4 Times Humanity Emerged Stronger From Disasters
By: Milton, Chiara
Published On: July 05, 2021
Mistakes are bound to happen but it's important that we learn from them. Humans learn to adapt to every situation sooner or later. Every disaster that took place since the start of mankind taught us a lesson, we tried our best to learn from it and prevent the same disaster from happening again. Some of the disasters were man-made and some were natural. Each of them showed that we humans have the resilience to bounce back from adversities.
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Here are some instances of humanity learning from disasters:
- Chernobyl Disaster
On April 26, 1986, a sudden burst in power during a reactor systems test destroyed Unit 4 of the Nuclear power station at Chernobyl, Ukraine, in the former Soviet Union. The fire released massive amounts of radioactive material into the environment. The radiation contaminated large areas of Europe like France, Italy and Germany. Some were killed in the explosion, and many more died of acute radiation poisoning.
Research found that 1,000 cases of thyroid cancer and 4,000 cases of other cancers had already been caused by the accident. It was also estimated that by 2065, 16,000 cases of thyroid cancer and 25,000 cases of other cancers could be attributed to the effects of Chernobyl radiation. (Source: The Conversation)
What we learnt:
The reactors designed now are much safer than it was during the Soviet era.
- Chernobyl also led to a greater knowledge on optimising treatment and follow-up of survivors of acute radiation sickness.
- A better understanding of thyroid cancer radiation risks allowed us to respond better to other disasters.
- There has also been a shift towards renewable sources of energy like solar cells, wind, geothermal, ocean thermal, currents and tides.
- Bhopal Gas Tragedy
In 1984, there was a toxic gas release at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. Reports show that the combination of a number of sub-standard conditions, consistent violation of safety regulations, management negligence, and overall disregard for safety was what ultimately caused what is considered the worst industrial accident in history.
There were 2,259 immediate deaths and 11,000 deaths following the disaster.To this day, the land around Bhopal is still harmful to animals and humans too.
What we learnt:
- There should be stricter implementation of laws by the government on these industries.
- All personnel should be trained regularly and timely action would help in reducing the chances of a disaster like this to happen again.
- First responders at the site should be trained to handle situations like these which would prevent further fatalities.
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- 26/11 Mumbai attack:
On November 26, 2008, ten heavily armed terrorists from Pakistan carried out coordinated shooting and bombing attacks at five major locations in Mumbai. At least 174 people died and more than 300 were left wounded. The attacks were the mastermind of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist organization from Pakistan.
What we learnt:
The terrorists had used the sea route to enter Mumbai, The Indian Navy along with the Coast Guard and the Marine Police have joined hands to improve security and protect the coastal waters of the island city.
A total of 4,717 cameras have been installed at 1,510 spots which are manned by the Mumbai Police control room. After the attack, citizens have become more aware and vigilant about anti-social elements.
- Covid-19 pandemic:
The first known case of Covid-19 virus was identified in December 2019, in Wuhan, China. It quickly turned into a pandemic with more than 18 crore cases and over 39 lakh deaths until June 30, 2021. Parts of the world are still in lockdown with Covid-19 showing no signs of relenting. India has just gone through a deadly second wave and there has been a significant drop in cases since the past few weeks but things won’t return to normal anytime soon with the third wave looming around the corner.
What we learnt:
- The Covid-19 pandemic set a benchmark for vaccine development as multiple pharmaceutical companies managed to develop a vaccine within a year since the outbreak of the virus.
- Medical institutions were overburdened and hence we realized about the need of investments in the healthcare sector, the importance of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers.
- We have learnt the importance of personal hygiene, the need for social distancing, washing hands regularly and isolating yourself when sick.
There are still a lot of people in India who are suffering due to Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. You could help them out by donating to fundraisers on the Fight Covid page. Only you can make a difference.
There is a lesson behind every adversity. Here is an article on What Can We Learn From Life’s Adversities?