Natural Hazards, Classification and Analysis

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An introduction to the concept of natural hazards,, a look at some of the ways they are classified and information about criteria used to analyze and compare natural hazards for Global Geography 12 at …

An introduction to the concept of natural hazards,, a look at some of the ways they are classified and information about criteria used to analyze and compare natural hazards for Global Geography 12 at Charles P. Allen High School.

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  • 1.  
  • 2. Natural Hazards?
    • A natural disaster (physical event)
        • volcanic eruption
        • Earthquake
        • Landslide
    • Human activity
        • Ex: coastal settlement of populations
  • 3. Basically…..
    • A natural hazard is
    • a naturally occurring
    • event/phenomenon
    • that has an effect on
    • people
  • 4. Vulnerability
    • Vulnerability = susceptibility to injury or attack
    • Human vulnerability leads to financial, structural, and human losses.
    • Natural hazards only occur in inhabited areas
      • A natural disaster in an uninhabited area has little tangible impact on people
    • Natural hazards are increasing because of…
      • Population growth (more people)
      • Urbanization (lots of people in small spaces)
      • alteration of the natural environment (manmade islands)
  • 5. Hazards’ Human Costs
    • Every year natural disasters leave…
      • 4,000,000 homeless
      • 46,000 injured
      • 5520 dead
    • These figures do not include the recent tsunami in Asia (273,000) and Hurricane Katrina (1000)
    • Source: The International Red Cross
  • 6. Positive Effects
    • natural disasters have beneficial ecological consequences.
      • rejuvenation of a coniferous forest months and/or years after fires
      • recharging of groundwater stocks after a flood).
      • benefits tend to become apparent months or years after an extreme event
  • 7. Methods of Classification
    • Calculating human costs
    • Impact measured by:
      • loss of life (total deaths)
      • number of injuries
      • damage to property (replacement costs)
  • 8. Methods of Classification
    • Strength/size/intensity of event
      • Hurricane system
        • Tropical depression, tropical storm, category 1-5
      • Tornado scale
        • Force 1-5
      • Richter scale (seismic events)
        • Scale of 1-9, with 9 being cataclysmic, worldwide event
      • Epidemic, pandemic
  • 9. Methods of Classification
    • Regional occurrence
      • Hurricane (Atlantic)
      • Typhoon (Pacific rim)
      • Monsoon (Asia, Africa)
    • Frequency of occurrence
      • Annually?
      • Centenially?
  • 10. Disaster Categories
    • We classify natural disasters by the chief process or sphere in which it operates
      • Ex: Atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere
    • This system has three categories
  • 11. Atmospheric Hazards
    • Cyclonic Storms (hurricane, typhoon, cyclone)
    • Tornado (twisters, dust devils)
    • Severe Storm (White Juan, Nor’easter)
    • Flooding (heavy rains)
    • Drought (lack of rain, prolonged high pressure)
    • Wildfire (wind, lightning)
    • Severe Weather (hot/cold) ex: ice storm
  • 12. Biological Hazards
    • Infectious Disease
      • HIV, H1N1, Bubonic Plague)
    • Parasitic Disease
      • ringworm
    • Insect Infestation
      • malaria, West Nile virus
    • Plant Disease
      • Dutch Elm disease, blight
  • 13. Geological Hazards
    • Slide (mud, land, rock)
    • Volcanic Activity
    • Earthquake
    • Avalanche
    • Tsunami (tidal wave)
  • 14. Comparison and Analysis
    • Any one disaster can be described by analyzing various factors that determine how great an impact it will have on people
    • This system recognizes six main factors
  • 15. Comparison and Analysis
    • Frequency
      • how often is the event likely to happen
    • Duration
      • the length of time the event lasts
    • Extent
      • Size of area or region affected
        • Town? Continent? Region?
  • 16. Comparison and Analysis
    • Speed of onset
      • sudden, without warning, over quickly?
      • build slowly before a peak period
    • Spatial dispersion
      • area likely to be affected by a particular event
    • Temporal spacing
      • how hazards and disasters occur in time; are they random or do they occur within a cycle