- Analysis of Disaster Risk Management in Colombia
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- "Colombia has been a pioneer in Latin America in developing a comprehensive vision in risk and disaster management, which has resulted in a relative decrease in casualties. However, damage to property, infrastructure, and liveli- hoods continues to increase and makes it evi- dent that disasters are not natural events per se, but the result of applying inappropriate models of development that do not consider the relationship between society and nature. In spite of the efforts to contribute to territo- rial safety, social welfare and environmental sustainability, the conclusions of this report show that these efforts have not been effec- tive enough due to an increase of vulnerabil- ity conditions. Natural phenomenon hazards are among a wide range of factors that should be considered in order not to jeopardize the development, the global economic crises, cli- mate change, environmental degradation, so- cial inequality and armed conflicts.
Based on the above, it is important to make changes in the approaches to incorporate into the land-use planning the restrictions and potentialities in accordance with the existing hazards. These new approaches should incor- porate a tightly controlled land use against the pressure from urban expansion, and the use of technologies for ecosystem. Other- wise, the economic losses and the effects on
the population will continue to grow as they have done so far.
Cumulatively, over the past forty years, di- sasters in Colombia have caused losses amount- ing to US$7.1 billion1, that is, an average annual loss of US$177 million. Between 1970 and 2011, the country has registered more than 28,000 disaster events, of which about 60% were re- ported since the 1990s. Additionally, during 2010 and 2011, in just 15 months an equivalent figure amounted to one-quarter of the fatalities registered in the previous decade. There has been a noticeable increase in the occurrence of disaster events, increasing from 5,657 reg- istered between 1970 and 1979 to 9,270 reg- istered between 2000 and 2009. This increase results not only from the availability and qual- ity of the information sources, but mainly from the increase in population and property exposed. At present, the exposure level distri- bution in Colombia indicates that 36% of the territory is in a high seismic hazard situation, 28% has high flooding potential and 8% as in high landslide hazard. While geological events cause great losses concentrated in a region and in a relatively short time, hydrometeorological phenomena generate localized impacts of high frequency, which cumulatively over time mean even greater losses than those associated with seismic events and volcanic eruptions."
- Publication Date
- July 1, 2011, 1:20 p.m.
- Geoscientific Information
information pertaining to earth sciences. Examples: geophysical features and processes, geology, minerals, sciences dealing with the composition, structure and origin of the earth s rocks, risks of earthquakes, volcanic activity, landslides, gravity information, soils, permafrost, hydrogeology, erosion
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- Supplemental Information
- river_flood, tsunami, strong_wind, volcanic_ash, landslide, earthquake