Geography

Natural Disaster Case Study

Natural disasters are unpredictable occurrences. This assignment will focus on assessing natural disasters. For example, Cyclone Nargis took place on May 5, 2008, in Myanmar (Burma) was a terrible event, but it makes for an ideal example, or case, in which to study the primary and secondary effects of a hazard on the resident population in a lesser developed economic country. It provided clear examples of the ways in which external factors such as the political regime of the country, the environment, and infrastructures can inhibit the supply of relief and the ways in which the news media across the world report a disaster and the relief effort. One week later, the Sichuan province of China was hit by an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale. The earthquake affected a large area and was felt as far away as Beijing, Bangkok, Hanoi, and Shanghai. The initial death toll was estimated at around 9,000.

Select a momentous natural disaster that has occurred within the last ten years. You may use one of the examples above or one of these occurrences:

· 2010 Haiti earthquake

· 2010 Russian heat wave

· 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

· 2011 United States tornado season (i.e., Alabama and Missouri)

· 2012 Hurricane Sandy

· 2013 Australian heat wave

Natural disasters can include disease outbreak, wildfire outbreaks, flooding, famine, blizzards, and avalanches, to name a few.

Your case study will analyze the details of the natural disaster you select and consider the following topics:

1. What was the cause of the natural disaster?

2. Assess the preparedness of the people it impacted. Even though one never knows how these events occur, could there have been more preventive planning to reduce the number of casualties or overall damage?

3. What were the immediate concerns after it happened? (You may want to focus on food supply, available resources, and the overall impact on the way of life.)

4. Research and evaluate the current state of the area and its people in the current recovery stage.

5. What was the effect of the disaster on the socioeconomic demographics of this area?

6. Finally, examine the media coverage of the event. What role did the Internet, newspapers, news networks, etc. play in reporting the event, and how did they assist in the recovery effort (if at all). Remember that you should consider looking at the coverage from local and international perspectives.

The content of your case study can be synthesized from a number of credible sources, including academic sources, newspaper articles, news stories, and human interest stories. Use at least 3 sources beyond the textbook. Wikipedia is not considered a credible source. Do not cite search engines, such as Yahoo or Google. For electronic sources, if the instructor cannot access the source through the link provided, the source will not be counted. In addition, if you have access to someone who lives in that area you may want to consider interviewing her/him as an eyewitness source.

The case study should be completed as a word document, double spaced, 12 font (Arial or New Roman are preferable), and at least 2 pages long (excluding graphics, the cover page, and citation page). Creativity and imagination in the assignment submission will contribute to a higher grade. Any sources must be documented in the appropriate MLA format.

The grade will be based upon the thoroughness, accuracy, and insightfulness of the coverage of the topic, creativity of the presentation, and use of correct spelling and grammar. Academic writing and research are important criteria in this assignment.

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