Vol.53, No.1 - Spring 2023
Vol.53, No.1 - Spring 2023
A natural disaster is any calamitous occurrence generated by the effects of natural, rather than human-driven, phenomena that produces great loss of human life or destruction of the natural
environment, private property, or public infrastructure. A natural disaster may be caused by weather and climate events or by earthquakes landslides, and other occurrences that originate at Earth’s surface or within the planet itself.
There are two main types of natural disaster:
Weather- and climate-driven natural disasters include flooding caused by heavy rains associated with hurricanes and typhoons (tropical cyclones) and other intense storms; drought, famine, and wildfires brought on by heat waves and shifts in precipitation patterns; wind-generated devastation caused by tropical cyclones, tornadoes, derechos, and other windstorms; and damage and loss of life caused by blizzards and heavy snowfalls.
Earth-driven natural disasters include large volcanic eruptions (which produce lava flows, explosions, toxic gas clouds, ash falls, and pyroclastic flows that damage populated areas) and strong earthquakes (which result from the sudden fracturing of Earth’s crust) powerful enough to damage or destroy built-up areas near their origin points.
NATURAL HAZARDS IN THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA
The Insurance Bureau of Canada says that severe weather caused $3.1 billion of insured damages during 2022.
Flooding, tornadoes and even a hurricane occurred throughout Canada last year, making 2022 the third worst year for insured losses in the nation’s history, said the Insurance Bureau. The most expensive extreme weather event for Canada in 2022 was the Ontario and Quebec windstorm in May, which caused $1 billion in insured damages. The other most expensive weather events last year included Hurricane Fiona, which caused $800 million in damages, and the summer storms in western Canada that cost $300 million.
CSIS Warns Climate Change Threatens Canadian Security, Prosperity
“Canada’s spy service warns that climate change poses a profound, ongoing threat to national security and prosperity, including the possible loss of parts of British Columbia and the Atlantic Provinces to rising sea levels." The CSIS brief “says the Arctic’s receding ice coverage will allow for routine navigation of the Northwest Passage and extraction of oil and mineral deposits in the region might become more economically viable. Great power competition for Arctic access, influence and control will likely intensify. There will be an escalating risk from significant Russian military activity and a growing China presence in this vital region.” As reported by Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press on March 05, 2023.