Test on global hazards

Use this test to make sure you know about global hazards. In addition, please look at the different ways of presenting hazard profiles.

  1. Define a natural hazard. (2)
  2. Identify and define with examples the four types of hazards. (8)
  3. State whether each of the events below is a hazard, if so what type and why is it/is it not   a hazard;
  • A drought in the South East of England. (3)
  • A flood in a rural area which floods the roads, but doesn’t affect any houses.(3)
  • An avalanche, high on mountain slopes, remote from any settlement. (3)
  • A tsunami 50 cm high off the coast of Japan. (3)
  • A volcano erupting on a remote unpopulated island. (3)
  1. Define a windstorm. (2)
  2. Name two case studies of each type of hazard;
  • Flood (2)
  • Earthquake (2)
  • Windstorm (2)
  1. How would Swiss Re define a disaster? (3)
  2.  What is a vulnerable population? (2)
  3. What is a quasi-natural hazard? Give an example with it. (3)
  4. What are the six indicators used to assess the impact of a hazard? (6)
  5. What is the risk equation? (3)



  1. A natural hazard is a natural event or process, which involves people. (2)

Candidates may also give example e.g. loss of life, injury, disruption, economic damage or environmental degradation.

  1. Hydro-meteorological (1) — these are hazards caused by weather conditions & water (1)

Geo-physical (1) — these are hazards caused by processes of the earth. (1)

Geomorphic (1) — these are hazards caused by external earth processes involving mass movement (1)

Tectonic (1) — these are hazards caused by tectonic activity; earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. (1) (to get 1 mark for tectonic hazards candidate is not required to give examples)

  1. a) It is a hydro-meteorlogical hazard (2) Chose one from the following 3 reasons;

– Because it will affect the agricultural yield for England. (1)

– Extreme heat may affect some people’s health. (1)

– There may also be concerns with water supply. (1)

b) Hydro-Meteorlogical hazard (2)-because it affects roads which affects people because they may be blocked from going to work or school and residents experience general disruption (1)

c) It is not a hazard because being remote it affects no one. (3)

d) Tectonic hazard (2) because it affects people living on the coast of Japan e.g. injury, loss of lives, economic damage etc (1) Candidates do not need to give an example to get one mark

e) It is not a hazard because there are no people involved. (3) It is just a natural event.

A storm with high or violent winds (1) with no or a little precipitation (1)

(a) (i) Boscastle August 2004 (ii) Mississippi flood 1993 (2)

(b) (i) Kobe earthquake January 1995 (ii) California earthquake 1989 (2)

(c) (i) Lady Lake tornado 2007 (ii) Windstorm Klaus January 2009 (2)

Candidates may pick other examples e.g. Haiti earthquake Jan 2010 – year it happened is required but month isn’t.

  1. A disaster, which caused at least 20 people to die (1), or insurance damage (1) of over US $16 million. (1)
  1. A vulnerable population is one that is susceptible to human or economic loss (1) because of the geography of where they live. (1)
  1. A quasi-natural hazard is a hazard, which is caused by a bi-product of human activity (especially while using natural resources) (2) . For example, in Indonesia (2006) a mud volcano erupted killing and disrupting many lives. It is claimed that a company called Lapindo Brantas caused it. (1) Candidates may use other examples.
  1. i) Duration (1) — Period of time over which it occurs
  2. ii) Area reliability (1) – Could you predict the area that was affected e.g. you can predict where a volcano will reach but you can’t for a

iii) Magnitude (1) — How big is it compared to the average

iv) Frequency (1) – How often-on average does the even happen?

v) Speed of onset (1) – Length of time between first appearance and peak e.g. lag time in flooding

vi) Area extent (1) – How big is the region affected?

(Note: Candidate do not need to give explanation to get the mark, the indicator on its own is fine)

10. Disaster risk = (Hazard x Vulnerability) / Capacity

A mark each for each part being in the right space.


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