The Secretary of Iran Urban Economics Scientific Association (IUESA):

2.7 Billion People of the World Exposed to Earthquakes

Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 16:17

The secretary of Iran Urban Economics Scientific Association (IUESA), Tabatabaei Mozdabadi, has stated that one out of three people in the world is exposed to earthquakes, and in 2017, almost 37 percent of the world’s population lives in 145 countries that are located in potentially hazardous seismic regions.

According to an ISCA report, Dr. Tabatabaei noted that cities have been facing to many problems which seem to be increasingly dangerous places and explained that one out of three people in the world is exposed to earthquakes and almost nearly 37 percent of the world’s population of 145 countries as well as 31 percent of the world’s built-up area are located in potentially hazardous seismic regions.

More than one billion people from 155 countries are at risk of flooding, over 400 million people live near hazardous volcanoes, and tidal cyclones threaten 640 million people, vice-president of IUESA said. He emphasized that more than 40% of high-risk seismic locations residents are from low-income-poor countries.

Saying that there are no differences between rich or poor countries, earthquake, floods and other natural disasters will happen in any regions; the highest rates occur in the United States and Japan but their flexible economies is one reason which prevents the vast destruction or infrastructure failures. As he said, residents of the marginal areas are the main victims of natural disasters, like earthquakes, even if they are miles away from it.

The IUESA secretory also declared that high-risk areas, such as faults, channels, slopes of hills and suburban areas are the only options for the poor people of urban areas to live, “living in slums made with recycled materials, cultural poverty and lack of literacy and disaster-related education are some other factors of choosing risky areas to live."

He spoke of May 7, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which killed more than 220,000 people and explained that flood casualties in India showed that slums are at risk of destruction more than any other places.

Tabatabaei highlighted that managers and decision makers must plan risk reduction strategies to attract the international communities attention. In this regard, UN member states signed the Hugo Implementation Framework to reduce natural hazards in 2005.

He finally added that the earthquake is not just about the buildings destruction, it is able to endanger the social, cultural, economic and political life of a city, even a country, but reacting quickly during an earthquake could actually show the city’s development level.

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