Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky

Urban Environments and Natural Hazards

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_45

Definitions

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A respiratory disease characterized by a gradual loss of lung function.

Elephantiasis. Symptom of an infectious tropical disease filariasis (philariasis) caused by parasitic nematodes and spread by mosquitoes.

Natural hazard. Any naturally occurring event or agent that has the potential to negatively impact human and environmental health.

Slums. A socioeconomic term describing intensely populated parts of cities characterized by poverty, inadequate housing, water, and sanitation.

Introduction

Natural hazards have disastrous consequences when they impact cities. Recent examples are the tens of thousands of Americans left homeless when Hurricane Katrina flooded 80% of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 29, 2005; the widespread destruction of schools, hospitals, and factories caused by the May 12, 2008, earthquake in Sichuan Province, China; and the death of some quarter million Haitians in the city of Port-au-Prince...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earth Sciences DepartmentUniversity of Ottawa and Health CanadaOttawaCanada