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Natural and industrial disasters

Year: 2006 Author: Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Some places are more prone to disaster than others. But that does it take to turn a cyclone into a disaster in one place and just a climatic event somewhere else? The main reasons are obvious enough. Economically deprived people living in shacks are more likely to suffer from any calamity. Rich countries may have more to lose financially, but they also have more resources for anticipating hazards. There are many ways of determining vulnerability, apart from economic factors: previous environmental damage leaving barren land, nearby industrial sites aggravating a hazard's potential, poor social organisation and transparency, shortage of key resources, etc. Whatever you focus on, developing countries seem - predictably - to be the most frequent and most vulnerable victims of disasters.
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