Human Factors in Disasters


Rapid Population Growth

Growing popualtion means: 

  • Pressure on land, leads to poeple living in high risk areas 
  • Growing number of elderly people who are more vulnerable to hazards 
  • A growing number of young people in developed areas who are also vulnerable 
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Deforestation and Land Degradation

Pressure on land from growing population leads to: 

  • Deforestation to gain farmland, this leads to desertification and flooding 
  • Destruction of mangroves leads to coastal flooding and erosion 
  • Farming in marginal areas and deforestation for firewood leads to desertifcation 
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Rural to urban migration and urban sprawl leads to: 

  • The development of squatter settlements in high risk areas 
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Poverty and Politics

Disasters tend to have a greater impact in poorer countries:

  • Earthquakes have higher death tolls in less developed countries who cannot afford technology to predict buildings 
  • Developing countries may not be able to prepare for disasters 
  • Populations who are poorly educated and have little access to communications technology it is harder to prepare them for disasters 
  • Harder to get aid to remote areas with poor infrastructure 
  • Corrupt governments make misuse resources or prevent international aid reaching their populations 
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