I’m afraid I have to disagree with my classmate’s assertion that earthquakes are the world’s most dangerous natural hazards. Though earthquakes can cause enormous loss of life and unthinkable damage to property and physical infrastructures, such as road bridges and the electrical grid, their effects are limited to a small area of land, making them manageable through emergency plans such as evacuations. Geological experts have also identified earthquake hotspots all over the world. As a result, governments and other emergency response players will take steps to ensure the safety of people and property. To ensure that buildings can withstand the stress of tremors, such measures include enforcing strict building codes. The government may also make a statement. It is also worth noting that earthquakes do rarely occur. The last major form of earthquake devastated the state of Haiti, and since then we have not witnessed in the major earthquake. Before the occurrence of the Haiti earthquake, the last major had happened in Chile in 1960 (Bilham 878).
However, other natural hazards like tornadoes are sporadic they hit anywhere and anytime. They offer little or no warning at all compared to earthquakes. They also have a devastating effect on property and life. Tornadoes are so common in the United States; the States that are most prone to tornadoes include Florida, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. Tornadoes are dangerous because of the frequency of their occurrence. Over 1000 tornadoes hit the United States alone every year. They are most in the summer though they can strike at any time of the year. Damage to property as a result of tornadoes is often high as compared to the loss of life.
Bilham, Roger. “Lessons from the Haiti earthquake.” Nature 463.7283 (2010): 878-879.