Vulnerability is an essential element for defining disaster impacts and its threat to people. How and in what ways can vulnerability to disasters be characterized? Discuss different types of vulnerability with reference disasters.

Vulnerability is the measure of the proneness of people to succumbing under the aftermath harmful effect of disasters. In the absence of robust disaster preparedness the vulnerability increases.

Characterizing the Vulnerability

Geographical Vulnerability

The geographical location may be in the coastal areas, along the river bank or in the earth quake zone makes them more prone to disasters.

Ex: Locations those on coastal areas are prone to floods and Tsunami whereas those at foothills of Himalayas are more prone to earthquake.

Economic Vulnerability

Disasters cause huge economic losses. The collapse of the infrastructure or means of livelihood imposes burden for years to come.

Ex: The floods in Kodagu of Karnataka in 2018 uprooted the coffee estates and farm houses along with infrastructure like roads. It will take years for people to rebuild their lives.

Crime Vulnerability

Often when the people are shattered some miscreants and vested interests become active. After Nepal Earthquake women became victims of sexual harassments and even human trafficking.

Social Vulnerability

The loss of dear ones and means of livelihood causes severe emotional and mental stress. This impacts their attitude and social behaviour.

Climate Change Vulnerability

The climate change is now seen as a causative factor for large number of floods and other disasters.

Ex: Sand Mining has left the coastal areas more vulnerable to flooding and erosion.

Vulnerability Mapping

The Vulnerability mapping must become a key component of disaster preparedness. In the absence of which the administration will find it difficult to undertake the remedial measures in a sustainable and inclusive manner.


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