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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 67-70

Statistical study of human casualty due to major natural hazards in India


1 Department of Biostatistics and Health Informatics, SGPGIMS, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Geography, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
3 Department of Statistics, RHTC, Jagatsinghpur, Odisha, India
4 Department of Community Medicine, ACMS, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication1-Jun-2016

Correspondence Address:
Prabhaker Mishra
Department of Biostatistics and Health Informatics, SGPGI, Lucknow - 226 014, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2347-9019.183232

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  Abstract 

Introduction: India is a country of South Asia. Due to its specific location, it is frequently affected by various hazards and disasters. Objective: In this study, an attempt has been made to discuss the individual as well as comparative hazard's related human deaths in India. Methodology: Data of human casualty of 6 major natural hazards, those are frequently occurring in India have been analyzed using secondary data of 1965-2014. Data were collected from the website of National Disaster Management Authority, New Delhi. For comparisons of human deaths among/between hazards, Kruskal-Wallis Htest/multiple comparisons were used. Results: Floods have the highest number of casualty years (45 years) while earthquake reported minimum events years (19). Median human casualty was recorded, which was the highest by flood (1027) followed by epidemics (265) and extreme temperature (264). Human casualty was highest in flood (31%) followed by storms (25%), earthquakes (24%), epidemics (10%), extreme temperature (8%), and landslides (2%). Kruskal-Wallis Htest, result shows that difference in human casualty distributions among hazards was highly significant (P < 0.001). Conclusion: In India, despite many preventive measures for natural hazards and disasters, its annual, as well as decadal human casualties, are still high. Increasing coping capacity of the people which is a most important ways of reducing vulnerability.

Keywords: Human casualty, natural hazards and disasters, vulnerability


How to cite this article:
Mishra P, Pandey CM, Singh U, Panda GK, Kar R, Sharma V. Statistical study of human casualty due to major natural hazards in India. Int J Health Syst Disaster Manage 2016;4:67-70

How to cite this URL:
Mishra P, Pandey CM, Singh U, Panda GK, Kar R, Sharma V. Statistical study of human casualty due to major natural hazards in India. Int J Health Syst Disaster Manage [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Mar 26];4:67-70. Available from: http://www.ijhsdm.org/text.asp?2016/4/2/67/183232


  Introduction Top


India, officially the Republic of India is a one of the countries in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area and second-most populous country with over 1.25 billion people in the world. [1] India is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. Due to its specific location, it is frequently affected by various hazards and disasters. A natural hazard is a naturally occurring event that might have a negative effect on people as well as on the environment. This negative effect of hazard is called disaster. In other words, when the hazard's threat happens and harms humans, we call the event is a natural disaster. [2] A natural hazard might be/might not be associated with damage and devastation. Till the date, in developed countries, mitigation due to hazards and disasters, human deaths reduced significantly while in developing countries, where socioeconomic and demographic factors are poor, the major challenge is to reduce disaster deaths, although attempts are still going on. There are many natural hazards those occurred in India during the last 50 years, although all type of disaster data are not available. In this study, an attempt has been made to discuss the disaster-related human deaths of earthquake, epidemics, extreme temperature, flood, landslides, and storms during last 50 years using secondary data.

Objective

There are two main objectives in this study,

  1. Discussion about number of human deaths by natural hazards and disasters during the last 50 years
  2. Comparison of human deaths in different natural hazards and disasters in the last 50 years.

  Materials and Methods Top


In this cross-sectional study, data were collected for earthquake, epidemics, extreme temperature, flood, landslides, storms for the period of 1965-2014 (i.e., 50 years), from the website of National Disaster Management Authority, New Delhi. www.ndma.gov.in. [3]

Data of the above hazards and disasters, individual, as well as composite, have been presented by tables, statistical diagrams including bar and pie charts. The mean moving average has been used to show the decadal human casualty. Kruskal-Wallis H-test was used to compare the human deaths among the different type of hazards followed by multiple comparisons to test the difference in annual human deaths between any two types of hazards, as P value of Kruskal-Wallis test was found significant. Minimum, 95% of confidence interval and P < 0.05, have been considered to be statistically significant. Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 22 (SPSS-22, IBM, Chicago, IL, USA) has been used to analysis of the data.


  Results Top


In this study, data of human casualty of six major natural hazards and disasters, i.e., earthquake, epidemics, extreme temperature, flood, landslides, and storm were analyzed for last 50 years. Of 50 years, floods have the highest number of casualty years (45 years) followed by storms (44), extreme temperature (32), landslides and epidemics (each 23) years while earthquake reported minimum events years (19) during the study.

As discussed, no hazard was reported in all 50 years, so all the data were analyzed using reported casualty years. Kruskal-Wallis H-tests, as well as multiple comparisons between the hazards, were used to calculate significance level.

Of these hazards, any individual year, the maximum human casualty was recorded by an earthquake (20,005) in 2001, followed by storm (14,206) in 1977, and flood (6453) in 2013 [Table 1]. Median human casualty was recorded highest by flood (1027) followed by epidemics (265) and extreme temperatures (264) [Table 1].
Table 1: Frequency of disaster years and descriptive statistics of human deaths during 1965-2014


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Earthquake is a less frequent destructive event in India. Usually, more than 6 magnitudes, is considered as strong earthquake and more than 7.0 magnitude, is considered as a major earthquake, may be serious damage. During 1965-2014, most of the years (31), no human casualty was reported and only 2 years, human casualty was reported more than 10,000 [Graph 1].



Epidemics in India are a frequent disaster but due to poor data recording system, it shows itself as a less frequent disaster. During 1965-2014, in 27 years, no human casualty was reported. Rest in 23 years, only in 6 years, human casualty was reported ≥1000 [Graph 2].



Extreme temperature in India is a common disaster that happened in most of the 50 years. Although for 18 years, human casualty was recorded nil and for 24 years, human casualty was between 100 and 500. Only in 3 years, human casualty was recorded between 1000 and 5000 [Graph 3].



Flood is the most frequent hazards and disasters in India. Only in 5 years out of 50 years, no flood was recorded. In the rest 45 years, most of the years (22), human casualty was recorded between 1000 and 5000 while in 1 year, was below 100 [Graph 4].



Landslide is another hazards and disasters in India, usually occurred in hilly areas. During last 50 years, most of the years (27), no landslide was recorded associated with human casualty. Out of remaining 23 years; in 13 years human casualty was <100 and only in 1 year, human casualty was recorded 1000 [Graph 5].



Storm is another frequent hazards and disasters in India second to flood. It is more common in coastal states compare to the other states of India. During last 50 years, only 6 years, storm death was reported nil. In most of the years (18), number of human casualty were recorded between 100 and 500 while in 3 years, human casualty was recorded between 5000 and 15,000 [Graph 6].

When we consider the individual hazard in terms of its annual human casualty in each of the decades, result shows that first four decades, human casualty was showing increasing trend for all discussed hazards, while in the last decade, showing significant decline as during 1995-2004, mean annual human death was recorded 7642, compared to the rest four decades (3188) which shows that 1995-2004 was the most destructive decades compare to rest four decadal years [Graph 7]. When we compare the human casualty among the hazards for the last 50 years, we find that, human casualty was highest in flood (31%) followed by storms (25%), earthquakes (24%), epidemics (10%), extreme temperature (8%), and landslides (2%) [Graph 8].







Kruskal-Wallis H-test was used to calculate significance level among the hazards. Result shows that human casualty distribution among hazards was highly significant (P < 0.001) which indicate that distribution of human casualty was different at least between any two hazards. Multiple comparisons were performed between hazards. Result show that human casualty of flood distribution, was significantly different with individual hazard, i.e., extreme temperature (P < 0.001), storms (P < 0.001), and earthquakes (P < 0.001). Similarly, distribution of human casualty of landslide was significantly different with epidemics (P < 0.05).


  Discussion and Conclusions Top


In this study, human deaths due to six major natural hazards were analyzed for the period of 50 years, i.e., 1965-2014. In India, despite many preventive measures for natural hazards and disasters, its annual as well as decadal human casualties show increasing trend in the period of 1965-2004, although in last decades, it shows a decline trend, a matter of relief for policymakers as well as for disaster managers. The reduction of human deaths due to hazards and disasters are depending upon many factors including; disaster planning and management, an action plan for disaster mitigation, prevention, and preparedness. Besides these, socio-economic and demographic variables are other important factors that play key role to increase or decrease the human risk.

A study was conducted by Pascal et al. (2004) on the statistical modeling of human casualty to calculate disaster risk for monitoring and evolution of risk of the world using disaster data between 1980 and 2000. [4] Similar study was conducted in Orissa with more focus on human life loss and its relationship with the socioeconomic and demographic indicators. It revealed that poor indicators were the most important factors in increasing human risk. [5],[6] India is likely to have the highest number of people living in poverty by 2030, and it is among the greatest exposure to extreme weather and natural disasters. This is one of the great threats for the coming years. [7] Another case study that was conducted to find out the relationship between natural disaster and poverty revealed that poor population has higher risk. [8]

In disaster-prone countries, specifically in developing countries, there is a need to focus on disaster mitigation through minimizing the hazard incidences. [9] Human risk reduction should be maximized through increasing coping capacity of the people because improving coping capacity of the people is generally recognized as one of the most important ways of reducing vulnerability. [4],[10]

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
Demographics of India. Available from: http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki. [Last accessed on 2016 Jan].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Nelson Stephen A. Natural disasters & assessing hazards and risk. New Orleans, Louisiana, United States: Tulane University; 2014.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), New Delhi. Available from: http://www.ndma.gov.in. [Last accessed on 2016 Jan].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Pascal P, Peduzzi P, Dao H, Mouton F, Herold C. A Global Report: Reducing Disaster Risk: A Challenge for Development. UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery; 2004. Available from: http://www.undp.org/bcpr. [Last accessed on 2016 Jan].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Mishra P. Statistical Study of Human Vulnerability and Risk Assessment of Natural Hazards in Orissa: A Study of Ph.D. Dissertation in the Department of Statistics, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar; 2010.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Mishra P, Ahluwalia SK, Panda GK, Ranjana K, Deepak P. Assessment of human risk of lightning hazards in Orissa: A time series analysis. Indian J Prev Soc Med 2012;43:274-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Krishna RJ. India ′special case′ in natural disasters. A report published on Oct 21, 2013 in the Wall Street Journal, a daily Newspaper, USA.   Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Lal PN, Singh R, Holland P. Relationship between Natural Disasters and Poverty: A Fiji Case Study. SOPAC Miscellaneous Report 678; April, 2009.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
George M, Guzman JM. Population, poverty, and vulnerability: Mitigating the effects of natural disasters. Environ Change Secur Project Rep 2002;(8):45-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Peduzzi P, Dao H, Herold C, Mouton F. Assessing global exposure and vulnerability towards natural hazards: The disaster risk index. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 2009;9:1149-59.  Back to cited text no. 10
    



 
 
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