07 April 2011

Just a Comparison

I was just wondering about what would have happened had the recent natural disaster that happened in Japan would have happened in India ...
I thought the best way to understand this problem would be to compare two situations. One is the Recent Japan Disaster and the other is the 1984 Bhopal Gas disaster. I know those two are very different in the what, how, when and why, but I just wanted to see what are the differences in which the two countries/societies have reacted ....

Let us first take up the case of the Japan Disaster as it is still going on:
Japan Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Problem
  • 11th March 2011 - Disaster strikes - 9 magnitude earthquake, 10-14 meter high tsunami
  • Thousands die - washed away by tsunami, crushed under debris, burnt by fire (more than 10,000)
  • Dams break, electricity gone, supply system badly damaged, entire localities wiped out
  • Nuclear Reactors damaged - Hydrogen explosions, leak of radioactivity, leakage of reactor water into sea, evacuations over 30 mile radius, speculations over core meltdown
  • Japan Government mobilize rescue teams, requests help from others, Help send to Japan by different sections of the International arena
  • Media leaves no stone unturned to create as much panic as possible
  • Till now there has not been any death due to the Nuclear Reactor Problem
  • The Japanese have shown exemplary courage in the face of such a traumatic event. A team of people are risking their own life in the Reactor complex to cool down the reactors

Gas Disaster in Bhopal, India

  • Plant located close to dense population,
  • 1976 to 1982 - Several accidents occur due to lack of safety measures and callous administration
  • 1984 - The company stops producing MIC - cost cutting measures are taken - poor maintenance, downsizing and employees are fired, safety personnel reduced to half, several employees fined when they refuse to abandon safety procedures
  • 1984 - Storage and other production units goes into negligence, disrepair - disaster waiting to happen

  • 2nd December 1984 - Disaster strikes - MIC gas leaks from Union Carbide Factory in Bhopal, India
  • Siren is turned off by administration
  • Union Carbide Directors deny any leak
  • Police announcement - Everything is normal
  • People start to die
  • 3000 people die within weeks, 8000 more have died since due to diseases caused by the leak, 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries.
  • Warren Anderson escapes with the help of his cronies in the government
  • Cases still going on, compensations are still to be paid fully
  • Knee jerk reaction and failure of the government to take adequate measures
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster