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The Effects Which A Natural Disaster Can Have On A Country

1223 words - 5 pages

A natural disaster is an event caused by natural destructive factors, which can be further divided into either climatic disasters such as floods and tornados, or geological disasters such as earthquakes, which consequently lead to great physical damage or life loss (Bankoff, 2004, 56). When defining ‘natural’ literally, it may seem that natural disasters are independent from human activities, however, with the process of civilization, man-made factors are having an increasingly greater influence on nature (Sandler, 1996, 124). While the term ‘natural hazard’ may merely refer to the event itself such as an earthquake or a flood, ‘natural disaster’ emphasizes human involvement, which is the impact of ‘natural hazard’. For instance, the eruption of a volcano in uninhabited areas is considered as a natural hazard rather than a natural disaster due to the lack of human involvement (Bankoff, 2004, 79). This essay will analyze the effects of natural disasters from the following three aspects. Firstly, natural disasters may lead to physical destructions, including human loss, which may take years to recover. Secondly, impacts on national economy as well as global economy may be produced in both short-run and long-run. Finally, psychosocial effects such as signs of anxiety and depression may be caused among the country’s citizens.

Firstly, financial and human loss will be directly caused by natural disasters, as well as other long-term issues, for example, homelessness. Recorded by the United States Geological Survey, at 00:58:53 coordinated universal time on the 26th of December, 2004, the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, the third largest earthquake in human history, occurred, with a moment magnitude of 9.1-9.3, which consequently lead to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami (2005, internet). The United States Geological Survey announced that 227,898 citizens of fourteen countries lost their life in the earthquake, among which Indonesia was the most affected country with the death toll of 170,000 (2005, internet). According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, in India, 650,000 residents were displaced and the number of refugees was estimated to be 380,000 (2008, internet). The most recent catastrophic natural disaster is the Great East Japan earthquake occurred on 11th March. The updated death toll by the Japanese National Police Agency is 14,616. Although human loss during the earthquake and tsunami seems not as great as in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, the Great East Japan earthquake has caused considerable destructions. Approximately 190,000 buildings were destroyed to a range of degrees, as well as roads, public transport junctions, railways and dams. In addition, the earthquake has caused damage to the nuclear power plant, which is considered to be a great threat to the surrounding residents (Japanese National Police Agency, 2011, internet). The cost of the disaster estimated by the World band might be as high as $235 billion, while the Japan’s...

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