An Interdisciplinary Study of Natural Disasters
DIASTERS IN WEST BENGAL: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDY, Tuhin K. Das, Ivy Das Gupta, Debasish Lohar and Basabi Bhattacharya, eds., acb Publications
6 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2011 Last revised: 20 Apr 2015
Date Written: September 25, 2011
Natural disasters are destructive and tragic events that harm society, economy and environment. Cyclone Aila hit West Bengal, India, in the year 2009, flooding villages and forcing thousands of people from their homes. The cyclone, accompanied by heavy rain, hit the coastal areas of West Bengal, leaving at least 18 people dead and around 0.1 million affected. A large part of the state of West Bengal is exposed to frequent natural catastrophes like floods, cyclones, droughts and landslides that often turn into disasters causing significant disruption of socioeconomic life of communities and loss of human lives and properties. Global consequences of natural disasters for the survival and livelihoods of individuals and communities are increasing over time. It has been observed that the number of natural disasters occurring now is more than four times than that occurred two decades ago. But at the same time there has been a paradigm shift in the attitude of the global community towards natural hazards, from a relief-centric approach to a holistic and integrated approach that emphasizes prevention, mitigation, and preparedness of extreme events. It is felt, therefore, in West Bengal too there should be an increasing importance of disaster risk reduction and increased disaster-response capacities towards building disaster resilient societies. Consequently, this demands an interdisciplinary study on natural disasters in this state. The book, “Disasters in West Bengal: An Interdisciplinary Study” (Edited by Das, Das Gupta, Lohar and Bhattacharya), is such an attempt to accomplish the above requirements. Experts from different fields have contributed articles, starting from meteorology to management and geomorphology to economics, on the basis of which this book has been edited.
Keywords: Disaster, Early warning system, Geomorphology, Vulnerability, Ex-ante preparedness, Ex-post assisatnce
JEL Classification: O13, G18
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