Friday, October 28, 2005

A population at risk

A new report from Columbia University studies the vulnerability of national populations to natural disasters. The study finds that El Salvador is one of only 9 countries in the world where 90% of the population is at high relative risk of death from two or more natural disaster hazards. The types of disasters considered were drought, floods, cyclones, earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides.

This vulnerability of El Salvador was brought home again today. Two quakes measuring 5.1 and 4.9 degrees in the Richter scale rattled the country overnight. There were no reports of injury, but the National Territorial Studies Services (SNET) said the tremors destroyed some stores and partially ruined some roofs at private residences.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Beta churns off the coast of Nicaragua, threatening to bring more heavy rains with the related risks of flooding and landslides in the coming week.

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