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Explain why either the environmental or the economic effects of hazards vary spatially.

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Introduction

Explain why either the environmental or the economic effects of hazards vary spatially. The economic effects of a hazard include its effects on the wealth, industry and employment of a country. I am structuring this essay so three different hazards will be explored in both an MEDC and an LEDC. The economic effects of each case study will be examined, to establish the extent and severity of the economic damage and the major cause of this. It is expected that the more vulnerable nations, due to their lack of wealth, will suffer a large economic impact from a hazard event due to a lack of preparedness. A more wealthy country is likely to have more advanced technology and the ability for more accurate hazard prediction, and therefore suffer less damage to the economy. Due to the north, south divide nature of economically and less economically developed countries, it is expected that the southern hemisphere will experience the majority of severe disasters with large economic impacts in particular at plate boundaries. ...read more.

Middle

20 000 people died, and 40 000 people were left homeless, this is significantly due to the badly constructed buildings. Few buildings were earthquake proof, as they were poorly constructed out of poor-quality materials and therefore could not withstand the earthquake. The area worse hit was part of Turkey's industrial heartland, which suffered greatly and therefore would have had a detrimental effect on the country's economy. Disruption occurred mostly within small companies, as many shopkeepers were unable to re open for business as many former customers migrated to less earthquake prone regions. Following this the mayor of Izmit (the epicentre region) declared the area in economic crisis due to the lack of productivity. The death toll of the Kobe earthquake Japan 1995 was considerably less than that of the turkey earthquake at 6000 fatalities. Due to the fact that Japan is an MEDC there are more finances available and therefore the economic impact of the disaster is less than in turkey. ...read more.

Conclusion

Large settlements in the south, for example Plymouth with a population of about 4000 had to evacuated, and 1200 people left the island since the eruption. The affected area was largely agricultural, due to the fertile soil around the volcano, and the eruption totally disrupted production affecting the islands ability to trade and therefore their economy. The huge loss of population from the island also had a detrimental effect on the economy. It can be seen that LEDCs tend to suffer a greater economic impact due to their lack of preparedness to there hazard events, whereas MEDCs in most cases suffer less economic loss due to the fact they have the funds to provide protection, for example secure earthquake proof buildings. This is the general pattern however other factors must be taken into account for example land use, in turkey the area affected by the earthquake was the "industrial heartland" and so the effects of this earthquake would have been significantly lower had it struck an agricultural area. Duration and magnitude of the hazard also need to be taken into account when comparing the economic impacts of hazards spatially. ...read more.

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