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Natural Hazards.

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Natural Hazards. Using examples define a natural hazard. Give a detailed description of how physical hazards are classified. Using a named physical hazard show and describe response which are made in order to manage the impact of the hazard, further explain how the damage of the hazard is measured. When defining a natural hazard there are many factors to take into consideration, this is because a natural hazard may take many different forms, effect different people more than others and occur in different areas around the world. Typically a Natural hazard may be said to be 'normal functions of the environment that affect all living organisms'. However for a natural hazard to become a natural disaster or a catastrophe its occurrence is related to the loss of possessions, life or social disruption. For example if a volcano erupted, as recently (Italy - mid-august), and threatened human life or the destruction of infrastructure then this natural hazard is seen as a serious natural hazard - a natural disaster. However as geographers we know there are constant on-going eruptions deep in the Atlantic Ocean, but because these rarely threaten human life or infrastructure they are not looked upon as disasters but as hazards. ...read more.


This classification has come under fire due to its lack of consideration for the location of the hazard and how that may alter loss of money values and also the importance of life to say a whole village! However, as a Physical geographer, we need to strive to classify hazards in a more complex, comprehensive and relative way, I believe this is done through the breakdown and comparison of each hazard on a Table as such in fig 21.1 (The Global Casino - Nick Middleton) This table breaks down the umbrella of HAZARD into two subsections, Geophysical and Biological and then into a further more two subsections. Under Geophysical is Lithosphere and Hydrosphere and under Biological are Atmosphere and Biosphere. Under these classifications each hazard can be given its individual "sphere of influence" which can be applied to the umbrella breakdown of HAZARD and therefore shows a comparative, understandable and worthwhile classification of hazards. The largest sphere of influence belongs to that of 'meteorite' as it may affect any of the geophysical or biological factors. Amongst the smallest are Infestations or fog because there effect is very specialised and specific to one aspect of the Biological or Geophysical breakdown. ...read more.


Society - If a society or country's well-being is at stake then they may decide to put into plan heavy duty preventive or effect management in order to prevent or manage with the fire as well as possible. They may also decide to raise international awareness, attempt to gain international AID or even attempt to evacuate inhabitants to neighbouring countries. They may also put into place after measures in order to rebuild the society and/or train the members of the society into more effective prevention or management for future fires. Usually the measurement of the damage of forest fires is either in terms of how much forest has actually been burnt, loss of lives, loss of infrastructure and also by the cost both to society and to those involved. The damage caused is sometimes looked upon as a positive effect of the fire as it helps people respect and understand nature, provides an opportunity for those involved (from individuals through to societies) to learn how to deal with such disasters and also helps some involve realise what may be achieved when people work together. I have also included a table that I have adapted from table 21.2 that shows possible adjustments to the hazard of forest fires. ...read more.

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