As per the Oxford dictionary a disaster is “a sudden accident or a natural catastrophe that causes great damage or loss of life”. As per the Disaster Management Act 2005, a disaster is defined as “a catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence in any area, arising from natural or man-made cause, or by accident or negligence which results in substantial loss of life or human suffering or damage to, and destruction of property, or damage to, or degradation of, environment, and is of such a nature or magnitude as to be beyond the coping capacity of the community of the affected area”. The United Nations defines disaster as “the occurrence of sudden or major misfortune which disrupts the basic fabric and normal functioning of the society or community”.
Disasters produce a range of impacts; these include direct, secondary and indirect effects. Direct effects include deaths, injuries and physical damage. However, secondary disaster impacts such as releasing fire or hazardous material that is triggered by disasters. Finally, impacts include the ripple effect resulting from the flow of goods, services, unemployment etc. As a physiotherapist, the consequences of such crisis for disability and rehabilitation are however important to note.
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