Avoidable Deaths in Disasters

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Environmental Science book series (BRIEFSENVIRONMENTAL)


This chapter presents the concept of ‘avoidable deaths’ conceived from the theories of risk, violence, justice and organisation. Avoidable deaths are preventable deaths due to advancements in disaster management science and weather forecasting systems; increased sophistication in human-built environments, as well as ongoing economic and policy development worldwide. When avoidable deaths continue to happen, this is event violence. Violence is commenced by the relevant actors and organisations in failing to protect or save lives. Deaths in disasters, in this vein, are a case for violation of justice. In the event of disasters, justice is denied to those women, men and children who would have otherwise lived a long life and an accomplished life. In order to promote justice in disasters, three arguments are put forward. First, human deaths must be identified as a matter of justice; as such they should receive a high priority from the disaster management system by developing a ‘goal’ to reduce death. Second, problems can be framed, as well as solved within a disaster management system through support-led processes, such as effective INGO, NGO, community and government organisation coordination and communication. Third, it can make room for demands of duty from the actors and organisations involved in protecting lives (Sen, Bull World Health Organ 77(8):619–623, 1999; Sen, The idea of justice, 2009). This chapter also introduces the case study of Odisha along with the research methods used to conduct the fieldwork between 2013 and 2014.


Avoidable deaths Disasters Disaster management Goal Odisha Justice Violence 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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