Man-made disasters are unfortunate events that can cause severe loss of life and damage to properties and infrastructure. Like natural disasters, they can also occur randomly and suddenly. But man-made disasters were not common a couple of hundred years ago. Man-made disasters were not possible until the advancements in our industry and technology.
Natural disasters are caused by natural forces that we have no control. These are disasters that everyone should prepare for because they are almost impossible to stop. Man-made disasters, on the other hand, might be unpredictable at times but they are also fully preventable. With a little vigilance, these deadly and disastrous disasters shouldn’t happen in the first place. Carelessness and human errors are the most common causes of man-made disasters such as nuclear meltdowns, gas leaks, and oil spills.
We have seen numerous natural disasters over the course of history. But man-made disasters are also increasing year after year, with equally devastating consequences.
Man-Made Disasters: Gas Leaks
Gas leaks are one of the most dangerous man-made disasters in the world. They can, directly and indirectly, bring negative consequences to human health and to the environment. Gas leaks can also spread quickly without notice. It can even cause a large explosion and claim human lives. They, too, are totally preventable and shouldn’t happen in the first place.
The most serious case of gas leak occurred on 1984 in Bhopal India. The Bhopal Gas Tragedy, as it is called, occurred when large amounts of methyl isocyanide (MIC) leaked into the air and spread over the nearby towns and villages around the plant.
As a result, over 500,000 people were exposed to the toxic substance. The tragedy killed around 5,000 people, making it the deadliest industrial disasters in history.
Man-Made Disasters: Oil Spills
Oil spills are another type of man-made disaster that can be extremely devastating not just to humans and environments but also to the global economy as well.
The worst and largest oil spill in the world happened on 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. A sudden explosion from the rig caused to spill into the ocean. As a result, 4.9 million barrels of oil a day spilled into the Gulf of Mexico from August 20, 2010, to September 19, 2010. The explosion also killed 11 people and injuring 17 others who were working at the rig at the time.
The damage of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was so hard to measure because of its massive effects. But its damage is quite severe especially on the human health, environment, and economy.
Man-Made Disasters: Nuclear Meltdown
Even though most experts say that nuclear energy is totally safe, the consequences of a meltdown speak for it otherwise. The nuclear effects of nuclear meltdowns are so devastating and long-lasting as seen from what happened in Chernobyl on 1986 and in Japan in 2011.
The effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster was far worse than the two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War 2. Over 350,000 people have to evacuate because of the meltdown. The radiation released from the meltdown also claim the lives of an estimated 4,000 people.
We can’t really blame natural disasters for being so devastating since natural forces are responsible for them. Natural disasters will occur whether we like it or not. But the devastating effects of man-made disasters are not an excuse. Man-made disasters are not meant to happen if only everyone is careful. Safety must be always prioritized by proper equipment management, preparation, training, and operational planning. Man-made disasters have already made their mark on our history. But hopefully, no other this kind of disasters will ever happen again in the future.