The Most Cities Threatened By Natural Disasters
Natural Disasters, Floods have killed thousands in India and across Asia. Record hurricanes have wreaked havoc across the Caribbean and the US. Fires, driven by drought, lay waste to large parts of Portugal and California. Closer to home, unprecedented storms have claimed lives and leave thousands of homes under water.
” Rapid growth, without efforts to boost resilience, is exposing cities around the world to huge risk. Population growth and human migration are on the rise, and climate change is poised to have dramatic effects, which means we’re approaching a tipping point for the safety of cities all over the world.”
These are the 10 cities most threatened by Natural Disasters:
10. Tehran, Iran
Number of people potentially affected: 15.6 million
The population of the Iranian capital of Tehran (13.6 million) s highly exposed to earthquake risk and features prominently in the Swiss Re earthquake rankings. At left, people crowd a pedestrian zone in Tehran.
9. Los Angeles
Number of people potentially affected: 16.4 million The greatest risk to Los Angeles is earthquake, followed by river flooding.
Number of people potentially affected: 16.7 million
At left, the container area at the Yangchuan Deep Water Port, part of the newly announced Shanghai Free Trade Zone.
7. Kolkata, India
Number of people potentially affected: 17.9 million
Kolkata, the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal, sits on the bank of the Hooghly River, a tributary of the Ganges. The city and surrounding region is most at risk for river flooding, but also faces the threat of wind storms, earthquakes, storm surges and tsunamis.
6. Nagoya, Japan
Number of people potentially affected: 22.9 million
The cities most exposed to tsunami risk are in Japan, since they are located along the active faults of the Western Pacific. Nagoya faces a likelihood of being impacted by earthquake the most, but also by all five disasters, amplifying the threat to inhabitants and economy. At left, people wait for the subway in Nagoya, which serves about 3 million riders a day.
5. Jakarta, Indonesia
Number of people potentially affected: 27.7 million Jakarta’s greatest threats are earthquakes and river flooding,
4. Osaka-Kobe, Japan
Number of people potentially affected: 32.1 million
At left, the Port of Kobe Earthquake Memorial Park maintains a small area of earthquake- damaged land as it was immediately following the Great Hanshin earthquake, or Kobe earthquake, which occurred Jan. 17, 1995, killing more than 4,000 people in Kobe alone.
3. Pearl River Delta, China
Number of people potentially affected: 34.5 million
The Pearl River Delta is a densely populated metropolitan area that is home to more than 42 million inhabitants, according to the Swiss Re report. Covering a territory of some 20,600 square kilometers, it includes the urban districts of Hong Kong, (at left) Shenzhen, Dongguan, Macau and Guangzhou. The region is one of China’s main economic centers, with an estimated gross domestic product of $690 billion. Although earthquake risk in the area is almost nonexistent, the Pearl River Delta is ranked highest for storm surge, third for wind storms and fifth for risk of river flooding,
2. Manila, Philippines
Number of people potentially affected: 34.6 million
At left, commuters ride pedicabs along a flooded highway in Paranaque, metro Manila, Sept. 23. Heavy monsoon rains caused flooding in parts of Manila and the nearby provinces, making roads impassable to small vehicles,
Number of people potentially affected: 57.1 million
The metropolitan area of Tokyo-Yokohama is by far the most earthquake-exposed community in the Swiss Re rankings. The area is at high risk for other hazards as well, including storm surge, high winds, river flooding and tsunamis. At left, people rush out of the buildings outside of the Ueno subway station in Tokyo, after the earthquake of March 11, 2011.
Natural catastrophes lead to higher costs of living. Food becomes costlier when supply is destroyed, damaged, or unable to get to market. Damaged buildings suffer electricity, computer, and telecommunications losses, effectively shutting down businesses inside and resulting in some unemployment.
Architects/engineers (A/Es) are looking to newer materials in an effort to build more durable, higher quality residential projects to better withstand some of the effects of Natural Disasters. One technique growing in popularity involves the use of concrete in the home’s exterior shell. While, both precast and poured-in-place concrete walls have been used in the non-residential construction for over 50 years, applying this technology to residential projects is a relatively new idea..
Clearly the need exists for residential homes that limit the impact of nature’s destructive effects, without sacrificing comfort, energy efficiency, and aesthetics. Along with plastic insulation, concrete may provide the answer.
Almost any conventional home’s blueprints can be translated into an integrally insulated concrete home. A range of exterior/interior finishes, such as brick, siding, and stucco, are available for a custom look. Fewer specialized trades required on-site Since much of the finishing surfaces, electrical rough-ins, opening framing, etc., are cast-in-place at the factory, fewer on-site trades are required. Additionally, gypsum wallboard is not required on most interior surfaces—just a paint coating.
Once the precast panels are shipped to the site, the home can be erected quickly—up to twice the rate of some conventional frame houses.
Precast concrete panels are structural panels that are mechanically fastened to the foundation, roofs, and other panels to form a robust building envelope that can outperform conventional frame construction in high winds. Even after a fire or when the roof has been swept away, the precast panels typically remain in place, helping to protect emergency workers and home contents.
The high R-value per inch of the extruded polystyrene (XPS) or polyisocyanurate (polyiso) insulation core reduces thermal movement through the wall in any season, and the mass of the concrete moderates the effect of Natural Disasters outside temperature extremes during the day. Thermal mass effect can greatly enhance the overall effective R-value of a home, depending upon geographic region. In addition, the insulated core is continuous over the wall with no thermal bridging, allowing for lower air-conditioning and heating bills. Certain concrete wall/plastic insulation designs also meet third party energy ratings, such as the U.S.
Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Home Energy Star® rating criteria.
Sound barrier characteristics Concrete wall mass makes it an effective barrier to exterior/interior sound.
Concrete is a non-combustible material. The material does not burn, soften, or distort, so concrete homes are more likely to remain standing after a fire.
Insurance costs for precast homes can be more than 15 percent lower than conventional framed homes.
Concrete requires less maintenance. Termites and other pests are not problems for concrete walls, as they are denied their food source and/or warm nesting cavities.
Concrete homes typically outlast similar conventional structures. For example, a home using integrally insulated technology uses up to 40 percent less wood in its construction.
There are no single, quick fix solutions to building catastrophe-resistant homes. However, specifying an integrally insulated concrete wall system with plastic insulation in residential projects could be a step in the right direction. In addition to potentially reducing overall ownership costs, it offers great strength both within the wall panel and at the connection points, protection against flying debris and burning embers, and a structure less likely to collapse on occupants and rescuers.
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