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A natural disaster is a major event that comes as a result of the earth’s natural processes. These processes include, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes and volcanic eruptions. This calamities may cause loss/damage of property and also loss of life. The disasters are usually extreme, they occur suddenly and are mostly caused by natural or environmental factors. In this paper I have chosen some of the disasters that have occurred all over the world in history (Mileti, Dennis p.10).
Using 3 Natural Disasters (earthquake, volcano, flood, etc) discussed in your text, write an essay that describes each disaster in terms of how humans predicted the disaster 100 years ago, today, and expectations of future predictions.
Research has been conducted by scientists since the Second World War about the earth’s crust. The knowledge about the earth’s crust has led to a better understanding of why earthquakes do occur. Apparently, most of the geologists and seismologists are now confident about their long term earthquake predictions, but still they haven’t had much success with short term predictions. Mostly measured using an instrument known as the seismometer, an earthquake usually manifests itself through shaking and displacement of objects on the ground. Earthquakes triggers a number of things for instance: tsunamis and landslides (Blaikie, Piers, p. 68). They are mostly caused by volcanic activities, nuclear tests and blasts in the mine grounds. Earthquakes tend to occur anywhere around the globe as long as there is sufficient amount of stored energy that drives the fractured promulgation along the fault plane. Around 300,000 earthquakes are recorded every year while some go undetected. Earthquake prediction is a very active process in geological research. The topic has been long in history, since 1912 when the first predictions and study of earthquakes begun, it was however difficult to make actual predictions (Wijkman, Anders, & Lloyd, p. 156). Currently it’s not possible to make prediction of the areas and when the earthquakes might happen. In order for the predictions to be made possible there has to be a diagnostic precursor, a factor that would predict the chances of the earthquake happening at the exact place and time. It’s still difficult to make short term earthquake predictions because most earthquakes occur as a result of sudden stress release from the earth’s crust, also earthquakes originates deep beneath the earths crusts the seismologists often have difficulty in observing and measuring the effects.
The first volcanic eruption happened approximately 4.4 billions of years ago. This is actually when the world first came to existence, and even long before the first human beings walked over the earth. However, the most catastrophic eruption that has ever happened took place around 200 years ago in the year 1815 (Mileti, Dennis p. 38). In Indonesia, a volcanic mountain named Tambora. Approximately 90,000 people died not due to the eruption but as a result of starvation. When a volcanic mountain, shows explosive eruptions, it mostly flings rocks at a velocity of 670 mile P/H. In general, when a volcanic mountain erupts, the eruption continues for up to ten years or so. It may even last for many years. The geological study of volcanoes shows that it’s very important to assess the type of calamity posed by a volcanic eruption and its frequency and possibility of occurrence. Actually the best and only way to determine a volcanos future behavior is through studying its past (Wijkman, Anders, & Lloyd, p. 91). Even though volcanologists are aware of the three processes that happen during a volcanic eruption they still cannot yet predict an eruption. However, the volcanologists have made important advances in the forecasting of volcanic eruption, since it involves monitoring character and time of a volcano which depends on measuring different parameters (Blaikie, Piers, p. 19).
Floods are overflowing large amounts of water that are beyond normal. Floods mostly occur when the water body levels contained in river backs or ocean shores exceed its capacity. The water movers up and about as it occupies many typical areas. Actually, the main cause of flood occurrence are melting snow caps, heavy rains and blockage of river flows (Alexander & David p. 56). Floods causes extreme damage to the property and loss of lives either through direct cause of action or indirectly. A 100 year flood is flood event that had 1% chances of happening in any given year it’s mostly predicted that floods occur within a span of 100 years, actually the first 100 year interval was during 1501 to 2013. Flood thresholds is the probability that floods occur during a given period of time. The prediction of floods a hundred years ago had a 63.4% possibility of occurring also they have offered reasonable estimations of the future flood risks for instance in the united states if the future is like the past then there will be low chances of being affected because three percent of the population in US lives in areas safe from floods and 1% lives in flood prone areas (Blaikie, Piers, p. 129)
Discuss precursors, the use of technology, and the ability to determine exact locations or the expected scale of the event.
Mostly recorded by seismometers as they travel through the interior of the earth. Ritcher scale and mercalli scale are the instruments used to measure earthquakes. On an average, in order to determine the kilometer difference of earthquakes you must also determine the no of seconds between two waves P and S waves.
Volcanologists use radiometric age dating of the volcanic deposits to determine the frequency of the past volcanic activities. The creepmetre, strainmetres, and tiltmetres are the tools used to monitor volcanic frequencies, they also determine the exact location the volcanic eruptions will occur (Pelling, Mark, p. 56).
In order to determine the exact location or the scale of events that flood is going to occur the formula of binomial distribution is used to determine the probability that one or many floods will occur during a given period of time. Pe = 1- 1 – (1/T) n
A hurricane Event in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a country that is mostly affected by hurricanes. Hurricane Hortense landed in Puerto Ricco in September 1996, it brought quite a lot of damage to the crops almost all the roads were shut down (Mileti, Dennis p.45). The property damaged after the hurricane was estimated to cost $153.4 million, 19 people died mostly due to drowning, and 1.4 M people lost their electricity while around 11,463 houses and building got damaged severely also 700,000 people had no water. The current population in Puerto Rico is approximately 3.548 million and the projected population in 2050 will be 3.367.000 M. apparently, apart from hurricanes the country has also been affected by natural disasters namely earthquakes and floods. The country is still recovering from the disaster but there is a high possibility for Puerto to be affected by hurricanes again in future (Pelling, Mark, p. 246).
Tsunami event in japan
On 11th/march/2011 an earthquake of magnitude 9 shook the northeastern part of japan and unleashed a savaged tsunami that led to complete damage of property and loss of many lives (Wijkman, Anders, & Lloyd, p. 100). The great earthquake effects were felt around the globe from Norway to Antarctica. Even after two years since the tsunami happened the debris still continue to wash up on the beaches of North America. However, the recovery is still going on because the recovering from the epic disaster that affected them (Mileti, Dennis p. 60). About 19000 people lost their lives, 1.2 M building destroyed, 230, 00 people lost their properties and homes they still live in temporary houses because they are still economically unstable this cost them $ 574 billion. Recently it was discovered that the radioactive water was leaking from a power plant named Fukushima Daiichi which suffered a meltdown after the tsunami. However most of the country’s nuclear reactors still remain closed after been stricken by the earthquake (Alexander & David p. 191). Currently population in Japan is 127.3 million the predictions for the future population in the year 2050 will be 107.411.000 M. The country has also been affected by other natural calamities such as earthquakes the Tohoku earthquake that killed 15,881 people, volcanic eruptions for instance mount Ontake eruption that erupted 100 cubic kilometers in 2014, having killed 57 people and mudslides. The most natural disaster that is likely to occur is an earthquake. Two of the most natural disasters that have occurred recently have expensively affected the economy it has cost them $181 billion in two years namely 1995 and 2011 (Mileti, Dennis p.78)
Tornado in the United States
Tornadoes are common natural disasters affecting the United States than in any other country in the world. Almost more than 1,200 tornadoes affect the United States annually. They are usually formed out of the hurricane season (Alexander & David p. 200). The tornadoes have made a very great impact in the US economy for instance the tristate tornado that happened in 18th march 1925 killed 695 people, leaving 2,027 people injured. Another costly tornado occurred in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and approximately property worth $2.4 billion got damaged with 1000 people injured and 161 people dead (Pelling, Mark, p. 356) Current population in the United States is 318.9 Million predictions for the future population will be 373,767 in the year 2050. The country has also been affected by other natural disasters namely blizzards, floods, cyclones, tsunamis, earthquakes. Fires, cold waves, drought and famine. The country is still recovering from the disaster (Wijkman, Anders, & Lloyd, p. 156)
The aim of this paper is to give a detailed description of the impact caused by natural disasters to human beings and to our general lifestyle as well. In areas where natural disasters occur they tend to occur frequently, once they occur they tend to affect over 200 million people in the areas that they have occurred. This has become a very restricting factor in terms of the country’s social, economic development and national security. Most importantly, we should note the effects that come as a result of the natural disasters. Some of these effects include abject poverty and alienation.
Alexander, David E. Natural disasters. Springer Science & Business Media, 1993.
Blaikie, Piers, et al. At risk: natural hazards, people’s vulnerability and disasters. Routledge, 2014.
Mileti, Dennis. Disasters by design: A reassessment of natural hazards in the United States. Joseph Henry Press, 1999.
Pelling, Mark. The vulnerability of cities: natural disasters and social resilience. Earthscan, 2003.
Wijkman, Anders, and Lloyd Timberlake. Natural disasters. Acts of God or acts of Man?. Earthscan, 1984.
Natural Disasters: Past and Future Predictions. (2022, Feb 22). Retrieved from https://essaylab.com/essays/natural-disasters-past-and-future-predictions
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