Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Understanding the tsunami

20.02.2006


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:
http://www.earth.columbia.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology
22.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

nachricht How reliable are shells as climate archives?
21.06.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>