California & Philippines

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  • Created on: 16-05-16 13:49

The Philippines

The Phillipines is an island arc in SE Asia, consists of 7,000 islands, concentrates at latitudes between 5 and 2 degrees North of the equator, it lies on a belt of tropical cyclones and astride an active plate boundary. (Destructive, Philippines plate subducts under the Eurasian plate) The country suffers from a tropical climate and is subject to heavy rain. Flooding and landslides are common due to deforestation. The Philippines has a high vulnerability as many people are very poor and live on the coast, this makes them more at risk to tsnamis and typhoon generated storm surges. On average, about 10 typhoons occur each season, especially in Luzon.  

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Disasters in the Philippines

Drought: April 1998, 2.5 million people affected.

Earthquake: Manila, 1990, 6,000 killed.

Flood: July 1972, 2.7 million people affected.

Landslide: February, 2006, 1,126 killed.

Volcano: Mt. Pinatubo, July 1991, 700 killed.

Tsunami: Most severe in 1976.

Typhoon: November, 1991, 6,000 killed.

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The Californian state contains nearly 40 million people and has an ecomony of an MEDC. It suffers from a vast range of hazards, mainly geophysical as well as a range of atmospheric hazards such as fog, drought, wildfires and major impacts from ENSO. The hazardous zone is concentrated along the San Andreas fault which runs parallel to the coast.

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Hazards In Californian Coast

Earthquakes: A network of active faults underlies LA and San Francisco Bay area. The soft basin sediments lead to rapid shaking, 5 major earthquakes in last 100 years.

River Flooding: Winter storms during El Nino years lead to flooding, exacerbated by deforested hill sides. Heavily channelised rivers.

Coastal Flooding: Long Beach is subsiding, flooding in heavy storms. Increasing threat with rising sea levels.

Drought: A potential summer problem during El Nino years. Exacerbated due to lack of water supplies with rising population.

Wildfires: As LA expands into rural areas, wildfires pose as a major hazard, dry Santa Ana wind periods cause increased threat of this.

Landslides: Take place in heavy storms, also where areas have been burnt by fires. A growing risk as climate becoems more unpredictable.

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Hurricane Katrina-USA 2005

One of the deadliest hurricanes in history. Estimated to have cost, $84bn in damage and claimed 1,836 lives. Mostly in New Orleans which flooded due to the levee system being destroyed. Katrina formed over the Bahamas in August 2005 and moved westwards actross Florida as a catagory 1 hurricane. It reached catagory 5 at sea. The storm soon doubled in size and pressure readings fell to 902mb, windspeeds rose to 280 km/h and gust of 344 km/h.  

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Hurricane Katrina-USA 2005

Economic impacts: 30 offshore oil platforms destroyedand 9 oil refineries shut down, reduced production by 25% for 6 months. Forestry, port trade and grain handling severely affected. Hundreds of thousands left unemployed. Total economic impact over mississippi and louisiana estimated at $150bn.

Social impacts: Over 1 million people evacuated and, displaced or homeless. Major roads out of the city damaged as bridges collapsed. Over head powerlines brought down, water and food supplies contaminated.

Environmental impacts: Strom surge destroyed sections of barriers. 20% of wetlands lost affecting breeding of pelicans, turtles and fish, 16 wildlife refuges damaged. 5,300km of forest destroyed. Flood waters contaminated, 24.6 million of oil pumped into a lake.

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Typhoon Haiyan-Philippines 2013

The Philippines area series of islands located in the South China Sea, east of Vietnam and north of Indonesia. The capital of the Philippines is Manila. This islands regularly suffer from considerable typhoons that sweep in from the south west every year during the tropical storm season. Typhoon Haiyan originated from an area of low pressure several hundred kilometers east-southeast of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia on November 2, 2013. Moving generally westward, the system developed into a tropical depression the following day. After becoming a tropical storm and attaining the name Haiyan on November 4, the system began a period of rapid intensification that brought it to typhoon intensity on November 5. Haiyan is unofficially the fourth most intense tropical cyclone ever observed.

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Typhoon Haiyan-Philippines 2013

Economic Impacts:The economic impact is estimated at $2.9 billion. The major rice and sugar producing areas for the Philippines were destroyed. Coconuts account for nearly half the Philippines agricultural exports and the country is the world’s biggest producer of coconut oil. Between 50,000 tons and 120,000 tons of sugar may have been lost, the Sugar Regulatory Administration estimated. The Philippine government estimated that about 71,000 hectares (175,000 acres) of farmland were affected; 3.7 billion pesos ($85 million) was lost from farm damage. A total of 131,611 tons of rice was lost, equivalent to a 1.8 per cent reduction in fourth quarter output, and about 4,000 tons of corn were destroyed.

Social Impacts:Killed 7500 people and affected 9 million people.The Philippines faces a humanitarian crisis days after the typhoon hit much of the Visayas with 1.9 million homeless and more than 6,000,000 displaced. The United Nations fear that the possibility of the spread of disease is high due to the lack of food, water, shelter, and medication. Casualties were reported as a result of the lack of aid in affected areas.  Areas less affected areas reported that their populations more than doubled after the typhoon with the influx of refugees into the city.

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Typhoon Haiyan-Philippines 2013

Environmental impacts:Environmental devastation and loss of forests, trees and widespread flooding.Oil and sewerage leaks into the local ecosystems.Lack of sanitation in days following the event also leads to a higher level of pollution. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reports that hundreds of thousands of hectares of rice have been destroyed. Coconut plantations which are a big source of foreign currency were said to be “completely flattened”. Fishing communities have also be severely affected with the storm destroying boats and associated equipment.

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