California: MEDC Hazard Hotspot

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  • Created by: Seve22
  • Created on: 23-10-12 14:22

Hazard hotspot: A place that has 2 or more different types of hazards affecting it.

California is an example of a hazard hotspot in an MEDC (the USA). It is susceptible to the following natural hazards: earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, droughts, wildfires, fog and smog, hurricanes and landslides. One hazard can often trigger others (e.g. Earthquakes can cause landslides and tsunamis).
California is located on the West coast of the USA and even though it isn't a country it still has the 6th largest economy in the world (is VERY wealthy), even though it is the USA's most hazardous state to live in. The large economy also means there are likely to be huge economic losses when a disaster occurs.

Why is California a hazard hotspot?

  • Mountainous regions prevent moisture/air flow, which causes a lack of rain and polluted air stays causing drought and fogs.
  • Several currently inactive volcanoes are located in California e.g. Lassen Peak.
  • Deforested hilly areas for urban developments can cause erosion and can be the location of landslides.
  • Rural development can fuel wildfires and cause a greater economic impact.
  • California's coastal location means it is vulnerable to tsunamis, coastal erosion (hence landslides), hurricanes and coastal flooding.
  • Central Valley Agricultural Area is large, flat and lower than sea level so is vulnerable to flooding.
  • The San Andreas fault runs the length of California,


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