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The number of fatalities that result from volcanic and seismic natural hazards is related to the level of development in the country in which they occur. Discuss.

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The number of fatalities that result from volcanic and seismic natural hazards is related to the level of development in the country in which they occur. Discuss. A natural hazard is an event, linked to the physical environment, which is considered to have a negative effect on humans. The event is also seen to be unpreventable by humans. However, an event such as a volcanic eruption that has no effect on human beings is considered a natural phenomenon rather than a natural hazard. It is the presence of humans, in an area that such an event occurs, that allows it to be termed a hazard. Although humans cannot prevent these occurrences, they have a role to play in the event's extremity as a natural hazard. For example, volcanic eruptions have been present throughout history, but it is not until settlements are built on the rich soils they form that they become a hazard. This essay I will evaluate the extent to which the level of development in a country affects the number of fatalities caused by volcanic and seismic natural hazards. A volcanic natural hazard is a volcanic eruption. Volcanoes are formed at convergent and divergent plate boundaries and also at hot spots. At convergent plate boundaries eruptions tend to be from a vent, as oceanic crust is forced beneath another plate, the extremities of heat and pressure leads to the partial melting of the crust which is being submerged. ...read more.


Sicily has a population of 5,050,486, 25% of this population lives on Etna's slopes. In 2002-3 major eruptions created a huge ash plume which deposited material 600km away in Libya. The eastern flanks of the volcano shifted 2m damaging housing. In 2006-7 major lava fountaining occurred, with ash emissions. In May 2008 earthquakes accompanied the opening of a fissure and the eruption of lava flows that travelled 6km. Due to Etna's regular eruptions throughout history the people who inhabit its slopes are experienced in managing the eruptions, there if often little government intervention unless a densely populated area is threatened for example Zafferana by the lava flow in 1992. In 2002 dams of soil and rock were installed to protect the tourist centre. The Italian Army's earthmoving equipment was used to block and divert lava flows. The government immediately made allowances for $8m in financial assistance and tax breaks for villagers. Due to it's frequent eruptions, Etna has been monitored more closely than Chaiten. It has been monitored by the INGV for 20 years by remote sensors. Data is continuously recorded and observations made to evaluate volcanic activity levels and issue warnings. Many other measurements are also taken so that warning may be given as early as possible. In 2002 the eruption destroyed the tourist station at Piano Provenzana and part of another. ...read more.


Secondary threats emerged from the barrier dams, the soldiers solved this by using explosives to divert the water into earthquake damaged towns. The disaster was too larger for the Chinese government to deal with alone, The Chinese government allocated 95 billion yuan in aid relief and foreign and domestic donations yielded 55 billion yuan. Volcanic natural hazards have in the past caused a high fatality rate, but in recent times in both MEDCs and LEDCs it has generally been low, due to advancement in prediction techniques and equipment and improved evacuation plans being made available to both. In relation to seismic natural hazards Iran and China both had a high death toll though the MEDC (China) had a higher death toll, the earthquake had a greater magnitude and the area in which it occurred was more densely populated. That the buildings in China had not been made earthquake resistant shows that a country being an MEDC does not mean that all areas will benefit. That the earthquake was not predicted can be attributed to the low reliability of prediction methods, there is a chance that if it had been predicted appropriate areas would have been evacuated and the number of fatalities would have significantly decreased. To conclude, these case studies show little relationship between the number of fatalities caused by seismic and volcanic natural hazards and the level of development in a country. Sources of information: http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/volcano-profile/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotspot_(geology) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquake#Naturally_occurring_earthquakes http://www.extremescience.com/calderas.htm http://geology.com/volcanoes/etna/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/education/int/geog/envhaz/volcanoes/prediction/index.shtml http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Etna#Recent_Eruptions http://geology.com/volcanoes/chaiten/ Text book Google images http://www.nextearthquake.com/ http://geobytesgcse.blogspot.com/2007/01/case-study-of-earthquake-in-ledc-bam.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_Bam_earthquake http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2003/dec/27/iran.naturaldisasters4 http://www.edu4hazards.org/earthquake/earthquake.html http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/asia_pacific/2008/china_quake/default.stm ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

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A very well evidenced essay, though at times lacking focus on the question. The case studies used were relevant and would benefit from further linkage back to the question posed. Some small tweaks would make this an excellent answer.
4 stars

Marked by teacher Molly Reynolds 07/08/2013

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