The difference between natural and man-made disaster lies in the source of disaster, that is, whether the hazard is of natural origin or arises from human activities. The human activities that give rise to hazards are not always anti-people or nefarious. The industrial and technological advances (space shuttle, refineries, nuclear power plants etc.) are indeed for human progress and comfort yet the character and composition of these industrial and technological wonders make them the agents of potential disasters. Similarly, development processes (so essential for human well being and progress especially for the people in developing nations) have in them the seeds of man-made disasters. Numerous examples can be cited. like excessive use of fertilizers or over irrigation or large dams in seismic regions. Deployment of fast means of transport leads to accidents on roads, rivers, seas and air. These are all the results of well-intentioned human activities. Of course, man-made disasters occur due to anti social activities as well. The current spate of terrorism worldwide is the prime example of this type of man-made disasters.
Man-made disasters have come to stay as part of human existence now and the society has to understand these and learn to deal with them. We need to take stock of the present position of the system(s) in place to deal with them and also visualise what more can be done to avoid them and to reduce the severity of their impact. This course is an effort in this direction.
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