16th April 2020, The Ashok Hotel, New Delhi
The growing multi-hazard environment to which millions of people in the world are exposed highlights the importance of making sure that the affected population is increasingly better prepared. About 12% (over 40 million hectares) of landmass is prone to floods and river erosion; more than 58.6% of the landmass is prone to moderate to very high intensity earthquakes; out of the 7,516 kms long coastline, close to 5,700 kms are prone to cyclones and tsunamis; about 0.42 million sq.km of India’s land area is vulnerable to landslide hazard; and, 68% of its cultivable area is vulnerable to droughts. In addition, the country is also vulnerable to other man-made disasters such as Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) emergencies. Unplanned urbanization and industrialization, population expansion, environmental degradation, climate change, construction, development in high-risk zones, changing demographics and socio-economic conditions further increase the vulnerability of India to disaster (NDMA). The combination of human and economic losses, together with reconstruction costs, makes natural disasters both a humanitarian and an economic problem.
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