The nature of the society and its level of development in a subjected area is an important factor which affects the vulnerability of the area to hazard events. This is mostly due to the fact that LEDCs usually do not have enough capital to invest in “up-to-date” prediction and monitoring technology, and with the absence of effective early-warning systems, people may not know when or how to evacuate effectively when a hazard event occurs. LEDCs may also not have the necessary education system to be able to educate and teach their citizens to understand the geography of the area; the lack of understanding and public awareness in that field increases the vulnerability of that area. LEDCs also have a less proficient economy with most of their population living on agriculture, and many of the poor do not have insurance cover, making them more vulnerable to suffering great losses during a hazard event. Most of these factors which dictate the level of vulnerability of an area depends on the governmental system of the area - whether the government is committed enough to prepare for an impending disaster should there be a hazard in that area. One of these factors is the readiness of emergency personnel, as the more ready the emergency personnel is to deal with such a crisis, the better prepared the country is to face the disaster, the less vulnerable the people and area are to damage. Also, governments who impose strict building codes and regulations to earthquake proof buildings are reducing level of vulnerability as well, as the stricter and better enforcement of building regulations, the less vulnerable the community. However, although the above factors do determine the vulnerability of an area, the two natural factors, namely magnitude or frequency of the event are essentially unavoidable, affecting both LEDCs and MEDCs.
These factors are further exemplified in the case studies of the Haiti Earthquake which occurred in January of 2010, as well as the Fukushima earthquake, which occurred in April 2011. To remove the two natural factors from this discussion, the magnitudes of both earthquakes measure 7.0 on the Richter scale, and the focus of both earthquakes was 13km from the epicentre. Both of these earthquakes also occurred during the day, leaving people more reaction time to run or perform evacuation measures. However, a huge difference can be seen in their impacts. For the Haiti earthquake, the death toll was up to 230, 000 and 250, 000 were injured. 1 million people were left homeless becuase 60% of pre-existing houses were unsafe. However, in the case of the Fukushima Earthquake, the death toll remained at only 4 and only 10 were injured. There was even no major structural damage, and more of the damage that occurred was mostly due to landslides and scattered rocks along hillsides. Pre-existing buildings were also already resistant to earthquake shaking. The differing degree of damage is tremendous, and this was due to the fact that Haiti was a LEDC while Japan was an MEDC. Haiti was not prepared for such a disaster at all - there was no evacuation route, no evacuation warning or warning systems, and there was a lack of public awareness about such earthquakes. However, in the case of Fukushima, they were prepared - an evacuation route and evacuation warnings were present, the public was fully aware of earthquakes, the structures were already earthquake-proofed, and there were emergency drills carried out frequently. The level of preparedness of each community was a huge factor in determining the vulnerability of both communities - and evidently, Haiti was more vulnerable to the earthquake than Fukushima was. Haiti was also at a disadvantage in terms of vulnerability due to other factors - Haiti had no ready emergency and rescue team to aid in the rescue of trapped victims, compared to Fukushima, which had frequent evacuation drills and had a extremely ready emergency and rescue team. The communication system Fukushima used was extremely fast as well in notifying the relevant authorities as well as to warn the citizens, however Haiti did not have such a privilege and did not have technology readily available for them to use.
This case study helps us realize that by having a higher economic status; being willing and able to afford as well as provide higher technology to prepare the area well for such a hazard event helps in many ways to reduce vulnerability of each area to such hazard events. Evidently, MEDCs, due to their higher economic status, have more of such privileges and therefore are less vulnerable to such hazard events, however it does not mean that the MEDCs do not suffer damage as well.
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This essay does review the vulnerability of LEDCs in comparison to MEDCs. It gives a good generic overview which is then explored in more depth through two relevant case studies. This answer would benefit from greater use of paragraphs. 4 stars