Natural Disasters; From Awareness to Preparation

Yuval Noah Harari states that mankind‘s greatest enemies after war and rampage are famine, plague, and natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis due to the immense destruction they bring. However, we are now able to reduce the damage they cause to some degree, but they still remain large challenges that take the lives of thousands and displace millions. What happened in Turkey and parts of Syria yesterday could happen in other places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Russia. In reality, natural disasters cannot be contained at present, but the potential to control them in the future exists if our technology advances to a certain level.

If we are unable to prevent natural disasters from occurring, we can still manage their consequences and limit the damage they cause. This can be done in two ways: through education and legislation. People should be educated about the causes and necessary measures for each natural disaster, and trained on how to react if they occur. For example, ancient wisdom can teach us a lot about water management. If a flood breaks out, we can build dams and divert rivers. One of the major milestones in water management was the construction of the manmade Yellow River in China. By controlling and managing water, floods can become a source of energy and water supply for agriculture and other needs. Effective measures can also be taken against earthquakes. Countries that are prone to earthquakes can build earthquakeproof buildings which are tested to ensure their safety.

Adhering to laws, procedures, and protocols during a disaster is essential for a speedy recovery. Laws are the foundation of social order and are necessary to avoid confusion in a crisis. People should be reminded of the importance of laws, and laws should be adapted to the needs of the people. In the past, the distinctions between law, custom, religion, and social norms were not always clear, but now, laws are paramount and are only disregarded in less developed countries.

In Afghanistan, people have not yet understood the significance of law, and it is often replaced by customs, social norms, and sometimes religious guidelines. Customs and religious guidelines are beneficial, but they are not legally binding, which is the main issue. Only the law has the power to be legally binding for everyone.