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  • #788
    Keymaster

    Analyse the four main graphs, and summarise and explain the global trends over the past decade.  If necessary, you may want to do the following:

    o   Confer with other members of the forum

    #1659
    Keymaster

    Note that I’ve added (11/5) an analysis of the latest (2016) WDR statistics, together with some extra commentary on this. please take time to read this as the analysis is really interesting. This article can also be found on our blog at https://www.torqaid.com/red-cross-global-disaster-statistics . If you are doing the assignment (where this is the first question), you will need to expand your answer to go beyond the comments I’ve made in this latest analysis

    #1865
    Participant

    As has been expressed in the Red Cross WDR 2015, I was initially drawn to trending which seem to suggest there is a decline in disasters occurring annually. The information provided through the Red Cross WDR is quite compelling, but it left me to consider why. As was noted in the Torqaid supporting documentation, this reduction could very well be due to a range of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) initiatives. The data on natural disasters was quite clear.

    Then I thought that I should look at what, if anything, could be gleaned from a review of technological disasters, in the last decade that would point to a lower trending. There would appear to be a reduction in technological disasters, but the challenges and outcomes still present themselves. Here in North America, we need look no further than a couple of examples that stand out, the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon ‘Macondo’ spill, with 11 fatalities and the largest accidental marine oil spill in history and the Lac Megantic, Quebec crude oil train explosion, with 47 killed and the centre of the town destroyed. Human error, within poorly management safety systems, was the single largest contributing factor.

    Although I have a background in natural disaster response in Western Canada (interface wildfires, regional flooding and earthquakes),
    I am currently much more in involved in technological disaster studies as a professional health and safety consultant, with my main activities related to health and safety management systems. A range of authors, such as James Reason and Charles Perrow have provided excellent material from their studies on human error and the factors related to organizational accidents in ‘tightly coupled’ systems, such as those found in oil and gas processing and distribution.

    I tried to provide the James Reason’s ‘Swiss Cheese’ model of how accidents can happen to illustrate my point, but was unsuccessful in this forum. You can look it up, though! It is a classic illustration and supports disaster risk reduction concepts as far the work pertains to health, safety and environmental management systems. .

    In my view, I think there is a great deal of work that could be done to support significant reductions in human and other losses as a result of technological disasters. The problem is that we are all human and humans can mess up! Future research for myself will include how behavioural-based initiatives in complex, high risk settings my qualitatively, if not quantitatively, reduce the number of these types of disasters.

    #1869
    Keymaster

    Some fascinating insights here, Roger. What do others think ? You’re correct that the graphic representation indicates there has been a steady overall decline in disasters (which includes both natural & technological) since 2000. The breakdown of figures from 2006 shows that the trend is a little more pronounced in technological rather than natural disasters (‘tho both have declined). As Roger suggests, this trend is probably mostly due to improvements in DRR (covered in Mods 3a/3b), and to be honest, I’m not sure enough credit is given to the positive improvements over this period. This can be borne out in last years hurricanes (Irma/Maria/Harvey) in the Caribbean, as well as last month’s TC Gita (Samoa/Tonga), as well as 2015 TC Pam (Vanuatu) and 2016 TC Winston (Fiji). Devastating as these were, the death toll in each case was in two figures (ie < 100). The exception to this was Hurricane Matthew in 2016, where the death toll was over 500. This possibly due to less developed DRR initiatives across Haiti, which is still coming to grips with the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. We have a new person, Eddy ruble, joining us shortly. He's the Regional DRM Coordinator for a faith-based agency, and he's based in Malaysia. I'm also pulling some material together on the PNG earthquake which hit last week. .

    #1870
    Keymaster

    Some fascinating insights here, Roger. What do others think ? You’re correct that the graphic representation indicates there has been a steady overall decline in disasters (which includes both natural & technological) since 2000. The breakdown of figures from 2006 shows that the trend is a little more pronounced in technological rather than natural disasters (‘tho both have declined). As Roger suggests, this trend is probably mostly due to improvements in DRR (covered in Mods 3a/3b), and to be honest, I’m not sure enough credit is given to the positive improvements over this period. This can be borne out in last years hurricanes (Irma/Maria/Harvey) in the Caribbean, as well as last month’s TC Gita (Samoa/Tonga), as well as 2015 TC Pam (Vanuatu) and 2016 TC Winston (Fiji). Devastating as these were, the death toll in each case was in two figures (ie < 100). The exception to this was Hurricane Matthew in 2016, where the death toll was over 500. This possibly due to less developed DRR initiatives across Haiti, which is still coming to grips with the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. We have a new person, Eddy ruble, joining us shortly. He's the Regional DRM Coordinator for a faith-based agency, and he's based in Malaysia. I'm also pulling some material together on the PNG earthquake which hit last week. .

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