Earthquakes come without warming, and often cause massive devastation, resulting not only in the loss of property but also of lives. Many of the survivors suffer from intense and lasting psychological trauma. This book covers the experience of recent earthquakes in India, and what has been learnt (and what we have failed to learn) in the process of managing the aftermath in each case. This includes immediate medical attention, long-term mental health care, and the reconstruction of housing and infrastructure in both rural and urban areas.
The experiences of the contributors, many of whom have actively contributed their expertise to disaster management and recovery, help us understand what problems require a swift response and which aspects should be based on detailed analyses keeping in mind local conditions. Reconstruction is seen as offering an opportunity to rebuild society such that all sections of the population are empowered and brought into the community's decision-making process. It is also an opportunity to develop construction techniques that are suited to local materials and skills but are also more earthquake-resistant than the old. And finally, there is the realisation that the best first responders are local community groups which need to be nurtured, and trained in crisis management and risk mitigation.
About the Author:
Shirish B. Patel is Chairman Emeritus, Shirish Patel & Associates Consultants Private Limited.
Aromar Revi is Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, New Delhi.