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Natural DisastersNatural Disasters

Natural Disasters

Natural Disasters

The Book of Natural Disasters takes an in-depth look at some of the biggest tragedies to have struck humankind throughout history. From the destruction of Pompeii to Hurricane Katrina, a whole host of deadly modern and historic events are covered here.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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natural disasters

Natural disasters have threatened the safety and survival of the human race since time immemorial. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and pandemics have all had a devastating effect on populations. The Book of Natural Disasters takes an in-depth look at some of the biggest tragedies to have struck humankind throughout history. From the destruction of Pompeii and the ravages of the Black Death, to Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean Tsunami, a whole host of deadly modern and historic events are covered here. Find out how communities rallied together in the face of great adversity to organise rescue efforts, and how scientists are working to help countries be better prepared when catastrophe strikes. Read the stories of eyewitnesses and interviews with experts in an effort to understand the natural disasters that altered…

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the haiti earthquake

March 2008. Five scientists are attending the 18th Caribbean Geological Conference in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The gathering of scientific minds, which comes together to discuss everything from seismic activity to the production of hydrocarbons, is always a colourful experience due to the lively geological nature of the Caribbean. But these five men aren’t here to share any good tidings. Their research has produced some frightening results and they’ve come to the Dominican Republic not just to share their valuable data, but to try to convince authorities that something terrible is stirring: Hispaniola’s two major east-west trending strike-slip faults, the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault in the south and the Septentrional Fault in the north, are due for a major seismic event. Using a series of GPS readings, the team predicts the region…

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the earthquake of 1770

The 2010 earthquake was one of the most catastrophic natural disasters ever seen and proved a stark reminder of just how much destruction a quake could unleash upon coastal towns and cities. But for its horror and magnitude, this was not the first time the Earth had shaken Haitian soil to its core. Back in 1770, Haiti was still a French colony under the moniker of Saint-Domingue and most of the population were slaves based around what would become the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. When the 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck at 7.45pm on 3rd June, the result was catastrophic. The force of the quake was so strong it liquefied the soil beneath Port-au-Prince, causing practically every building to collapse as the ground shifted into a hellscape. About 250 people were killed as the…

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expert opinion

What were conditions like when you arrived? I started with HelpAge in April 2010, right after the earthquake, and conditions in the country, especially in the metropolitan area, were catastrophic. The population affected was living in a very difficult situation without access to basic needs. This situation affected most of the older people, who are among the most vulnerable group and being overlooked by the emergency responses. Most of their needs were related to health – more specifically, a lack of specialist care for older people in Haiti. Also, the inconsistency of age-specific data collected has limited a widespread direct response to older people’s health needs. Older people were also abandoned in camps, presumably in acts of desperation by family or community members. Without livelihoods, without creative and well-planned income generation…

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haiti in recovery

When an earthquake of the magnitude that struck Haiti arrives, any coastal city on Earth would find itself wounded from the encounter. From destroyed residences to endangered nuclear power plants, an earthquake can destabilise or merely fracture a nation in its wake. For a country as poor and underdeveloped at Haiti (which ranks as the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, ranking 149th out of 182 countries on the Human Development Index), rebuilding lives and livelihoods can seem as insurmountable as the actual event itself. According to the International Organization for Migration, around 94 per cent of the displaced citizens in Port-au-Prince have left camps and other temporary sites. However, a good 80,000 Haitians are still without, “a proper roof over their heads,” spread across the country’s remaining 105 camps. Despite…

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let them eat frog

The government was said to have attempted to downplay the need for international aid such as shelter and food for refugees, fearing it would make it appear incompetent as a result of not having stocks ready itself. It appealed to the refugees’ sense of patriotism and advised them to be self-reliant rather than waiting to be fed ‘chocolate bars’ by international aid, suggesting through mention of the luxury that help was neither necessary nor appropriate. The population were told aid providers were in the country and would check their homes to snoop. The government had alternative suggestions for dinner. To the homeless, injured, bereaved and starving, it said to go into the waterlogged, sewage-strewn lands and fish in ditches. What they should have used to catch fish with is unclear. Anyway,…