Exploring Why Some Hazards Are Easier To Predict Than Others

1538 words - 6 pages

Exploring Why Some Hazards Are Easier to Predict Than Others

For my essay I will looking at different case studies and reasons why
it appears that some hazards are easier to predict then others. There
were 497 reported natural hazards that took a significant human toll -
between 1974 and 1978. The last five years have seen 1,897 of them, a
nearly three fold increase. Between 1974 and 1978, 195 million people
were killed by such disasters or needed emergency aid; there were 1.5
billion such victims in the past five years.

Natural hazards are happening more often, and having an ever more
dramatic impact on the world in terms of both their human and economic
costs.
While the number of lives lost has declined in the past 20 years -
800,000 people died from natural disasters in the 1990s, compared with
2 million in the 1970s - the number of people affected has risen. Over
the past decade, the total affected by natural hazards has tripled to
2 billion.

According to wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn a hazard is: - a source
of danger; a possibility of incurring loss or misfortune.

Predict is defined as:-The skill of explaining new events based on
observations or information. According to: -
www.dpi.state.wi.us/standards/sciglos.html

When looking at the different types of hazards to injure or kill
people, or costing the most economic price, we consider such hazards
as tsunamis and earthquakes. Recently, In December’s tsunami in the
Indian Ocean, an estimated 250,000-300,000 people were killed or are
still missing, while millions of lives have been upturned, socially
and economically, by its impact. A main reason for the huge death
toll and such high economic damage was that the tsunami hadn’t been
predicted, and the people were not aware of its presence under the
Indian Ocean.

However there was one informed prediction at this time “ Professor
John McCloskey and his colleagues at the University or Ulster
predicted that the damage to the earths crust would trigger the 8.7
magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Sumatra. The
prediction came in a letter to ‘Nature’ published two weeks before the
earthquake happened. In the light of the preliminary data on the
magnitude 8.7 quake, Professor McCloskey was reported as saying that
“it looks like one of our concerns has been realized. We’ll have to
wait to see how bad the outcome is”. With his colleagues he
calculated that the December earthquake ad significantly boosted
seismic stresses and increased the risk of another large earthquake on
the devastated Indonesia island of Sumatra. In their paper Professor
McCloskey and colleagues said that ‘our results indicate unambiguously
that there is a real danger of another earthquake in the region. It
is vital that disaster fatigue does not delay the implementation...

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