Geography - Examples & Case Studies

  • Created by: Hyden
  • Created on: 07-11-18 20:35

Port-au-Prince, Haiti - Effects

Primary Effects:

  • 316,000 killed
  • 250,000 homes & 30,000 other buildings destroyed or badly damaged
  • 50+ hospitals & 1,300+ schools badly damaged
  • 4,000 inmates escaped

Secondary Effects:

  • 1 out of 5 people lost their jobs
  • Haiti's largest industry, clothing was the worst affected
  • Cholera spread because bodies were pilled up on streets because hospitals and morgues became full
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Port-au-Prince, Haiti - Responses

Short-Term Responses:

  • $100 million from USA
  • $330 million from EU
  • 4.3 million provided with food rations in following weeks
  • 810,000 placed in aid camps

Long-Term Responses:

  • 98% of rubble on roads uncleared 6 months later
  • $1.1 billion raised between 20+ major charities
  • 70% of population without jobs given cash & food-for-work
  • 1 million still without homes after 1 year
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Christchurch, New Zealand - Effects

Primary Effects:

  • 181 killed
  • 80% of city without electricity
  • 50% of Central City buildings badly damaged

Secondary Effects:

  • No longer able to host Rugby World Cup matches
  • Schools had to share classrooms
  • Roads damaged by liquefaction
  • People mentally affected
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Christchurch, New Zealand - Responses

Short-Term Responses:

  • 30,000 chemical toilets provided
  • Areas zoned green, orange, white or red to classify damage & cost of repairs
  • Search and rescue teams sent to save people trapped in rubble

Long-Term Responses:

  • $900 million paid in building insurance claims
  • 80% of roads repaired by August
  • 50% of footpaths repaired by August
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Typhoon Haiyan - Effects

Primary Effects:

  • 40,000 homes damaged or destroyed
  • 30,000 fishing boats destroyed
  • 90% of Tacloban city destroyed
  • 600,000 people displaced

Secondary Effects:

  • 6 million lost their source of income
  • 14 million people affected
  • Looting and violence in Tacloban
  • Flooding caused landslides, blocking roads
  • Ferry services and airline flights disrupted for weeks
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Typhoon Haiyan - Responses

Short-Term Responses:

  • 1,200+ evacuation centers
  • French, Belgian & Israeli field hospitals
  • Philippines Red Cross delivered basic food aid
  • US aircraft carrier George Washington and helicopters assisted with search & rescue and delivery of aid

Long-Term Responses:

  • Charities such as Oxfam replaced fishing boats
  • Thousands of homes built away from areas at risk from flooding
  • More cyclone shelters built
  • Rice farming and fishing quickly re-established
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Somerset Levels Floods - Causes


  • A succession of depressions (low pressure areas) across the Atlantic Ocean that brought a period of wet weather. Over 350 mm of rain fell in January and February - about 100 mm above average. This caused the wettest January since 1910 when records began.
  • High tides and storm surges swept water up the rivers from the Bristol Channel. This prevented fresh water from reaching the sea and it spilled over the river banks.
  • Rivers had not been dredged for at least 20 years.
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Somerset Levels Floods - Impacts

Social Impacts:

  • 600+ houses flooded
  • 16 farms evacuated
  • Moorland & Muchelney cut off

Economic Impacts:

  • £10 million plus estimate of cost of damage by Somerset County Council
  • 14,000 hectares+ of agriculture land under water for 3 - 4 week
  • 1,000+ livestock evacuated

Environmental Impacts:

  • Floodwaters contaminated with sewage and other pollutants including oil and chemicals
  • Huge amonut of debris had to be cleared
  • Stagnant water had collected for months and had to be reoxygenated before being pumped back into rivers
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Somerset Levels Floods - Management Strategies

£20 million Flood Action Plan from Somerset County Council in coordination with Environment Agency:

  • 8 km of River Tonnes and Parratt dredged
  • Road level raised in some places
  • River banks raised and strengthened
  • More pumping stations built
  • Consideration to be given to a tidal barrage at Bridgwater
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Hedgerow Ecosystem - Types of Organisms


  • Hawthorn bushes
  • Blackberry bushes


  • Thrushes
  • Ladybirds
  • Spiders
  • Greenfly
  • Sparrows
  • Sparrowhawks
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Hedgerow Ecosystem - Potential Impacts

Hot, Dry Summer:

  • Reduced plant growth
  • Fewer berries for birds in winter
  • Number of sparrows and thrushes falls
  • Fewer birds for sparrowhawks to hunt, so their numbers fall

Hedgerow Trimmed:

  • Fewer habitats for ladybirds, greenfly and spiders, so their numbers fall
  • Sparrows and thrushes have less to eat, so their numbers fall
  • Fewer birds for sparrowhawks to hunt, so their numbers fall
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Malaysia - Causes of Deforestation (1)

Causes of Deforestation:

  • Logging
    • Malaysia became largest exporter of tropical wood in the 1980s.
  • Road Construction
    • Constructed to provide access to mining areas, new settlements and energy projects, as well as to allow loggers to take away the timber.
  • Energy Development
    • In 2011, after 50 years of delay, the Bakun Dam in Sarawak started to generate electricity.
    • It is the highest dam outside of China at 205 m.
    • It flooded over 700 square kilometers of forest and farmland.
  • Mineral Extraction
    • Mining (mainly tin and smelting) is common in Peninsular Malaysia.
    • Drilling for oil and gas has started on Borneo.
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Malaysia - Causes of Deforestation (2)

Causes of Deforestation:

  • Population Pressure
    • In the past, poor urban people were encouraged to move away from rapidly growing cities (in a process known as transmigration).
    • Between 1956 and the 1980s, about 15,000 hectares of rainforest was felled for them.
    • Many of them set up plantations.
  • Commercial Farming
    • Malaysia is the largest exporter of palm oil.
    • Plantation owners receive 10 year tax incentives.
  • Subsistence Farming
    • Slash & burn is a common method that can go out of control, burning vast swathes of rainforest.
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Malaysia - Impacts of Deforestation (1)

Impacts of Deforestation:

  • Soil Erosion
    • The roots of plants and trees hold soil together.
    • Wind and rain can ***** away loose soil within hours.
  • Loss of Biodiversity
    • The Main Range is an upland region stretching for 500 km in Peninsular Malaysia.
    • It is the largest area of continuous forest left in Peninsular Malaysia.
    • It has over 600 species.
    • The forests are home to over 25% of all plant species found in Malaysia.
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Malaysia - Impacts of Deforestation (2)

Impacts of Deforestation:

  • Contribution to Climate Change
    • Trees give off moisture by the process of transpiration; deforestation reduces the moisture in the air resulting in a drier climate.
    • The process of evaporation uses up heat and cools the air; if trees are cut down, this cooling ceases and the temperature rises.
  • Economic Development
    • Advantages: more jobs, more tax revenue, better transport infrastructure, providing raw materials for processing industries, etc.
    • Disadvantages: increasingly dry climate, harmful air pollution, extinction of plants with medical benefits, decline of tourism, etc.
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