The potential outcomes of increased mobility in

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The potential outcomes of increased mobilityin relation to disastersare not only related to increased economic exposure and vulnerability. As the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome(SARS) scare has shown, the increased mobility of people can spatially enlarge the scale of epidemics, or may generate new forms of diseases through mutation in different environments, requiring a new understanding of disaster risk management. Despite its negative impacts on global vulnerability and exposure, the globalization process has also helped shape new disaster risk management opportunities. The informational revolution facilitated the global transference of technologies and knowledge. This possibility helped researchers and practitioners exchange ideas and data on disasters and disaster reduction techniques. In addition to enabling better monitoring and forecasting of certain types of disasters such as hurricanes, new informational technologies have also enhanced the early detection of medium-term climatic conditions like El Niño; and are expected to contribute to warnings of long-term hazards associated with climate change (UN/ISDR 2004, 1:358-83).Rapid spread of global communications and the formation of mass media have also had significant impacts on the announcement of disasters in real time, and assisting in the delivery of international aid for emergency response efforts together with transportation systems. These beneficial impacts of contemporary globalization indicate that globalization need not be a cause of vulnerability, but can help provide opportunities for the enhancement of lives of millions of people. On the other hand, countries that were left behind in the global economy, also had a “poverty of connections,”10and could not take advantage of the technological developments and what they offer for disaster risk reduction. 2.3Quantitative Analysis 2.3.1 Regional Polarization and Disaster Statistics 10According to Stephen Graham (2002), “poverty of connections” refers to the digital divide that puts people and groups in “a subordinate position,” undermining them “to tap into and benefit from dominant and technological and economical processes.”
11 The following graphs compare the distribution of the share of number and impacts of natural disasters in the so-called “triad” region, consisting of North America11, European Union countries, and the Asia-Pacific12region, with that of rest of the world for the periods of 1960-1979 (pre-globalization) and 1980-1999 (globalization). Fig.2.1.Distribution of Disasters and Disaster Impacts (1960-1979)13Data source: EM-DAT: The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database. - Université Catholique de Louvain - Brussels Belgium Fig.2.2.Distribution of Disasters and Disaster Impacts (1980-1999) Data source: EM-DAT: The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database. - Université Catholique de Louvain - Brussels Belgium 11Including United States and Canada 12Including Japan, Hong Kong (China), Taiwan and Korea 13All graphs in this paper are prepared by the author using raw data from the sources indicated in the methodology.

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