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Choose either the Philippines or California and explain why it is considered a disaster hotspot. (15 marks)

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´╗┐Exam Question Choose either the Philippines or California and explain why it is considered a disaster hotspot. (15 marks) A disaster hotspot is a place where they not only have a high vulnerability, but also a number of different hazards (e.g. hydrometeorological and geomorphic ones). The Philippines is vulnerable to disasters because they?re a lower-middle income country, with majority of the people living in poverty and near the coast. This implies that they lack sufficient infrastructure to protect them against hazards and that many of these people are involved in agriculture (subsistence farmers) in order to generate some income. In addition, the Philippines is a densely populated area as the country average is 240 people per km2, and the megacities population can go up to 2000 people per km2 so their main loss is of mortality rather than economic loss. ...read more.


Steep relief and many hills mean landslides and further lahars are sometimes a result from earthquakes. Deforestation and land degradation has lead to increased vulnerability for secondary hazards i.e. landslides and also flash flooding during typhoons. Deforestation increases the magnitude of flooding because plants and trees hold the soil together and absorb water in their roots so reduce the amount of water in the soil. The vegetation causes intervention so the water doesn?t flow all the way down the hills. Removing vegetation, by slash and burn, however causes flash flooding to be increased. The climate in the Philippines is very moist and they live in a very warm climate with warm ocean temperatures above 26 degrees. ...read more.


For majority of Philippians, drought does therefore act as a disaster whenever it does come. Tsunami?s also act as a disaster because the bulk of the Philippines is exposed to coast because it?s made up of many islands. Tsunamis are also a tertiary hazard after a volcanic eruption because they can follow up from an earthquake. As the islands are scattered, the risk is reduced though. The Philippines meet the criteria for being a disaster hotspot, and the government have recently established organisations to try and forecast certain hazards such as landslides. New structural programmes of defence are now also being planned to help people face the huge range of hazards they have to face. They hope to reduce their vulnerability, as they are aware that the hazard number cannot be changed. ...read more.

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