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The Hazards Presented by Volcanic and Seismic Events Have the Gre...

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The Hazards Presented by Volcanic and Seismic Events Have the Greatest Impact on the World's Poorest People

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  • May 13, 2013
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“The hazards presented by volcanic and seismic events have the greatest impact on the world’s poorest people.” To what extent do you agree with this view? (40 marks) Volcanic and seismic events can take place all over the world and therefore both more economically developed countries (MEDCs) and less economically developed countries (LEDCs) can be affected. In the last 30 years there have been multiple examples of where volcanic and seismic events have had an impact on both MEDCs and LEDCs. Some of these include the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2011 Japanese earthquake and the consequential tsunami. In this essay I will show how the impact of volcanic and seismic events have a greater impact on poorer countries than on richer countries. Although prevention of either an earthquake or a volcanic eruption isn’t possible, it is possible to manage them and reduce the overall impact. This should, in theory, be easier for MEDCs due having more money available to spend on management policies. However in some situations it isn’t the primary effects of the earthquake or eruption that have the greater impact. For example in the 2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption in Iceland it wasn’t the lava or pyroclastic flow that caused problems, it was the ash cloud which was produced. The cloud caused most of northern European airspace to be closed between 15th April and the 23rd with disruptions continuing until late May. In total this cost the airline industry around US$1.7 billion. The impacts can also be viewed from a global perspective as although it was only European air travel which was restricted, it will have caused a lot of problems for travellers all around the world. On a local scale the eruption increased the rate of melting of nearby glaciers which meant that the Krossa glacial river increased by 6oC over a two hour period. Farmland was affected by the thick layer of ash which had fell and then become wet and compact making it difficult to continue farming. This shows...