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Lecture 10

GEOG 3RW3 Lecture 10: Geography 3RW3 - Lecture 10 - Natural Hazards and Disasters

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Segei Basik

Geography 3RW3 – Dr. Basik – Page 1 Lecture 10 – Monday January 26 Natural Hazards and Disasters Introduction • Climate and human activity is why we have natural hazards and human disasters • What part of South Asia? • NW Pakistan Initial Concepts • Definitions o Natural hazard: potentially dangerous natural event that becomes extreme in its occurrence o Natural disaster: a dangerous natural event that causes significant damage to life or property o Defined on the basis of its human consequences, not on the phenomenon that caused it • Classification (Origin): o 1) Geophysical Disasters ▪ Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis o 2) Hydrometeorological (Cyclones, Floods, Droughts, Tornadoes) ▪ Mostly, natural disasters are interconnected (figure) ▪ South Asia is extremely vulnerable to a range of natural disasters with varying severity ▪ Between 1990 and 2008 – about 50% of the region’s population were affected by at least one natural disaster ▪ Problem: lack of infrastructure and technological preparedness to predict and mitigate natural disasters – large scale devastation on a periodic basis 1) Geophysical Disasters • 1.1 Volcanoes o Ancient volcanism (Deccan Traps, 60-65 million years ago) o The only active volcano in South Asia – Barren Island* o Explosive Strombolian type, about 2 km wide caldera o Last eruption – 2010 (Geological Survey of India) o Narcondun Island Volcano (The Andaman Islands) = dormant/inactive • 1.2 Earthquakes o Tectonic plates boundaries: subduction zone o High population density – extremely hazardous o Pakistan: ▪ 1945 – Makran coast, M 8.0, 4000 fatalities ▪ 2005 – Islamabad area, M 7.6, 86000 fatalities o India: ▪ 1950 – Assam/Tibet, M 8.6, more than 1500 fatalities ▪ 2001 – Gujarat, M 7.7 more than 20000 fatalities Geography 3RW3 – Dr. Basik – Page 2 • 1.3 Tsunamis o Indian Ocean Tsunami – 12/16/2004 o M 9.15-9.2 = third largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and its largest since the 1964 Alaska earthquake o An earthquake broke 1200 km of fault o The faulting released elastic strains that had accumulated for centuries from ongoing subduction of the India plate beneath the overriding Burma plate o Two hours later – coast of Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh; three and a half hours later – The Maldives o 240,000 – 300,000 fatalities (Sri Lanka – 35,000; India – 18,000; Maldives – 100) o 1.7 displaced people (Sri Lanka – more than 500,000; India – about 640,000
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