Disaster Management: Learning from Experience for Public Health Professionals


  • Vikas Bhatia All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
  • Dinesh Prasad Sahu All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha






India is highly vulnerable to natural disasters; losing about 2% of the GDP every year. India has a coastline of around 7516 kilometres surrounded by the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea. As the surface temperature is more than that of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal generates more severe cyclone. As per the data of India Meteorological Department (IMD), India weathered as many as 305 cyclones of severity severe and above in last 126 years.(1) An estimated 1.9 million deaths are caused by tropical cyclones worldwide.(2) Nine out of the top ten devastating tropical cyclones hit the coast of Bangladesh and India.(3) The Bhola Cyclone is deadliest in the list causing maximum damage to Bangladesh on 11th November 1970 claiming around 5,00,000 lives and producing massive destruction.(4) The deadliest one of the list hitting the coast of India was in 1999, the super cyclone in Odisha which struck the state of Odisha on 29th October 1999 claiming around 10,000 lives and leaving millions homeless and extensive damage to property and environment.(4) The condition is only likely to get worse as climate change increase the sea surface temperature.


Download data is not yet available.


Cyclone Hazard Proneness of Districts of India. Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi; 2012.

Nicholls RJ. Coastal Megacities and Climate Change. Geo J. 1995;(37):369–79.

Historical Perspective. Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre for Tropical Cyclones over North Indian Ocean. Indian Meteorological Department. Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. 2013.

Dolce C, Donegan B. The Deadliest Tropical Cyclone on Record Killed 300,000 People [Internet]. Hurricane Central. 2019 [cited 2019 Dec 1]. Available from: https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2019-05-01-dead liest-tropical-cyclone-bhola-cyclone-bay-of-bengal-bangladesh

Western K. Epidemiologic surveillance after natural disaster. Washington DC: Pan American Health Organization; 1982.

Bissell RA. Delayed - impact infectious disease after natural disaster. J Emerg Med. 1983;1:59–66.

UNICEF Cyclone Evaluation Team. Health effects of the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone: report of a UNICEF evaluation team. Disasters. 1993;17:153–65.

The U.N. General Assembly, in December 1987, declared the 1990s as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.

Government of India (GOI) (2002). – Agricultural statistics at a glance. Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, GOI, New Delhi.

India Meteorological Department. Very Severe Cyclonic Storm, PHAILIN over the Bay of Bengal (08-14 October 2013): A Report. [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2019 Dec 12]. Available from: http://www.imd.gov.in/section/nhac/dynamic/phailin.pdf .

Shoaf KI, Rottman SJ. The Role of Public Health in Disaster Preparedness, Mitigation, Response and Recovery. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2000;15(4):18–20.




How to Cite

Bhatia V, Prasad Sahu D. Disaster Management: Learning from Experience for Public Health Professionals. Indian J Community Health [Internet]. 2020 Mar. 31 [cited 2024 May 20];32(1):4-5. Available from: https://www.iapsmupuk.org/journal/index.php/IJCH/article/view/1381