WIT Press


Natural Disasters: Acts Of God, Nature Or Society? On The Social Relation To Natural Hazards

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/RISK000001

Volume

45

Pages

10

Published

2000

Size

1,291 kb

Author(s)

J. Weichselgartner & J. Bertens

Abstract

Natural disasters are characterised by complex relationships and interactions between physical hazards and society. These, as well as local context, cultural aspects, social and political activities, and economic concerns, present diffi- culties in practical application of mitigation concepts and models. This paper outlines general approaches in natural risk assessment and gives an insight into the contextual dynamics surrounding a hazard event. Since precise measurement of uncertainties and exact prediction of damages is hardly feasible, the incorporation of a hazard of place concept in vulnerability assessment is proposed. Qualities that determine potential damage are identified and characteristics described. It is suggested that, even without assessing risk exactly, vulnerability reduction decreases damages and losses. The chosen perspective

Keywords