MANAGING NATURAL DISASTERS IN THE COASTAL AREAS BY JOSEPH R MUKABANA, PhD Kenya Meteorological Services P.O. Box 30259, Nairobi, KENYA Tel: 254-2-567880 Fax: 254-2-576955 E-mail: mukabana @meteo.go.ke INTRODUCTION :
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Economic activities in coastal ocean environment account for substantial proportions of the gross domestic products of many maritime countries.
This is due to growing reliance on:
To effectively improve and sustain development and to mitigate or reverse the undesirable trends or effects of the natural disasters in coastal areas, we need to:
Definition and General Consideration :
A Disaster is a serious disruption of the functioning of a society, causing widespread human, property or environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected society to cope using only its own resources.
Plants and animals including humans are enacted within the global theatre of natural disasters arising from a variety of natural processes e.g.
More recent examples of the potential hazards of the extreme events have been demonstrated by:
The El-Nino floods of 1997/98 in East Africa were immediately followed by one of the longest and severest droughts in the history of the sub-region associated with the 1999-2000 La Nina episode. The drought impacts are still persistent in some areas to date.
Natural disasters in coastal areas can be categorised into three major types i.e. geological, biological and meteorological.
Both these two processes can cause landslides, snow avalanches, river flooding, soil erosion, mudslides (collapsing soils) water and soil pollution, coastal flooding, ocean processeslike storm surges, tsunamis, etc.
These are in the form of disease epidemics and epizootics like malaria, proliferation of pests and parasites and invasion of areas by insects.
3) Meteorological :
These result from extreme climate events e.g. floods, lightning strikes and resulting fires, droughts, thunderstorms, tropical cyclones, tornados, waterspouts, hailstorms, sandstorms, frost, etc
At times the disasters are as a result of a combination of two or all three of these processes.
The effect of a disaster on populations may either be direct or indirect.
Tropical Cyclones and Storm Surges
Storm Surge Their Management
A Storm Surge is an abnormal rise of sea level caused by a cyclone moving over a continental shelf
Flooding of Low-Lying Coastal Areas Their Management
Effect of local Tides
Loss of Soil Fertility from Saline Intrusion
Erosion of Beaches
Effect of local Coastal Configuration
Damage to onshore & offshore installations
Damage to Shipping & Fishing Facilities
Contamination of Domestic Water Supply
Low Atmospheric Pressure in the Centre
Destruction of Vegetation, Crops, Livestock
Loss of Human Life: Injuries
Damage to structures & Continent
Loss of Communications & Power
Potential Impact upon Landfall of a Tropical Cyclone
YEARS Their Management
1822 - 1991
1737 - 1999
1923 - 1960
6,000Table 1:DEATHS DUE STORM SURGES
A series of traveling ocean waves of extremely long length generated primarily by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, outer-space meteorite splash or landslides occurring below or near the ocean floor.
Tsunamis are a threat to life and property for all coastal residents living near the ocean.
Although 80% of the tsunamis occur in the Pacific, they can also threaten coastlines of countries in other regions, including the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Caribbean region, and even the Atlantic Ocean.
The Indian Ocean Tsunami
ENHANCEMENT OF A TSUNAMI WAVE Their Management
RESPONSE TO A TSUNAMI WAVE Their Management
1, 1946 People flee as a tsunami attacks downtown Hilo, Hawaii (Bishop Museum Archives)
Floods Their Management
Landslides Their Management
Impact of droughts on Agriculture Their Management
Disease Outbreaks and Health Related Disasters:
This should cover:
1. Establishment of early warning systems and capacity building of the national institutions responsible for data collection, analysis and issuance of forecasts and warnings of the disasters.
The warnings need to be:
In the case of Tsunamis, Cyclones, Storm
Surges and Floods these initiatives
Protection of life and property including
buildings through construction of
seawalls, barrages, dykes, coastal
embankments and dams.
In the case of Landslides
Initiatives should be directed towards;
In the case of Disease Outbreaks and Health
Initiatives should include formation of permanent Search and Rescue teams to carry out relief and rehabilitation initiatives. The team should have the capacity to provide services like medical care, clean water, balanced food, etc.
Disaster preparedness will have to include the