Time and Space in Disaster
Disasters in time and space
Early attempts to define disasters were based on the exceedence of certain loss thresholds. For instance, Sheehan and Hewitt (1996) classified as disasters all those events that killed or injured at least 100 people or caused at least US $1 million damage. This definition was further developed in more qualitative terms, e.g., by UNDRO (1984) “… an event, concentrated in time and space, in which a community undergoes severe danger and incurs such losses to its members and physical appurtenances that the social structure is disrupted and the fulfillment of all or some of the essential functions of the society is prevented.” Other definitions reduce the term disaster to those events where “.. large numbers of people exposed to hazard are killed, injured or damaged in some way …” (Smith, 2004, p. 5). In this context, Smith also states, that “there is no universally agreed definition of the scale on which loss has to occur in order to qualify as a disaster.”...
- Engel, H., 1997. The flood events of 1993/1994 and 1995 in the Rhine River basin. In Destructive Water: Water-Caused Natural Disasters, their Abatement and Control (Proceedings of the Conference held at Anaheim, California, June 1996). IAHS Publ. No. 239, pp. 21–32.Google Scholar
- Glade, T., and Dikau, R., 2001. Gravitative massenbewegungen von naturereignis zur naturkatastrophe. Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen, 145, 42–55.Google Scholar
- Smith, K., 2004. Environmental Hazards: Assessing Risk and Reducing Disaster. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Sheehan, L., and Hewitt, K. 1996. A pilot study of global natural disasters of the past twenty years. Working Paper No. 11, Boulder, CO: Institute of Behavioural Science, University of Colorado.Google Scholar
- UNDRO, 1984. Disaster Prevention and Mitigation. New York: Office of the Disaster relief Coordinator, United Nations. Preparedness Aspects, Vol. 11.Google Scholar