What Are Artificial Disasters? (6 Examples)

The man – made disasters are those that involve human intervention as one of the causes of its occurrence. Generally, these causes are willful acts of destruction or involuntary acts done by mistake or negligence.

In contrast to man-made disasters, natural disasters are those caused by natural phenomena. In general, a disaster event, whether natural or man-made, involves the loss of large amounts of human life or material objects important to human beings.

man-made disasters like setting fires in forests

Some disasters can be man-made even though they appear natural. Events such as hurricanes can occur due to natural causes, however it has been shown that the emission of greenhouse gases by human activity is an important cause in the creation of increasingly recurring and stronger hurricanes and storms.

On the other hand, some man-made disasters are easily identifiable as such. Examples of these are air pollution in cities and the destruction of soils due to excessive exploitation activities.

It is common to find, in engineering projects, or of other kinds, that are carried out in many countries, disaster management plans.

These plans seek to prevent possible disasters that may arise from the project and indicate how to proceed in case they occur. 

Major man-made disasters

Soil destabilization and landslides

Rains can destabilize rock and soil in areas deforested by human activity.

This activity can occur through agriculture or mining processes, among others. The destabilization ends up causing landslides, floods and can even be a factor that produces earthquakes .

Wars

War is an event caused by human conflict that causes great destruction of the environment and takes many human lives.

Armed incursions, bombings, and the use of weapons of mass destruction (such as chemical and nuclear weapons) are some of the worst man-made disasters related to war.

Ecological imbalances

Ecological imbalances caused by human activity generate negative impacts on the environment and ultimately affect human life.

The destruction of habitats, the contamination of water sources, deforestation, the introduction of new species in strange habitats and the extinction of species due to activities such as hunting are some of the human actions that generate ecological imbalances.

Explosions

Not only the explosions caused in the war generate artificial disasters. Many human activities can generate explosions that become disasters.

Examples of these are explosions in mines where minerals are extracted from the ground or the inadvertent explosion of stored explosives.

Fires

Fire is one of the most common man-made disasters. The construction of homes in small areas where electricity or fire is used are a cause of constant fires in human society.

Likewise, the mishandling of tools that can start fires in forests or even global warming are factors that make fires increasingly common disasters.

Economic fluctuations

Not all man-made disasters are related to the environment. Economic fluctuations involving the loss of property or human life are also considered man-made disasters.

This type of disaster can range from the destruction of industrial hierarchies to global economic depressions. 

References

  1. Barkun M. Disaster in History. Mass Emergencies. 1977; 2: 219-231.
  2. Blockey D. Reviewed Work: Man Made Disasters by Brian A. Turner and Nick Pidgeon Risk Management. 1999; 1 (1): 73-75.
  3. Furedi F. The Changing Meaning of Disaster. Area. 2007; 39 (4): 482-489.
  4. Man-Made Disaster. Economic and Political Weekly. 1992; 27 (38): 2010.
  5. Marshall L. The Dichotomy of Conscience: Man-made vs. Natural Disasters. Off Our Backs. 2005; 35 (3/4): 18-19.
  6. Redmond AD Abc Of Conflict And Disaster: Natural Disasters. British Medical Journal. 2005; 330 (7502): 1259-1261.
  7. Viswanathan A. Reservoir Induced Seismicity: A Man-Made Disaster. Economic and Political Weekly. 1991; 26 (52): 2979-2980.

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