Natural disasters or catastrophes can be controlled up to a point, and most of us often feel helpless before them. A natural disaster is an unexpected event such as a violent storm, flood, earthquake, lightning, the attack of locusts (winged insects attacking fields in very large numbers) and the spread of diseases from birds or animals (bird flu, etc.). When lightning strikes a moving ship, plane, building, or a number of people anywhere, it is considered to be a natural disaster.
We witnessed natural disasters one after another in 2004 and 2005. There was a series of massive Asian tsunamis (attacks of sea waves) in South-East Asia which were the result of earthquakes. They. shook and moved islands, hit seacoasts and caused thousands of deaths and large-scale destruction. Then there were heavy floods and rainfall in Balochistan that caused a large number of deaths and extensive damage to dams, roads, and fields. In line with these disasters (calamities or catastrophes) was the earthquake of 2005 in our northern areas that caused uncountable deaths and large-scale destruction. Whole villages, towns, and cities were wiped out and tens of thousands of people got killed or made homeless. The mighty storm that hit the US in 2005, named Katrina, was no less destructive.
Now the question arises what can we do to protect ourselves from natural disasters of the above kind? Firstly, we should have advance warning systems for storms and floods. We can then make timely preparations to face them. Secondly, there is an urgent need to start research on the changes under the surface of the earth for earthquake predictions or forecasts.
When forecasts for earthquakes or natural disasters are not possible, we should use all the available resources to face them. The government and the people should join hands and make plans for immediate help to disaster-affected people. All countries of the world should get together to help the affected people and countries. The UN and other world agencies can arrange and supervise the rehabilitation work. This did happen in the case of the tsunamis, Katrina, and our earthquake most prominently.
The world should set up disaster information centers in each of the five continents. The advanced countries should offer knowledge and resources to these centers for forecasts of all kinds of natural disasters. They should have arrangements of money, food, clothing, house-building, and vehicles for ready help. The countries themselves should have information and assistance centers in all their provinces.
The developing countries like ours should attend to the education of all the people on the most modern lines educated and trained people can better face natural disasters intelligently and successfully.