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The hazards presented by volcanic activity have the greatest impact on the poorest members of the worlds population. To what extent do you agree with this view?

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Introduction

The hazards presented by volcanic activity have the greatest impact on the poorest members of the world's population. To what extent do you agree with this view? Volcanic hazards include the primary effects of lava, lahars, and pyroclastic flows as well as the respiratory issues caused by inhalation of ash and gas. Larger, more ashy eruptions can cause worldwide effects, modern day eruptions halting and diverting commercial flights, but also causing temporary climate change and potential famines. Volcanic activity occurs in developed and undeveloped areas of the world, dictated by plate boundaries and weaknesses that produce hotspots, such as the Pacific Ring of Fire and Hawaii. Despite this, poorer populations such as those in Indonesia receive high frequencies of volcanic activity that may shrink their economies and make repair and development more difficult, potentially implementing a vicious cycle of social and economic problems caused by poor housing and transport preventing the population from working to repair its economy. ...read more.

Middle

at the time of Chaiten's unexpected VEI 5 eruption in May 2008- having not erupted for over 9000 years and being in a remote area it was not actively monitored. The initial ash plume forced 5000 people to evacuate their homes and flights to be diverted. The event itself was not sufficiently monitored by Chilean teams and the USGS was brought in to report properly, revealing that environmental damage was brought by lahars and ash fall isolating smaller communities and heavy ash blocking rivers, causing groundwater contamination, and damaging up to 90% of the nearest town. 13.6% of the country's labour force is employed in agriculture, so the effects of asphyxiation on animals were stark. Despite this there was only one recorded death (from secondary causes) and the government effectively implemented exclusion zones and provided money to affected families and small businesses. The lack of monitoring was aided by the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, so the relatively undeveloped country is now well prepared for the future. ...read more.

Conclusion

it has produced much more dangerous and explosive eruptions, destroying cities such as Catania more than once, and more recently destroying Mascali in two days. Despite this, good planning and evacuation mean that only 77 deaths have been recorded as a result of Etna's centuries of eruptions. Technology to predict volcanic eruptions has yet to be perfected, but can still make a big difference to the effects of a volcanic eruption (but ironically technology itself, particularly air travel, is often largely affected). Therefore poorer countries without the funds or knowledge to carry out predictions are at a higher risk of suffering due to volcanic eruptions. Poorer countries are also less likely to have restrictions on exclusion areas and planning permission, resulting in many people living close to fertile volcanoes without proper roads or communications that would allow for evacuation. Recovery periods are also lengthened when a country lacks funds, and countries in debt may struggle to receive sufficient aid from other countries. ?? ?? ?? ?? Freya Gilmore 13B ...read more.

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A good review of several appropriate case studies. However this essay does not clearly link the evidence back to the question posed. To improve, it needed to make links in each paragraph to explain how it was supporting the answer to the question.

Marked by teacher Molly Reynolds 08/04/2013

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