Disaster Management Manual
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3.3 Hazard Identification

Disasters occur when hazards meet vulnerability. 1

Disasters occur when there are challenges in resilience to disasters due to lack of proper disaster management planning and appropriate risk management as compared to the severity of the hazard. Strengthening disaster resilience and hazard identification and assessment play a dual role in disaster management.

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) defines a hazard as “a dangerous phenomenon, substance, human activity or condition that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage”. It also defines natural hazards are predominantly associated with natural processes and phenomena. 2

Multi-hazard means (1) the selection of multiple major hazards that the country faces, and (2) the specific contexts where hazardous events may occur simultaneously, cascadingly or cumulatively over time, and taking into account the potential interrelated effects.

Natural disaster hazards include floods, volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and so on. Disaster management for natural disasters begins with the identification of natural disaster hazards and their appropriate assessment. In other words, it is important to identify the hazard and assess its risk level. Forecasting technology for all hazards has advanced, and in many cases, the results of damage prediction are compiled into hazard maps that are incorporated into disaster management.

In many cases, the hazard maps are organized in such a way that the risk of multiple hazards must also be considered. In many cases, overlapping hazard maps can also be used to study the possibility of multiple hazards.

Furthermore, in the case of landslides, the impact of the hazard itself may change due to changes in the ground conditions. In such a case, it is important to evaluate the impact of the hazard in real time by using monitoring technology.

In this section, hazard mapping and monitoring technologies are introduced.

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