. Recently, India has been hit by two cyclones, first the Western Coast (Cyclone Tauktae) and then the eastern coast (Cyclone Yass). The increasing frequency of environmental hazards indicate the vulnerability owing to climate change.
However, the more concerning matter is the occurrence of overlapping hazards.For example, while the Yaas cyclone caused immediate damage, the flooding it induced took the adversity to a different scale altogether. Further, these environmental hazards happened in the middle of another mega hazard – the Covid-19 pandemic.
There is an urgent requirement on the part of the state – along with the non-state actors — to take immediate measures towards acknowledging the multiple risks that emanate from these overlapping hazards and reducing the same.
Floods In Ganga-Brahmaputra Plains: Flood months bring with themselves a typology of hazards associated with the geographical location of habitation and have differential effects. The typologies include:
- Waterlogged regions,
- Areas which are in the riverside and prone to bank erosion,
- Riverine floods in areas with no embankment,
- Riverine floods in the countryside after the breach of the embankment,
- Flash floods,
- River bank erosion.
Cyclone Induced Flooding
As an outcome of the cyclone Yass and the Yaas-induced flooding, the affected witnessed many overlapping hazards. For example:
- Disruptions in the form of salinity intrusion,
- Loss of agriculture and capture fisheries,
- Decimation of the marine capture fishery supply chain
- Rotting fish,
- plants and animals are resulting in severe stench and pollution are enhancing the possibility of water borne disease.
Vulnerability owing to overlapping hazards also emerges from underlying socio-economic political conditions.
- Often the (socially, economically and politically) marginalised population have to reside in such precarious areas.
- They often lack access to various resources – land (due to salinity intrusion or erosion), safe housing, water and sanitation, stable livelihoods and markets.
- All this is both a cause and outcome of their social vulnerability.
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