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Caribbean Island Region

  • By: Elizabeth Rholetter Purdy
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

Many scientists, including Philip R. Berke and Timothy Beatley, agree that the Caribbean Island region is one of the most vulnerable geographic regions in the world because of its geographic location and the limited ability of some Caribbean nations to respond to disasters. Major vulnerabilities include earthquakes and volcanic activity, and violent storms that cause flooding and mudslides. Once the annual season begins, hurricanes from the coast of West Africa make landfall first on the Caribbean Islands. Even when hurricanes do not hit the islands directly, they can cause loss of life and considerable damage through flooding, beach erosion, property damage, and vegetation loss. Efforts directed toward disaster mitigation and management are severely limited by economics.

Around the world, hazard mapping is one of the ...

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