5 anthropogenic disasters that wrecked havoc on environment and mankind

by Shatakshi Gupta

Humans after evolution made so much progress in science and technology. This advancement make us think that we can control the mother nature, but nature has proved its superiority over us from time to time in the form of natural disasters. These natural disasters caused so much collateral damage and these are something that is beyond human control. But we as alpha beings on this planet also made some mistakes in the history that led mankind suffer to a great extent, not only these man made disasters had impact on humans but also affected nature. Here is the list of 5 man made havoc that changed to world.

Also Read: Why We Should Think About Our Environment Now?

Chernobyl nuclear disaster

In former USSR on 26 April 1986, in the city of Pripyat a test was conducted in Chernobyl Nuclear power plant. While conducting the test some technical glitch appeared and the reactor design was also flawed which aggravated unstable conditions and led to uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction. This followed by a blast of steam and open air reactor core fire. There was an immense amount of radiation leakage which spread to 30 square kilometres. The area was evacuated within 36 hours of blast. If we talk about magnitude, it was an accident of scale seven, which is the biggest nuclear disaster. Two people lost their lives immediately in blast and dozens were exposed to radiations, who died later in hospital. Reports came later in which many people caught cancer due to radiations.

Great smog of London

This incident was not the result of sudden mistake made by humans, this was the result of pollution which we made over a period of time. Over the years London was polluted by industry chimneys and vehicles, in December of 1952, an anticyclone was developed in capital of UK in which cold air was trapped under hot air, this stagnant air condition led to accumulation of smoke and dust particles in atmosphere which is called smog. There was very dense smog all around which was getting inside homes and there was no visibility. Within 4 days 4000 people died due to direct contact with smog and 10000 people contracted respiratory diseases. Unofficial death toll is much higher than this figure.

Bhopal gas tragedy

This accident is referred as on of the worst industrial disaster in human history. In December of 1984. A pesticide plant in Bhopal city named Union Carbide India Limited  was the source of this incident. Due to poor routine maintenance water was flowed back in MIC( Methyl Isocyanate) tank, which led to the leakage of MIC in air. This took place in night when people were sleeping in their homes. This poisonous gas leakage took the life of 3787 people officially but estimated figures are much higher. Gas affected people over 5lakhs among which many received permanent injuries. This was the clear case of continuous ignorance for which innocent paid the cost with their lives.

Minamata disease

This disease was made out of industrial waste.  The Chisso Corporation’s chemical factory dumped its wastewater which carried Methylmercury, this was accumulated over a period of time and get biomagnified by fishes. When these fishes were consumed by humans and animals they contracted a neurobiological disease, in which they felt numbness, weakness, loss of vision, hearing and speech ability. The disease was first detected in Minamata city of Japan after which it was named. The deaths continued to happen over a period of 36 years but no authorities stepped in to control and thousands of people lost their lives.

Exxon Valdez oil spill

On March 24 1989, an oil tanker named Exxon Valdez hit the Prince William Sound’s Bligh Reef in Alaska, USA which resulted a spill of 10.8 million US gallon crude oil. The accident took place due to failure of radar system. Over 2100 km coastline was affected and killed local marine life.  Though humans were not affected much in this accident but it had very adverse effect on marine ecosystem. It also had huge economic impact as there was loss of oil and the local fishing and tourism sector was badly hit.