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Explain why the same type of hazard may have different impacts.

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  • Essay length: 1848 words
  • Submitted: 15/12/2002
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AS and A Level Hazardous Environments

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Explain why the same type of hazard may have different impacts.

A hazard is a geophysical process that affects people or the environment. The environment in which people live in is one of the main ways that determine how much hazards will affect its inhabitants. Obviously, the strength or magnitude of the hazard will affect the impact upon people but it depends on the environment in which the hazard occurs. In this essay I will use the examples of earthquakes and volcanoes as I feel that these are more suited to the question than other hazards. It has been said that earthquakes do not cause deaths, buildings do. This is true in that if you experience an earthquake in the middle of an open field; you will not be affected as much as the same strength of earthquake that occurred in Kobe 1995. For my essay I will use the following case studies:

* Kobe earthquake, Japan 1995

* Mexico City earthquake, Mexico 1985

* Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption, The Philippines 1991

* Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption, USA 1980

The scale of impact that the hazard produces depends upon many factors, including

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