Aug 29, 2008, 6:33 AM
A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard (e.g. flood, tornado, hurricane, volcanic eruption, earthquake, or landslide) that affects the environment, and leads to financial, environmental and/or human losses.
The resulting loss depends on the capacity of the population to support or resist the disaster, and their resilience.
This understanding is concentrated in the formulation: Disasters occur when hazards meet vulnerability.
A natural hazard will hence never result in a natural disaster in areas without vulnerability for example strong earthquakes in uninhabited areas.
The term natural has consequently been disputed because the events simply are not hazards or disasters without human involvement.
It is in this vein that we symphatise with those families who have been affected by flood waters in recent days.
It is a difficult situation for the said families, but we want to urge them to take heart, as the good Lord knows what is best for His beings.
In fact, for us human beings, there is nothing that we can do when such eventualities occur except to keep praying for Allah's mercy and protection since, as believers, we know they are the makings of the Almighty Allah.
We must also be prepared as a society to come to the aid of those who are victims of natural disasters, especially now that the situation has become so serious that the government has to declare a "state of disaster" in the country.