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Winner of the PEN/Ackerley Prize 2014 The book opens and we are inside the wave: thirty feet high, moving at twenty-five mph, racing two miles inland. And from there into the depths of the author's despair: how to live now that her life has been undone? Sonali Deraniyagala tells her story - the loss of her two boys, her husband, and her parents - without artifice or sentimentality. In the stark language of unfathomable sorrow, anger, and guilt: she struggles through the first months following the tragedy -- someone always at her side to prevent her from harming herself, her whole being furiously clenched against the reality she can't face; and then reluctantly emerging and, over the ensuing years, slowly allowing her memory to function again. Then she goes back through the rich and joyous life she's mourning, from her family's home in London, to the birth of her children, to the year she met her English husband at Cambridge, to her childhood in Colombo while learning the balance between the almost unbearable reminders of her loss and her fundamental need to keep her family, somehow, still with her.
This book covers seismic probabilistic risk assessment (S-PRA) and related studies which have become more important to increase the safety of nuclear facilities against earthquakes and tsunamis in the face of the many uncertainties after the Fukushima accident. The topics are (1) Active faults and active tectonics important for seismic hazard assessment of nuclear facilities,(2) Seismic source modeling and simulation and modeling techniques indispensable for strong ground motion prediction, and (3) PRA with external hazard and risk communication. The Fukushima accident has showed us the limitations of the deterministic evaluation approach to external events (an earthquake and tsunami) in which there are many uncertainties. Furthermore, public anxiety regarding nuclear safety because of an unexpected threat caused by an earthquake or tsunami is growing. The current policy on the estimation of the design basis of ground motion as well as tsunami height still has not been improved following the Fukushima accident. In particular, the risk concept in a nuclear system regarding seismic motion and a tsunami beyond the design basis is indispensable. Therefore, research and development for PRA enhancing nuclear safety are being actively pursued not only in Japan but also worldwide. This book provides an opportunity for readers to consider the future direction of nuclear safety vis-a-vis natural disasters.
First published in 1990, this book describes the nature of the hurricane, one of the world's most dangerous weather hazards. It examines the formation, development, movement, and impact of these tropical cyclones, and assess the ability of science to describe, forecast, and control them.
Early morning on Monday, October 9, 2017, wildfires burned through Northern California, resulting in 44 fatalities. In addition, 6,200 homes and 8,900 structures and were destroyed. Author Brian Fies's firsthand account of this tragic event is an honest, unflinching depiction of his personal experiences, including losing his house and every possession he and his wife had that didn't fit into the back of their car. In the days that followed, as the fires continued to burn through the area, Brian hastily pulled together A Fire Story and posted it online-it immediately went viral. He is now expanding his original webcomic to include environmental insight and the fire stories of his neighbors and others in his community. A Fire Story is an honest account of the wildfires that left homes destroyed, families broken, and a community determined to rebuild.
"Frightening...Firestorm comes alive when Struzik discusses the work of offbeat scientists." --New York Times Book Review "Comprehensive and compelling." --Booklist "A powerful message." --Kirkus "Should be required reading." --Library Journal For two months in the spring of 2016, the world watched as wildfire ravaged the Canadian town of Fort McMurray. Firefighters named the fire "the Beast." It acted like a mythical animal, alive with destructive energy, and they hoped never to see anything like it again. Yet it's not a stretch to imagine we will all soon live in a world in which fires like the Beast are commonplace. A glance at international headlines shows a remarkable increase in higher temperatures, stronger winds, and drier lands- a trifecta for igniting wildfires like we've rarely seen before. This change is particularly noticeable in the northern forests of the United States and Canada. These forests require fire to maintain healthy ecosystems, but as the human population grows, and as changes in climate, animal and insect species, and disease cause further destabilization, wildfires have turned into a potentially uncontrollable threat to human lives and livelihoods. Our understanding of the role fire plays in healthy forests has come a long way in the past century. Despite this, we are not prepared to deal with an escalation of fire during periods of intense drought and shorter winters, earlier springs, potentially more lightning strikes and hotter summers. There is too much fuel on the ground, too many people and assets to protect, and no plan in place to deal with these challenges. In Firestorm, journalist Edward Struzik visits scorched earth from Alaska to Maine, and introduces the scientists, firefighters, and resource managers making the case for a radically different approach to managing wildfire in the 21st century. Wildfires can no longer be treated as avoidable events because the risk and dangers are becoming too great and costly. Struzik weaves a heart-pumping narrative of science, economics, politics, and human determination and points to the ways that we, and the wilder inhabitants of the forests around our cities and towns, might yet flourish in an age of growing megafires.
Our coasts provide a home and livelihoods for millions of people; many of the world's biggest cities are along coastlines. Yet these precious areas face increasing threats from irresponsible development and the potential dangers of climate change. This volume explores the wide spectrum of coastal hazards, from high-magnitude, low-frequency events like tsunamis and hurricanes, to longer-term processes like urban regeneration and changing agricultural practices. International case studies range from mitigation measures in the Azores Archipelago to managing a coastal resort in South Wales, to tsunami early warning systems in the Indian Ocean Region. The resulting collection spans approaches from social science, engineering, planning, geology and biology and presents an integrated approach for assessing the impact of, and response to, coastal hazards. It will be of interest to all those involved in strategies for the environmental management of coastlines.
Earthquakes come without warming, and often cause massive devastation, resulting not only in the loss of property but also of lives. Many of the survivors suffer from intense and lasting psychological trauma. This book covers the experience of recent earthquakes in India, and what has been learnt (and what we have failed to learn) in the process of managing the aftermath in each case. This includes immediate medical attention, long-term mental health care, and the reconstruction of housing and infrastructure in both rural and urban areas.
The experiences of the contributors, many of whom have actively contributed their expertise to disaster management and recovery, help us understand what problems require a swift response and which aspects should be based on detailed analyses keeping in mind local conditions. Reconstruction is seen as offering an opportunity to rebuild society such that all sections of the population are empowered and brought into the community's decision-making process. It is also an opportunity to develop construction techniques that are suited to local materials and skills but are also more earthquake-resistant than the old. And finally, there is the realisation that the best first responders are local community groups which need to be nurtured, and trained in crisis management and risk mitigation.
This book is based on empirical research in Sri Lanka conducted after the catastrophic tsunami which hit the country in December 2004. The aims of the research have been to develop new knowledge on post-crisis reconstruction and recovery work, on how to bridge the knowledge gap between researchers and practitioners, as well as trying to use past research experiences from Sri Lanka to learn about the present day situation. The chapters use a common analytical frame related to the a ~policy narrativesa (TM) of post-tsunami recovery in the shadow of war, and deal with housing reconstruction, livelihoods, internally displaced, humanitarian interventions and protracted conflicts.
The authors represent various social scientific fields and they have experience from different geographical areas of Sri Lanka.
This book was published as a special issue of Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift.
China is the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world and also suffers from devastating climate catastrophes. Increasingly, policymakers in China have come to realize that government alone cannot adequately prevent or defray climate-related disaster risks. This book contends that a better way to manage catastrophe risk in China is through private insurance rather than directly through the Chinese government. In addition, private insurance could function as a substitute for, or complement to, government regulation of catastrophe risks by causing policyholders to take greater precautions to reduce climate change risks. This book's unique contribution lies in explaining how private sector insurance could be harnessed to better protect China from climate change risks, addressing the shortcomings in China's private sector when it comes to the incentive and capacity to provide catastrophe insurance. Following the dual principles of insurers acting as private risk regulators and the government acting as a last resort, this book proposes a multi-layered public-private catastrophe insurance partnership in China. It uses a thorough combination of law and economics methodology to analyze these issues. Researchers, academics, and journalists writing on climate change in China will have a strong interest in this book, as will practitioners and policy-making bodies, Chinese government officials and agencies in insurance, finance and environmental regulation, private lawyers, private insurers, and global reinsurers.
This edited book examines the contemporary regional security concerns in the Asia-Pacific recognizing the `Butterfly effect', the concept that small causes can have large effects: `the flap of a butterfly's wings can cause a typhoon halfway around the world'. For many Asia-Pacific states, domestic security challenges are at least as important as external security considerations. Recent events (both natural disasters and man-made disasters) have pointed to the inherent physical, economic, social and political vulnerabilities that exist in the region. Both black swan events and persistent threats to security characterize the challenges within the Asia-Pacific region. Transnational security challenges such as global climate change, environmental degradation, pandemics, energy security, supply chain security, resource scarcity, terrorism and organized crime are shaping the security landscape regionally and globally. The significance of emerging transnational security challenges in the Asia-Pacific Region impact globally and conversely, security developments in those other regions affect the Asia-Pacific region.
This book offers a comprehensive overview of the alluvial fan phenomena, including all terminology, morphology, sedimentology, controlling factors, processes and the human impact. It combines the knowledge dispersed widely in existing literature with regional case studies, color figures and photographs. The chapters provide a useful basis to understand alluvial fans and a selection of papers attached to each chapter offers additional, more focused reading. This volume is aimed at engineers, planners and especially students in earth sciences.
This book provides valuable data on the outbreak, aggravation, treatment and prevention of respiratory diseases based on prior experiences of natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Poor hygiene and air pollution can lead to the onset of pneumonia and other respiratory disease, while a lack of medical supplies aggravates existing pulmonary diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Furthermore, there are cases where those forced to live in cramped conditions, such as cars, following a disaster have developed pulmonary thromboembolism as a result of deep vein thrombosis. The large numbers of patients diagnosed with respiratory diseases make understanding the links between natural disasters and pulmonary disease vital. Disaster and Respiratory Diseases is a valuable resource for all medical staff, including physicians involved in primary care, respiratory medicine and infection control and emergency medicine, as well as respiratory surgeons. It is also useful to national and regional governments concerned about anti-disaster measures.
This book provides an analytical discussion of the status of disaster risk reduction and governance in an Indian context, drawing examples and lessons from the output of the national and regional level programs and projects and from other relevant experiences in the country. Different types of disasters faced by Indian states are covered, including geophysical and hydrometeorological hazards. The book incorporates and draws upon some of the key lessons from the pre-disaster phase through the disaster phase and finally to the post-disaster phase, thus establishing an effective framework in the form of key lessons learned. The rich content of the book is based on contributions from various stakeholders, from academicians and practitioners to decision makers and nongovernment organizations related to disaster risk management systems in an Indian context. Special emphasis is given to analyzing field experiences from academic perspectives and pointing out key issues along with the relevance of risk governance of disaster risk reduction. The book works as a comprehensive reference in disaster risk governance for disaster managers in India and other countries. The book has 19 chapters organized into four parts. Part I provides the outline and basics of disaster risk governance perspectives at the national level with supporting examples from a global point of view. Part II specifically emphasizes the detailed perspectives on risk governance at the regional and local levels. Part III is devoted to approaches and issues of disaster risk governance and development at various levels, stressing the practices and clear examples of disaster risk governance, policy options, institutional organization, risk-reduction strategies, and key lessons learned. Finally, Part IV highlights risk reduction and cross-cutting issues, focusing on risk mitigation and scientific intervention for disaster risk reduction.
The book looks at the factors influencing the level of preparedness of communities exposed to flooding. It is based on original research carried out in twelve areas in southern Poland that suffered serious flood damage in the past thirty years. The underlying research was intended, on the one hand, to verify modern concepts explaining the behaviour of people who were exposed to natural hazards and, on the other, to explore the influence of the local natural, social, historical and economic contexts that could modify that behaviour. The book has three main threads: the social memory of floods and their image as it evolves in time; the influence of social and economic conditions (social vulnerability) on the preparedness to take on flood mitigation measures; and the role of risk communication in strengthening flood resilience. The main body of the work is based on 1) surveys carried out among the flood-affected population and members of local crisis services, 2) interviews with the flood-affected population and with members of administration and services (Police, Fire Dept.) with a history of rescue missions, and 3) an analysis of social media content and of local administration and government agency websites and land-use planning documents. The primary data collected by the authors was supplemented by statistics on the impact of floods occurring in the study areas. The data is presented in tables, graphs and maps for easier comprehension. The book is aimed at researchers and students, as well as at practitioners interested in risk perception, flood memories, social vulnerability & resilience studies, social capacity building, risk communication & education.
Dave Eggers's Zeitoun is the winner of the American Book Award and the LA Times Book Award In August 2005, as Hurricane Katrina blew in, the city of New Orleans has been abandoned by most citizens. But resident Abdulrahman Zeitoun, though his wife and family had gone, refused to leave. For days he traversed an apocalyptic landscape of flooded streets by canoe. But eventually he came to the attention of those 'guarding' this drowned city. Only then did Zeitoun's nightmare really begin. Zeitoun is the powerful, ultimately uplifting true story of one man's courage when confronted with an awesome force of nature followed by more troubling human oppression. 'Eggers uses Zeitoun's eyes to report on America's reasonless post-Katrina world, Reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's documentaries, this is a true story told with the skills of a master of fiction. Immensely readable' Independent 'Masterly. Brilliantly crafted, powerfully written and deftly reported' Guardian 'The stuff of great narrative non-fiction. Fifty years from now, when people want to know what happened to this once-great city, they will be talking about a family named Zeitoun' The New York Times Book Review
This book presents water insecurity issues in urban areas while developing a water security index and explores the innovative approaches to water development and management with examples from Asian cities. The urban water crisis is a global phenomenon, but it is more obvious in the megacities of the developing world. Urban drought, although not a familiar term, will pose a significant threat to humankind in the near future, especially in the context of increasing population in cities. Many cities are already unable to provide safe, clean water for their citizens. Some of the world's largest cities depend heavily on groundwater for their water supply. It is unlikely that dependence on aquifers, which take many years to recharge, will be sustainable. As urban populations grow, water use will need to shift from agriculture to municipal and industrial uses, making decisions about allocating between different sectors difficult. Inefficient water-use practices by households and industries, fragmented management of water between sectors and institutions, climate-induced water shortages, environmental degradation of water sources, and inadequate use of alternate sources are also issues of major concern. Despite recent advances in the literature, there exists a considerable gap in attempting an integrated water-resource management approach. Covering all aspects of urban drought and water insecurity, this book is a valuable resource for students, researchers, academics, policy makers, and development practitioners.
This study develops a methodology for rapidly obtaining approximate estimates of the economic consequences from numerous natural, man-made and technological threats. This software tool is intended for use by various decision makers and analysts to obtain estimates rapidly. It is programmed in Excel and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to facilitate its use. This tool is called E-CAT (Economic Consequence Analysis Tool) and accounts for the cumulative direct and indirect impacts (including resilience and behavioral factors that significantly affect base estimates) on the U.S. economy. E-CAT is intended to be a major step toward advancing the current state of economic consequence analysis (ECA) and also contributing to and developing interest in further research into complex but rapid turnaround approaches. The essence of the methodology involves running numerous simulations in a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model for each threat, yielding synthetic data for the estimation of a single regression equation based on the identification of key explanatory variables (threat characteristics and background conditions). This transforms the results of a complex model, which is beyond the reach of most users, into a "reduced form" model that is readily comprehensible. Functionality has been built into E-CAT so that its users can switch various consequence categories on and off in order to create customized profiles of economic consequences of numerous risk events. E-CAT incorporates uncertainty on both the input and output side in the course of the analysis.
The book contributes to understanding the pattern of strain release and the level of seismic hazard imposed by large-great earthquakes in the frontal fold-thrust belts of Kumaun and Garhwal regions of Uttarakhand. The motivation for active fault studies and their characterization have been emphasized. The book presents the compilation of knowledge garnered in multidisciplinary or proxy studies involved in the understanding of seismic hazard in general and Kumaun-Garhwal Himalaya regions in particular with lucid new maps draped on modern Cartosat or SRTM DEM data. It also discusses satellite image calibration, active faults identifications, and map productions with flowchart. The book discusses window-wise active fault elements with attributes together with the tectonic geomorphic map. It also includes active fault scarp with topographic profile along with field photographs. Finally, it reviews all existing seismotectonic models of the Himalaya, its earthquake hazard, and its vulnerability, specifically for Kumaun and Garhwal regions.
The 1984 explosion of the Union Carbide chemical plant in Bhopal,
India was undisputedly one of the world's worst industrial
disasters. Some have argued that the litigation following the
Bhopal disaster provided an "innovative model" for dealing with the
global distribution of technological risk; others consider the
disaster a turning point in environmental legislation; still others
argue that Bhopal is what globalization looks like on the ground.
Covers in a comprehensive fashion all aspects of cosmic hazards and possible strategies for contending with these threats through a comprehensive planetary defense strategy. This handbook brings together in a single reference work a rich blend of information about the various types of cosmic threats that are posed to human civilization by asteroids, comets, bolides, meteors, solar flares and coronal mass ejections, cosmic radiation and other types of threats that are only recently beginning to be understood and studied, such as investigation of the "cracks" in the protective shield provided by the Van Allen belts and the geomagnetosphere, of matter-antimatter collisions, orbital debris and radiological or biological contamination. Some areas that are addressed involve areas about which there is a good deal of information that has been collected for many decades by multiple space missions run by many different space agencies, observatories and scientific researchers. Other areas involving research and studies that have only recently gotten underway are discussed by some of the world's foremost experts in each of these areas, who provide up-to-date and scientifically verifiable information. Although much of the work in these various areas have been conducted by space agencies, an expanding range of work is also being carried out by observatories, by universities and other research centers, and even by private foundations and professional organizations. The purpose of this work is thus several-fold: to include the latest information and most systematic research from around the world in a single reference work; to note where there are significant gaps in knowledge where new research, spacecraft, observatories, or other initiatives are needed to fill in critical missing information; and to give the best possible information about preventative actions that might be taken against cosmic threats and identify various alternative strategies that are now under way or planned to cope with these various threats.
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