MidtermND - Introduction Hazard: potential threat to humans...

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Introduction Hazard : potential threat to humans and their welfare Risk : probability of loss as result of a particular natural event Vulnerability : potential loss or degree of loss from the event Disaster : hazardous event affecting a community in a way that essential social structure and functions are disrupted Prediction and forecasting : statement that a particular natural hazard will occur with a given probability during a certain time frame in specified geographic area. Mitigation : efforts to reduce or minimize the effects of natural hazards on a community. People’s reaction to crises and disasters: - Anger-scientists, officials - Frustration- if event is long lived - Skepticism- fostered by the media - Denial - Suspicion - Refusal to evacuate- people feel safest in their familiar surroundings Scientific understanding: Occam’s Razor: the best hypothesis is the one with the fewest independent assumptions Deterministic terms: when an event occurs, there’s an effect. If we know the cause, then we learn the effect. This only works for events that occur often. This approach can’t really be used because there are many different, complex variables involves. IE: sea surface temp, humidity, pressure cells around hurricane etc. Main reason we have trouble understanding is because we are not aware of what is going on inside the hurricane- scientists have not yet discovered those processes. There are a number of variables that must be considered and since they are not all understood, we use probabilities. This is a Statistical Approach. Recurrence Interval: average time interval between the occurrence of two even of a given magnitude. Problems with this: Large events don’t occur often, therefore the historic data is very poor. Natural causes, human intervention, both. The interval can change- fundamentals can change, levees can be built, people start paving over more land and urbanization is more rapid. This can change the baseline of the historic record, so what happened in the past isn’t a good estimate of what may happen in the future
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Hurricanes  Look for a clear, well defined eye, bright white clouds surrounding the eye.
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Hurricanes  The cone (white area) captures the potential for the storm within the area. As time progresses, the cone increases in every direction, which represents the uncertainty of where the hurricane will travel. Concern: - Human lives lost (300,000 in Bangladesh 1973) - Property damage (Katrina 81 billion) Most deadly hurricanes: India and Bangladesh Why? Because they are more dense, a lot more people are affected Bhola Cyclone 1970 - in Bangladesh was East Pakistan at the time Killed up to 500,000 people Outcome: disease, inland flooding, getting rid of bodies became a huge sanitation concern, broke down the infrastructure (roads etc) The cyclone had a bit of an impact on the separation. It helped move forward to what ended up in a civil war and the separation of east and west Pakistan to Pakistan and Bangladesh. ** Hurricane Katrina had a huge impact on the way people perceived the government.
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MidtermND - Introduction Hazard: potential threat to humans...

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