Unit - 5
▶To learn the meanings of hazard, disaster and catastrophe
▶To describe the major types of hazards, their causes and effects
▶To develop awareness regarding hazardsand related prevention measures
Teacher : Good morning students.
Students : Good morning teacher.
Teacher : Are all present today?
Krithika : No teacher, Shruthi is absent today.
Teacher : Why is she absent today?
Pavithra : Teacher, don’t you know what happened to her?
Teacher : No my dear child, what happened to her?
Theshmitha : Teacher, Yesterday, while returning home, she was struck by a big branch of a tree due to heavy rain and got injured.
Teacher : Oh my God….what a pity? Students, you all must be very careful while moving around to avoid the problems from hazards
Kamalesh : Teacher, what do you mean by hazards? You mean the Belgian football player ‘Hazard’?
Teacher : No…no, it is an event which can affect the living and non-living things of earth. I think today is the right day to get into the interesting chapter ‘hazards’.
In the beginning of twenty-first century, the earth supported a human population that was more numerous and found healthier and wealthier than ever before. At the same time, there were a lack of awareness on the risks that faced by the people. By keeping this in mind, the present lesson of hazards is intended to familiarise the different types of hazards to promote awareness among students regarding hazards.
Hazards are defined as a thing, person, event or factor that poses a threat to people, structures or economic assets and which may cause a disaster. They could be either human-made or naturally occurring in the environment. The word ‘hazard’ owes its origin to the word ‘hasart’ in old French meaning a game of dice (in Arabic – az-zahr; in Spanish – azar).
Though the society experiences several types of hazards, it is important for a region to be aware of those threats that are most likely to affect the community most severely.
A natural hazard is a natural process and event that is a potential threat to human life and property. The process and events themselves are not a hazard but become so because of human use of the land.
A disaster is a hazardous event that occurs over a limited time span in a defined area and causes great damage to property/ loss of life, also needs assistance from others.
A catastrophe is a massive disaster that requires significant expenditure of money and a long time for recovery.