A natural disaster is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the Earth; .. Evans, D. "An appraisal of underground gas storage technologies and incidents, for the development of risk assessment methodology" (PDF). Keywords: Natural disasters, poverty, enrollment, Indonesia, El Salvador The first essay investigates the relationship between natural disasters and poverty at . Free Essays from Bartleby | System remains open to to frequent floods. Why Disasters Happen There are four main reasons why disasters happen. These are: •.
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A natural disaster is defined as an event of nature, which overwhelms local Natural disasters are complicated events within which people are subjected to a . PDF | At on May 12, , an earthquake of on the Richter Scale .2 Natural disasters in occurrence, number of victims and damages. Shri ver CD () Caring for the wounded in Iraq – A photo essay. N. Natural disasters occurrences are an aspect of the dynamic life on Earth The most famous natural disaster is the Great Flood recounted in the.
Developed countries are better prepared to handle the impact of disasters as well as the aftermath. In developing nations, natural disasters trap people in a cycle of poverty because they do not have the resources to rebuild their homes and meet other basic needs, making them less able to recover in the long run.
Photo by Jake Lyell. These countries experience frequent storms and flooding and have very little resources and man-power to cope. Additionally, the size of these islands means that already fragile economies, usually agriculture-based, can be totally devastated by a natural disaster. With sea levels rapidly rising, SIDS are becoming more vulnerable to natural disasters with little hope for the future. Human Factors and the Severity of Natural Disasters There are several human factors that influence the severity of a natural disaster.
Even within the same region, different people have different levels of vulnerability to natural hazards.
Wealth: People living in poverty cannot afford adequate housing or infrastructure. They are unable to acquire resources needed before and after a disaster strikes. Education: Education increases awareness about avoiding or reducing the impact of disasters. A better-educated population will have more professionals trained to prepare for catastrophic natural events. Governance: Governments can set policies and establish infrastructure to reduce vulnerability to hazards.
Some governments have more resources available to dedicate to disaster risk reduction. Technology: Technology allows us to forecast weather, significantly reducing vulnerability.
Age: Children and the elderly are more vulnerable because they have less physical strength and weaker immune systems. Children and the elderly are more dependent on others for survival but may not have anyone to depend upon after disaster strikes. Gender: Women are more likely to be poorer and less educated than men, making them more vulnerable to hazards. The Human Impact of Natural Disasters Displaced Populations One of the most immediate effects of natural disasters is population displacement.
They result in tragic disturbances in the social and environmental sphere together with socioeconomic impacts of extreme severity, such as high levels of material damage, the loss of life and means of subsistence for affected communities, and the spread of infectious diseases i due to the degradation of sanitary conditions. They are consequently responsible for a series of adverse environmental and socio-economic impacts due to the way they cause disturbances or imbalances in the environmental CHINO et al.
In the last two decades many studies have consistently presented forecasts and demonstrations of an increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters e. This issue has taken on particular importance as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC, report states that one of the consequences of global warming is the likely increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events above all in tropical regions , which together with disasters caused by geophysical factors e.
This prolonged duration causes a greater spatial dispersal of environmental impacts where natural agents e.
This paper addresses natural disasters whose origin and scale are not limited to natural causes, in other words where the causes and the effects are also closely related to demographic and industrial growth, something inherent to the socio-economic growth of contemporary societies.
It is important to stress that in accordance to the ISO norm: i environmental aspect is the element of an organization's activities, products and services which may interact with the environment; while ii environmental impact is any change to the environment, adverse or beneficial, which is a result, fully or partly, of environmental aspects of the organization.
In this context, the environmental aspect is related to the cause of the problem or to an environmental improvement, while the environmental impact is related to the effect of the problem or to an environmental improvement. Therefore, environmental aspects should be identified based on the following factors vide, e. The aspects addressed above are a list of variables which must be considered in the production of development programs and the implementation of disaster prevention plans.
Sustainable development, as is well known, must address environmental, social and economic aspects in a transversal and balanced way, always using the best available technology to achieve stated objectives, as presented in Figure 1. In this paper natural disasters caused by hydrological and meteorological phenomena will be grouped in one category denominated hydro-meteorologic, and will not include disasters with a biological origin these are less common , as presented in Table 1.
The approach taken in terms of addressing natural disasters is separated into four 4 disaster paradigms cf. This section aims to highlight the strong relationship of interdependence which exists between protection and conservation of bio-physical factors e.
Table 3 synthesizes the environmental aspects of a man-made nature which exacerbate natural disasters. The table highlights a number of conspicuous examples of environmental aspects causes of impacts connected to engineering mega-projects which are likely to cause large-scale population movements, among many other significant negative environmental impacts with a wide variety of consequences.
These projects are usually supported by viability studies which point to the generation of multiple positive socio-economic externalities for the regions where they are implemented, such as economic growth resulting from the revitalization of existing activities, the creation of new investment opportunities and, above all, employment for the local population vide, e.
Indeed, given that vulnerability is a determining factor in the impact of disasters it can be argued that the development model adopted by the human race also significantly contributes to disasters taking place. Socio-economic aspect The growth in socio-economic aspects of disasters has shown an increase vide Figure 3 due to the direct impacts on vulnerable communities.
These often conceal environmental impacts and therefore are deserving of special attention on the part of agents, politicians and researchers who are responsible for finding solutions to mitigate their effects.
Loayza et al. They also observed that the impact of disasters on economic growth is not always negative and that developing countries are more vulnerable to these disasters as more sectors are affected. This is intrinsically related to the heightened degree of vulnerability and the low resistance of these countries. Moreover, it is known that regions with low social capital also have weak economic structures and experience difficulties in securing adequate resources to address the problems caused by disasters.
The increase of vulnerability is not uniform, as there are significant variations between regions, nations, provinces, cities, communities, socio-economic classes, castes and even gender cf. Management of environmental and socio-economic impacts associated to natural disasters In the previous sections we concentrated on establishing a relation between the environmental aspects and impacts of the most common natural disasters e.
This approach aims to make clear the complicit relationship between these three aspects of sustainability and the four disaster paradigms as a starting point in order to draw up and implement a management plan for preventing disasters.
This effort is fundamental, as already mentioned, since reducing vulnerability depends on systematically tackling the complex interactions between inherent physical, environmental and social factors vide, e.
Preventive management Though it is not humanly possible to adopt measures to eliminate the extreme phenomena which cause natural disasters, preventive planning is vital in mitigating impacts on socio-economic and environmental systems, particularly those which are the most vulnerable, as a way of increasing the degree of resilience of local communities. The management approach should be flexible and preventive, adopting the following stages.
It is important to emphasize that often efficient preventive management may require cross-border cooperation e.
Identifying environmental aspects and impacts is fundamental in managing risks, and this should be the first step in a risk management study. This first stage is called establishment of context as Pojasek's flowchart shows , p. It is clear that establishment of context is of paramount importance in evaluating the degree of severity of impacts, in that these are more pronounced and socially visible when dealing with urban and populous regions where a considerable amount of infrastructure is built in risk zones, drastically affecting socio-economic aspects.
As risk analysis is essentially based on the probability of a given event occurring and the degree of severity of the resulting consequences vide, e. Summary and recommendations The answer to the question contained in the title what makes the difference?
Japan, USA - despite having significantly fewer victims of natural disasters - are no less affected by extreme phenomena e.
GUHA et al. In addition, stakeholder participation e. Among aspects which help to mitigate disasters, social capital is fundamental in creating the conditions to reduce vulnerability, and consequently, the dependency of communities or nations on external initiatives.
This is because social capital is paramount in creating the necessary social, economic and political structures including cooperation and inclusion in international networks to foster socio-economic development based on an agreed path of sustainable development.
This in turn contributes to a reduction of the level of risk communities are exposed to.
In , the State of Texas lived under a drought emergency declaration for the entire calendar year and severe economic losses. Thunderstorms Main article: Thunderstorm Severe storms, dust clouds, and volcanic eruptions can generate lightning. Apart from the damage typically associated with storms, such as winds, hail, and flooding, the lightning itself can damage buildings, ignite fires and kill by direct contact.
Especially deadly lightning incidents include a strike in Ushari Dara, a remote mountain village in northwestern Pakistan , that killed 30 people,  the crash of LANSA Flight which killed 91 people, and a fuel explosion in Dronka, Egypt caused by lightning in which killed It is also referred to as a twister or a cyclone,  although the word cyclone is used in meteorology in a wider sense, to refer to any closed low pressure circulation.
Tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes, but are typically in the form of a visible condensation funnel , whose narrow end touches the Earth and is often encircled by a cloud of debris and dust.
Common causes include lightning and drought but wildfires may also be started by human negligence or arson. They can spread to populated areas and can thus be a threat to humans and property, as well as wildlife.
Notable cases of wildfires were the Peshtigo Fire in the United States, which killed at least people, and the Victorian bushfires in Australia. Space disasters Fallen trees caused by the Tunguska meteoroid of the Tunguska event in June Impact events and airburst Main article: Impact event Asteroids that impact the Earth have led to several major extinction events, including one which created the Chicxulub crater Scientists estimate that the likelihood of death for a living human from a global impact event is comparable to the probability of death from an airliner crash.
No human death has been definitively attributed to an impact event, but the Ch'ing-yang event in which over 10, people may have died has been linked to a meteor shower. Even asteroids and comets that burn up in the atmosphere can cause significant destruction on the ground due to the air burst explosion: notable air bursts include the Tunguska event in June , which devastated large areas of Siberian countryside, and the Chelyabinsk meteor on 15 February , which caused widespread property damage in the city of Chelyabinsk and injured 1, Solar flare Main article: Solar flare A solar flare is a phenomenon where the Sun suddenly releases a great amount of solar radiation , much more than normal.
Solar flares are unlikely to cause any direct injury, but can destroy electrical equipment. The potential of solar storms to cause disaster was seen during the Carrington event , which disrupted the telegraph network, and the March geomagnetic storm which blacked out Quebec.
Some major known solar flares include the X20 event on August 16, ,  and a similar flare on April 2, People displaced due to natural disasters are currently protected under international law Guiding Principles of International Displacement, Campala Convention of For example, during the earthquake in Maharastra, India, more women died than men as they were more likely to be in the home, due to their role as caregivers.
Disrupted police enforcement, lax regulations, and displacement all contribute to increased risk of gender based violence and sexual assault. Women who were taking contraceptives may forget or may no longer have access to these medications.
In addition, health care systems may have broken down as a result of the disaster, further reducing access to contraceptives. Lack of health care infrastructure and medical shortages hinder the ability to treat individuals once they acquire an STI. Inadequate nutrition, little access to clean water, lack of health-care services and psychological stress in the aftermath of the disaster can lead to a significant increase in maternal morbidity and mortality.
Furthermore, shortage of healthcare resources during this time can convert even routine obstetric complications into emergencies. In addition, it can be particularly difficult to find clean water for sterilizing bottles for breast milk or pre-made formula. Political consequences Everyone is desperate for food and water. There's no food, water, or gasoline. The government is missing. Natural disasters can also worsen ongoing conflicts within states by weakening the capacity of states to fight rebels.