People as the Creators of Hazards Essay

1129 Words 5 Pages
People as the Creators of Hazards

"Those elements in physical environment harmful to man and caused by forces extraneous to him". Definition of natural hazards, by I. Burton and R.W. Kates (1964).

A hazard only becomes a hazard if it affects, or threatens to affect people. It is essentially man centered. If no people are at risk, it is not a hazard. (See fig 1.0)

The more people living in hazardous environments, and the higher the level of development, the more damage caused by hazards.

"Venerability to any kind of hazard is essentially determined by poverty". Maskney (1989).





Fig 1.0

Natural hazards happen because
…show more content…
The consequence is an avalanche.

Avalanches can happen wherever there is snow lying on ground of sufficient angle. Increased popularity of winter climbing and hill walking, along with the growth of interest in off piste skiing means that more are at risk. Each year adds to the list of injuries and/or fatalities. Many of these accidents would have been avoidable, given greater care or knowledge, or if the victims had considered that an avalanche might be possible.

Avalanches can be specifically defined as mass movement hazards and the reason for this is obvious - movement is the basic reason for the hazard to humans. They occur when the downward force becomes larger than the upward slope. The increase in mass, and the force of gravity, can increase the danger of an avalanche. The most important triggers of an avalanche are; heavy snowfall - due to increased mass, Rain or thaw - decreasing friction, or an increase in the dynamic loading - meaning a moving mass such as a skier. (See fig.1.1)

When avalanches occur near humans there is always the potential for death and destruction. Anyone on the slopes in the path of an avalanche has little, if any, chance of survival. Victims of avalanches can often be buried just a few feet below the surface and not escape, as the snow becomes extremely dense

Related Documents