The Role of Natural Hazards in the Society
Over the past, the occurrence of various forms of natural hazards has led to drastic negative effects on both man and the environment. Natural hazards come in a wide array of forms such as earthquakes, floods, drought, landslides, fire and volcanic eruptions among others. These hazards are fatal since they can neither be controlled nor evaded. In the heydays, man had not yet developed ways of predicting the occurrence of any natural disasters and there instantaneous occurrence had led to massive destructions and disruption on human lives. Therefore, natural hazards still remain to be among the major threats on not only the human lives but the global economy as well.
Natural hazards play an eminent role in the society as it disrupts the normal lives of human beings. Disruptions and destruction of human lives is caused by natural hazards through a myriad of ways such as death, destruction of properties and loss of food and crops. Besides causing the death of humans, natural hazards are also known to cause death of animals. The aesthetic value of the environment is also lost due to cracks caused by earthquakes whereas landslides destroy the land’s topography (Hunt 11).
Humans directly or indirectly impact natural hazards through deforestation, construction of buildings in unstable grounds and industrialization. Cutting down of trees is vital in promoting natural hazards such as landslides. Removal of vegetation cover leaves the soil bare resulting to the top layer of the soil being vulnerable to soil erosion. This results to soil instability which may result to landslide during heavy rainfalls (Hunt 11). On the other hand, industrialization is likely to lead to global warming due to emission of different greenhouse gases. Global warming is known to affect climate thereby causing drastic climate changes that may result to drought or flooding. Drilling and mining activities may also stress the normal soil structure which may cause tremors to the earth crust thus resulting man-made earthquakes (Hunt 15).
An example of a natural hazard that has an effect on culture and history is the volcanic eruptions. Volcanic eruptions have the tendency of influencing the culture, history and livelihood at the local scale (Roberts 7). One way by which volcanic eruptions have had an effect on the history was during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD where the Roman Towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried as a result of the production of huge pyroclastic flows (Roberts 7).
Amid the many reoccurring natural hazards, man has developed several ways of predicting the natural catastrophes. This is with the current technological developments that are handy in assisting man to predict and thus develop safety measures of ensuring that man is protected and kept aware of some threatening natural catastrophes.
Roberts, Peter. Excel Hsc Ancient History. Glebe, N.S.W: Pascal Press, 2006. Print.
Hunt, Roy E. Geologic Hazards: A Field Guide for Geotechnical Engineers. Boca Raton, FL: CRC/Taylor & Francis, 2007. Print.