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Areas liable to be affected by natural hazards are often heavily populated

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Introduction

"Areas liable to be affected by natural hazards are often heavily populated" Densely populated areas often exist in areas which have a large source of natural resources. I.e. coastal areas, floodplains, volcanoes are often heavily populated due to the natural resources or the relief of the land and the fertility of the soil in the surrounding areas. These areas though are often the most vulnerable to natural hazards such as flooding, volcanic eruptions and wild fires. This essay will examine critically the advantages and disadvantages of living in such areas and why people live in such places. Gloucestershire in England has made headlines recently because of the recent flash floods. The people who live there have expressed their anger at the lack of provisions that have been made by the government as a whole and the local councils and constituencies who deal with the floods both with the defences and the fact that their houses were built on the flood plains in the first place. From May to July 22nd, 387.6mm of rain fell across England and Wales, more than twice the average. This brought on widespread flooding which affected about 500,000 houses nationwide and is estimated to cost �2 billion to repair and renovate houses. ...read more.

Middle

In pre-industrial Britain, large rivers provided a source of water and land nearby with rich soils for agriculture. Large catches of fish such as salmon could be taken from rivers like the Thames. The rivers also allowed important transportation links for trade to develop. During the Industrial Revolution the rivers became even more important to site factories and provide water for processing. The rivers could be used to generate power and as a coolant for coal-fired power stations. Today, the flat land of floodplains is valuable for the construction of homes. This type of land is attractive to property developers because it is cheaper to build on flatter ground. It seems the economic benefits of living and working on floodplains outweighs the risks and potential costs of damage from floods. The risk is becoming more likely to strike and the 2007 floods show just how devastating they can be by destroying and damaging thousands of businesses and homes. Further away from home, Japan is an extremely hazardous country as it is prone to dramatic natural disasters. It is shaken by earthquakes, swamped by tsunami, scorched by volcanoes, flattened by typhoons, crushed by avalanches and mud slides and drowned by river and coastal flooding. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, from the two areas I have studied it is obvious that people are prepared to risk living and setting up businesses in areas that are liable to be affected by natural hazards because these areas happen to be the best areas in terms of geography to make more money. E.g. factories are often situated near rivers for waste disposal and a coolant for the machines, Flatter land is often used for housing in more developed countries and agriculture in less developed countries because it is easier and cheaper to build and farm on, People risk farming under volcanoes just because the soil is more fertile etc. It seems that if people carry on living and working in potentially hazardous areas then it is up to the governments of those countries to restrict where people live or put in place disaster prediction and prevention schemes to protect people in cases of natural disasters and the governments need to take action in a changing world to make sure that the effects of a natural hazard are as limited as they possibly can be like Japan is doing now with there springy building and Britain is starting to do by building more flood defences. ?? ?? ?? ?? Daniel Owen Geography essay ...read more.

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