Hazards Case Studies

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  • Created by: Grace
  • Created on: 04-05-13 16:54

Mount Etna- MEDC Volcano

Location: Eastern side of the Island of Sicily, Italy, in the Mediterranean Sea.
Impacts: In 2002 clouds of gas and ash came from 2 vents followed by lava thrown 100m into the air. Lava flowed quickly down the side of the mountain damaging some farms, a restaurant and pushed over 3 ski lifts. Lava destroyed hundreds of acres of forest on slopes of volcano. Catania airport closed for 4 days because of ash in atmosphere. 300 businesses affected. 1000 people had to leaves homes in Linguaglossa and elsewhere. Schools closed. Ash drifted as far south ad Libya, 600km away.
Measures: Town of Liguaglossa evacuated. State of Emergency declared. Rescue workers battled to divert lava from scientific monitoring station at foot of moutain. Bulldozers cracked tarmas to make a channel to redirect lava from populated areas. Tax breaks given by gov. $8 million given in emergency aid. Monitored constantly at a base station, they watch for changed in magma movement, ground deformation, changes in gas composition & increased water runoff.
Physical Causes: Above destructive plate margin. The African Plate is sliding below the Eurasion Plate. As the African plate descends into the mantle in causes friction agaiunst Eurasion Plate. Friction causes some of the rock of the Eurasion Plate to melt into magma. Hot magma rise up through the earth's crust that makes up the Eurasion Plate and eventually reaches the surface to erupt as Mt Etna.

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LEDC Tectonic Hazard: The Sichuan Earthquake

When: Monday 12th May 2008, 2.28pm local time
Where: Struck the Sichuan Province in Southern China, near city of Chengu
How: On a collision zone. The Indo-Australian plate pushing northwards into Eurasion Plate. Pressure builds up on plate boundary. Plate gives way and energy released as earthquake.
Social Effects: 69,100 dead. 374,000 injured. 17,500 missing. 45.60mil affected. 15mil relocated. 5.46mil homes destroyed. 7,000 schools destroyed.
Economic Effects: Irrigation systems for 100,000 hectares of paddy fields wrecked. Over 50,000 greenhouses destroyed. 7.3 million m squared of livestock barns collapsed. Businesses destroyed in the city of Mianyang.
Infrastructure Damage: 15 million buildings collapsed. 5,000km of pipes damaged. 839 water tanks collapsed. 2 chemical factories destroyed spilling 80 tons of toxic lliquid ammonia.
Aid: Government gave 27 million Yuan (£2 million) from it's emergency relief fund. First priority was to halp victims re-build homes. Red Cross Society of China brought 557 tents & 2,500 quilts for shelter and bedding. Saudi Aurabia donated $40 million in aid. The Sichuan Ministry of Civil Affairs provided 30,000 tents for the homeless.

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Climatic Hazard: Drought in Ethiopia 2006

Physical Causes: Has a marginal climate with high average temps 28-30 degrees C. Hot and humid in the low lands and cools in the uplands. Rainfall is unreliable. Relies on Equatorial band of rain moving north over them in the summer, somtimes arrives late and leaves early. June 2006- short rains which begin in Feb, and the long rains starting in June both failed to supply enough water for the country's needs. There are not enough wells to access water in the ground to provide irrigation when the rains fail. Since 1985, 77% of tree cover has been cut down, this reduces transpiration from plants and so means rain is less likely.
Impacts: Herdsmen migrated, moving 1000s of cattle. The Afar and Issa tribes grew desperate and began fighting for grazing land for cattle. Food prices rise by 130%. People forced drink river water contaminated by cattle urine and dung. Diseases and Health: Huge numbers of carcasses of dead animals in the Awash River (main source of water) led to outbreaks of cholera. People already weak are vulnerable to diseases. Over 6 million needed immediate food. Large rise in malnourishment.
Measures: Short Term- UNICEF spent $16 million on relief aid. Development Aid- Drill boreholes to create wells to provide water supply during drought. OXFAM and WaterAid have invested in development programmes aimed at increasing the access to clean water. Build sand dams to trap water from seasonal rivers (only flow in wet season). Re-afforest some areas. Training in water hygiene.

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Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana, USA

Impacts: Levees and flood walls protecting New Orleans were breached in 53 places, city floooded 3m deep. Flooding made worse by heavy rain (250mm during storm) 1836 deaths. Flooding and high winds demolished whole areas of city. 10,000 made homeless. 3million without electricity. Food shortages and no access to clean water. Debris and boats piled up on roads. Corpses decopose in the floods, disease spreads. 1.3 acres of forest destroyed. Over 1 million people were temporarily distibutes around other ares of US. 30 oil platforms closed, gas and oil production were down by 75% for up to 6 months afterwards.
Measures: State of Emergency declared. 1.2 million people were issued evacuation orders. 57 emergency shelters put up in coastal areas . 70 countries pledged aid to help recovery. Superdome set up with campbeds, food, medical elp for those who could not evacuate. Government flew in humanitarian aid and start rescue operations. 47,000 members of the Natinal Gaurd were sent to keep law and order. Army Corps of Engineers pumped out the water from the flooded areas over a period of 2 months. $7.5 billion being spent to rebuild levees. Physical Causes: Began as tropical storm in East Atlantic. Ocean temps above 27 degrees C, depth of about 60m. A thunderstorm forms above warm ocean waters. Heat from ocean helps evaporate water and create very strong updrafts of aor. Leads to cpndensation, heavy rainfall & strong winds. Spin of planet causes storm to rotate. The more the storm is over the ocean the stronger in becomes.

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