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

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

Similar kinds of hazards can cause a different scale of impact in different places due to many factors, the main influence being the countries economy.

A hazard is an unexpected event or process which affects people, causing loss of life or injury, economic damage, disruption to people’s lives or environmental degradation. A natural hazard could become a disaster when is has serious effects such as a large loss of life or property.

The disaster risk has many factors which could increase or decrease the risk. This can be shown in an equation;

Disaster Risk  =  Hazard  X  Vulnerability


Hazard relates to the frequency of the hazard or the scale of the hazard, for example the magnitude of an earthquake, or the height of a wave.

Vulnerability is the conditions determined by physical, social, economic and environmental factors which increase the susceptibility of a community to the impact of hazards.

Capacity is the combination of strengths and resources available that reduce risk.

Hurricane Katrina, 2005, New Orleans.

Hazard: Hurricane Katrina passed east of New Orleans and winds downtown were in the Category 4 range with a minimum central pressure of 902 millibars and frequent intense gusts and tidal surge. 80 percent of New Orleans was flooded, with some parts under 15 feet of water. Rainfall totals exceeded 200-250 mm (8-10 inches) along and to the east of much of Katrina's path. Wind speeds over 140 mph (224 km/h) were recorded at landfall in southeast Louisiana, and just to the left of the eye (where winds are less strong than to the right) winds gusted over 100 mph (160 km/h) in New Orleans.

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Vulnerability: The people of The Gulf Coast are well educated about hurricanes as they are fairly frequent and several organisations are set up to warn and protect people against the hurricanes. Houses are built to with stand the impacts of storms. Roads and cities can be congested at certain times of the day but transport is good and people would be advised not to travel when the storm is due. Due to high economy levels, healthcare is very good and many facilities are available. Money can be spent on the quality of buildings and organisations protecting and supporting people in ...

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An excellent comparison of the different impacts of two similar hazard events. Well written with good use of data. 5 stars