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Lesson 17: Natural Hazards

Lesson 17: Natural Hazards

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Lesson 17: Natural Hazards

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  1. Lesson 17: Natural Hazards Flooding near Olympia, WA, Dec 2007 Big Question: Why Are More Of Them Becoming Disasters and Catastrophes?

  2. Case Study: Seattle Landslides Rob Harrison photo For more information and photos, see Landslides in Seattle.

  3. Hazards, Disasters, and Catastrophes

  4. Taking a Historical Point of View

  5. Fundamental Concepts Related to Natural Hazards • Hazards are predictable. • Links exist between different hazards and between the physical and biological environment. • Hazards that used to cause mostly disasters are now producing catastrophes. • Risk from hazards can be estimated. • Harmful effects of hazards can be minimized.

  6. Nature’s Dual Role: Performing Natural-Service Functions and Posing Hazards USGS photo

  7. Natural Hazards Are Predictable Mapping and monitoring are keys to spotting danger. Sometimes it is possible to forecast an event and issue a warning

  8. Indonesian tsunami of 2004 An Indian Ocean tsunami warning system would have triggered warnings automatically.

  9. Lessons Learned

  10. Linkages Between Hazards and Between the Physical and Biological Environments Hazards may be linked • Volcanic eruptions often cause landslides. • Mount St. Helens altered landscape and ecosystems.

  11. Hazards That Used to Produce Disasters Now Produce Catastrophes

  12. Hurricane Katrina: One of the WorstNatural Catastrophes in U.S. History

  13. The city’s spread into low areas made it vulnerable to flooding.

  14. The Cost of Hurricane Katrina • Warnings were given, but funds were lacking. • The whole New Orleans area is subsiding.

  15. Estimating Hazard Risk • Determine the probability of an event • Estimate the cost of a disaster • Estimate risk - Scientific or mathematical theory and previous history • Progress in forecasting • Estimate the negative consequences • Determine acceptable risk

  16. Minimizing Adverse Hazard Effects Active versus reactive response: - anticipate hazardous events; - be proactive; and - fast response.

  17. Impact and Recovery from Disasters and Catastrophes Hazardous events may affect society directly and indirectly.

  18. Perceiving, Avoiding, and Adjusting to Hazards • People believe that bad things happen to others, not to themselves. • Laws can protect people who disregard hazards. • Land-use planning to avoid hazards. • Obtaining insurance program • Implementing evacuation plan • Minimizing effects with preparation • Control through engineering

  19. Disasters and Catastrophes in the Future Significant increase likely to continue with human population growth.

  20. Chapter 17: Natural Hazards Flooding near Olympia, WA, Dec 2007 Questions? E-mail us at eschelp@uw.edu