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Hazards & Disasters

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Resources, activities, links & videos for the IB Geography; Hazards & disasters unit. Revision pages in the store soon.

characteristics of hazards

Hazard: A threat (whether natural or human) that has the potential to cause loss of life, injury, property damage, socio-economic disruption or environmental degradation.

IB Geography, hazard characteristics

Hazard Event: the occurrence (realization) of a hazard, the effects of which change demographic, economic and/or environmental conditions.

"Distinguish between the chosen hazards in terms of their spatial extent, predictability, frequency, magnitude, duration, speed of onset and effects." volcanic hazards

IB Geography, Volcano locations

IB Geography volcanoes worksheetVolcano characteristics outline sheet


Case Study: Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat.


Timeline of events & photos

Montserrat (BBC)

Volcano refuses to cool (Guardian 1999)

Prediction difficulty (Telegraph 2008)

IB Geography Montserrat Case study Montserrat Case Study outline sheet

hurricane characteristics

IB Geography, Hazards, Hurricane paths

drought hazard characteristics

Horn of Africa Drought 2011

Read the following articles & make case study notes:

Ethiopia in drought (Huffington Post 2011)

Causes of 2011 drought (Guardian 2011)

2011 drought (Wikipedia)

Interactive map showing impact of 2011 East African drought (Guardian 2011)

Pre-famine conditions

From one drought to another

Long term strategies

UK Aid pledge

Chernobyl nuclear accident hazard characteristics

Chernobyl (National Geographic)

Explain whether you think there is a relationship between the frequency and magnitude of a hazard event.

Write a paragraph to compare the effectiveness of predicting any 2 of the above hazards.

Vulnerability: the susceptibility of a community to a hazard or to the impacts of a hazard event.


IB Geography volcano crater

Risk: The probability of a hazard event causing harmful consequences(expected losses in terms of deaths, injuries, property damage, economy and environment).

2014 10 Riskiest Cities in the World

Make notes about the different methods of predicting erruptions.

Predicting Montserrat eruptions

Predicting Hurricanes

BBC article (May 2011): Can earthquakes be predicted

Disaster: A major hazard event that causes widespread disruption to a community or region that the affected community is unable to deal with adequately without outside help.

How have the intensity and impact of disaster events changed over space and time?

Look at the pictures & follow the links. Answer/discuss the subsequent questions:

Disaster occurance frequency


Changes in disaster numbers

1) Describe the trends in disaster frequency (total disasters & types of disasters)

2) Offer explanations as to why you think there are increasing numbers of disasters & why specific ones are increasing. (You should consider issues such as: increasing populations, urban areas, climate change, agricultural practises & deforestation).

Disaster Risk Reduction

Disaster Risk Management Asia

3) How can the risks of disasters be reduced?

4) Follow this link (UN disaster risk reduction) & explain what you think the statement means:

"There is no such thing as a 'natural' disaster, only natural hazards."

Responses to the risk of hazard events.

Preparing for hurricanes - before the event

The importance of insurance


Explain why having appropriate insurance cover is so important in high risk areas. Why do so many people not have it? Why cannot you not leave it unitl the last minute to get insurance cover?

Haiti & Chile earthquake comparison in terms of magnitude & effects

Read this article (the week). Make notes about the magnitude & effects of the 2 earthqaukes. Explain the importance of wealth, regulation and preperation in reducing the risk of a natural hazard becoming a disaster.

The importance of aid in disaster reduction.

Look at this infographic - describe the main pattern of the aid donations. Explain why interntional aid can be so vital in reducing the occurance of natural disasters.


Article: Pakistan still unprepared for natural disasters (Guardian 2012)

Prepare Immediate Reconstruction

Nuclear Accident Preparartion

IB Geography volcanic crater lake
IB Geography revision guides link