Tag Archive | flood

Copenhagen Consensus Challenge Paper on Natural Disasters Released.

The Copenhagen Consensus Centre has released a Challenge Paper on Natural Disasters, penned by Howard Kunreuther and Erwann Michel-Kerjan and distributed through CopenhagenConsensus.com

Summary. Downloadable PDF available below.

“In recent years, the world has experienced a series of truly devastating natural disasters that have taken many lives and triggered unprecedented economic losses. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in the United States, the 2010 massive floods in Australia and the 2011 earthquake/tsunami in Japan, among other events, have demonstrated that even the most wealth and well prepared countries can experience large-scale damage and destruction when natural disasters strike.

The situation is much worse in low-income countries since they often do not have the financial means to protect their population and economy against catastrophes. In addition, building codes are lacking or not well enforced and the infrastructure is often poorly designed for disseminating information prior to a disaster, and assisting victims in a timely manner after its occurrence. The earthquake in Haiti in 2010 illustrates the challenges of an unprepared and poor country…

…First, the authors propose designing schools that can withstand earthquakes to reduce damage and the number of fatalities to children, teachers and other staff. Retrofitting the schools in all 35 most-exposed countries around the world would save the lives of 250,000 individuals over the next 50 years. Costs obviously vary from country to country: in the Solomon Islands it would cost just $36 million to retrofit schools while the cumulative total benefits are $235 million, yielding a benefit/cost ratio (BCR) greater than 6. In Afghanistan and Myanmar the costs would be $698 million and $1,570 million, respectively, with a benefit of about five times the amount invested.”

Read the full Summary and Download the Report (PDF) from the Copenhagen Consensus website.

 

Disaster Archive: Pointe Coupee 1912

Carol Ann Blitzer for The Advocate.com

 — One hundred years ago, the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, was the leading news story on two continents. Americans and Europeans hung onto every report of the lifeboats, the survivors, the widows, the babies, the heroes.

The Titanic held onto the headlines until a natural disaster in the far northeastern corner of Pointe Coupee Parish grabbed them in America, when, on May 1, the swollen Mississippi River tore through a weakened levee at the tiny community of Torras.

The event, known as the Torras Crevasse, was “the greatest and deadliest natural disaster in Pointe Coupee and regional history,” said Brian Costello, historian and archivist for the Historical Materials Collection of the Pointe Coupee Parish Library. “It was a defining moment in our history.”

For the full article follow the link.

Washed away: Pointe Coupee 1912 | People | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA.

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