World at Risk case studies

 Here are detail about the case studies you need to know for unit one, world at risk 

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  • Created by: Aimée
  • Created on: 18-05-12 14:49


This case study can be used for:

  • Global warming
  • rising sea levels
  • migration

Kiribati is a group of islands in the pacific off the east coast of Austrailia. The island are low lying and consit of mangroves. It has a population of 92,500 and it GNP is equal to 3000 adverage americains. It exports coconut flesh used for soap and oils.

The Pacific's temperature has risen by 1°C and Micronesia's sea levels have risen by 21.4mm a year since 2004. 

People there are enivronmental refugees, which are people forced to migrate as a result of changes to the enivroment.

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Kiribatis Problems;
      - Rising sea levels
      - tropical storms increasing

       - Low lying land and global warming 

People migrating from Kiribati

Flooding and eroson

loss of homes, exports and rebuilding costs 

envrionmental refugees, people need new homes 

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The Philippines

Hazard hotspot is a place that it prone to two or more hazards

Hazards in the Phillipines:

  • drought
  • eathquakes
  • flood
  • landslides
  • vocanic eruptions
  • tsunamis

Its is prone because it sits across a major plate boundary, lies within south east asias major typhoon belt and landslides are common in the mountain districts.

Landlside causes:
Human- deforestation
Physical- rain and steep mountaiins 

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The Philippines

Mount Pinatubo erupution - June 1991

It was the biggest eruption seen in 50 years and showed its first signs in April 1991. There was a 10km exclusion zone which was later extented to 30km. Two weeks before the blast a video was produced to outline the risks of pyroclastic flow.

9th June 1991 58,000 people where evacuated by 12th June 1991 it was 200,000.

350 people died, 77 in lahers. People also died in camps due to disease. 80,000 hectares of farmland was burried in ash and econmic losses where US$710 million 

Guinsaugon landslide - February 2006

A mudslide engulfed the village causing 1150 people to die.

Physical reasons- 2000mm of rain in 10 days, 2.6 mag. earthquake and la nina

Human reasons- Deforestation

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Population- Nearly 40 million
Location- west coast of USA
World 6th largest economy
USA's most hazardous state


  • earthquakes
  • river and coastal flooding
  • drought
  • wildfires
  • landslides
  • fog and smog

El Nino- when pressure systems and weather patterns reverse, warmer water devolps in the eastern pacific. 

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Comparing earthquakes

1989                                                                           1994
Date: 5:04pm 7th October                                  Date: 4:31am 17th January 
Mag. 7.1                                                             Mag. 6.7
Location Loma Prieta                                         Location San Fernando Valley
63 people died                                                   57 people died
757 injured                                                        1500 injured
1018 homes destroyed                                     12500 buildings damaged
23408 damaged                                                9000 homes no electricity
366 businesses destroyed                                48500 people without water 
US$ 6billion                                                       Damage to freeway- traffic for 30km

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Australia Bushfires

84 homes destroyed every year and few deaths, 5 each year

How bushfires spread:

Crown Fires-spread though treetops. It is common in gum trees

Ground Fires-dry leaves/twigs catch alight and the fires spread though undergrowth

Spot Fires-burning embers landing away from main fire starting new fires. 

How fire can be reduced:

Controlled burning- regular burning of leaf litter to reduce fuel for bushfires 

Education programs- people learn to stay inside as more likely to survive and houses are built with timber left over in fires. also sprinkler systems are fitted

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Boxing day tsunami

Causes of a Tsunami:
Earthquake more than 6.5 on the Richter scale
Earthquake focus is shallow beneath earths surface 
Focus beneath the ocean

Boxing day tsunami:
9.0-9.3 Richter scale 
Heaved floor of Indian Ocean towards Indonesia 15 meters
Sent out shock waves radiated into ripples unnoticed until hits land 
Struck shallow land (longer and shallower more height) 
Banda Aceh and part of Sri Lanka nearly 17 meters high on impact 

                                   hazard x vulnerability          
Disaster risk=                    capacity 

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Boxing day tsunami

Indonesia- closest to epicenter, 70% coastal population killed/missing. 400,000                         people displaced

Sri Lanks- 2nd worst affected. Homes,crops and fishing boats destroyed. 40000
                   jobs lost.

India- South east cost worst affected, 140,000 people displaced. Nicobar islands              salt water contaminated freshwater supply's. Jetties destroyed 

Thailand- west coast severely hit 1700 foreigners fro 36 countries died. 

Somalia- worst hit African country. Homes and boats destroyed, freshwater wells                  contaminated. 30,000 people displaced  

Maldives- 199 islands, 20 destroyed. Flooding, economy and tourism effected.

Kenya- Few affected, warned and took action. people evacuated from coast.1                    person died

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Boxing day tsunami

Sri Lanka was the 2nd most affected country, Why is Sri Lanka vulnerable:

  • women and children wear likely at home so more likely to die
  • rapid coastal urbanization
  • money based on tourism and fishing
  • poor quality of building
    • 14% of deaths occurred in building that were completelydestroyed
    • 5% of death occur ed in buildings that held well. 
  • low education

30,000 people died, 5700 missing and 861,000 displaced. 

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Lies withing the Arctic circle, 66.5° latitude. Includes eight countries:

  • Canada, 
  • Greenland, 
  • Russia, 
  • Alaska, 
  • Iceland, 
  • Norway, 
  • Sweden 
  • Finland.

Average temperature-      Jan - 35°C     July -1.5° C

Increasing average temperature melting arctic ice occurring to NASA. Sea ice decreased 14% between 2004 and 2005.  80% if solar radiation was reflected by ice caps but this is now decreasing (the albedo effect)

Albedo is the amount of solar radiation reflected by the earths surface. Ice and snow reflect the most, dark rock surfaces reflect the least.

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Environmental effects

  • Spread of species,like spruce bark beetle in Alaska, changing food chain
  • Permafrost thaws out, release methane 
  • Marine species, seals, polar bears ect. decline
  • Tundra lost
  • Land species at risk e.g. Arctic fox
  • Tree line moving north and to higher altitudes 
  • birds have different migration patterns

Social- Economic effects

  • 24 Inuit villages now threatened
  • 30% of Inuit's still hunt caribou fish  which are declining
  • Ice used to protect houses, but are now exposed to more wave and storms 
  • Weak thinner sea ice makes it more dangerous to leave fishing equipment as it as more at rick of falling. 


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Abbie Marshall


Thankyou these were so useful!! :))



sound and useful, Tah X

Hartati Medina


Useful, but the figures are really unrealistic.

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