If someone was injured by
the derailed train carriages striking them is this a direct or indirect
Comment on the likely
spatial extent of this hazard.
As of 10th
October 2011, there have been 1,817 tornadoes reported in the US in 2011
(of which at least 1,279 were confirmed). 2011 has been an exceptionally
destructive and deadly year for tornadoes
The outbreak of tornadoes that
ravaged the southern US April 2011
was the largest in US recorded
history, the National Weather
Service has said. The three-day
period from 25-28 April saw 362
tornadoes strike, including some 312
in a single 24-hour period. The
previous record was 148 in two days
in April 1974.The tornadoes and the
storm system that spawned them
killed at least 350 people in
Alabama and six other states. It was
the deadliest outbreak since 1936.
Suggest differences between
the relative impact of a weather hazard in an LEDC compared to an MEDC.
"Very high impact" weather phenomena.
What are those?
In short, these are the kind of weather phenomena that have
huge human impacts, in terms of safety,
damage, or economic losses.
The figure below (from the National
Weather Service) shows the average numbers of fatalities in the
United States from various weather phenomena. In the ten years
ending 2007, heat, hurricanes (thanks largely to Katrina), and floods
were the greatest killers.
In terms of economic costs, the (US)
National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) keeps a
list of billion dollar weather disasters.
There have been 90 of them since 1980. I've summarized their causes
below. Some of these disasters were caused by multiple phenomena, so
I've divided them up, resulting in some phenomena -- indicated by
asterisk -- that got credit for half of a disaster.
Identify the top
three most damaging climatic hazards. (No mention of deaths / injuiries)
The table of fatalities above - included
only cases where weather is considered the direct cause of the death.
When weather is included as a contributing factor, the "picture" changes
dramatically, as shown below (courtesy of Sheldon Drobot, National
Center for Atmospheric Research; vehicle fatality data from the Federal
Highway Administration). There has been an average of about 7400
weather-related driving fatalities per year. This dwarfs the
number of deaths from direct weather causes, including heat.
Floods and wind storms have caused many
more fatalities in the LEDCs than in the US or Australia, mainly
because of inadequate preparedness and warning in the Third World. A
tropical cyclone killed 600,000 people in the floodplains of the
Ganges/Brahmaputra river delta of Bangladesh in 1970 (5). More than
half of all weather-related deaths worldwide are related to drought,
mainly because of the Sahelian famines of the early 1970's and the
mid-1980's. Unfortunately, drought is not as selective as heat,
whose victims are mainly the elderly or people of poor health. It is
not known how many people worldwide succumb to extreme heat
Annual number of human
fatalities due to weather hazards.
The numbers between brackets are the yearly number of deaths per
1 million people
weather/climatic hazards tend to be mainly economic in MEDCs but mainly
deaths and injuries in LEDCs." Is this a fair assertion?
Research and make notes
on three case studies of different types of climatic hazard and compare
their relative impact on LEDCs and MEDCs e.g. a hurricane event in the
US v a cyclone event in Bangladesh (of similar magnitude) could be one