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Hazards and Disasters

IB DP Geography
       
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Geography Starter

Starter

 
Lets play ... "Name that Hazard" [Click on the images to see a larger version]
 

Hazard 1

Hazard 2

Hazard 1

Hazard 2

Hazard 3

Hazard 4

Hazard 3

Hazard 4

Hazard 5

Hazard 6

Hazard 5

Hazard 6

Hazard 7

Hazard 8

Hazard 7

Hazard 8

Hazard 9

Hazard 10

Hazard 9

Hazard 10

 
 
Geography Activities

Activities

 
Geography Activities

What is a Natural Hazard?

 
 
Geography Activities

Task

Draw a venn diagram to illustrate the following four situations. Your venn diagram should include the extreme natural event and the vulnerable population and the scale of the natural hazard.
 
  1. A moderate landslide occurring on an uninhabited island.
  2. A magnitude 8.1 earthquake occurring near to a city with a population of 18 million people which sits upon an old lakebed.
  3. A magnitude 6.5 earthquake with it's epicenter in a sparsely populated area, 40 km from the nearest town, in the country ranked 12th in terms of the Human Development Index.
  4. Tropical storm Josephine which had a maximum recorded wind speed of 100 km/h and the following track:
Tropical Storm Josephine
 
Geography Activities

Classifying Natural Hazards Task

 

Cut out the 'Hazards Classification Slips'. Try to classify all the hazards by the following themes:

  • Geophysical process [Tectonic, Geomorphological, Atmospheric, Biological, Not Geophysical]
  • Duration of impact [Instant, seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, decades]
  • Length of forewarning [Seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, decades]
  • Spatial occurrence [At one extreme global ...]
  • Scale of impact [Local, Regional or International]
  • Frequency [between events of a similar magnitude]
  • Areal extent [size of the area covered by the hazard]

For each theme you can have as many categories as you wish.

 
Geography Activities

What is a Disaster?

Flames of Disaster
100 Dead
 

The definition that is provided by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction:

“A disaster is a sudden, calamitous event that causes serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society causing widespread human, material, economic and/or environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own level of resources."

For a disaster to be entered into the database of the UN's International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, at least one of the following criteria must be met:

  • a report of 10 or more people killed
  • a report of 100 people affected
  • a declaration of a state of emergency by the relevant government
  • a request by the national government for international assistance
 
Geography Activities

What is a Disaster? Task

Which of the following event were/are disasters? Explain your answer for each event.
 
BBC News

UK hit by strong gales and storms

In Downpatrick, a motorist died when a tree fell on her car while Northern Ireland Electricity says 15,000 homes are without power. [18 January 2009]
BBC News

Call for Afghan 'Berlin airlift'

A combination of light spring rains, a summer drought, poor irrigation, low crop yields in the north and north-west of the country and rising world food prices is said to have left a third of Afghans - an estimated 8.4 million people - facing possible famine. [31 October 2008]
BBC News

Rare hurricane hits east Canada

Hurricane Kyle has made landfall in eastern Canada, the country's hurricane service reports. It struck near Yarmouth on the southern tip of Nova Scotia province, before being downgraded to a tropical storm. There are no reports of damages. [29 September 2008]
BBC News

Buncefield explosion: One year on

The clean-up of 26 million litres of stored contaminated water used to fight the blaze, as well as ground water contaminated by diesel entering a borehole, remains a concern. The Health Protection Agency concluded there was no evidence of a public health risk from the plume - either as deposits or on air quality. [11 December 2006]
BBC News

Liberia worms swarm 'emergency'

Liberia's president has declared a state of emergency in response to a plague of crop-destroying army worms. Some 400,000 residents in 80 villages had been affected, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said. [27 January 2009]
BBC News

Chinese reveal child quake toll

China says 5,335 schoolchildren died or remain missing after last year's devastating Sichuan earthquake. When the earthquake struck, a disproportionate number of school buildings collapsed. Chinese officials made the announcement days before the 12 May anniversary of the disaster that killed up to 90,000 people. [7 May 2009]
 
Geography Review

Something to think about ...

When is a disaster not a disaster?

Why does it take ten deaths before an event is a disaster?

Can there be an objective definition of a disaster?

 
Geography Review
Homework

Review and Homework Task

Hazard Characteristics
 

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