giving the slightest wink to anyone in its path.

These falling masses pose a grave threat to everyone it encounters because of their intensity.

Human activities are the primary causes which trigger these avalanche disasters. It is an annual eventuality in America, and India mostly. Climbers and villages coming in its path are devastated.

People living in those areas should be educated about its reasons and guided to save themselves and others coming in its proximity.

Uttarakhand Disaster

Uttarakhand Disaster

Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions

An earthquake is the tremor or shaking of the earth's surface resulting from the sudden release of energy in its lithosphere that creates seismic waves.

If these waves are very intense they can cause eruptions on the surface causing havoc and destructions to entire cities and mountainsides.

Earthquakes can range from very weak to extremely intense ones. They can be so violent that they can propel objects and people into the air. The seismic activity can be felt by the rumbling inside the earth's surface.

Earthquakes are caused by geological factors. When the rocks underground suddenly break along a fault it releases energy causing the seismic waves to make the surface tremble to result in quakes. This also occurs when two moving tectonic plates get stuck causing great friction.

Volcanic eruptions are fiery peaks of molten rock, lava, hot ash, and gas that burst forth violently from its craters and flow down like fiery rivers. They have formed billions of years ago inside the cust of the earth.

We can call these volcanoes the earth's architects. Their flowing lava, molten rocks have formed our planet's surface.

This has with times cooled down forming mountains, valleys. river paths, and fertile soil that have allowed life to thrive, and prosper. Civilizations have flourished along its route.

But these volcanic eruptions happen when viscous molten rock traps the gasses, building pressure until it violently breaks free.

As these eruptions are dangerous it's important to advise people living in its proximity to evacuate when necessary.

Tornadoes and Tsunamis

The reasons for tornadoes are not similar to tsunamis. Tornadoes are formed from supercells and large thunderstorms that have winds in rotation.

Tornadoes occur at any time of the year but are more common in seasons that begin in early spring. It forms when warm, humid air collides with cold, dry air. The denser cold air is pushed over the warm air, usually producing thunderstorms.

Tsunamis are awe-inspiring waves that are usually caused by large, undersea earthquakes when tectonic plate boundaries clash with each other inside the ocean's depths.

When the ocean floor at a plate boundary rises or falls suddenly, it displaces the water above it and launches the rolling waves that will become a tsunami.

Tsunamis race across the ocean's surface at a speed of up to 500 miles an hour. And when these waves hit the coastline its waves are so huge and devastating that it simply smashes everything coming in its path.

Such disasters are not new for the earth. They have occurred since our planet started forming, millions of years ago.

Towering dust storm covers Phoenix

Towering dust storm covers Phoenix

Warnings and Precautions

When we think of these natural disasters the only thing that strikes the mind is the regularity and intensity of these disasters. It has become an annual affair.

Their causes are not difficult to visualize. We human beings are mostly responsible for it. We will have to remember that activities taking place on the earth's surface are the main causes.

Earlier our forests and vegetation helped us to stabilize slopes and reduce landslides. Similarly, wetlands helped to regulate floods.

The coastal vegetation and the natural features such as dunes and mangroves protected us from storms, cyclones, and hurricanes.

So, to cut a long story short, we must realize that taking proper care, and precautions of the following is of utmost importance:

  • Measures and steps to check water and climate-related disasters.
  • Geosciences-related disasters.
  • Industrial, nuclear, and chemical disasters.

Floods, hurricanes are linked to climatic changes. It generates long-term trends like rising sea levels, and then such temperature increase aggravates more natural disasters.

So we humans must check and block such activities that lead to temperature and atmospheric changes. We should check statistics.

We will find that 90% of the global warming has taken place on the earth because of the warming of our oceans and the resultant increase in the levels of our oceans.

This phenomenon has occurred between 1971 to 2010. Hence the word of caution to all humanity; " Prevention is better than cure."

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Bharat Sharan

Comments

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 22, 2021:

I agree with you. I wish each of us could work to impact the future and make a difference. Every little bit helps, but it does seem overwhelming.

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