• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the relative importance of the impact of primary and secondary hazards caused by hurricanes and tropical storms

Extracts from this document...


Assess the relative importance of the impact of primary and secondary hazards caused by hurricanes and tropical storms Hurricanes are one of the most destructive natural hazards in terms of frequency and number of deaths. They are a major threat to coastal areas, especially in densely populated low-lying delta areas, most notably Bangladesh; isolated island groups including the Japanese, Philippine and Caribbean islands and densely populated coast lines such as the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricanes are a multiple hazard since loss of life and property damage result from three main hazards of winds, heavy rainfall and storm surges. As well as these primary hazards often areas are vulnerable to further danger from secondary hazards such as, flooding and contamination of water supplies. Hazardous processes of all types can have primary, secondary, and tertiary effects. Primary Effects occur as a result of the process itself. To begin with, high winds during hurricanes are a significant primary hazard as wind speeds have been known to be as high as 320km per hour. ...read more.


More than 21 inches of rain fell at Americus, Georgia causing severe floods in which Thirty-three people drowned with damages exceeding $750 million. Therefore, although the primary hazard of rainfall presents significant danger the secondary hazard of flooding in the case of hurricane Mitch caused far more damage and destruction than the initial hazard. Storm surges also present significant danger causing 90% of deaths from hurricanes and extensive damage to agricultural land by salt contamination from the inflowing sea water. The storm surge results from the piling up of water by wind-driven waves, with their greatest effect on low-lying coasts. However the impact of a surge depends on numerous factors. There are both physical and human variables which play a part in the impact a surge can potentially have on an area. Physical variables such as the height of the tide, wind strength and angle of incidence of the storm are significant when looking at the impact a surge could have. Whereas human variables such as land use, population density and types of building will also be dependable factors. ...read more.


In conclusion it is evident that both primary and secondary hazards present significant dangers resulting in great impact as a result of hurricanes and tropical storms. However, to assess the relative importance of the impact of primary and secondary hazards is questionable. Firstly, it is clear that the type of hazards that occur is dependent on the characteristics of the hurricane, therefore the impact which takes place will depend upon this. Furthermore, the type of hazards that do occur will all be of importance whether they are primary or secondary because they are all likely to have an impact. Although, it is evident that some hazards present a greater danger and these are mainly the primary hazards such as high winds and storm surges. Nevertheless it is apparent that despite heavy rainfall being a primary hazard the secondary hazard of flooding appears to cause far more damage and destruction than the initial hazard as with the case of Hurricane Mitch and tropical storm Alberto. Therefore, on the whole every hazard whether primary or secondary is of great importance, however certain hazards such as high winds, storm surges and flooding present the greatest danger. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Physical Geography section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Physical Geography essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Why do similar kinds of hazards have different impacts in different places?

    5 star(s)

    Money can be spent on the quality of buildings and organisations protecting and supporting people in disasters. Capacity: Infrastructure is well thought out and housing regulations are enforced. Healthcare is to a high standard and available widely. The overall wealth of the country is very high and national and international support is readily available.

  2. Hurricane Mitch: A Path of Destruction

    One third of all buildings in the capital were damaged by the floods. Survivors were still clinging to roof tops a week or more after the storm. Heavy damage was caused along the coastline and off-shore islands by the storm surge and hurricane-force winds.

  1. Was it the human or natural causes that caused the 1998 floods in bangladesh?

    and supplies of fertiliser * For: farmers as they will have something to live or make money on. Villagers would also be happy as they will have something to eat. Government would stand by the proposal as it is not expensive.

  2. Geography- Whistable Coast Project

    This photo shows that people are selecting rocks, which is biased, rather than choosing them at random. Problems with this test are that it was quite biased, in that it was already very likely to carry the dog biscuit in one direction.

  1. With reference to 1 or more detailed case studies explain why most natural hazards ...

    they stand by riverbeds that seem empty and remain empty until the next once-in-a-century storm. The campanian town of Villaggio Coppola di Castelvolturno containing 15 000 inhabitants was created entirely without authorisation. The rising frequency of what Italians call "hydro-geological" disasters in the area, underlines the human cost of such unplanned development.

  2. Explain with examples why some regions and countries are zones that experience multiple hazards

    These plates are not stationary, but move over the earth's mantle in relation to each other. It is the conservative plate margins which cause earthquakes as when the stress which has built up within the crustal rock due to the plates moving past each other, is suddenly released as the rock breaks.

  1. World Issues I.S.U: El Nino

    (Refer to dig 1). The sea surface temperature is about 8 deg C warmer in the west; with cool temperature off South America, due to an upwelling of cold water from deeper levels. El Nino's in the tropical have important consequences for weather around the globe.

  2. Floods of 1998 in Bangladesh and Shrewsbury

    Thousands of homes were marooned by floodwater, experts estimated the total damage bill could exceed �100 million. Shrewsbury, which turned down a �5 million flood defence package four years previous to the floods, suffered its worst flooding in more than 30 years.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work