Larger number of hazards in the non-western world not simply a question of geography


Bankoff argues that the 'natural disasters' concept does not represent a conceptual term in the same way as tropicality or development does (Bankoff, 2003, 2004a). The regions in which such phenomena frequently occur are incorporated into discourses on hazards that set them apart from implicitly 'safer' areas (Bankoff, 2003, p. 10). Between 1963 and 1992, over 93% of all major global hazards occurred outside of North America and Europe (Smith, 1996). Also, during the 1990s, more than 90% of the average annual number of people killed or affected by hazards lived outside the United States/Canada and Europe (Walker & Walter, 2000). However, Bankoff concludes that the larger number of hazards in the non-western world is not “simply a question of geography”, but it is also “a matter of demographic differences, exacerbated in more recent centuries by the unequal terms of international trade, that renders the inhabitants of less developed countries more likely to die from hazard than those in more developed ones” (Bankoff, 2003, pp. 10-11).

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