Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

natural disasters Related Abstracts

17 Lessons from Nature: Defensive Designs for the Built Environment

Authors: Rebecca A. Deek

Abstract:

There is evidence that erratic and extreme weather is becoming a common occurrence, and even predictions that this will become even more frequent and more severe. It also appears that the severity of earthquakes is intensifying. Some observers believe that human conduct has given reasons for such change; others attribute this to environmental and geological cycles. However, as some physicists, environmental scientists, politicians, and others continue to debate the connection between weather events, seismic activities, and climate change, other scientists, engineers, and urban planners are exploring how can our habitat become more responsive and resilient to such phenomena. There are a number of recent instances of nature’s destructive events that provide basis for the development of defensive measures.

Keywords: natural disasters, Biomimicry, Resilient Infrastructures, protection of human lives

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16 Design of Real Time Early Response Systems for Natural Disaster Management Based on Automation and Control Technologies

Authors: C. Pacheco, A. Cipriano

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A new concept of response system is proposed for filling the gap that exists in reducing vulnerability during immediate response to natural disasters. Real Time Early Response Systems (RTERSs) incorporate real time information as feedback data for closing control loop and for generating real time situation assessment. A review of the state of the art works that fit the concept of RTERS is presented, and it is found that they are mainly focused on manmade disasters. At the same time, in response phase of natural disaster management many works are involved in creating early warning systems, but just few efforts have been put on deciding what to do once an alarm is activated. In this context a RTERS arises as a useful tool for supporting people in their decision making process during natural disasters after an event is detected, and also as an innovative context for applying well-known automation technologies and automatic control concepts and tools.

Keywords: Disaster Management, natural disasters, real time, emergency response system

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15 A General Assessment of Varagavank Monastery in Van City

Authors: Muhammet Kurucu, Sahabettin Ozturk, Soner Guler

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Varagavank monastery is one of the most important symbols of Van city. In time, because of it hosted sacred memories, Varagavank monastery has become a great place with additional churches and chapels. A large part of contemporary spaces in the main building of the Varagavank monastery are now under ground. In addition to this, many parts of this structure have been destroyed by humanity and natural disasters. In this study, present condition of the Varagavank monastery are observed and debated in detail.

Keywords: natural disasters, Van city, seven churches, chapel

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14 Contributions of Search and Rescue to the World Peace

Authors: Dursun Kalebaşi

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When we examine the history of mankind (from the past up to the present), we see that millions of people died because of the wars. Especially, since the beginning of 19th century, the increase of the human death rate is caused mostly by the regional conflicts and natural disasters rather than the wars. From that point of view, the biggest threat humanity face today is temperature increase and climate change that started to emerge in recent years. When we take into account the natural disasters on one hand and refuges that flee from regional conflicts on the other, it stands out as a dramatic situation because of the huge human losses. In this context, most of the countries started to give more importance to Search and Rescue (SAR) operations to stop the loss of lives or decrease the death rate. This article will tell about the SAR activities in Turkey since 2000 and discuss the Turkey’s contributions to Rescue Missions after the natural disasters in different parts of the world. Moreover, there will be some new highlights to a more habitable and more peaceful world through the SAR missions.

Keywords: natural disasters, search and rescue, migration and world peace, Turkish army forces

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13 A Journey to the Past: Hoşap Castle in Van

Authors: Muhammet Kurucu

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Hoşap Castle, located in Gürpınar, Van, is one of the most important symbols of the city because it hosted sacred memories of its time. Besides the location and construction features of Güzelsu, in resort city of Van, Hoşap Castle is a great place with an architecture consisting of an outer fortress and the inner fortress. It is one of the Ottoman castles and was built in the 17th century by Sarı Süleyman who was known as bey of Mahmudi. Although some parts of Hoşap Castle have been destroyed by natural disasters, it has survived until today without total collapse and most places with excavations are revealed. In this study, present condition of the Hoşap Castle is observed and introduced briefly.

Keywords: natural disasters, Restoration, Güzelsu, Hoşap Castle, Van

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12 Risk Management of Natural Disasters on Insurance Stock Market

Authors: Tarah Bouaricha

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The impact of worst natural disasters is analysed in terms of insured losses which happened between 2010 and 2014 on S&P insurance index. Event study analysis is used to test whether natural disasters impact insurance index stock market price. There is no negative impact on insurance stock market price around the disasters event. To analyse the reaction of insurance stock market, normal returns (NR), abnormal returns (AR), cumulative abnormal returns (CAR), cumulative average abnormal returns (CAAR) and a parametric test on AR and on CAR are used.

Keywords: Insurance, natural disasters, stock market, reinsurance, study event

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11 Crowdalert: An Android Application for Increasing the Awareness and Response Initiatives of the Citizens through Crowdsourcing

Authors: John Benedict Bernardo

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Crowdsourcing is a way of collecting information provided by the volunteers. This crowdsourced information has the capacity to increase the people’s situational awareness in times of disasters. The research reflected in this paper strives to demonstrate the benefits of crowdsourcing during natural disasters and the ways of utilizing it for disaster response. Shared information regarding natural disasters from social media is often scattered as the inputs from these media are uncategorized. For this reason, the study aims to equip the citizens a medium that is solely intended for sharing and/or obtaining natural disaster-related information. Ergo, an android application was developed to gather and publicize this volunteered information. The capability of crowdsourcing and the effectiveness of the application were evaluated and the result shows overwhelming agreement that this study is indeed efficient in increasing the awareness and response initiatives of the citizens during natural disasters.

Keywords: Social Media, Mobile Application, natural disasters, Crowdsourcing

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10 Natural Disaster Tourism as a Type of Dark Tourism

Authors: Dorota Rucińska

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This theoretical paper combines the academic discourse regarding a specific part of dark tourism. Based on the literature analysis, distinction of natural disasters in thanatourism was investigated, which is connected with dynamic geographical conditions. Natural disasters used to play an important role in social life by their appearance in myths and religions. Nowadays, tourists pursuing natural hazards can be divided into three groups: Those interested in natural hazards themselves; those interested in landscape deformation and experiencing emotions shortly after extreme events - natural disasters - occur; and finally those interested in historic places log after an extreme event takes place. An important element of the natural disaster tourism is quick access to information on the location of a disaster and the destination of a potential excursion. Natural disaster tourism suits alternative tourism, yet it is opposed culture tourism, and sustainable tourism. The paper compares types and groups of tourists. It also considers the contradictions that describe dualism, which exists in dark tourism.

Keywords: natural disasters, Natural hazards, dualism, Dark Tourism, thanatoursim

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9 Impact of Profitability, Slack Resources and Natural Disasters on China's Corporate Philanthropic Practices

Authors: Nabeel Safdar, Qian Aimin

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Corporate philanthropy is important, as the donations have been considered as a source to improve the image of business entity in modern era of high competition. We used data on annual basis from 2000 to 2014 for 1,248 firms listed at Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges. Results for giving firms reveal that there is curve linear relation of profitability and CP, as profitable firms utilize cash in an efficient way and have fewer amounts of slack resource and tradeoff among stakeholder and agency cost made it more justifiable. We found that more profitability does not mean that the cash flows are available, actually good performing firms or profitable firm also good at cash management. Cash is utilized in an effective way by profitable firms, and have fewer extents of slack resources which generate curvilinear relationship of profitability with Corporate Philanthropy. We found that the trend of Corporate Philanthropy also got affected due to natural disasters. Analysis made by innovation, slack resources and directors salary revealed the positive significant relationship. It is not compulsory that firm should be only profitable for engaging in philanthropy rather they should have abundant slack resources to donate.

Keywords: natural disasters, Profitability, corporate philanthropy, free cash flows

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8 The Effectiveness of Psychosocial Interventions for Survivors of Natural Disasters: A Systematic Review

Authors: Santhani M. Selveindran

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Background: Natural disasters are traumatic global events that are becoming increasing more common, with significant psychosocial impact on survivors. This impact results not only in psychosocial distress but, for many, can lead to psychosocial disorders and chronic psychopathology. While there are currently available interventions that seek to prevent and treat these psychosocial sequelae, their effectiveness is uncertain. The evidence-base is emerging with more primary studies evaluating the effectiveness of various psychosocial interventions for survivors of natural disasters, which remains to be synthesized. Aim of Review: To identify, critically appraise and synthesize the current evidence-base on the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions in preventing or treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and/or Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in adults and children who are survivors of natural disasters. Methods: A protocol was developed as a guide to carry out this review. A systematic search was conducted in eight international electronic databases, three grey literature databases, one dissertation and thesis repository, websites of six humanitarian and non-governmental organizations renowned for their work on natural disasters, as well as bibliographic and citation searching for eligible articles. Papers meeting the specific inclusion criteria underwent quality assessment using the Downs and Black checklist. Data were extracted from the included papers and analysed by way of narrative synthesis. Results: Database and website searching returned 3777 papers where 31 met the criteria for inclusion. Additional 2 papers were obtained through bibliographic and citation searching. Methodological quality of most papers was fair. Twenty-five studies evaluated psychological interventions, five, social interventions whereas three studies evaluated ‘mixed’ psychological and social interventions. All studies, irrespective of methodological quality, reported post-intervention reductions in symptom scores for PTSD, depression and/or anxiety and where assessed, reduced diagnosis of PTSD and MDD, and produced improvements in self-efficacy and quality of life. Statistically significant results were seen in 27 studies. However, three studies demonstrated that the evaluated interventions may not have been very beneficial. Conclusions: The overall positive results suggest that any psychosocial interventions are favourable and should be delivered to all natural disaster survivors, irrespective of age, country, and phase of disaster. Yet, heterogeneity and methodological shortcomings of the current evidence-base makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions needed to formulate categorical guidance or frameworks. Further, rigorously conducted research is needed in this area, although the feasibility of such, given the context and nature of the problem, is also recognized.

Keywords: natural disasters, Effectiveness, survivors, psychosocial interventions

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7 Lessons Learned from the Disaster Responses after the Kermanshah Earthquake

Authors: S. M. Amin Hosseini, Oriol Pons, Albert de la Fuente

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An earthquake hit the Kermanshah province, which is located in the west of Iran, on 12th November 2017 at 18:18 UTC (21:48 Iran Standard Time). This earthquake caused several deaths and injured people. In this disaster, substantial homes were destroyed and many homes were damaged. The Iranian government, local authorities, and several non-governmental organizations responded to affected populations’ needs, such as foods, blanket, water, a tent as a temporary shelter, etc. Considerable national groups, including governmental, non-governmental organizations, and people from non-organized groups, directly and indirectly, tried to bring donated goods to the affected populations. However, some of these aids could not satisfy all the affected populations. Moreover, these impossibilities led to waste extensive resources. In this regard, this research study aims to assess the problems of the Kermanshah disaster responses. At the same time, this project searches possible solutions in order to increase emergency management efficiencies for encountering future events. To this end, this study assesses the problem from all beneficiaries´ point of views. In this regard, a survey and a questionnaire were designed for statistical analyses of the responses of people, who were involved in the Kermanshah earthquake recovery program. Additionally, this research study takes into account diverse strategies, which have been applied in other recovery programs, with the Kermanshah case in order to determine similarities and differences. Finally, this study presents possible solutions taken from other recovery programs that could be applied for the Kermanshah emergency responses. However, the results demonstrate that it is required to customize applied strategies based on local conditions and requirements.

Keywords: natural disasters, Disaster Response, NGOs, Kermanshah earthquake

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6 A Review and Classification of Maritime Disasters: The Case of Saudi Arabia's Coastline

Authors: Arif Almutairi, Monjur Mourshed

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Due to varying geographical and tectonic factors, the region of Saudi Arabia has been subjected to numerous natural and man-made maritime disasters during the last two decades. Natural maritime disasters, such as cyclones and tsunamis, have been recorded in coastal areas of the Indian Ocean (including the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden). Therefore, the Indian Ocean is widely recognised as the potential source of future destructive natural disasters that could affect Saudi Arabia’s coastline. Meanwhile, man-made maritime disasters, such as those arising from piracy and oil pollution, are located in the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf, which are key locations for oil export and transportation between Asia and Europe. This paper provides a brief overview of maritime disasters surrounding Saudi Arabia’s coastline in order to classify them by frequency of occurrence and location, and discuss their future impact the region. Results show that the Arabian Gulf will be more vulnerable to natural maritime disasters because of its location, whereas the Red Sea is more vulnerable to man-made maritime disasters, as it is the key location for transportation between Asia and Europe. The results also show that with the aid of proper classification, effective disaster management can reduce the consequences of maritime disasters.

Keywords: natural disasters, disaster classification, maritime disaster, man-made disasters

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5 An Analysis of Socio-Demographics, Living Conditions, and Physical and Emotional Child Abuse Patterns in the Context of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake

Authors: Sony Subedi, Colleen Davison, Susan Bartels

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Objective: The aim of this study is to i) investigate the socio-demographics and living conditions of households in Haiti pre- and post 2010 earthquake, ii) determine the household prevalence of emotional and physical abuse in children (aged 2-14) after the earthquake, and iii) explore the association between earthquake-related loss and experience of emotional and physical child abuse in the household while considering potential confounding variables and the interactive effects of a number of social, economic, and demographic factors. Methods: A nationally representative sample of Haitian households from the 2005/6 and 2012 phases of the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) was used. Descriptive analysis was summarized using frequencies and measures of central tendency. Chi-squared and independent t-tests were used to compare data that was available pre-earthquake and post-earthquake. The association between experiences of earthquake-related loss and emotional and physical child abuse was assessed using log-binomial regression models. Results: Comparing pre-post-earthquake, noteworthy improvements were observed in the educational attainment of the household head (9.1% decrease in “no education” category) and in possession of the following household items: electricity, television, mobile-phone, and radio post-earthquake. Approximately 77.0% of children aged 2-14 experienced at least one form of physical abuse and 78.5% of children experienced at least one form of emotional abuse one month prior to the 2012 survey period. Analysis regarding the third objective (association between experiences of earthquake-related loss and emotional and physical child abuse) is in progress. Conclusions: The extremely high prevalence of emotional and physical child abuse in Haiti indicates an immediate need for improvements in the enforcement of existing policies and interventions aimed at decreasing child abuse in the household.

Keywords: Children, natural disasters, Physical Abuse, Haiti earthquake, emotional abuse

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4 Extending Smart City Infrastructure to Cover Natural Disasters

Authors: Nina Dasari, Satvik Dasari

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Smart city solutions are being developed across the globe to transform urban areas. However, the infrastructure enablement for alerting natural disasters such as floods and wildfires is deficient. This paper discusses an innovative device that could be used as part of the smart city initiative to detect and provide alerts in case of floods at road crossings and wildfires. An Internet of Things (IoT) smart city node was designed, tested, and deployed with collaboration from the City of Austin. The end to end solution includes a 3G enabled IoT device, flood and fire sensors, cloud, a mobile app, and IoT analytics. The real-time data was collected and analyzed using IoT analytics to refine the solution for the past year. The results demonstrate that the proposed solution is reliable and provides accurate results. This low-cost solution is viable, and it can replace the current solution which costs tens of thousands of dollars.

Keywords: Internet of Things, Analytics, natural disasters, Smart City

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3 Identifying the Strength of Cyclones and Earthquakes Requiring Military Disaster Response

Authors: Chad A. Long

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The United States military is now commonly responding to complex humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters around the world. From catastrophic earthquakes in Haiti to typhoons devastating the Philippines, U.S. military assistance is requested when the event exceeds the local government's ability to assist the population. This study assesses the characteristics of catastrophes that surpass a nation’s individual ability to respond and recover from the event. The paper begins with a historical summary of military aid and then analyzes over 40 years of the United States military humanitarian response. Over 300 military operations were reviewed and coded based on the nature of the disaster. This in-depth study reviewed the U.S. military’s deployment events for cyclones and earthquakes to determine the strength of the natural disaster requiring external assistance. The climatological data for cyclone landfall and magnitude data for earthquake epicenters were identified, grouped into regions and analyzed for time-based trends. The results showed that foreign countries will likely request the U.S. military for cyclones with speeds greater or equal to 125 miles an hour and earthquakes at the magnitude of 7.4 or higher. These results of this study will assist the geographic combatant commands in determining future military response requirements.

Keywords: Military, natural disasters, Earthquakes, Cyclone

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2 Building Resilient Communities: The Traumatic Effect of Wildfire on Mati, Greece

Authors: K. Vallianou, T. Alexopoulos, V. Plaka, M. K. Seleventi, V. Skanavis, C. Skanavis

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The present research addresses the role of place attachment and emotions in community resiliency and recovery within the context of a disaster. Natural disasters represent a disruption in the normal functioning of a community, leading to a general feeling of disorientation. This study draws on the trauma caused by a natural hazard such as a forest fire. The changes of the sense of togetherness are being assessed. Finally this research determines how the place attachment of the inhabitants was affected during the reorientation process of the community. The case study area is Mati, a small coastal town in eastern Attica, Greece. The fire broke out on July 23rd, 2018. A quantitative research was conducted through questionnaires via phone interviews, one year after the disaster, to address community resiliency in the long-run. The sample was composed of 159 participants from the rural community of Mati plus 120 coming from Skyros Island that was used as a control group. Inhabitants were prompted to answer items gauging their emotions related to the event, group identification and emotional significance of their community, and place attachment before and a year after the fire took place. Importantly, the community recovery and reorientation were examined within the context of a relative absence of government backing and official support. Emotions related to the event were aggregated into 4 clusters related to: activation/vigilance, distress/disorientation, indignation, and helplessness. The findings revealed a decrease in the level of place attachment in the impacted area of Mati as compared to the control group of Skyros Island. Importantly, initial distress caused by the fire prompted the residents to identify more with their community and to report more positive feelings toward their community. Moreover, a mediation analysis indicated that the positive effect of community cohesion on place attachment one year after the disaster was mediated by the positive feelings toward the community. Finally, place attachment contributes to enhanced optimism and a more positive perspective concerning Mati’s future prospects. Despite an insufficient state support to this affected area, the findings suggest an important role of emotions and place attachment during the process of recovery. Implications concerning the role of emotions and social dynamics in meshing place attachment during the disaster recovery process as well as community resiliency are discussed.

Keywords: natural disasters, wildfire, Community Resilience, Place Attachment

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1 The Hurricane 'Bump': Measuring the Effects of Hurricanes on Wages in Southern Louisiana

Authors: Jasmine Latiolais

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Much of the disaster-related literature finds a positive relationship between the impact of a natural disaster and the growth of wages. Panel datasets are often used to explore these effects. However, natural disasters do not impact a single variable in the economy. Rather, natural disasters affect all facets of the economy, simultaneously, upon impact. It is difficult to control for all factors that would be influenced by the impact of a natural disaster, which can lead to lead to omitted variable bias in those studies employing panel datasets. To address this issue of omitted variable bias, an interrupted time series analysis is used to test the short-run relationship between the impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on parish wage levels in Southern Louisiana, inherently controlling for economic conditions. This study provides evidence that natural disasters do increase wages in the very short term (one quarter following the impact of the hurricane) but that these results are not seen in the longer term and are not robust. In addition, the significance of the coefficients changes depending on the parish. Overall, this study finds that previous literature on this topic may not be robust when considered through a time-series lens.

Keywords: natural disasters, local economies, economic recovery, local wage growth

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