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Degeneration Of Environment And Role Of Natural Disasters

There is a lot of interest in the environmental mobilisation of toxins by "natural disasters," but little has been done to address these concerns, especially in the developing countries. The frequency, predictability, and intensity of occurrences varies greatly on a global and regional scale. It is obvious that there are higher chances for contemporary pollutants to become mobilised in sediments. Numerous chemicals have been buried in riverine, estuarine, and coastal sediments throughout the past 100 years of industrialization.

Studies that specifically looked at this potential risk to human health do exist. The pre-existing baseline, the medium to long-term fate and transit of pollutants, and the investigation of aquatic and terrestrial pathways are all necessary for studies that concentrate on exceptional events. To better understand disease processes and human health vulnerabilities, in-depth investigations are needed.

There is a great deal of interest in the environmental mobilisation of toxins by "natural disasters," but little has been done to address these concerns, particularly in the developing countries. The frequency, predictability, and intensity of occurrences varies greatly on a global and regional scale. People are more vulnerable if they reside in flood plains, along the coast, at or below sea level, close to streams, or close to regions that are known to be contaminated. The most vulnerable are those who reside closest to the source.

The focus of this research is the interaction between people, pollution, and natural disasters. Sea levels are rising, and some locations are experiencing an increase and others a decrease in land subsidence. Predicted increases in upper ocean heat content and atmospheric water content could result in greater downpours, worsening flooding, and general human misery. As more people migrate closer to the coast, the likelihood of greater damage is rising along with coastal population growth.

Additionally, the frequency of dangerous algal blooms, the prevalence of hypoxia or "dead zones," and the regular occurrence and variable intensity of spills of different substances. We can all play a part in protecting the environment for future generations by minimizing our participation in harmful activities and encouraging sustainable ones whenever possible. Natural catastrophes include any catastrophic occurrence that is brought on by the earth's natural elements or processes. The severity of a disaster is gauged by the number of lives lost, the amount of money lost, and the ability of the locals to reconstruct.

Any natural threat's capacity to endanger life is primarily determined by its sternness and spatial extent. India is dealing with a lot of environmental problems. India faces issues from various types of pollution, including those of the air, water, trash, and environment. From 1947 to 1995, the circumstances were worse. In order to address its natural problems and improve its ecological quality, India made one of the fastest progresses on the planet between 1995 and 2010, according to information gathering and condition evaluation investigations by World Bank professionals.

Nature is the physical and material universe, which includes plants, animals, the environment, as well as various characteristics and byproducts of the Earth. To put it another way, it is the combination of flora and fauna as well as climatic, geological, and physical processes (Harper, 2006). For the survival of living things, nature offers the necessary raw elements such as forests, water, air, food, etc. Through a cyclical process that includes the hydrological cycle (which maintains water) and geochemical cycles, it preserves the ecosystem (NPK). There are several causes of natural deterioration, almost all of which are rooted in human technology.

Disasters of various sizes happen anywhere in the world. Natural occurrences include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, tsunamis, wildfires, floods, extreme storms, tropical cyclones, tornadoes, and dust storms, to name a few. Many calamities have an abrupt onset, but others last longer, including drought and climate change. In varied frequencies and sizes, they can happen everywhere in the world.

Types Of Natural Disasters
Land based disasters
Disasters that affect only the land are those that damage the surface of the earth. A few of them include avalanches, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and earthquakes.

When the two tectonic plates of the earth slide against one another, an earthquake is a phenomenon that happens. the epicentre is located precisely above the focus on the ground and is the location from which the earthquake originated. Four different types of earthquakes are frequently felt: tectonic earthquakes brought on by shifting tectonic plates; induced earthquakes brought on by human activity; volcanic earthquakes brought on by active volcanoes; and collapse earthquakes brought on by cave-ins.

Every other day there is an earthquake, but because it is so small, no one can feel it. There were no fatalities in India as a result of the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck North India in September 2019; nonetheless, 50 people were injured and 1 person lost their life there (Times of India, 2019). A 6.9-magnitude earthquake was just reported in the south of the Philippines, killing 15 people. The earthquake's epicentre was in the town of Magsaysay. The Philippines is more vulnerable to earthquakes as a result of the movement of tectonic plates on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

A landslide is a movement of earth made up of rock soils and earth fills, it is an uncontrolled downward movement of dirt or rock. Shear tension buildup and a weakening of the particle connection are the two causes of its occurrence. Geographical, physical, morphological, or human factors including population growth, deforestation, and climate change can all be contributing factors to landslides. Landslides in steep areas are typically brought on by heavy rainfall, earthquakes, and human activity like mining and road construction using explosive blasting.

Landslides come in three different varieties and are categorised into three main categories: slide, fall, and topple. The type of landslide that occurs can rotate or move. A landslide of this type may rotate or move in one direction alone. While soil moves downward to the plane surface in a translational landslide, it moves in a rotational fashion in a rotational landslide. The gravitational force causes fall-type landslides to occur (Mineral Resource Department, Fiji).

The topple comprises the frontward rotation and movement of rock, or regolith, of a slope at an axis lower than the centre of gravity as a result of the powerful force that separates enormous rocks from their parent rock. Only after significant rock displacement happens on steep cliffs does such a process take place (USGS, 2004).

Volcanic eruptions are when lava, ashes, and gases burst out of openings, fissures, or weak points in the earth known as vents. The eruption is brought on by tectonic plate movement. The eruption is brought on by pressure created by the shifting of the plates, which causes molten rocks from the earth to erupt in the air. When the molten lava cools, a new earth crust is created. Volcanic eruption, according to some researchers, is one of the factors contributing to climate change (Forsyth, 1988; Foulger, 2010; Young, 2016). According to the Volcano Explosivity Index, which is shown in Table 2, the volcano is graded according to how explosive it is (Newhall and Self, 1982). The following are the VEI categories:

Hawaiian kind: Lava flows from the peak of this type of volcano in a molten state, cracking the slopes as it does so. Its plume is 100 metres, and its ejection volume is 104 metres.

  • Strombolian type: In this sort of eruption, molten lava clots and gases erupt continuously or repeatedly. The plume is 100 m to 1 km long, and the ejection volume is less than 10^4 m3. The Stromboli volcano's tiny, frequent eruptions have earned it the nickname "lighthouse of the Mediterranean."
  • Vulcanian type: The eruption produces clouds with a deep color. It uses controlled gas and ash blasts. Dark, turbulent clouds are produced by this mixture, and they take many shapes as they rise and expand.
  • Pelean type: Explosive eruptions of this type create a mass of gas and mixes that are extremely hot and dense, causing significant destruction. The plume is 3-5 km, and the ejection volume is > 10^7 m3.
  • Plinian type: Mount Vesuvius in Italy erupted violently in AD 79, illustrating the Plinian type of eruption. This kind of eruption produces continuous bursts of gases and heated magma. Lightning strikes occur in the clouds the ashes create, adding to the outburst's dread.
Wildfire: Any unattended fire, usually in forested settings, is referred to as a wildfire or a forest fire. Rain puts out such flames that start spontaneously as a result of lightning without causing any damage (Bruce and Kelli, 2009). The ideal fire environment consists of dry conditions and high atmospheric temperatures (Bowman et al., 2009). Days to weeks may pass before the fire is out.

It can even burn up organic stuff and burn the entire forest. Depending on the type of vegetation that is being burned, they are also known as grass fires, peat fires, forest fires, and bush fires. Summertime is typically when fires occur since there hasn't been any rain for months and there is a lot of fuel on the ground in the shape of leaves and twigs.

Surface fire and crown fire are the two main types of fire:
A surface fire is one that is visible at the ground level and may be brought on by leaf litter on the forest floor. This sort of fire has a modest to high intensity. It has an impact on the tree's lower branches. The tree's crown is burned by the crown fire. It might cause the tree to fire, which would harm the forest canopy. Since the last few summers, there have been frequent forest fires in the Garhwal and Kumaun Himalaya, which resulted in a significant loss of biodiversity in 2016. In Nainital, Uttarakhand, Bargali et al. (2017) investigated the frequency of fires. The Nainital district contains 55% no-fire regions, 25% low-fire areas, 18% medium-fire areas, and 2% high-fire areas 18% of the medium fire area, and fire zone.

Avalanche: An avalanche is a snowfall caused by a steep slope. Generally speaking, it occurs spontaneously, although occasionally an outside force is to blame (e.g. by humans or animals). It is governed by the fluctuating amount of snow, the weather, and how those factors interact with the topography (Schweizer et al., 2003). They pose a major threat to those who live in the Alpine regions. The winter season, from December to April, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, is when this phenomena is most noticeable.

A weak base of the snow surface and a superimposed snow block are the usual causes of avalanches. They typically fall into one of two categories: slab avalanche or loose avalanche (Schweizer et al., 2003; Jamieson and Stethem, 2002). Avalanches are more likely to occur during snowstorms, which can also be brought on by earthquakes and human activity. Eight people, including skiers from the UK and France, were killed in an avalanche in Italy in February 2019. Additionally, an avalanche recently collided at Siachen glacier at a height of 19,000 feet at 3 in the afternoon in November. 4 soldiers and 2 civilians were killed in this.

Air-based disasters
A combination of gases and dust particles make up air. It is the atmosphere that surrounds the earth. Disasters that are caused by air or wind are referred to as air-based disasters. Storms typically represent the tragedy that originates in the air.

Storms: Storms are violent winds that can cause harm. These winds result from the Earth's uneven heating. The water cycle needs to be maintained by the winds. Rain is produced during monsoon seasons when wind traps moisture. Rainfall is crucial for agriculture, drinking supplies, and groundwater replenishment.

Thunderstorm: A thunderstorm is created when lightning and thunder combine. A front like a sea breeze or mountains that help carry the warm air upwards, and when the temperature rises, it heats the air, are usually required for the formation of clouds and eventually rain. Warm air rises, producing a powerful breeze (Money, 2007). Every day, there are over 2,000 thunderstorms in progress, yet only 1% of them are severe.

One inch or larger hail and high winds are indicators of a severe storm. Beginning in early May 2019, a thunderstorm struck northern India, particularly the U.P., killing 134 people and wounding over 400 others. Most deaths were reported in Agra, U.P. Four states, including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Delhi, experienced havoc as a result of dust storms and thunderstorms. This incident resulted in numerous fatalities and extensive damage (The Economic Times, 2018).

Cyclones: Cyclones are violent storms that spiral while combining powerful winds and devasting rain. It develops when a strong wind blows in all directions around a centre region with low air pressure. The water evaporates, absorbing heat from the surroundings before cooling. When water is cooled, it turns into a liquid and releases heat. The air surrounding it heats due to this heat. The air then transitions from a high to a low-pressure state. As this cycle continues, a cyclone forms with high pressure surrounding the core and low pressure elsewhere. North Indian Ocean cyclone, which was most active after 1992, most recently affected India in 2018.

Water-based disasters
All life depends on water, which makes up the majority of the earth's surface. Disasters that are caused by water are referred to as water-based disasters. Disasters caused by water are classified according to their type and degree of availability. The following are the main types:

Floods: Flooding occurs when water overflows onto dry land. The majority of the damage caused by floods is witnessed in Asian nations, and this is a common issue in India. It typically happens as a result of an overflowing river bursting a dam, severe rain, a storm melting snow or ice, or all of the above. There are three main categories of floods: fluvial, pluvial, and coastal floods. When water spills from a body of water and reaches the neighbouring area, it causes a fluvial flood.

The river flood is another name for it. Pluvial floods happen when there is a lot of rain and the land cannot absorb the extra water. It may manifest as a surface flood or a flash flood. The flooding of the coast is known as a coastal flood. The sort of coastal flood caused by storm surge occurs when strong winds push water toward the coastline. Floods are typically brought on by a combination of excessive rainfall that causes a body of water to overflow. construction of irrigation channels, dwellings, factories, manufacturing plants, bridges, culverts, dams, highways, and other projects; and other operations.

Due to persistently heavy rains in 2019, India had a series of floods that impacted over thirteen states in the second part of the year. Between June and October 2019, more than 1500 deaths related to this disaster were reported, and numerous individuals were evacuated. Karnataka and Maharashtra were the two most hit states (India Today, 2019).

Tsunami: The enormous waves that are known as tsunamis are created by underwater volcano eruptions or earthquake shocks. The tsunami waves are created when an earthquake uplifts the ocean floor and displaces tonnes of water. The tsunami waves' variable wave speeds are dependent on the depth of the ocean. The depth of the ocean determines the tsunami wave's speed rather than its distance from the wave's base. The speed of a jet plane and the speed of a tsunami are comparable.

When a wave approaches shallow waters, its speed immediately decreases. A total of 8 tidal waves classified as a tsunami since 1762 have killed 26,040 people in India. Compared to other countries, Tsunamis therefore occur rather rarely. The strongest tidal wave registered in India so far reached a height of 17.30 meters. On 12/26/2004, this tsunami killed a total of 26,014 people.

Drought: A longer-than-usual dry spell without rain constitutes the natural hazard known as a drought This could result in a shortage of drinking water, the devastation of agricultural crops, and other problems that could harm the society's economy and social fabric. This happens when the weather is disrupted, which interferes with the water cycle (Mishra and Singh, 2010).

Two categories of drought classification exist: level of severity and based on the water cycle. Rainfall data over the past century indicates that there has been a severe drought every eight to nine years. India faced 22 major droughts between 1871 and 2002. The drought of 1987 was perhaps the worst drought of the last century, with an overall rainfall deficit of 19 per cent. It affected nearly 60 per cent of the crop area and more than 85 million people were severely affected. Typically, there are four types of droughts.

Meteorological drought: drought caused by weather It is regional and based on the amount of precipitation. The most severe meteorological droughts were in the years 1876, 1899, 1918, 1965, and 2000

Agricultural drought: Depending on the water availability to crops during growth stages, there may be an agricultural drought.

Hydrological drought: This condition occurs when streams, rivers, and reservoirs have less water available to them overall. In general, meteorological droughts are related to hydrological droughts. The five worst hydrological droughts occurred in the years 1876, 1899, 1918, 1965, and 2000.

Socioeconomic drought: it happens when there is a water shortage compared to the demand.

Surveillance, control, and minimising:
In the previous section, we talked about natural disasters and their effects. In addition, we need to be aware of how to prevent similar catastrophes. Before the disaster, during the disaster, and after the disaster are the three phases into which the mitigation actions are split. Prior to a calamity Common safety measures include keeping a fire extinguisher and first aid supplies close at hand in hazardous areas.
  • Attention should be paid to alert and early warning.
  • You should arrange for financing.
  • Retaining awareness of the risk.
  • An evacuation strategy should be created.
  • Check the insurance for life, property, and the sort of hazard.
  • Arrange and carry out a simulated drill including locals. According to the nature, intensity, and severity of the disaster, there are numerous precautions that should be followed.

Disaster recovery: Many lives and valuable assets are damaged by certain calamities. After a tragedy, make sure you have no injuries, support those who need special assistance, and listen to local people's radio and TV for updates on the situation.

Following are some specific actions to take in the event of a certain natural disaster:
  • Earthquake: Life and property are severely damaged by earthquakes. To stay safe during an earthquake, some preparations are performed. First aid supplies and fire extinguishers should always be on hand in earthquake-prone areas. The shelves shouldn't be used to store heavy items. People in the region should not have panic attacks, should avoid opening doors and windows, and should remain outside and away from power lines when an earthquake occurs. Gas and electric lines should be checked and modified once the harm is done. The needy should receive first aid.
  • Landslide: To lessen the impact of a landslide, mitigation slopes are constructed artificially. There are typically three approaches: geometric methods, which change the geometry of the slope; hydrogeological methods, which decrease the water content; and chemical and mechanical procedures, which raise the shear strength of the unstable mass.
  • Volcanoes: Volcanoes cannot be stopped, but some procedures may be taken before, during, and after the eruption to lessen their effects. Before the volcanic eruption, it is advised to be aware of the risk and make an evacuation plan; during the eruption, a safe place for shelter should be found; and after the eruption, special precautions must be taken to protect yourself from the volcanism's aftereffects, such as keeping livestock inside, donning full-sleeve shirts and pants, and taking special care to protect your eyes.
  • Forest fire: The threat that forest fire poses to the biodiversity of the forest is growing. The fuel for the fire, such as pine needles and leaf litter, should be kept out of the campfire, as they enable the fire to start. When there is a fire, it is important to call for fire extinguishers as soon as possible. Additionally, the community should step up and provide their assistance.
  • Avalanche: In the event of an avalanche, there are typically two mitigation strategies: structural and non-structural. When it comes to non-structural, we prevent the avalanche by evacuating the area and using artificial triggering, which helps to protect expensive property. In general, reforestation is done to safeguard and preserve forests. Dams and other structures can be erected as part of structural work to prevent a snowstorm (Ganju and Dimri, 2004; Eckert, 2008; Holub and Fuchs, 2008).
  • Storms: strong winds that cause damage to property and human lives. Never seek cover from a storm under a tree or inside a faulty or under-construction building. Get to the opposite plant and avoid any flying objects that could endanger you. Out-driving the wind while driving could be risky. Tornado forecasting is aided by Doppler radar, satellites, weather balloons, and computers.
  • Flood: It's important to keep the water from overflowing for management purposes. To reduce flow discharge, watersheds, reservoirs, and minor checks dams should be built. In order to prevent overflowing during heavy rain, river water should be spread equally over the surrounding area, water channels should be established, and flood embankments should be built.
  • Tsunami: A tsunami cannot be averted; its effects may only be lessened. It is advisable to leave the region as soon as there is a tsunami and go higher up, taking food, critical papers, and first aid supplies with you. Lay down powerlines and buildings to be avoided during the tsunami, and only return to your home until it has been deemed safe by the authorities (Harada and Imamura, 2005; Bernard, 2006).
  • Drought: A lack of water is the primary cause of drought. Before a disaster, it is recommended to avoid wastewater, utilise water- and energy-efficient equipment, and collect rainwater.

The natural disasters and its impact on the environment are the main topics that are being dealt with in this research. The intensity of the natural disaster has escalated as a result of the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. The environment is degrading at an alarming rate as a result. There are a few studies that specifically looked at this potential risk to human health. Studies that concentrate on exceptional events must establish a baseline, ascertain the fate and transit of contaminants throughout the medium to long term, and look into aquatic and terrestrial channels.

Dermal contact, unintentional ingestion, and seafood ingestion are all examples of aquatic exposures, whereas soil ingestion, food ingestion, and inhalation from re-suspended pollutants are examples of terrestrial exposure pathways. Investigating the pathways of exposure, toxicity, and disease as well as susceptibility for human health issues requires thorough studies. In general, mitigation measures are implemented to safeguard the environment and lessen the negative effects of disasters.

They are separated into the three phases of a disaster´┐Żbefore, during, and after. Some important risk reduction techniques include creating an evacuation plan, keeping first aid supplies close by, and practising drills. Additionally, it is urgently necessary to raise public awareness through radio, TV, and educational programmes.

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