‘The impacts of natural disasters are getting worse’ Describe and explain for and against this statement

referring to a range of hazard types and case studies. Kathryn Farr
Natural disasters are defined as the effects of a hazard, which lead to financial, environmental, or human loss. Impacts are defined as meaning the after effects of an event, hazard or disaster when occurring. Impacts can come in a number of ways in which can affect the people involved these are through: deaths, property damage, economic damage and injuries. To avoid severe impacts there are the 3 P’s, these are prevention, protection and prediction. All of which are used through satellite screenings, education of the hazards, etc. Finally another key definition is hazard hotspots meaning somewhere where a hazard is always prone to occurring and is a natural occurrence. The question mentions the fact that impacts are getting ‘worse’ which therefore involves a time element. This can be measured through the frequency of the disaster meaning how often it occurs and the magnitude meaning how much it measures on a scale of some sort e.g. in the case of earthquakes a Richter scale is used. To enforce the measurements with the help of frequency and magnitude this disaster risk equation measures this. The disaster risk equation shows how effective the disaster was times by the vulnerability of the residents i.e. location, and then the community capacity to cope illustrates the resources after the impacts take place.

Disaster risk equation: Frequency/magnitude x vulnerability Community capacity to cope
There are 3 main types of damage that occur these are: Economic damage: Another impact which can damage a country rapidly is the economic damage, as the more damage done to an area the higher the cost of repair. This normally affects more developed countries as appose to less developed countries, because they are more highly built-up in relation to building structure and housing, so the cost of damage is further increasing. Deaths: The number of deaths rated as an impact is a strong reflection of how shocking the disaster was. Property damage: This interlinks with economic damage, as if a property is damaged it must be restored, otherwise the levels of the homeless will rise.

This would show that impacts are worsening as the amount of people who died was high. at 138. which in relevance is a large decrease in comparison to previous years due to aid and more media coverage. the use of protection schemes are not being enforced meaning there is a higher chance of death and damage. The magnitude got to a high of 7.000. this is a result of urbanisation meaning the social process whereby cities grow and societies become more urban. the economical impact of this study was one of the biggest at an estimate of $158 billion. that are impacts are worsening. so the level of protection would have been lessened greatly. this made it impossible for the impacts of the disaster to not be severe. residents will have to build outwards to areas in which aren’t safe. making it inevitable that any disaster would have high risk impacts. as aid is source of help for all kinds of damage to the country and if the damage is not recovered it will progressively get worse. Also as the Haiti case study below illustrates. if no cautions are taken to help the possibilities. Burma located near China-2008 This case study is useful to support the title question as it shows a high number of deaths which is a key outcome of disasters.0 on the Richter scale. then nothing can be changed to prevent the foreseeable future. as this is quite a recent disaster this would prove the protection schemes to not be working in favour of the government as the economic damage was outrageous. meaning stability of the buildings. which is considerably catastrophic. Hurricane Katrina. Furthermore as national aid was stopped from entering the country. through international governments. which is defined as a strong windstorm. meaning help to the injured can be received within hours. . This is a reason that impacts can be made worse from natural disasters. The fact the USA is an MEDC would add to the soaring economic damage.000 this is an extremely high statistic. as if there is a lack of safe land to build on. This could also work against the study title as the number of deaths was 1322.August 2005-USA This supports the study that impacts are worsening as. The number of people reported dead was 220. prevention. This makes them more hazard prone as the land will be further to a core or point of destruction.Some ideas which support the fact that the impact of disasters are getting worse are: A lot of residents in both MEDCs and LEDCs are building on dangerous areas. The problem was the militaristic government was reluctant to help people. This case study supports the title question as Haiti had a lack of building codes. showing the population of Haiti to be very vulnerable to disaster. A case study that supports the idea that the impacts of disasters are getting worse is: The Caribbean nation of Haiti was struck by an earthquake in January 2010. so this shows one of the factors of the 3 p’s. Also there was a shortage of governmental attention. this therefore supports the question title. The Burma disaster was a cyclone.

400 engine companies. this is a reason against the impacts of hazards becoming worsened. therefore they are more likely to withstand the shocks and aftershocks of a disaster. it can be due to a shortage in media coverage making it harder for AID to be sent to more remote locations. From the research I have conducted it would show that clearly there is evidence to show hazards are getting worse. satellite screening and educating the population on safety during a disaster. for example if a disaster occurs in an LEDC. In conclusion. Although the economic cost of this disaster was $1. but on the other hand. harder materials. Whereas for an MEDC the chance of life being destroyed can be made less vulnerable due to protection schemes and defence mechanisms as the government have funding to afford these. Oakland wildfires. Although the impacts can get worse in different ways. but this is not necessarily due to lack of preparation. so the impacts have more time to develop. if residents have time to evacuate an area or change locations to shelters which are more secure than their homes. there will be a greater loss of life and possibly housing due to the lack of stability. which is considerably high but shows a much improved reduction in comparison to Hurricane Katrina. The art of prediction is tackled through new technology. to put it plainly the more people are living in hazardous locations where they might be exposed to natural disasters. this can avert an event from causing a lot of damage.g.There are a number of factors which can help to lower the impact of a disaster one being the invention of better technology e. for and against the impacts of disasters. warning systems. showing the use of quick AID can lower the impacts of a natural disaster. at the rate of $158 billion.5 billion. this is more likely to be available to the population of MEDCs as they are more economically active. which can be exposed to hurricanes and housing development on flood plains.California-1991 This supports against the title question as it shows impacts are lowering as the death rate for this disaster was 24 people killed and 150 injured. 1500 personnel and 250 agencies worked together to put the fire out. For example: coastal cities. Due to being located in an MEDC. so less is destroyed and therefore less is necessary to be restored. Also protection can be successful by the process of making buildings more stable e. making them vulnerable to floods. as in an LEDC because the quality of life and housing is poorer. . the fire brigade were on hand rapidly to stop the re-occurrence of forest fires as it possible for them to re-start once being put out. the economic impacts will be less severe. but this can pose some implications if a disaster does occur because there is far more destroy increase the economic damage of the situation.g. It states if there is advanced technology. There is an obvious argument.