Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Understanding the tsunami


The co-dependence of mortality risk and poverty

The Indian Ocean tsunami, the Katrina hurricane catastrophe and the Pakistan earthquake in late 2005 bear disquieting similarities in their consequences on human populations. The tsunami took 300,000 lives with more than 100,000 still missing. Although many of the missing may well be displaced rather than casualties, the death toll will likely remain in excess of 300,000. Early images from the catastrophe would have lead one to believe that tourist were preferentially impacted, but the world soon learned that this was due to the fact that tourists were the only ones with video equipment at the ready. In fact, the great majority of those who perished were relatively poor people; many of them subsistence level fishermen, and met their fate away from the cameras lens. These people contributed little to the formal economy and because of this the economic impact of the tsunami is unclear. Insured property losses were small not because little property was lost but because so little was insured.

As a result, the tsunami disaster underscores the well-supported observation that people in the lower rungs of society around the world are at far greater mortality risk from natural disasters than those who are better off. The Magnitude 7.6 October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, for example, took the lives of more than 30,000 people while the Northridge earthquake in California took less than 100 lives. Countries that fall lowest on measures such as the Human Development Index, such as the poorest countries in Africa, are known to suffer much greater losses than richer countries. This is likely due in part to the prevalence of structures and inadequate emergency response institutions, but the vulnerability of the poor is also amplified by where they live, which is often in regions prone to flooding and landslides or in regions susceptible to climate extremes.

Presenter: John Mutter, Deputy Director, The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Track: Mathematics and Statistics
Date: Sunday, February 19, 2006
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Ken Kostel | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht UCI and NASA document accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica
26.10.2016 | University of California - Irvine

nachricht Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere
25.10.2016 | American Geophysical Union

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>