Student, North South University
In this article, the multifaceted linkages between environmental disasters, poverty and vulnerability is investigated through a case study carried out in one of the most remote areas of Bangladesh. Because of its geographical location, Bangladesh is dreadfully susceptible to disasters. The economy of Bangladesh is very unstable and it has one of the highest poverty rates in the world. And yet, after efforts are made for development, especially in the low lying regions, it is often destabilized due to cycles of flash floods, storm surges and cyclones. Afforestation is recommended as a means of embankment in the flood-prone area. To the south-western part of Bangladesh bordering the Bay of Bengal, lays the world's largest single mangrove forest, known as the Sundarbans. This mangrove forest is of great significance in view of the fact that it provides efficient guard to life and property against cyclones and storm surges. The authors therefore place emphasis on coastal afforestation as a sustainable option for protection against the natural hazards.
Abstract: An increasing number of people in the world are living in coastal areas characterized by high geophysical and biophysical sensitivity. Thus, it is necessary to provide coastal planners with tools helping them to design efficient management plans to mitigate the negative effects caused by a growing number of coastal climate hazards that threaten life and property. We calculate an Exposure Index (EI) for the coastline of Mozambique and assess the importance of the natural habitats in reducing exposure to coastal climate hazards. We estimate, for year 2015, an increase of 276% in the number of people affected by a high, or very high, level of exposure when compared to a “Without habitats” scenario, i.e. excluding the protective effects of sand dunes, mangroves, and corals. The results of the EI are supported by the Desinventar Database, which has historic data concerning loss and damage caused by events of geological or weather related origin. These results also indicate where the most exposed areas are thereby providing useful information to design effective coastal plans that increase resilience to climate hazards and erosion in Mozambique.
Pub.: 17 Apr '17, Pinned: 18 Aug '17
Abstract: Sea level rise will pose a significant challenge to coastal settlements throughout the planet and is likely to disproportionately affect poorer communities, which are usually located in particularly vulnerable areas. Coastal areas in Jakarta have been experiencing rapid subsidence in recent years, and could serve to illustrate the likely challenges that future sea level rise could have on such communities. To ascertain the level of awareness about the threats facing them questionnaire surveys were conducted amongst one relatively poor community which is situated below sea level, protected from the sea by a narrow concrete dyke. The results show that while local inhabitants appear to be aware about the hazards they face, many seem to underestimate their severity, possibly partly due to a high frequency of exposure in the recent past. The situation in the area appears to be worsening with each passing year, and it is imperative that remedial actions to halt ground subsidence are carried out and/or important remedial actions to adapt to the ground subsidence are implemented. Failure to do so could eventually result in a significant loss of life in the area.
Pub.: 23 Apr '17, Pinned: 18 Aug '17
Abstract: Motivating household preparedness for earthquakes can be difficult, especially given the infrequent and varying nature of major events. Past research has shown that people's experiences contribute to their beliefs about whether, and how, they should prepare for earthquakes. Direct experience of a disaster can be a strong motivator of preparedness; however, most people will not directly experience a large damaging earthquake in their lifetimes. They instead need to rely on experience of small earthquakes, experience of different disasters, adverse life experiences (e.g. accidents), or vicarious experience. This paper explores the influence of such experiences on earthquake preparedness. The research found that experience has seven different influences on the preparedness process including: prompting thinking and talking; raising awareness and knowledge; helping individuals understand the consequences of a disaster; developing beliefs; developing preparedness; influencing emotions and feelings; and prompting community interaction on disaster issues.
Pub.: 21 Mar '17, Pinned: 18 Aug '17
Abstract: This paper describes the post-earthquake safety assessments conducted by the European Union Civil Protection Team (EUCPT) following the Mw 7.8 Ecuador earthquake of April 16, 2016. The mission of the structural engineers within the EUCPT took place from April 22 to May 7, 2016. Several activities were performed: (i) rapid post-earthquake safety evaluations of buildings, (ii) demolition verification, (iii) safe road access, and (iv) detailed post-earthquake safety assessments of critical buildings. Despite the small number of structural experts, more than 1000 buildings were inspected in Portoviejo and approximately 150 in Pedernales. Several lessons were identified during this mission, including the need of embedding local experts in foreign teams and the importance of having preparedness programs on post-earthquake assessment both for technicians and emergency managers. The efforts of the EUCPT benefitted largely from a Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) pilot project which was underway at the time of the earthquake. While the project was not yet completed, such investment in DRR benefitted the disaster response efforts, even in areas which were not directly involved in the program.
Pub.: 13 Jun '17, Pinned: 18 Aug '17
Abstract: Disasters may have a severe impact on the environment and can generate huge amounts of building waste. The post-disaster recovery and reconstruction phases should be performed with special care, in particular when dealing with damaged cultural heritage. This study presents the positive experience of building waste management in the town of Venzone, Friuli-Venezia Giulia (north-eastern Italy) after an earthquake of Mw 6.46, in which historical buildings were almost completely damaged. Forty years after the event, it is possible to state that the recycling program - the first case of sustainable disaster management planning in Italy - was successfully conducted, and the cultural heritage of the town was fully recovered in its pre-event configuration. Considering the alternative forms of disposal, significant environmental impact was avoided, mainly related to land use and non-renewable resources exploitation. From this experience, some suggestions about how to conduct a sustainable disaster debris management policy can be obtained, particularly when dealing with cultural heritage.
Pub.: 13 Jun '17, Pinned: 18 Aug '17