In this paper, we are going to compare and contrast the Inform values, Hazards, Vulnerability, and Coping Capacity for Afghanistan, Canada, Japan, and Cameroon. These four countries differ in ways of the population, economic issues and disaster frequencies. Seven/Eight major plates and several minor plates move slowly in relation to each other within the Earth’s outer shell, the lithosphere. There are three main types of plate boundaries, Convergent boundaries: two plates are colliding, Divergent boundaries: two plates are moving apart, and Transform boundaries: two plates sliding past each other. The motion of these plates, called plate tectonics, have a big impact on the earth and can help us understand why things such as volcanoes and earthquakes happen.
In Afghanistan strong earthquakes, landslides and floods are among the most frequently occurring Hazard. With a Hazard value of 8.60, ranked 3rd in the world, the risk of Hazards for Afghanistan is very high. Due to Afghanistan being close to both the Indian Plate and the Arabian Plate this causes frequent earthquakes, that triggers landslides. Drought floods tend to happen after the melting of snowfall and excessive rain during the spring season. Because of such high risk, the vulnerability value of Afghanistan is 5.50 and puts them at the 36th in the world. Afghanistan has a poor resilience for recovering from natural disasters with a Coping Capacity value of 8.00, ranked 8th in the world attributed to the lack of people and resources and education that can benefit the Country in time of need. Canada has a much different risk index than Afghanistan. Canada’s Hazard value is 3.30, which ranks them at 77th in the world. Canada does not experience earthquakes, landslides, or droughts but they do experience frequent severe storms, floods, and high temperatures. The risk for Canada is low due to the majority of Canada sitting on the North American Plate, but the west coast of canada does lie on the Pacific Plate, the “ring of fire”, which is earthquake prone. Canada experiences four seasons caused by the tilt of the Earth axis. Storms, particularly snowstorms are caused by moist air rising, floods because of excessive rainfall, and high temperatures which is said to be caused by greenhouse gases. Vulnerability isn’t much of a concern for Canada, with the value at 2.30 and the rank 126th in the world, and a Coping Capacity Valued at 2.40, ranked 159 with a great economy, strong social factors and continuing awareness, resources and good management.
Japan has a Hazard Value of 6.20, ranked 26th in the world. The risk for Japan is generally low despite sitting on the Eurasian Plate near the Philippine Sea Plate. Earthquakes, and floods are the highest Hazards among Japan because of its climate and topography in addition to the same issues Afghanistan has, movement of plates and excessive rainfall. But, unlike Afghanistan and nearer to Canada, Japan suffers from severe storms. Japan’s Vulnerability value is 0.80, ranked 187th in the world, even lower than Canada, why? Because Japan’s economy is one of the highest developed and market-oriented economy in the world. With that being said, Japan’s Coping Capacity is lower than Canada’s valued at 1.60, ranked 182.
Cameroon has a Hazard Value of 2.09, ranked 85th in the world. Floods and droughts are the most common in Cameroon in low-lying areas. Much different than Afghanistan and their earthquakes because Cameroon sits on the African Plate significantly far away from any plate boundaries. Compared to Afghanistan, Canada, and Japan, Cameroon has a low risk of hazard as well as a medium degree of vulnerability of 5.50 and a rank of 36th in the world. The Coping Capacity for Cameroon is valued at 6.10, with a rank of 54. Cameroon has slightly better resources than Afghanistan but nowhere near as established as Canada and Japan. Some people and places are more vulnerable to certain Hazards than others. Sitting on different plates, and experiencing different plate tectonics impact Hazard Vulnerability greatly. Different physical factors, Economic factors, Social factors, and Environmental factors weigh heavily on Vulnerability and Coping Capacity. By understanding who, why and where we are vulnerable to Hazards we can try and reduce the damage to our homes, and communities.
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