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Natural Disasters

Natural Disasters


Natural disaster is refers to event that is triggered by natural hazards or natural phenomena (Vakis, 2006, p.2). Today world is facing extreme natural disasters frequently, and it is very much evident that not only the natural phenomena but society is also the reason behind these disasters. According to James Wolfensohn and Didier Cherpitel, rapid population growth, environmental degradation, urbanization, and global climate change are all contributing in increasing the magnitude and frequency of disasters, and their most deadly effects are on the living environment and lives of people (Vakis, 2006, p.2). Nuclear power plants, hydropower plants, fossil fuels, wind creation and some other energy creation sources are recognized as major sources that are negatively impacting our environment (natural resources) and resulting in natural disasters like global warming, acid rain, earthquakes, floods, damage to trees and soil, destruction of buildings (Bedi et al, 2000, n.d). Thus the economic and social factors' complex interplay in the environment is increasing the vulnerability of environment and people (Smith, 2009, p.8). The natural disasters world is experiencing today are not only the caused by natural phenomena but also occurring due to human measures.

Among such disasters two most deadly were Sichuan earthquake and Haiti earthquake. Sichuan earthquake was occurred on May 12, 2008, of 8.0-magnitude in Wenchuan, Sichuan Province. The earthquake was so severe and unexpected that it shocked the world (Xiao, 2012, p.1). The instant consequences of this disaster were devastating; around 80,000 Chinese died brutally in this earthquake. Early research suggested that the cause of this earthquake was natural phenomena, however, later on experts in the field of earth science observed that this earthquake was caused by Zipingpu reservoir (Xiao, 2012, p.1). As far as Haiti earthquake is concerned, it was occurred in January 12, 2010 and was of 7.0-magnitude. It hit Haiti, collapsing buildings in the capital: Port-au-Prince. It was also a deadly earthquake that led to more than 200,000 deaths, more than 1000 injured, and left around 1,000,000 people homeless. According to the study of Inter-American Development Bank, estimated total cost of this disaster was between eight billion and fourteen billion dollars (NYT, 2012, n.d). Thus, Haiti earthquake is also refers to as the one the most devastating disasters and the cause behind this is said to be the natural phenomena. This paper discusses and compares the roles of nature and society in the subsequent impacts of natural disasters i.e. Sichuan earthquake and Haiti earthquake.


Roles of Nature and Society in Natural Disasters

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), significant increases in the temperature around the world have been generated by human induced factors. Where these factors result in enhancement in the rate of sea level rise, enhancement in glacial, permafrost, ice melt in Arctic and Antarctica, increase in heat rate, disease incident and ranging change, and several other severe as well as dangerous outcomes (Smith, 2009, p.8). Therefore, it can be stated that the role plays by nature is majorly influenced today by the role ...
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