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Natural Disasters Natural Disasters are disasters that occur in this world naturally and we can not control nature to stop them – we can only control our.

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Presentation on theme: "Natural Disasters Natural Disasters are disasters that occur in this world naturally and we can not control nature to stop them – we can only control our."— Presentation transcript:

1 Natural Disasters Natural Disasters are disasters that occur in this world naturally and we can not control nature to stop them – we can only control our association with their potential of occurring. Natural disasters can happen at any location at any time but each has some probability of happening. Natural disasters can destroy cities, or sometimes a whole country if it is that severe.

2 Natural Disasters EARTHQUAKE VOLCANIC ERUPTION LANDSLIDES HURRICANE TSUNAMI WILD FIRE TORNADO FLOOD HEAT WAVE DROUGHT

3 The Nature of the Hazard a.Rapid Onset (earthquake) vs. Slow Onset (drought) b. Controllable Events (floods) vs. Immutable Events (volcanoes) c. Frequency vs. Severity  risk assessment important here d. Mitigation Measures to Withstand Impact (infrastructure – tax dollars) vs. Mitigation Measures to Avoid Impact (move)

4 Global Earthquake Locations Don’t Live Near a Red Dot!

5 Natural Hazard Prediction The prediction of a natural event can be done by scientific investigation into its causes and ensures establishing the probability of the next occurrence in terms of time, place, and range of severity. Increasingly sophisticated monitoring stations, both manned and remote, collect information of potentially hazardous events for more accurate prediction. Some hazards, such as hurricanes and floods, can be forecast with high accuracy, whereas it’s very difficult to forecast earthquakes or volcanoes or landslides. Getting the public (culture) to may attention to scientific evidence is one of the main issues. Also, timely evacuation of densely populated urban areas may be physically impossible

6 The concept of risk RISK = HAZARD X VULNERABILITY Hazard = natural processes capable of causing death and/or destruction; Vulnerability = social or economic sensitivity to the effects of hazards

7 Calculating risk Example 1: same hazard; contrasting vulnerabilities Magnitude 6.5 earthquake in south-central California, on Dec. 22, 2003: 7 dead, ~50 injured because the event occurred in a thinly inhabited area (low risk event) Magnitude 6.5 earthquake in city of Bam (Iran) on Dec. 26, 2003: ~40,000 dead, ~30,000 injured; much of the city destroyed (very high risk event)

8 Hazard assessment Natural scientists analyze the physical risks:

9 Vulnerability assessment Social scientists analyze the vulnerability matrix Environmental processes Perception Social impacts Mitigation and education Disaster response

10 Interdisciplinary Is very well manifested in this overall topic Bothun is a physical scientist, well maybe … Carey is a historian We will try to bring both perspectives to this from time to time in class

11 Towards a global geography of danger: the complexity of the task 20% of Earth’s land surface exposed to severe hazards; >30% of North American population live in hazard-prone areas; Many areas (e.g. Indonesia, Taiwan, Guatemala) exposed to multiple severe hazards.

12 Investigating personal responses: flight or fight? KR (aged 22) said that she’d never build in a forest again after her Kettle Valley home was reduced to ash KR (aged 35) said he’d rebuild in an instant. His family’s home was razed. “It was a fluke” …“If you live on the ocean and a tidal wave comes, they’d say we shouldn’t live on the ocean.” Quoted in The Province, Aug. 25, 2003 (p. A5) Reactions to the Okanagan Mountain Park fire of August, 2003

13 Post-disaster recovery in the Real World (Hurricane Katrina ) 2006: population of New Orleans ~ 50% of that prior to hurricane; 45% fewer hospital beds; ~1/3 of schools still shut; Rents increased by 40% in one year because of housing shortage; suicide rate in city quadrupled; almost 90% of ‘refugees’ in Houston still unemployed; Port of NO (#1 port in US) operating at less than 50% capacity 3 months after hurricane. August 2008 survey of residents of New Orleans: 55% feel that there has been little or no progress in rebuilding neighborhoods. 59% feel that there has been little or no progress in making medical facilities and services more available. 72% said federal recovery money has been "mostly misspent." 58% said NO had a ”very serious" problem with political corruption. 84% face continuing health problems, and 65% reported some sort of chronic condition or disability, up from 45% in 2006.

14 Information and perception ( reported volcanic eruptions, ) Has there been an overall increase in activity?


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