WHICH PARTS OF THE WORLD WILL HAVE THE WORST DISASTERS?
(P1) Asia has the largest number of people exposed to NATURAL DISASTERS, but African countries are the most VULNERABLE to them, largely because of political INSTABILITY, CORRUPTION, POVERTY, and INEQUALITY.
(P2) India has a billion people at risk, with China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, and Pakistan also ranked among the 10 countries with the most people exposed to natural HAZARDS, according to data compiled by Verisk Maplecroft, a UK-based RISK MANAGEMENT company.
(P4) But the list of countries most vulnerable to disasters – in terms of their ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from them – is topped by African nations, particularly South Sudan, Burundi and Eritrea.
(P7) “For example, in India and Pakistan, to some extent, there are BUILDING CODES IN PLACE, but they are very weakly implemented. You see construction going on in high-risk areas where it should not happen,” he said.
(P8) In Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, more than 85 percent of people are exposed to at least one kind of natural hazard. But all three countries are classed as having low vulnerability, because they have good protections in place, and together they recorded less than 32,000 deaths from natural disasters since 1990.
(P9) Haiti, on the other hand, is not as exposed to potential disasters but is considered highly vulnerable, having suffered over 230,000 deaths since 1990, many in a major 2010 earthquake. It is an extremely poor and challenged country.
(P11) The fast pace of development in Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, and the Philippines has done little to cut that region’s disaster risk.
(P12) Some of the most vulnerable countries have shown strong economic growth, but INFRASTRUCTURE and policies remain weak.
(P13) Reducing vulnerability to disasters, particularly in places with large exposure to natural hazards, will depend on tackling poverty and inequality, he said.
(P14) Providing education and healthcare and giving people better access to SOCIAL SERVICES can improve their incomes and knowledge, and help them move from dangerous places to safer ones which are more expensive to live in.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- What types of natural disasters is your country most vulnerable to?
- Have you ever experienced a natural disaster?
- Do you think that your country’s government is well prepared to handle natural disasters?
- Have you made any personal PREPARATIONS for natural disasters?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Natural disaster
- Risk management
- Building code
- In place
- Social services