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Natural hazards


Earthquakes and Volcanoes: Natural hazards such as earthquakes and volcanoes have a devastating effect on developing countries, as they tend not to have the resources available to cope with such disasters. Buildings are easily knocked down, medical services are poor and rescue efforts often come too late, especially to remote areas. A weak earthquake in a developing country can cause far more damage and destruction than a more powerful one in a developed country.


Floods: Early in 2000, the world saw how torrential rains and tropical storms could cause wide-spread and devastating flooding in a developing country: Mozambique. The flood waters rose so quickly that many people were stranded, forced to clamber into trees and wait to be rescued. But, as in many developing countries facing such a disaster, the country itself did not have the resources to cope.


International aid from countries such as South Africa (helicopters) and Britain (food, medicines and clothes) was required to try to help them get through the disaster.


Drought: Droughts reduce or destroy harvests and mean that water supply is severely limited. Countries in Africa, such as Ethiopia, have been badly affected by droughts, with hundreds of thousands of people dying from starvation or thirst.


However in developed countries the technology is available to enable water to be brought in from other parts of the country. Consequently when California experienced a three-year drought in the mid-1990’s there were no serious problems.


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EcoleBooks | ZIMSEC O LEVEL GEOGRAPHY FORM 4 - Natural hazards


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