• Disasters can be man made or occur naturally. Disasters cause significant
damage and destruction, resulting in loss of life, physical damage or
environmental damage. Typical disasters are tragic events such as
explosions, fires and catastrophic accidents. Disasters cause damage to
property, to life and destroy people’s culture, their social life and their
• Looking at disasters scientifically we can see that they are the result of
poorly managed risk. The risk is a product of vulnerability and the hazard.
For example an area where there is no population will not tend to become
a disaster area. But a disaster in an area that is in a populated and
vulnerable can be devastating, such as a drought in the Sahel in Africa.
Developing countries always suffer the worst when a disaster strikes.
• Disasters are at their worst when one kind of disaster, triggers a second
disasters and possibly a third. An example of a disaster like this is an
earthquake that occurs under the sea, which in turn causes a tsunami
which then hits the coast and causes flooding. One of the worst natural
disasters in the United States was the San Francisco earthquake in 1906.
• Each year thousands of people are killed and billions of dollars worth
of property are destroyed by natural phenomena. Floods, cyclones,
volcanic eruptions, landslides and earthquakes are the main culprits.
The death toll and destruction can be made worse by poor
intervention from man. Not having the budget allocated for
preventing disasters, poor communication systems, badly engineered
constructions and deforestation can all make things much worse. Asia
always has the largest number of casualties occurring from natural
• Man made disasters occur as a consequence of human or
technological hazards. Examples include nuclear explosions or
radiation leaks, oil spills, industrial accidents, transport accidents and
fires. Also in the category of man made disasters are terrorist attacks,
war and conflict. One of the greatest and saddest examples of a man
made disaster was the attack on the Twin Trade Towers in New York
on September 11th, 2001 which caused massive destruction and loss
of life. Regardless of if you believe it was a terrorist attack or not, the
chilling truth is that it was definitely a man made disaster
The March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Japan followed by a nuclear crisis
and shortage of electricity is having a large negative economic impact on the country but a
effect on world markets. Japan has lost considerable physical and human capital. Physical
damage has been estimated to from $250 billion1
to as much as $309 billion,2
the latter figure
being nearly four times as much as Hurricane Katrina ($81 billion) and roughly equivalent to the
GDP of Greece and twice that of New Zealand. In excess of 27,000 persons in Japan are killed or
missing, and more than 146,000 homes and other buildings have been totally or partially
Analysts expect that over the next quarter or so, Japan’s economy will contract, but
may expand because of rebuilding activity later in the year and into 2012. As the third largest
economy in the world, Japan’s GDP at $5.5 trillion accounts for 8.7% of global GDP.
Congressional interest centers on humanitarian concerns, the impact on U.S. citizens and
American companies in Japan, and the effects of the disaster on the exchange of both goods and
services, and on Japanese and U.S. financial markets, interest rates, and the yen-dollar exchange
The damage from the earthquake and tsunami is being compounded by the evacuations and
uncertainty from the problems at the Fukushima nuclear reactors. Tokyo’s power supply is
experiencing a shortfall of as much as a third of peak capacity, and the electrical grid is
experiencing a current shortage of as much as a quarter of capacity. The earthquake also
plants and equipment far from its epicenter. Port facilities, sensitive electronic equipment, 2,035
roads and 56 bridges also were harmed. These were located in a wide area of the country that
even reached Tokyo’s northern suburbs. The human toll also has been great with 10,102 persons
killed, 17,053 missing, and another 2,777 injured (as of March 25, 2011). Higher radiation levels
are being detected in Tokyo’s water supply and in leafy vegetables and milk from around the area
of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. Depending on how long the nation’s electrical
generating capacity is impaired, how long and how wide an area of evacuation because of
radiation danger is continued, whether a widespread nuclear event occurs, and how quickly
alternative sources can be found for critical electronic and automotive parts whose production
been curtailed, the negative economic effects could grow.
In recent decades, Japan’s growth rate has lagged behind that of the world, so it has not been a
major contributor to global economic growth. The net impact of the disaster on global GDP,
therefore, is expected to be relatively small (about 0.5 percentage points) with about half of that
effect confined to Japan, itself.
As for U.S.-Japan economic relations, earthquake-related events in Japan are still unfolding;
therefore, any economic impact assessments are at best preliminary. Nevertheless, it is likely
Feedback from Miss See Toh
• Good usage of examples you have found online
• The background picture is too bright that the
words cant be seen, therefore I ve removed it so I
can read the words.
• Information are all copied and pasted from the
Internet. Did you even read it and rephrase it?
• Too much information, without filtering out the
unnecesary, and should have summarized the
answers in point form.