Disasters That Led to New Safety Regulations and Other Major Changes
At the time of a disaster, it can be difficult to imagine the effects that will come along later. Yet, if we look back over some of the biggest natural and industrial disasters in history, we can see that many of them had far-reaching consequences.
The Indian Ocean Tsunami Helped the Setting Up of a New Warning System
In 2004, an undersea earthquake caused a massive tsunami that quickly spread around the Indian Ocean killing 230,000 people in more than a dozen different countries. It was now one of the worst tsunamis in history and led to billions of pounds being raised for much-needed humanitarian aid.
One of the other effects of this natural disaster was the need for a tsunami warning system. By 2005, an Indian Ocean warning system was introduced, in order for scientists to monitor the ocean and advise residents of the region of any future events of this type.
The Bhopal Leak Raises Concerns Over Factor Safety Measures
Arguably the worst industrial disaster in all of human history, the 1984 gas leak from a giant pesticide plant in Bhopal, India caused more than half a million people to become exposed to tons of deadly gases. There is still some confusion over the final death toll, with up to 16,000 recorded deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries possibly caused by it.
This terrifying incident cast a light on the lax safety guidelines that were being followed by many companies in India and other developing countries. It led to increased activism and demands for better safety in factories around the world, a movement that has had at least a degree of success.
The Centralia Mining Disaster Led to New Mining Safety Regulations
This disaster in the American state of Illinois occurred in 1947. Over 100 people died when coal dust was ignited and caused a massive explosion in the mine. One of the outcomes was the introduction by the US Congress of new safety regulations in the country’s coal mines, with regular inspections planned.
It also led to famous folklore songs becoming popular such as Woody Guthrie’s, The Dying Miner. In other industries, the development of new safety rules has been less dramatic but has seen the introduction of safety equipment such as plant platform units and specially designed ladders amongst others.
The Bhola Cyclone Causes a War
1970 was the year that the Bhola cyclone crashed into the Bengal Coast of what was then East Pakistan, killing up to half a million people as it swept across villages and towns. It is still classed as being the deadliest tropical cyclone that the world has ever seen.
In the aftermath, nationwide protests at the government’s handling of the crisis led to them losing the next election, a month or so later. It is widely believed that the unrest then played a part in the Indo-Pakistani War, ending in the creation of Bangladesh as an independent country.