1c-Preventing and Mitigating Natural Hazards

1c-Preventing and Mitigating Natural Hazards - WORLD...

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WORLD METEOROLOGICAL DAY 2006 PREVENTING AND MITIGATING NATURAL DISASTERS Message from Mr. M. Jarraud Secretary-General of WMO Every year on 23 March, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and its 187 Members, as well as meteorological communities worldwide celebrate World Meteorological Day. For the year 2006, the theme “ Preventing and mitigating natural disasters ” was chosen for the celebration. The choice is made in recognition of the fact that 90 percent of all natural hazards are related to weather, climate and water and of the vital role played by WMO and the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in all countries in contributing to prevention, preparedness and mitigation of natural disasters, as well as those arising from environmental emergencies. The year 2005 was marked by prolonged droughts in parts of Africa, parts of Europe and Asia, Australia and Brazil. Heavy rainfall, exceptional in some cases, caused extensive flooding in various parts of the world. A record number of devastating hurricanes was observed in the Atlantic Ocean. This year the Antarctic ozone hole was the third largest ever recorded after the years 2000 and 2003. Also, greater ozone depletion took place in the Arctic. The year 2004 had already been earmarked as very severe in terms of natural disasters. In particular, on 26 December 2004, devastation by the Indian Ocean tsunami reached an exceptional level in terms of human loss, number of countries affected and the magnitude of subsequent response-and-recovery efforts. During the 10-year period 1992-2001, natural disasters worldwide were linked to more than 622.000 deaths and affecting over 2 billion people. Economic losses from hydrometeorological disasters were estimated at US$ 446 billion, thus accounting for about 65 per cent of the total losses due to all natural disasters for the period. The economic impact of natural disasters has shown a marked upward trend over the last several decades. Additionally, developing countries, especially the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are more affected by these hazards, thereby increasing their vulnerability and setting back their economic and social growth, sometimes by decades. For WMO, preventing and mitigating natural disasters is a top priority. For example, in the context
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This note was uploaded on 02/19/2011 for the course GEOG 222 taught by Professor Ngandchan during the Fall '08 term at CUHK.

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1c-Preventing and Mitigating Natural Hazards - WORLD...

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