To loosely as there are often predictions and

To begin with, Pierre-Louis (2017) argues that what we
call natural disasters such as, earthquakes, hurricanes and floods are indeed natural,
but they are just natural hazards. According to Pierre-Louis (2017) population
in the area which is affected by the hazard plays a key role in defining what
has occurred. To use an example, according to Pierre- Louis (2017) if the
population is affected it is a natural hazard. However, if a population is not
affected we should just label a flood as the weather because there have been no
lives lost or damage to buildings and infrastructure (Pierre-Louis, 2017). This
can be linked to Pelling’s (2003) environmental outline whereby a natural
hazard merged with human vulnerability results in a disaster. Pierre-Louis
(2017) takes problem with the word ‘natural’, such as used by Pelling (2003) in
the environmental diagram, because according to Pierre-Louis (2017) it should
be used loosely as there are often predictions and warnings about disasters,
therefore we should in fact as a population we are able plan accordingly for a
disaster. Therefore, as a result they are not ‘natural’ because we have had
predictions and warnings. Consequently, only when there are problems such as,
lack of infrastructure and poor planning we can then label it as a disaster
(Pierre-Louis, 2017). If we refer to disasters such like, the Haiti earthquake
and Hurricane Katrina as natural we immediately untie ourselves from the
responsibility and adequately planning for the hazard as instead as a
population we adopt a seemingly lazy it is inevitable attitude (Pierre-Louis,
2017).  Therefore, it could be argued
that natural disasters are socially constructed events which are tied up in
problems of marginalisation and prejudices. There is no such thing as a natural
disaster and rather it is a term used which allows people and groups to avoid
responsibility and blame.

Secondly, Sheller (2012) in the article introduces the
concept of the ‘islanding effect’ to help us understand that there is no such
thing as a natural disaster. In the article Sheller discusses how islands such
as Haiti are at a severe pitfall when it comes to escaping from a post disaster.
The islanding effect works firstly by restricting movement in a triad of stages.
Firstly, in the case of Haiti, travel out of the island is restricted during
evacuation for safety purposes, travel was restricted after the disaster has
occurred and travel is often restricted if the disaster can be predicted. In
the case of the Haiti earthquake there was little distress warning given and
additionally there was no time to evacuate when the disaster earthquake struck
and therefore people become trapped. According to Sheller (2012) the islanding
effect is down to unequal access to mobility and this can be linked to the
theme of marginalisation. Consequently, this unequal access to mobility
resulted in the Haitians becoming confined and trapped on their own island
(Sheller, 2012). Moreover, in the case of the Haiti earthquake the disaster
logistic tragically produced uneven mobilities, for example outside foreign aid
workers held the ability to bring in supplies and they could come and go with
free will, whereas the poverty-stricken locals faced decreased mobility
(Sheller, 2012). The people that generally escaped the island where United
States citizens of a Haitian origin, or the affluent citizens of Haiti
(Sheller, 2012). Therefore, the people trapped after the disaster and unable to
flee where the marginalised poorer citizens of Haiti, with some people having
no passports, or money to travel. In a like manner, the theme of marginalisation
of the poorer social groups is not just aligned to the Haiti earthquake.
Marginalisation of the poorer social groups is a common theme throughout many
disasters and to give another example this can be seen in the disaster of
Hurricane Katrina. The evacuation plans for Hurricane Katrina relied on
automobility as Sheller (2012, p188) states “…evacuation plans relied on
systems of automobility…” Therefore, again the theme of marginalisation of the
poor can be seen because those who cannot afford their own transport are not
covered in the evacuation plan. Brooks (2005, as cited in Squires and Hartman,
2006) argues that Hurricane Katrina was mislabelled as a natural disaster and
rather it was a social disaster. Then, with this argument in mind it can be
concluded that both the Haiti earthquake and Hurricane Katrina are human
induced disasters rather than natural because if it was not for the
marginalisation of the poor then there would not have been such a high death
toll and destruction rate. Therefore, with this second argument in mind we can
indeed say that there is no such thing as a natural disaster.

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Moreover, disasters are further made worse by human
interaction and vulnerability. To put this into context, disaster
reconstruction more often than not deepens the exploitation of the marginalised
(Smith, 2006). After the disaster struck New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina and
the dead became unaccounted for it was found that developers had already began
to look for a new opportunity. The takeover of the developers was compared to a
“developers’ gold rush” (Streitfield, 2005, as cited in Smith, 2006, para 3).  This is a common theme after disasters as
developers seek to rebuild. However, the poor and marginalised often become worse
off after the disaster due to a decrease in wages, an increase in stigma and an
increase in costs for alternative housing (Smith, 2006). Therefore, again there
is a theme of the marginalisation of the poor as the money focused developers
strive to make a profit and as a result the poor are displaced. Smith (2006,
para 16) claims that “There is no such thing as a natural disaster, and the
supposed naturalness of the market is the last place to look…” I agree with
this because as demonstrated it is human interaction as proved which almost
always links up with disasters and often this worsens them, especially in the
case of post Hurricane Katrina.