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Supplements of Geografia Fisica e Dinamica Quaternaria
Volume II - 1989


Geomorphological Hazards


Geomorphological hazards: characteristics and human response


Geomorphological hazards may be defined as those events or processes, natural or man-induced, that cause a change in earth-surface characteristics detrimental to Man and his activities. They form a sub-set of the broader range of natural hazards that represent a world problem of growing importance, in which the cost to mankind is measured in billions of dollars annually. Man’s sensitivity to all types of hazard is increasing as world population rises, as technological advances and economic development place ever-greater demands on the environment and its resources, and as societies and economies grow in complexity, thus becoming more vulnerable to disasters. The recurrence of violent earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, catastrophic floods and droughts serves to heighten human awareness of these potential threats and of the need for protection against them. In developed countries, natural disasters may usually be contained and absorbed within the economic and social fabric of the region; but in developing countries they can be a most serious threat to economic advancement, sometimes affecting the economy of the whole nation.

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