Sample Geology Essay Paper on Natural Hazard Journal

Natural Hazard Journal

            A natural hazard involves a major undesirable event that emerges out of natural processes within the Earth. Some of the natural hazards that have claimed millions of people on Earth include earthquakes tsunami, floods, famine, and volcanoes. One of the natural hazards that has occurred recently is Super Typhoon Nepartak. The storm was experienced in southeastern China after hitting Taiwan. Both China and Taiwan had prepared for the disaster, but loss of property was inevitable in such situations. Wildfires in California are another form of natural disaster that was difficult to avoid. Displacements following hazards are often laden with complex and political impediments to solutions. Although natural hazards can hardly be prevented, adequate preparations can assist in mitigating their impacts.

Super Typhoon Nepartak

            The Western Pacific Ocean has always been a common ground for typhoon, and this year’s typhoon was predicted as early as in April. The storm became a reality on July 10, 2016 when Super Typhoon Nepartak hit Taiwan before proceeding to cause havoc in southeastern region of China. According to The Guardian, the tropical storm has claimed the lives of six people while approximately 2,000 homes have been destroyed (France-Presse n.p). In Taiwan, the storm forced more than 15,000 people to vacate their homes due to the strong winds that had never been experienced in the region. Figure 1 below depicts a satellite picture that was captured by NASA from space portraying how Typhoon Nepartak began as it proceeded towards Taiwan.

Figure 1: Origin of Typhoon Nepartak (Source: Daily Mail)

            A day before the typhoon, the government had managed to evacuate more than 200,000 residents while people from southeastern region of Fujian had to survive without power to avert more danger (France-Presse n.p). Flights were cancelled while ferries that operate in Fujian province and the surrounding islands stopped their operations as they heeded advice from the government. Fishermen were warned to remove their boats along the shores as activities on the shoreline were expected to stop. The government also warned of heavy rain that would be experienced in 14 provinces. The storm destroyed most of the crops in the southeastern region with an economic loss of approximately 900 million Yuan (Williams n.p). Public offices and schools had to be closed due to heavy rains, floods, and strong winds in the region. Figure 2 portrays how Typhoon Nepartak left a trail of wreckages, especially at the residential homes in Putian city.

Figure 2: The wreckage after super Typhoon Nepartak (Source: The Guardian)

            The Chinese government had already warned the residents concerning the impending storm and had managed to evacuate most of the residents to safer grounds. It is quite hard to experience super typhoon without social and economic loss, as people’s lives have to change as they adapt to new environments. Typhoons have killed thousands of people in China, but the Chinese government has enforced evacuation operations as it takes precautions in advance. With thousands of hectares being destroyed by the storm, the government had offer food to the victims of Typhoon Nepartak, in addition to assisting them settle back in their homes. People should be warned earlier if their regions are likely to be hit by the disasters while governments should always be ready with the right apparatus to assist in evacuation, as well as settlement. The most fundamental thing after a disaster is how to recover from the loss.

Wildfires in California

Wildfires have devastated several regions in California, as the state continues to experience a dry season. An explosive wildfire has caused the death of two people in California, as they strived to escape smoke coming from the forest in central California. The fire, nicknamed Erskine Fire, which began on June 24, 2016, destroyed more than 100 structures and compelled thousands of residents to leave their homes Carroll n.p). Prolonged years of drought, in addition to extreme heat and strong winds have been blamed for causing the destructive conditions. Figure 3 below illustrates areas that were affected by the wildfire. The fire has threatened to destroy crops, as well as critical infrastructure that include communication lines if rescue efforts were not effective. Another wildfire, dubbed Sherpa Fire, was witnessed near Goleta, as illustrated in Figure 4 below. The fire razed over 6,000 acres of vegetation, after gaining strength from the sundowner winds. Mandatory evacuations were ordered in various regions of Santa Barbara, as the state government engaged in saving lives and properties.

Figure 3: Areas that experienced excessive heat in Santa Barbara (Source: Los Angeles Times)

Figure 4: Sherpa Fire in California (Source: CNN)

The state government in California has announced a state of emergency as it embarked on rescue efforts. Meanwhile, residents have been warned of strong winds that are likely to add energy to the fire. The Sherpa Fire compelled the firefighter to close the 101 Freeway temporarily to facilitate emergence response (Ellis and Lucaciu n.p). Wildfires in California have already created an effect on tourism, as several beaches and campgrounds have been shut down to save lives. The fire also destroyed a water treatment plant located in El Capitan Canyon, causing a closure of public areas that depended on the facility (Fernandez, Serna, and Blume n.p). Residents were advised to comply with the mandatory evacuation orders to avoid fatalities. 

Most wildfires are manmade, but heat sources, such as lightning and scorching sun are capable of creating sparks that ignite wildfires. Although wildfires are destructive and injurious to humans, wildfires that start naturally contribute immensely in nature’s processes. Fire contributes in returning nutrients to the soil as it burns up the decaying matter. Wildfires also assist in disinfecting the environment by removing disease-laden plants from the ecosystem. Some seeds cannot germinate without exposure to high temperatures, hence, wildfires plays a role in their germination. California government can be lauded for funding the fire department adequately to cater for emergencies. Respective governments should always be ready for wildfires if their regions experience prolonged drought that causes vegetation to dry up. People who work in wild-land areas should consult the meteorologists, who possess wildfire risk forecasting tools, to enhance their safety.

Conclusion

            Natural hazards can hardly be prevented, but relevant authorities can devise ways of predicting them so that preparations can be made on how to mitigate them and minimize their impacts. Natural hazards such as floods, typhoons, and wildfires cause social and economic losses, which can affect people’s lives for a long period. In case of typhoons and storms, people should be aware of their surroundings to discern whether they are prone to such hazards. The government should keep on reminding residents through the media concerning the approaching disaster as early as possible. Wildfire incidences are hard to envisage, but prolonged drought, strong winds, and excessive heat can help to take precautions of fire. Having adequate funds for the fire department can assist in coping with fire disasters.

Works Cited

Carroll, Rory. “California wildfire: two die as hundreds ‘engaged in epic firefight’.” The Guardian, June 24, 2016. Web. 14 July 2016 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/24/california-wildfire-deaths-firefight-epic-proportions

Ellis, Ralph, and Loli Lucaciu. “Wildfire spreading fast near Santa Barbara.” CNN, June 17, 2016. Web. 14 July 2016 http://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/17/us/california-fires/index.html

Fernandez, Alexia, Joseph Serna, and Howard Blume. “Sherpa fire in Santa Barbara County grows to nearly 6,000 acres as a hot, windy weekend looms” Los Angeles Times, June 17, 2016. Web. 14 July 2016  http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-sherpa-fire-20160617-snap-story.html

France-Presse, Agence. “Super typhoon Nepartak: six dead in China as tens of thousands flee storm.” The Guardian, July 11, 2016. Web. 14 July 2016 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/11/super-typhoon-nepartak-six-dead-china-storm

Williams, Sophie. “In the path of the super typhoon: Dramatic pictures show the devastating scenes after Nepartak battered China killing at least nine.” Daily Mail, July 11, 2016. Web. 14 July 2016 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/peoplesdaily/article-3684501/In-path-super-typhoon-Dramatic-pictures-devastating-scenes-Nepartak-battered-China-killing-nine.html