Hazard trends

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4 main global hazard trends

The main facts you need to know

1.       The number of reported disasters has increased rapidly since the 1960s

2.       The number of fatalities due to natural disasters is falling

3.       The number of people affected by disasters in rising

4.       The amount of economic loss due to global disasters is increasing

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Trends in the number of reported hazards

A higher percentage of hazards are becoming disasters as they affect increasing numbers of people

The number of reported disasters has risen sharply since the 1960s this could be due to the media and better communication and better technology. However it could also be due to increased population and an increased amount of people living in poverty especially in the continent of Africa.

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Hydro meteorological disasters

Hydro meteorological disasters- have increased rapidly since the 1960s. Many scientists believe this could be due to climate change however the situation is complex. Floods and storms account for 7 out of 10 of all disasters in the last 40 years.

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Geophysical hazards

Geophysical hazards- geophysical hazards such as earthquakes have increased very slightly since the 1970s. However this could be due to not only increased reporting of disasters but also the rising number of people living in hazard risk areas. Currently Indonesia is a ‘hotspot’ for tectonic activity as the Indian plate is being subducted beneath the Burma plate at a destructive plate boundary.

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Biological hazards

Biological hazards- have shown an upward trend from a low base, often numerically exceeding geophysical hazards. This may be linked to climate change as increased temperatures lead to more pests and diseases such as malaria.

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