GO125 Natural Disasters
April 4th, 2012
Homework 1 Essay
For the purpose of this paper I chose to summarize two articles from the given selection. I have chosen to read an article by Robin Spence titled “Risk and regulation: can improved government action reduce the impacts of natural disasters?”, and another by Huadong Guo titled “Understanding global natural disasters and the role of earth observation”. ARTICLE 1
“Natural disasters have become major threats to human life and the world economy, Governments and international organizations are cooperating to promote global and regional risk management, and to improve the capability to mitigate the effects of disasters.(Guo, 2011)” Huadong Guo wrote his article based on the three natural disasters that cause the most damage and casualty to the world, the cause, the effect, and the need for risk management. “The most death toll and losses are from the three major natural disasters: storm; earthquake; and flood. Guo, 2011. Pg.221)” In Haudong Guo’s article he goes on to write about these three disasters.
An earthquake is the sudden movement of the earth’s crust and usually only last a few seconds. “Approximately 40 disastrous earthquakes have occurred since the end of the twentieth century, and the total death toll is nearly 1.7 million. This number is about 50% of all victims of natural disasters. (Guo, 2011, pg.221)” Earthquakes are sudden and can be disastrous, destructive and cause economical hardship. Guo writes about the how important earth quake zonation maps are and the ability to evaluate and re-evaluate potential dangers caused by earthquakes. It is essential to also compare and contrast past documents regarding quakes, and document future damage and quakes for reference purposes. Guo suggest that a systematic assessment of emergency and assistance needs before an earthquake could help determine the need and shorten response time in the case of an actual earth quake disaster.
Haudong Guo writes of tropical storms. He states that on average there are 190 tropical cyclones annually. “World Meteorological Organization (WMO) statistics show that tropical cyclones and the associated storm surges and torrential rains are the most destructive hazards in terms of deaths and material losses. (Guo, 201 pg.225)” To help prevent such disasters from having an increase in tragedy there have been warning systems put in place to help predict and monitor tropic cyclones. These monitoring systems are mostly used in well developed countries such as the US; however there are many other countries that do not have resources for such systems and come under stack of a cyclone without having an idea it is coming.
“According to the Asian Disaster Reduction Center, half the population worldwide who suffered natural disasters was affected by floods and one third by drought during the period from 1975 to 2005. (Guo, 2011. Pg.225):” With consideration of past history of flood and drought conditions it has become apparent that the main focus needs to be on prevention of such disasters. Guo suggest “With the apparent direction of future climate change, extreme weather events are predicted to occur more frequently. The probability that these events will cause greater damage has also increased due to rapid population growth and construction in areas of high flood risk. (2011, pg.225)”
Natural hazards are uncontrollable forces that are bound to happen. There can be a lot of disaster that occurs through a natural hazard. Mr. Guo suggest that in order to (1) reduce risks and vulnerability, (2) mitigate the effects of natural disasters, and (3) improve rescue operations, a multi-disciplinary approach is necessary involving natural, social, and political sciences. (2011, pg. 228)
The article “Risk and regulation: can improved government action reduce the impacts of natural disasters?” is about incorporating government action into the...
References: Huadong Guo (2010): Understanding global natural disasters and the role of earth observation,
International Journal of Digital Earth, 3:3, 221-230
Robin Spence (2004): Risk and regulation: can improved government action reduce the impacts
of natural disasters?, Building Research & Information, 32:5, 391-402
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