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EARTHSC 2GG3 (199)
Lecture 2

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Earth Sciences
Sergei Basik

September 10 2013 Lecture2 Natural Hazards and DisastersInitial Concepts 1 Natural Hazard Natural Disaster and Catastrophe Within nature nothing is constant When a natural event become extreme in its occurrence it poses a danger to human life and property Such an event defines a natural hazardMany natural processes are potentially hazardous A hazard is a natural disaster when the event causes significant damage to life or propertyA natural disaster should be defined on the basis of its human consequences not on the phenomenon that caused it An earthquake is simply an event in nature Even a very strong one is not a disaster unless it causes injury or destroys property Thus an earthquake occurring in an uninhabited area as do scores of major tremors each month is not considered a disasterA natural event is a catastrophe when it kills or injuries large numbers of people or causes extensive property damageCatastrophes China Floods 1931 about 3 000 000 killed Indian Ocean Tsunami 12262004 more than 300 000 killedHaiti Earthquake 01122010more than 222 000 killed Hurricane KatrinaUSA08232005about 1800 killed cost108 billion USD 2 Natural Hazard Related FatalitiesHurricanes Earthquakes and Floods about 90 of all deaths Most about75 fatalities from natural disasters occur in Asia
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