Volcanic hazard mapping for development planning

Dunkley, P.N.; Young, S.R.. 2000 Volcanic hazard mapping for development planning. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 163pp. (WC/00/020) (Unpublished)

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It is estimated that more than 500 million people are at risk from the hazards posed by volcanoes. The potential therefore exists for major loss of life and damage to property in a number of regions, especially where large urban areas occur in proximity to dangerous volcanoes. As population pressures intensify, hazardous areas are likely to become increasingly developed, so raising the level of risk. In the case of major eruptions, losses to property, infrastructure and economic activity can run into hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars and high casualty rates may be inflicted, although even relatively minor activity can have adverse impacts through the disruption of economic activity, lack of investor confidence and harm to health. Eruptions may therefore seriously disrupt development plans by causing burdensome economic setbacks that divert precious resources into relief and reconstruction, which would otherwise be destined for development. This can be severe in developing nations with small, poorly diversified economies. Because disasters are inextricably linked to human and economic development, the most efficient way to prevent them or reduce their impact is to take natural hazards into routine consideration when formulating development plans. An integrated approach to hazard management and development planning will also result in more realistic cost-benefit analyses of potential development projects, by taking into account the estimated costs and benefits of hazard reduction measures. Although numerous volcanoes pose a high level of risk in many developing countries, relatively few have been the subject of hazard assessments. The main objective of the project has therefore been the development and evaluation of rapid and cost-effective methods for volcanic hazard mapping in developing countries. Volcanic hazard mapping methods are described and the role that these have to play within the broader framework of risk reduction is discussed. With respect to this framework, the recurring problem of the failure of uptake and utilization of volcanic hazard information is examined within the context of the communications interface between civil authorities and volcanologists, and recommendations are made for improving the efficiency of the process through a number of measures.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Seismology and Geomagnetism
Funders/Sponsors: DFID KaR
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item has been internally reviewed but not externally peer-reviewed
Date made live: 03 Mar 2015 10:25 +0 (UTC)

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