Natural Hazards



Although the notion of risk appears in the Middle Ages, in the philosophy of pawnshops, the science of natural risk is a creation of the 20th century. Natural risk emerged from observations made by the American geographer White in 1958, that the management of areas with a high degree of instability leads in time to increased potential for human and material losses to the national economy. As defined by White (1974), the natural risk is the science of interaction between the natural and human environment, interaction governed by the resilience of human and the physical laws. Traditionally, natural disasters were attributed to extreme events, defined as events with magnitudes that exceed the usual, becoming dangerous to human communities (Burton and Kates 1964). This attitude marked the decade of struggle against natural disasters, the decade of the 1990s that encouraged by this attitude engineering solutions to reduce the risk of natural order (Cannon, 1994). This overstatement of environmental safety as a result of engineering interventions was highlighted already by White and colleagues, through research conducted in the second half of last century (White, 1974, Kates, Burton 1986). In recent decades it is increasingly required in geosciences the idea of explaining disasters as phenomena resulting from the couple relationship man-environment (Hewitt 1983, Cannon 1994, Tobin and Montz 1997, Blaikie et al. 1994). Each space contains a potential instability that can manifest in the form of risks, imposing certain natural constraints. To increase environment security, maximum importance gains, in this relationship, the awareness and response from the human component, which results in a certain lifestyle, with a certain level of resilience (Tobin and Montz 1997, Blaikie et al., 1994, Miletus 1999 Wisner 1988, Davis 1987).







Last updated at: August 26, 2011.