Natural disasters

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One of tens of thousands of homes and buildings blown over across Vanuatu by Cyclone Pam in March 2015. AAP Image/ Kris Paras

Rebuilding a safer and stronger Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam

One of the most hotly debated questions in Vanuatu has been about how communities can rebuild so that they are safer and more resilient to future cyclones. That's not as simple as you might think.
There are more resilient ways to build in vulnerable areas. Resilient Collective Housing', New Jersey Institute of Technology College of Architecture and Design studio project by Taryn Wefer and Naomi Patel. Instructors: Keith Krumwiede and Martina Decker

We need to change how and where we build to be ready for a future of more extreme weather

The climate is changing. Development patterns that have hardly served us well in the past certainly won't serve us well in the future. Now is the time to adapt.
Would giving disaster victims cash, rather than just supplies, help them get back on their feet faster? Reuters

Gifts of cash may be best way to rebuild lives of disaster victims

When disaster strikes, billions of dollars are spent on food and supplies, with little accounting of whether relief groups bought the right things or what impact they had.
With many people in need of shelter and schools only now re-opening, Nepal is not yet ready to restart the lucrative tourism industry that will help its recovery. EPA/Narendra Shrestha

What can tourists do to help, not hinder, Nepal’s quake recovery?

While some operators have prematurely suggested it's safe for tourists to return, Nepal's recovery from the earthquake has barely begun. In the longer term, though, tourism will be vital to this process.
The road to recovery is a long one for Nepal, which goes beyond the immediate priority of disaster relief. Diego Azubel/AAP

Quake recovery can leverage change of lasting benefit to Nepal

Politics in Nepal will hinder relief and recovery efforts following the earthquake and its aftershocks. But look at it the other way around. Could the disaster help to resolve political problems?
Earthquake survivor Krishna Kumari Khadka, 24, is rescued by the French, Israeli and Norwegian rescue teams from a collapsed building six days after the earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 30 2015. Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Take care: challenges medical relief teams face after disaster

People working in this field often view themselves with a "person-of-steel" mentality – placing themselves in peril by ignoring their own needs.
Nepalese soldiers unload food supplies at an army base in Chautara, Nepal, April 29 2015. Olivia Harris/Reuters

What works and doesn’t in disaster health response

Research suggests that many international health-oriented responses are poorly targeted. So what kind of health response would best target the needs of the Nepalese?
Rescue workers looking for possible survivors in Kathmandu, Nepal, in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. EPA/Carl Whetham/International Federation of the Red Cross

Recovery must improve Nepal after the deadly earthquake

The recovery effort is now underway after a powerful earthquake hit Nepal. The challenge will be to rebuild a stronger nation.
Is this image of destruction after Cyclone Pam a sign of things to come? Sgt Neil Bryden RAF, British Ministry of Defence/AAP

Explainer: are natural disasters on the rise?

Natural disasters are becoming more frequent, with more people with less money exposed to a greater number of hazards.
Vanuatu has a well-co-ordinated disaster response system but limited material resources. Medical support is needed when a disaster like Cyclone Pam strikes. EPA/UNICEF

Beyond Cyclone Pam: identifying Vanuatu’s strengths and needs

The people of Vanuatu have always had to cope with extreme weather events, but natural disasters on the scale of Cyclone Pam test their strengths and leave areas of vulnerability exposed.
Vital but routine public health measures are often compromised in the weeks following natural disasters. UNICEF

Cyclone Pam aid efforts should keep future disasters in mind

Any public health assessment of Vanuatu should include the identification of immediate needs and associated risks, as well as put in plans for mitigating future natural disasters.

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