Characteristics of Hazards
Characteristics & spatial distribution of: Volcanoes; Hurricanes; Droughts; Oil Spills (Deepwater Horizon)
"Distinguish between the chosen hazards in terms of their spatial extent, predictability, frequency, magnitude, duration, speed of onset and effects."
* By the end of unit 1 you should have 4 case studies
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.
Case Study: Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat.
Volcano refuses to cool (Guardian 1999)
Prediction difficulty (Telegraph 2008)
In your groups:
Interactive map showing impact of 2011 East African drought (Guardian 2011)
Current 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)
Drought in the Yangtze river basin - in pictures (Guardian 2011)
Chernobyl (National Geographic)
Fill in the table below to compare/summarise the key characteristics
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.
Hazard Event: the occurrence (realization) of a hazard, the effects of which change demographic, economic and/or environmental conditions.
Vulnerability: the susceptibility of a community to a hazard or to the impacts of a hazard event.
Risk: The probability of a hazard event causing harmful consequences(expected losses in terms of deaths, injuries, property damage, economy and environment).
Make notes about the different methods of predicting erruptions.
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:
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).
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)