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Book 2 . t e

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© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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Revised and Updated

Written and revised by Jane Bourke. © Ready-Ed Publications 2007. Originally published by Ready-Ed Publications (2000) P.O. Box 276 Greenwood Perth W.A. 6024 Email: info@readyed.com.au Website: www.readyed.com.au

COPYRIGHT NOTICE Permission is granted for the purchaser to photocopy sufficient copies for non-commercial educational purposes. However, this permission is not transferable and applies only to the purchasing individual or institution.

ISBN 1 87526 847 2


Teachers’ Notes This book is intended to provide starting points for student research into the areas of disasters associated with the weather. It explores recent disasters as well as examining some of the most devastating disasters in history.

Internet References

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The Internet is undoubtedly one of the most useful current sources for obtaining up to the minute information. Information usually appears on the Internet before newspapers and television and can be updated very quickly. It also helps to develop students’ research skills as they retrieve information on disasters in history. At the time of publishing, the website addresses were accessible. Students can easily reach the nominated sites via the Ready-Ed website by visiting the address below. Any future changes will also be posted on our website as they occur at:

www.readyed.com.au/urls/disasters

Research Tips for Students Getting Started

Make sure you understand exactly what it is you need to do. Ask questions of your teacher or parent if necessary.

© R e a d y E d P u b l i c a t i o n s Write down any questions or areas of information that you think you need to research. •f rr e i e wa last pminute ur p osesonl y• Make yourself ao timetable – itv may avoid rush! Taking Notes

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Keep a record of the references that you use. e.g. (Title) “Worst Floods in History” Pages 125-167, (Author) I. M. Whette Read (or view or listen to ) the relevant parts of your references. On second reading write down some key words and phrases. Then close the book and write out your notes in your own words. Refer to key words for ideas and correct spelling. Organise your notes into sections or under headings. Include a contents page and reference list. Review – check that you have covered all that was required.

o c . che e r o t r s s r u e p Presentation

Usually your teacher will suggest the presentation format, i.e. a chart, booklet, oral presentation etc., but often you may need to decide this yourself. Remember that the appearance of your work is important. Try to relate the handwriting and design to the theme of your work. Consider the neatness and effectiveness of your titles, handwriting, pictures, diagrams and borders.

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World Disasters Series – Book 2


Contents page 4 page 5 page 6 page 7 page 8 page 9 page 10 page 11

Cyclones Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Cyclones ................................................................... Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Damaging Cyclones ................................................. Background Information ........................................................ Activity: After the Storm .......................................................... Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Cyclone Warnings .....................................................

page page page page page page page page

12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Bushfires Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Australian Bushfires .................................................. Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Bushfire Devastation ................................................. Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Firefighters ................................................................ Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Firefighting ................................................................ Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Bushfire Disasters ..................................................... Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Bushfire Actions ........................................................

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20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

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Floods Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Floods Around the World ......................................... Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Floods in Australia .................................................... Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Flood Warnings - 1 ................................................... Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Flood Warnings - 2 ...................................................

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Famine Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Famine ...................................................................... Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Famine and Drought ................................................

page page page page

32 33 34 35

Disaster Relief Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Emergency Relief ..................................................... Background Information ........................................................ Activity: A Relief Camp ........................................................... Background Information ........................................................ Activity: A Relief Worker ......................................................... Background Information ........................................................ Activity: Helping Those In Trouble .........................................

page page page page page page page page

36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43

Useful Websites ......................................................................

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World Disasters Series – Book 2

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Background Information:

Floods Around The World melt enough to form a stream of ice and water. The flood can grow quickly if the ground is too frozen to absorb any moisture. Snowmelts are complicated by the fact that blocks of unmelted ice can obstruct streams, or block bridge or sewer openings.

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Floods can be categorised into two general groups – coastal floods and river floods. Coastal floods are the most feared floods, because a large proportion of the population live in coastal areas. However, the land around rivers is often the most fertile, and therefore the most farmed. Farms on flood plains can experience regular flooding.

Human construction can increase the likelihood of floods. Pollution or landfill can constrict rivers, causing the river to overflow quickly. Clearing land can also encourage flooding, as the runoff water is not obstructed by vegetation. Roads decrease the land’s ability to absorb water and provide an unobstructed path for floodwaters.

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A flood occurs when land that is normally dry is covered with water. Floods can cause large amounts of damage, and so are commonly regarded as disasters. However, in ancient times, floods were often appreciated, as they bought water and fertile soil to agricultural fields. The ancient Egyptian pharaohs would raise taxes after a flood to capitalise on the increased wealth of the farmers.

Floods can also be caused by the collapse of human structures intended to contain water, such as dams, weirs or aqueducts. Their structures can collapse because of faults in design or building, or due to old age.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons Locations •f orr evi ew pu r posesonl y•

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River floods can also be the result of natural or human actions. The most common cause of river flooding is heavy rainfall. During a long period of rainfall, the soil becomes waterlogged, and absorbs water less effectively. Water which is not absorbed runs off into stream channels. During extremely heavy rainfalls the streams overflow, causing flooding.

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Japan has been the victim of a number of tidal waves (tsunamis), which occur most frequently in the Pacific Ocean. Tsunamis can reach heights of up to 30 metres.

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Intense rainfall can also cause floods. If a large amount of rain falls in a short period, a flash flood can result. Flash floods usually come without warning and are over within a couple of hours. They are more likely to occur in mountainous areas where the floodwaters build up a high speed when travelling down the slopes of a mountain. River floods can also be caused by snow melting. Rain falling on snow can cause it to

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Some areas of the world are prone to regular flooding, due to their location or climate. Japan, Bangladesh and the Netherlands are particularly vulnerable to floods.

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Coastal floods can be caused by unusual patterns in the ocean, such as exceedingly high waves, tsunamis or very high tides, or by a subsidence in the coastline. The coastline land height can often subside because of human activities. The most common example of this is oil drilling – if oil is removed from a cavity beneath the ocean floor and not replaced with a similar liquid, the coastline can collapse inward, making it easier to flood.

The agricultural regions of Bangladesh are situated on a vast, low-lying plain. Heavy monsoonal rain or the onset of a cyclone results in large-scale flooding.

Much of the Netherlands has a low elevation above sea level. Without dikes to keep back the tides, and pumping programs, one third of the country would be below sea-level every high tide and another twenty five percent would be subject to flooding in storm conditions.

Check Out: Types of Floods library.thinkquest.org/03oct/02054/floodtype.htm

World Disasters Series – Book 2


Floods Around The World Floods occur in flat, low-lying land. At different times most countries in the world have suffered flooding.

Research: Location

Cause

Damage

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Deaths

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Date

Research to find areas of the world where floods have occurred. Make a record of some reports of floods in the table below.

On the map below, show the locations of where floods are likely to occur.

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Look for any patterns. Make general statements about places likely to experience flooding from the viewpoint of: Location: __________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ Causes: ___________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ World Disasters Series – Book 2

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Background Information:

Floods in Australia r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Check Out:

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Flooding on Farms Farms can often be the victims of river flooding, as the land near rivers is usually very fertile, and therefore sought after for agriculture. Much of this fertility can result from periodic flooding, as floods deposit alluvial soils.

About Floods library.advanced.org/10136/floods/flootq.htm In Focus – Floods www.pbs.org/newshour/infocus/floods.html

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Many of the after effects of flooding are related to loss of personal property and ultimately money. The example of farms shows a more long term effect because of the changes in the nature of the land.

FEMA: Floods www.fema.gov/kids/floods.htm

Floods in Australia www.bom.gov.au/climate/c20thc/flood.shtml

Queensland Flood History www.bom.gov.au/hydro/flood/qld/fld_history/ index.shtml

© ReadyEdFlooding Pub l i cat i ons in Australia Farming also changes the land as the www.ga.gov.au/urban/factsheets/ natural habitat is altered to better suit floods_australia.jsp • f o r r e v i e w p u r posesonl y• agricultural needs. This alteration can

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Many types of farming involve the clearing of land so crops can be grown, or livestock raised. Vegetation which previously slowed stream run-off is removed. Stream overflows can therefore travel at greater speeds.

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Livestock can also destroy river banks while drinking from streams or rivers. Heavy waterflows are no longer contained and channelled by the banks, but allowed to spread outwards.

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encourage flooding, or increase the severity of floods.

World Disasters Series – Book 2


Floods In Australia Information In Australia floods can occur in any season. Severe flooding affected a widespread area of Australia in April and again in July of 1990. Parts of Queensland and New South Wales were declared disaster areas. The towns of Nyngan and Forbes were two of the worst affected. People were evacuated from their homes. In 1995, a cyclone caused flooding that blocked off the Eyre Highway on the Nullarbor Plain.

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Complete the table below to show the overall effects of flooding on areas such as these:

Short Term

i.e. after water recedes

Long Term

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Immediate

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If your family experienced a flood what do you think would be the most difficult part to face? ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ Check out some of the websites on Page 6. Give brief details of two recent floods in your region. ________________

________________________________________________________

________________

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Background Information:

Flood Warnings - 1 On warning of a local evacuation it is necessary to:

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follow instructions instructions;

switch off electricity and gas mains mains;

In considering an emergency evacuation kit you should think about: • The type of flood it will be – river, storm flood, flash flood. • How long the flood will last for.

• How long the warning period will be (flash floods can arrive unexpectedly).

Check Out:

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collect important possessions possessions.

To check your area visit this site:

Bureau of Meteorology www.bom.gov.au/weather/ www.bom.gov.au/hydro/flood/

for l ai Flood © ReadyEdPreparing Pub cat i ons kiama.ses.nsw.gov.au/flood_safety.htm •f orr evi ew puwww.floodsafe.nsw.gov.au/prepare.html r posesonl y•

Areas of evacuation will differ from school to school. Discuss what would be suitable areas to evacuate to in your local area.

www.floodsafe.nsw.gov.au/faq.html

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• What type of flood would your region be most prone to? Why? • What possessions are the most valuable?

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In August 2005, one of the most deadliest hurricanes hit the southern states of the United States. At least 80% of the land in New Orleans, Florida and Louisiana was flooded due to the failure of several floodwalls in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

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• Are these possessions always the most expensive ones?

• What other kinds of value can a possession hold? E.g. sentimental, historical, essential to continued existence in society, such as the title deeds of a house.

Think About ... Have any of your family members experienced a flood? Check if it is possible for them to talk to your class about their memories of the flood. Page 8

Flooding after Hurricane Katrina

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Focus Questions:

The hurricane – and the horrific aftermath – caused damage estimated to be $US 82 billion. At least 1836 people died and millions of people were left homeless. This was the worst natural disaster in America’s history since Hurricane Okeechobee in 1928, when over 4000 people perished.

World Disasters Series – Book 2


Flood Warnings - 1 In the likelihood of a flood, official warnings are broadcast. It is important to listen to a radio and to follow official warnings and advice. Research to complete the following exercises. Check the websites on Page 8 or use the Government Services section in the telephone book to find information on emergencies.

Emergency Evacuation

Warningr o e t s BoFloods! r e p ok u S

On warning of a local evacuation it is necessary to ...

follow ____________________________________________

collect ___________________________________________

In the space below, list all the items your family would need in an emergency evacuation kit.

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switch off _________________ and ___________________

• ______________________ • ________________________

• _____________________

• ______________________ • ________________________

• _____________________

• _____________________ © ReadyEdPubl i ca t i ons • ______________________ • ________________________ • _____________________ •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• This kit would need to last for at least how long? Why? ______________________________ • ______________________ • ________________________

In the event of a flood, where would you most likely go?

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____________________________________________________________________________

Locally, prior to evacuation? __________________________________________________

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Following evacuation? _______________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________ Name five special things which you would not like leaving behind in the event of an evacuation. ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ World Disasters Series – Book 2

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Background Information:

Flood Warnings - 2 FLOOD TIPS:

Avoid bridges/stormwater pipes. r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

Avoid entering flood waters on foot or in vehicles.

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Avoid drinking flood water. Flood waters can contain substances or bacteria unhealthy to humans. These substances can include poisonous fertilisers or pesticides washed off plants by the waters, dangerous chemicals whose tins were ruptured, etc. Flood waters can also carry bacteria from animals which have drowned in the flood.

If the construction of the bridge contains tunnels for water flow, water flow may have a high speed, as the tunnels provide a clear path.

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Flood waters can travel at great speeds. A car or person entering into what appears to be stagnant flood waters could find themselves swept away.

Bridges can be areas of danger for three reasons:

If debris is tangled in bridge supports, a damming effect occurs, and water can flood outwards from the bridge over a wide area.

If the bridge is old, or has a construction © ReadyEdP ub i c a t i on smay fault, the l force of the flood waters cause it to collapse. •f orr evi ew pu r posesonl y• Stormwater pipes can be areas of danger

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Sightseers may find themselves trapped by rising flood waters, or swept away by rapid currents.

Avoid using a telephone, except in emergencies.

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because the pipes allow the fast flow of water. This increased current can drag people into the stormwater drains. The outflow from the pipe also travels with a great velocity, which can carry people away.

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Avoid sightseeing.

o c . che e r o t r s super Avoid returning to evacuated Communication systems still working will be needed by emergency crews to coordinate the evacuation and rescue attempts.

homes until advised. Flood waters may not have receded to a safe level, and could even rise again if more rainfall occurs. Additionally, flood waters which look safe to an observer may have hidden currents or snags, dangerous to anyone trying to cross. Page 10

Check Out:

Check the websites below for information about returning to homes after a flood has occurred. After a Flood www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/after.asp FEMA - After a Flood www.fema.gov/hazard/flood/fl_after.shtm Ethiopian Floods - 2006 en.wikinews.org/wiki/ 190_dead_in_Ethiopia_floods

World Disasters Series – Book 2


Flood Warnings - 2 During or immediately after a flood, people are warned to avoid a number of things. In your own words, explain the reason for each warning below:

Avoid entering flood waters on foot or in vehicles.

Avoid using a telephone, except in emergencies.

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Reason: _________________________

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Reason: _________________________

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____________________________________

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Avoid drinking flood water.

Avoid returning to evacuated homes until advised.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons Reason: ______________________ ____________________________________ •f orr evi ew pur pos esonl y• ________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________

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Avoid sightseeing.

________________________________ ________________________________

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Reason: _________________________

________________________________ ________________________________

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________________________________

Reason: _________________________

____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________

Reason: _________________________

____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________

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Background Information:

Cyclones Cyclones are tropical storms characterised by high winds moving in a circular pattern. They gain their energy from the heat released when water vapour condenses, and so they only form over warm oceanic bodies, where the air is warm and very moist.

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When a cyclone develops it is given a name by the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre which is monitoring it. Each Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre has a list of names in alphabetical order. The names are alternately male and female. By international agreement, names of very famous cyclones are not allowed to be listed.

The combination of a low pressure system and extremely high winds produce an increase in tide levels, which in high tides can result in a “storm surge”. Storm surges and torrential rain add to or exceed wind damage by flooding the cyclone affected area. Cyclones usually last about nine days from formation to decay. Some cyclones have lasted more than twenty days, and others have exploded to a “mature” destructive stage in less than 48 hours.

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Cyclones are also known as hurricanes and typhoons. Hurricanes are cyclones formed in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans. The term “hurricane” is derived from the West Indian word hurricane – “big wind”. Cyclones which form in the Western Pacific are named typhoons, from the Chinese word taifun, meaning “great wind”.

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less than 30 km/h.

Cyclones are more likely to develop in tropical regions, but have been known to move into more southern regions of Australia. The section of coastline between Broome and Karratha, in Western Australia, is the most cyclone-prone region of Australia, and one of the most threatened regions in the world. The cyclone season usually takes place between December and April. In the beginning of the season, cyclones are more likely to occur between Wyndham and Port Hedland. As the season continues, the area under threat extends westward to Carnarvon, and southward to Cape Leeuwin.

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A cyclone can be said to have three main parts. The centre of a cyclone is an area of low air pressure called the eye eye. The eye of a cyclone can be from 10 to 100 km in width. Within the eye there are light winds, and often clear skies. Surrounding the eye of a cyclone is a dense ring of cloud called the eye wall wall. It is within the eye wall that the wind speed and rainfall are most extreme. The eye wall acts much as a whirlpool does. Winds circle rapidly around the eye, and are finally deflected upwards. These winds circle clockwise in the southern hemisphere and anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere. In reaction to the difference in pressure between the eye of the cyclone and the outer regions of the storm, winds can maintain a speed of 150 km/h, and gust up to more than 200 km/h.

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Outside, and sometimes connected to, the eye wall are spiral rain-band clouds clouds. These clouds spread over 1000 km from the eye wall. The wind velocity and rainfall decreases as the distance from the eyewall increases. At 500 km, the wind speed has usually dropped to Page 12

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Check Out:

Cyclone Regions www.bom.gov.au/info/cyclone/ - AUS www.seafriends.org.nz/oceano/storms.htm - NZ

Surviving a Cyclone www.ece.jcu.edu.au/csts/faq/faq_regions.htm Cyclones - Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone Current Cyclone Activity australiasevereweather.com/cyclones/index.html

World Disasters Series – Book 2


Cyclones CYCLONES are severe storms. In other parts of the world they are known as ________________________________

or

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Certain parts of Australia and New Zealand are affected by cyclones.

r o e t Area Cyclone season (months) s B r e oo p u k S

Make a list of the cyclone affected areas and “cyclone seasons” on the table below.

New Zealand Answer these questions.

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Australia

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• ______________________________________________________________________________

In what ways does living in a cyclone area affect:

•building construction? __________________________________________________________

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•way of life? ____________________________________________________________________

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Show the cyclone affected areas on the map below.

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Background Information:

Damaging Cyclones Cyclone Tracy

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Cyclone Tracy was the most destructive cyclone recorded in Australian history to date. The news of the damage caused by the cyclone was all the more shocking because little warning was given. According to procedure, cyclone warnings were broadcast every half an hour over Darwin’s two radio stations, and on the television station. However, the minimal damage caused by other recent cyclones, and the Christmas celebrations which were in full swing when the cyclone’s approach was first reported, meant that many people of Darwin were unconcerned.

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relief aid. Contact was established with private radios and ships which confirmed that Darwin had suffered a major disaster. At 12.25pm, an official message was broadcast from the Northern Territory that Darwin had been virtually destroyed by Cyclone Tracy. More than 30 000 people were homeless. At least 23 000 people were evacuated from Darwin to other capital cities around Australia while the remaining citizens of Darwin, under the direction of Major-General Stretton, cleaned up the city. Many Australians donated money, food, clothing and furniture to help the cyclone victims.

Vance © ReadyEdCyclone P u b l i cat i ons During the early hours of March 22, 1999, the small Western Australian town of •f orr evi ew pu r po sestheomost nl y• Exmouth experienced destructive

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Cyclone Vance was more powerful than Cyclone Tracy but caused less damage because of the location.

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Due to the damage to Darwin’s communications system, the rest of Australia remained unaware of Darwin’s plight. MajorGeneral Alan Stretton, the commander of the Natural Disasters Organisation, was alerted of possible trouble in Darwin by the Perth Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre. Unsure of the extent of damage, he began organising

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storm ever to hit the Australian mainland with wind gusts exceeding 300 km/h. Over 300 homes were damaged and 115 of these have been completely demolished.

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Just after midnight on Christmas morning, 1974, Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin. Winds of up to 217 km/h were recorded before recording machines were damaged. It has been estimated that wind gusts reached speeds of over 250 km/h. Approximately 90% of houses in Darwin were flattened or partially destroyed. Many of the houses were built out of asbestos, which was easily damaged under the impact of windblown objects. Electricity lines were brought down and water and sewage systems were damaged. When the eye of the cyclone hit, many people thought that the cyclone was over as the winds had died down, and so were outside when the winds resumed. In total, 65 people died, 145 were seriously injured, and more than 500 received minor injuries.

The State and Commonwealth Governments each pledged $5 million to help rebuild the town of Exmouth.

Cyclone Tracy Information:

www.ntlib.nt.gov.au/tracy/

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone_Tracy www.trinity.wa.edu.au/plduffyrc/ (search for “Cyclone Tracy”) Cyclone Vance Information: www.bom.gov.au/announcements/sevwx/ vance.shtml

World Disasters Series – Book 2 http://


Damaging Cyclones Australia has experienced a number of severe cyclones. One of the most damaging cyclones to occur was Cyclone Tracy. It struck Darwin in December, 1974. Carry out some research on Cyclone Tracy or a more recent tropical cyclone. Organise your research under these headings. Make short notes in the spaces below. Present your research in the format suggested by your teacher.

r o e t s Bo r e Cyclone: ______________________ p ok u S Date: ________________________

Towns affected: ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________

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Research:

DISASTER MANAGEMENT Include details about any significant people involved in the clean up and rescue operations

___________________________________ ___________________________________

___________________________________ © ReadyEdPu bl i cat i ons ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ •f orr evi ew pur p osesonl y• ___________________________________

Damage:

___________________________________

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___________________________________ ___________________________________

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CONSEQUENCES Discuss long term effects, outcomes, e.g. new building requirements and so on.

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___________________________________

___________________________________ ___________________________________

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In what ways did the design of buildings contribute to the damage?

___________________________________

___________________________________

___________________________________

___________________________________

___________________________________

___________________________________

___________________________________

___________________________________

Other significant points: ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________

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Background Information:

Cyclone Aftermath Cyclone Larry

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Damage

The impact of the crop damage filtered through to the rest of Australia. The price of bananas soared, making them less affordable for thousands of people. Initially, it was predicted that prices would double, however, the price of a kilo of bananas was found to be at least four times as expensive, following the cyclone. As a result people turned to other fruits, and the demand led to increased prices on a range of fruits.

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Cyclone Larry first formed off the coast of Queensland on March 18, 2006. It was classed as a Category 2 cyclone. By the time the eye of the cyclone moved across the coast, Larry had intensified to a Category 5 cyclone. On March 20, Larry moved over the town of Innisfail early in the morning. Winds of up to 290 km/h were recorded with gusts over 310 km/h. The cyclone was over land for almost 24 hours and was a relatively short-lived cyclone, yet one of the most devastating the region had ever seen.

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total banana crop. At least 6000 people had no jobs to go to the following week as a result of the damage to the crops. More than 200 000 tonnes of bananas were ruined.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons Rebuilding •f orr evi ew pu r p ose onl y• A large number of s tradesman arrived in the

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Many towns were hit hard. In Silkwood, 99% of the homes were damaged. At least 50 000 homes in Innisfail were damaged, leaving thousands homeless and without power or water. In Cairns, the power was out all over the city, as a result of falling homes damaging the powerlines. Small planes were flipped over at the airport, however, the damage to the city itself was fairly minor.

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The Australian Defence Force was used in rescue and emergency support.

Check Out:

Tropical Cyclone Larry

www.bom.gov.au/weather/qld/cyclone/ tc_larry/

Cyclone Larry - Images

The Aftermath Apart from general damage to buildings and houses, Cyclone Larry was responsible for wiping out at least 90% of the banana plantations in Queensland. This region provided approximately 80% of Australia’s

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town of Innisfail a week after Cyclone Larry had blown through. They set about fixing the school and public buildings and then fixed the homes. People who had lost their homes were forced to move to other areas for accommodation. As a consequence, many local businesses were not able to survive due to the lack of business and skilled workers.

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The cyclone’s winds ripped off roofs of houses, flattened fields of crops over a wide area, destroyed thousands of natural habitats, and caused widespread damage to tourist destinations. The damage and destruction was compared to that of Cyclone Tracy.

www.cairns.qld.gov.au/gallery/cyclone/ cyclone_larry_index.htm

World Disasters Series – Book 2


After the Storm Cyclone Larry was one of the most intense cyclones ever to hit Australia. The damage and destruction was widespread leaving thousands homeless. Loss of 80% of Australia’s banana crops meant that the entire country was affected. Complete the Cyclone Aftermath Report below. Use the websites on Page 16 as a starting point for your research. Try to find some first hand accounts of what occurred and include as many real facts and figures as you can.

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Date of cyclone: __________________________

______________________________________________________

Mark the location of regions affected on this map. Description of damage to homes and buildings: _____________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

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Areas and towns affected: _________________

______________________________________________________________________________

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons ______________________________________________________________________________ •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

Damage to banana industry: _____________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

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What impact has the cyclone had on the availability of bananas around the country?

______________________________________________________________________________

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o c . che e r o t r s super

How has Cyclone Larry’s damage to banana plantations affected the costs of other fruits. Explain your answer. _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________

UPDA TE: What was the situation with banana prices one year on from Cyclone Larry? UPDATE: __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

World Disasters Series – Book 2

Page 17


Background Information:

Cyclone Warnings name, and gives further information on its intensity, location and movement. The warning also informs the public if heavy rain, unusually high tides or flooding is expected. This warning is updated every three hours by the Bureau of Meteorology. The updates are numbered so that listeners and viewers can tell if the warning is a new message, or the last message repeated. If the cyclone becomes a major threat, the Bureau of Meteorology issues updates hourly.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

During the cyclone season the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres monitor weather conditions 24 hours a day. Constant alertness is vital, as cyclones may develop suddenly, or unexpectedly change direction and head for the coast of Australia. The Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres must also supply information to the Bureau of Meteorology about cyclones which may be in shipping or aviation paths. This information is transmitted only in the Bureau’s weather notes, and in warnings to ships and aircraft.

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Teac he r

Cyclone warnings are issued by the Bureau of Meteorology. Information about cyclones ropical is received from three regional T Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres based in Perth, Brisbane and Darwin. These centres use weather stations, reports from observers in ships, aircraft, off-shore oil rigs and on-land observers, and satellite and radar equipment to detect cyclones, determine their intensity, and track their progress.

The Bureau of Meteorology uses a conservative warning strategy. Because cyclone movements can be predictable, a much larger region than the actual area affected is warned of an impending cyclone. This means that some areas may unnecessarily be on alert, but it ensures that if the cyclone changes direction, the community will be prepared for it.

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If a cyclone shows the possibility of threatening a coastal community with above gale force winds (63 km/h) within the next 48 atch is hours, a Tropical Cyclone W Watch issued every six hours. The Cyclone Advices are sent by fax or email to police headquarters and State or Territory Emergency Service Headquarters. They are also sent to radio and television stations within the threatened areas. These stations play the Cyclone Watch hourly, telling the public the cyclone’s location, strength and movement, and listing the communities which may be affected.

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Check Out: Cyclone Warning System

www.aims.gov.au/pages/reflib/cyclones/ pages/cs-02.html

o c . che e r o t r s super About Cyclones

library.advanced.org/10136/cyclones/ cycltq.htm

About Cyclones

clearlyexplained.com/nature/earth/disasters/ cyclones.html

If a cyclone threatens to cause gale force or stronger winds at a coastal community within 24 hours, a cyclone warning is issued. The warning contains the cyclone’s

Page 18

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© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

World Disasters Series – Book 2


Cyclone Warnings Using the space below, plan and design a brochure which explains the rules to follow when a cyclone is approaching. Your brochure needs to outline simple rules ...

rules rules rules rules

to to in to

follow before the cyclone follow during the cyclone preparing for evacuation follow after the cyclone

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

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Teac he r

Visit the websites on Page 18 and research for the sort of information you should be including in your brochure.

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o c . che e r o t r s super

World Disasters Series – Book 2

Page 19


Background Information:

Australian Bushfires A fire can only burn if it has heat, oxygen and fuel. Firefighters therefore battle against fires by trying to remove one of the elements the fire depends on. Water is pumped onto vegetation and housing to lower the heat. Oxygen is cut off from the fire when firefighters beat it with branches or cover it with earth. Fire breaks are also dug around bush areas, so that the fire reaches a point where it has no fuel to burn.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

Bushfires can take three forms: A surface fire burns in grass, low shrubs and plant debris. This type of fire can travel fast, but is relatively easy to control.

Check Out: About Bushfires

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Teac he r

“Bushfire” is the term used in Australia to describe any uncontrolled vegetation fire in the open air. Bushfires can be started by lightning, controlled burning getting out of control, campfires spreading, matches or cigarettes being dropped, or by fires being deliberately lit (arson). Only 8% of bushfires are started by lightning.

© ReadyEdPlibrary.advanced.org/10136/bushfire/ ubl i cat i ons bushtq.htm Bushfires - Wikipedia article •f orr evi ew pu r po ses onl y•

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Running or crown fires can be the most dangerous and destructive fires. Running crown fires occur when the vegetation is very dry, and there are strong, hot winds. The blaze in the crowns of trees leaps from tree to tree, moving ahead of the surface fire at high speeds. The wind additionally aggravates the fire by carrying pieces of burning vegetation out to the fire area, starting spot fires in, as yet, unburnt areas.

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en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushfire

Bushfires Clearly Explained clearlyexplained.com/nature/earth/ disasters/bushfires.html

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Dependent crown fires occur when the “crowns”, or upper branches of trees, catch on fire from the flames on the ground surface.

o c . che e r o t r s super

World Disasters Series – Book 2


Australian Bushfires Australia has suffered a number of devastating bushfires over the years. In most states there are areas which, at times, are threatened by bushfires. On the table below outline the factors which contribute to the risk of a bushfire and the measures which may be taken to prevent such an occurrence.

Preventative Measures

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

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Teac he r

Contributing Factors

The word search below contains ten words associated with bushfires. Locate each word. Words are printed:

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s j h f r s l o x © Rea dnyEd P u bel i c at i o n sf s b c o n f l a g r a t i o arsonist** •f orr ev i e w p u r p orse sc osnl y •h a e r e h c o i b

extinguish

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incendiary** control

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conflagration**

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Select two of the asterisked words (*) and explain their meaning.

* _________________

_______________________________ _______________________________

* _________________

_______________________________ _______________________________ World Disasters Series – Book 2

Page 21


Background Information:

Bushfire Devastation r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

Immediate Results of Bushfires

Teac he r

Animals are not so lucky in bushfires. Part of the destruction of bushfires is the lack of wildlife in the area afterwards.

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Bushfires were a regular occurrence in nature before humanity evolved. Australian forests, like the forests in similar climatic areas, have adapted to fire conditions over millions of years. Eucalyptus trees have dormant buds which are protected by thick bark, or nestled in the tree roots. These buds can sprout even after a tree has had all of its crown burnt off. Trees belonging to the Acacia family have fire resistant seeds. Some of these seeds only germinate after a fire.

as 110 separate fire fronts burnt through more than 2600 square kilometres of land in Southern Tasmania within the space of five hours. Fires raged from near Hamilton, and Bothwell, through to the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. In such a short time, the bushfire managed to cause extensive damage to farming properties as well as forest areas and small towns in the region. The Hobart fire claimed the lives of 52 people and 1400 homes were destroyed. Ash Wednesday bushfires (1983)

On February 16, a series of bushfires occurred in south-east Australia. These fires are known as one of the worst natural disasters in Australia’s history. Fires burnt in parts of Victoria and South Australia. Firefighters were unable to contorl the main fire, which only came to an end because it reached the ocean. The fires killed 47 people in Victoria and 28 people in South Australia.This number included 17 firefighters. More than 2500 people lost their homes. (See Page 28 for more about this tragedy.)

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resources and property can be destroyed in a day. Some of these items are irreplaceable, such as historical buildings, papers and paintings.

Significant Australian Bushfires

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Dwellingup fires (1961)

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© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons Bushfires are also very distressing to •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• humans. Personal possessions, community

o c . che e r o t r s super

In January and February of 1961, a series of bushfires raged for 41 days across the south-west of Western Australia . The devastating fires destroyed over 3500 square kilometres of land and 160 buildings in the State’s south-west region. The fires burnt through the areas of Dwellingup, Pemberton, Kudardup (near Margaret River). Some small communities were compleletely wiped out.

Check Out:

Bushfires and Wildfires

australiasevereweather.com/fires/index.html

Bushfire Info www.bushfireinfo.com/

Tasmanian “Black Tuesday” bushfires (1967) Occuring on Tuesday February 7, as many

Page 22

World Disasters Series – Book 2


r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

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Bushfire Devastation

The sketch above depicts a scene after a bushfire has swept through an area of forest and farming land.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• _______________________________________________________________________________ Write some descriptive words and phrases which convey the devastation.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Make a list of the things which would have been destroyed.

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_______________________________________________________________________________

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_______________________________________________________________________________

Acrostic Poem:

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Using some of these ideas draft an acrostic poem below. Present your poem in an appropriate way.

o c . che e r o t r s super

B

__________________________________________________________________________

U

__________________________________________________________________________

S ___________________________________________________________________________ H

__________________________________________________________________________

F ___________________________________________________________________________ I

___________________________________________________________________________

R

__________________________________________________________________________

E ___________________________________________________________________________ World Disasters Series – Book 2

Page 23


Background Information:

Firefighters Firefighting Equipment

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

The firefighter breathes through a compressed air breathing apparatus apparatus. This looks rather like a tank used for scuba diving. It allows the firefighter to be completely isolated from the atmosphere, which could be toxic, corrosive or have no oxygen. Air is inhaled from the air cylinder, which is attached to the firefighter’s back by a harness. The air that the firefighter exhales is passed into the outside atmosphere. The breathing valve is attached to a face mask.

Research the different tasks firefighters are called upon to perform. Discuss the training required for performing those tasks. Outline a series of emergency situations and discuss possible actions by firefighters. Some situations may include:

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The firefighter in the picture on Page 25 is wearing a chemical spillage suit suit. This suit is made out of a material which doesn’t allow any spilt chemicals to come into contact with a firefighter’s skin. The suit protects the firefighter from both liquid chemicals and gaseous chemicals. The hood of the suit is connected to the jacket to ensure total upper body protection. The hands and feet are also protected, with gloves and over-boots.

Teac he r

school climbing bars within a specified time period.

warning residents of a liquid chemical spill;

rescuing people from the top of a 40 storey building;

a cat trapped at the top of © ReadyEdPurescuing b l i c at i ons a tree; to a burning car trapped at •f orr evi ew pur pgetting ose sonl y• the centre of a traffic jam.

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Bushfire Weather

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Attached to the firefighter’s belt is a personal distress alarm alarm. If the firefighter gets into trouble, he or she can pull the tag to let other firefighters around them know that they need help.

Check Out: www.bom.gov.au/inside/services_policy/ fire_ag/bushfire/bushfire.htm

o c . Extension Activitiesc e her r o t s super Firefighter - Wikipedia article

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefighter

International Firefighters’s Day

Invite a firefighter to your school to explain their day-to-day tasks. If feasible, arrange a visit to your local fire station.

www.iffd.net/

Construct a firefighters’ obstacle training course in the school grounds. To become an “honorary firefighter” children must perform tasks such as carrying a reasonably heavy object on their shoulders for ten metres, and climbing up a structure such as the ladder of the Page 24

World Disasters Series – Book 2


r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

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Teac he r

Firefighters

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© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

. te o c Fire Season Low Risk. Season che e r o r st super

Label the firefighting equipment in the picture above.

Make a list of the different tasks a firefighter is involved in at various times of the year.

World Disasters Series – Book 2

Page 25


Background Information:

Firefighting r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

Bushfire Warnings

Notes for completing the activity

Teac he r Check Out:

Use the tips below to help you complete reporting activity. W’s” – Who, What, Remember the five “W w, When and Why. How

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The Bureau of Meteorology issues fire warnings when the weather conditions create a fire risk. These warnings are broadcast in newspaper, radio and television weather reports. Fire warning signs indicating the weather conditions are also posted outside areas where open fires are likely to be lit, e.g. outside camping grounds or barbecue areas. In high-risk weather it is illegal to light open fires.

News stories are presented with the most important facts first with the aim of grabbing the public’s attention. The story will then discuss the second most important fact, and conclude with the least important information.

Don’t make thea story too complicated. © ReadyEdP u b l i c t i o ns Your story will only have about a minute’s www.lcc.edu/publicservice/fire_science/ airtime – too short a period to go into careers/ •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• lengthy explanations!

Firefighter Career Facts

Current Bushfire Warnings

Fire and Emergency Services Authority (WA)

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www.fesa.wa.gov.au/internet

Remember the time limitation when thinking of questions. What does the public want to know most of all? What are the most important things to find out?

Queensland Fire and Rescue Services (Qld)

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www.fire.qld.gov.au

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Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Services (NT) www.fire.nt.gov.au

Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services (Vic) www.mfb.org.au

New South Wales Fire and Rescue Services (NSW)

www.nswfb.nsw.gov.au Tasmanian Fire Service (Tas) www.fire.tas.gov.au State Emergency Service (SA) www.ses.sa.gov.au Page 26

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www.bom.gov.au/weather/warnings.shtml

World Disasters Series – Book 2


Firefighting Imagine you are at the scene of a bushfire ... For this activity you will need a partner to act as a television reporter. You will take the part of a volunteer firefighter. You are at the scene of an extensive bushfire which has just been brought under control. The reporter is about to interview you. (Your partner has prepared 3 or 4 questions.) Write your responses in the spaces below. You may like to use a tape recorder to record the interview.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

Question 1: __________________________________________________________________

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Teac he r

Response: _____________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Question 2: __________________________________________________________________

Response: _____________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons Response: _____________________________________________________________________ •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Question 3: __________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

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Question 4: __________________________________________________________________

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Response: _____________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

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Situation Vacant: Firefighter

o c . che e r o t r s super

Find out what the duties of a firefighter are by visitng some of the websites. Design a job advertisement for your local newspaper, advertising for a firefighter at the Bushfire Brigade. Write some of the key duties and essential skills in the space below. Use a computer to type up your job advertisement. ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ World Disasters Series – Book 2

Page 27


Background Information:

Bushfires Much of the property destroyed in the Ash Wednesday bushfires was irreplaceable. As well as the personal mementoes of many families, historical papers and paintings, and nationally famous houses were lost.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

Every summer is a danger period for the people living in these areas and many bushfires occur. The most severe bushfires in the last century have been listed on the activity page.

Ash Wednesday, 1983 February 16, Ash Wednesday, was the day when bushfires spread across more than 5000 square kilometres of South Australia and Victoria. A total of 75 people were killed, 2500 homes were destroyed, and over $300 million dollars worth of damage was inflicted onto property and stock.

New South Wales, 1994

In January, fierce bushfires ravaged a large area across the state. Four people were killed, including two firefighters, as bushfires raged around NSW. The worst-affected areas included northern and southern Sydney, the Central Coast, North Coast, MidNorth Coast, Royal National Park, Hunter Valley and the Blue Mountains. At least 185 homes were lost and around 24 840 people were evacuated from their homes.

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Teac he r

The south-eastern half of Australia is extremely vulnerable to bushfires due to the combination of its vegetation and its climate. In summer these areas are subject to hot, dry, northerly winds blowing from the desert region of the country. The summer weather is also very hot and dry. After a winter with little rainfall, the vegetation does not contain much moisture and is therefore, easily inflamed.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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In January, bushfires caused severe damage to the outskirts of Canberra. Lightning was believed to have started at least 150 fires in the area. Almost 70% of the Australian Capital Territory’s pasture, forests and national parks were severely damaged. The fires raged for about a week on the edges of the territory and then encroached upon the suburbs, causing mayhem for ten hours, leaving four people dead and destroying over 500 homes. Extensive damage was done to the Mount Stromlo Observatory where approximately a third of Australia’s astronomical research takes place.

o c . che e r o t r s super

On the day of the fires, high temperatures and strong north winds led to a state of “red alert” being declared. When fires started, however, there was little that could be done to control them. The strong winds resulted in a running crown fire. Trees hundreds of metres ahead of the main fire were bursting into flames, and fire balls raced across open areas. Because the fires spread so quickly, and spot fires broke out unpredictably, it was difficult for fire and police services to get up-to-date information on the situation, and to keep people in areas of danger informed.

Page 28

Canberra, 2003

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Prior to the fire, the eastern half of Australia was suffering from a drought that had begun at the start of 1982. This meant the eucalyptus woodlands, which are already easily flammable due to the oil contained in the trees, were especially vulnerable to fires. Additionally, January had been abnormally hot and dry, with little rain.

One of the first fires in the Sydney region started at Gunderman, just to the west of Spencer. Within a couple of days it had swept through Spencer and jumped the Hawkesbury River and Mangrove Creek, both wide rivers. More than 60 000 square kilometres were completely destroyed in these fires, including the Royal National Park.

World Disasters Series – Book 2


Bushfire Disasters Australia has experienced a number of bushfire disasters. Some of the most serious include: •Black Tuesday Feb 1967 •Ash Wednesday Feb 1983 •Hunter Valley Fires Jan 1990 •New South Wales Jan 1994 •Canberra Jan 2003

Teac he r

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u Research: S

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Research the locations of these bushfires. Show the affected areas on the map and include any other bushfire disasters which you find out about. • _____________________

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons • _____________________ •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• • _____________________ • _____________________

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_______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

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From the information you have, make a general statement about the areas of Australia which are at risk of bushfires.

o c . che e r o t r s super

_______________________________________________________

Select one of the bushfires above to research. Write notes under the headings below. Damage: ____________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Long term effects: _____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Future precautions: ___________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ World Disasters Series – Book 2

Page 29


Background Information:

Bushfire Actions Bushfire Precautions

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

(The following information comes from an evacuation advice brochure distributed by the Fire Safety Branch of the Western Australian Fire Brigades Board.)

The most effective defences against bushfire are measures taken for long-term precautions. These include:

Assemble the house’s firefighting equipment. Fill up buckets with water. Attach all hoses to their taps, and check the stand-by pump. Place the hoses and a ladder in a position to protect the roof of the house. Clear the gutters of the house of debris.

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Though the first response of many people faced by a bushfire is to flee, research has shown that a property and lives can be saved by people staying in their homes. However, evacuation must always remain an option, and an evacuation plan should be kept in reserve. This plan should include a “time of evacuation”, to avoid attempting evacuation too late.

Teac he r

When Threatened By Bushfire

Dress in protective clothing.

Keep small children, nervous people and pets inside. Check to make sure everyone is accounted for. Wet down the house and close shrubbery.

Watch the roof and surroundings of the © ReadyEdP ub i ca t i ons house forl small fires. Keep in touch with the fire officer and •f orr evi ew pur po onl y• follow his s or e hers instructions.

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Building the house to resist fire. Make sure open areas which may encourage the spread of fire, such as eaves, openended roofing and under-floor spaces, are enclosed. Fit wire screens to doors, windows and roof vents.

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Beware of heat stress. Remember, in times of emergency evacuation, don’t take time to collect possessions. A fire can spread in minutes.

o c . che e r o t r s super

Insuring an adequate water supply is available. Install taps with long hoses at strategic places around the house and have a stand-by water pump.

Taking safety precautions with easily flammable objects. Keep woodpiles away from the house and install LPG safety valves so they face away from the building.

All of these precautions should be checked at the start of each fire season to make sure that the household is fully prepared.

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Making use of the landscape to protect property by planting wind breaks, using low-flammable plants in the garden and clearing overhanging trees and shrubs from around the house.

World Disasters Series – Book 2


Bushfire Actions Imagine yourself in this situation: Heat wave conditions have been experienced in the last few days. Strong winds and high temperatures have been forecast to continue. You live in a bushfire risk area. You are surrounded by a few houses and low scrub.

r o e t s Bo r Precaution/Task e p ok u S

Make a list of the precautions your family should set about taking.

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Teac he r

Family Member

If you were advised that a fire had raced out of control in your area what would be your immediate actions? (You would need to follow the advice of the Fire Brigade and follow evacuation procedures.)

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

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Long Term Precautions: A Home Survey

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______________________________________________________________________________

Make a checklist below to see how prepared your house is for a bushfire. Write five points to take into consideration and then take this sheet home to survey your house. Yes No

o c . che e r o t r s super

1. ______________________________________________________________ 2. ______________________________________________________________ 3. ______________________________________________________________ 4. ______________________________________________________________ 5. ______________________________________________________________

Recommendations: _____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ World Disasters Series – Book 2

Page 31


Background Information:

Famine A famine can be defined as “a severe and general shortage of food which results in a rise in death rates”.

The most common natural cause of famine is drought – a period of little or no rain. Australia, China and India are countries which have suffered heavily from drought conditions. Hurricanes can also be a cause of famine. Widespread flooding of farmlands associated with hurricanes has destroyed crops and led to famine, for example, in Bangladesh.

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r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

Famines can be caused by both natural events and human actions. Some responses to a famine can increase the length and severity of a famine, as short-term survival techniques can sometimes be a disadvantage in the long run.

Teac he r

Food is also exported to raise income. A country struggling to pay off large international debts may export substantial amounts of food, which means a loss for its own people. For example, in 1984 Brazil remained the world’s fourth largest producer of grains, which were mostly exported, while 15 million Brazilian citizens suffered severe hunger from drought. Famine conditions may lead to poor environmental practices which can cause or extend famines. Land that is over-cultivated or overgrazed loses its fertility, which results in an ever-decreasing amount of food. Overcultivating or overgrazing also encourages erosion, drought and flooding. Rain falling on overgrazed or over-cultivated land is not captured by plant life. It runs off, eroding the topsoil. Further rainfall is not absorbed by the harder subsoils.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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Many natural disasters result from human actions. War is one of the most common causes of famine. In countries at war, roads and communications can be cut, hampering the transportation of food. Crops can also be destroyed in battle, or remain untended as the farmers are called upon to fight. Food can also be used as a weapon, with the enemy withholding or hampering food supplies.

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In addition, poor technology designed to assist in the short-term can damage the environment.

Aid programs can also be damaging in the long-term if not carefully planned. For example, after the civil war in Bangladesh in 1971, certain foods were oversupplied by aid organisations. Markets for locally-produced foods fell and farmers grew less crops, which resulted in more desperate famine conditions than before.

o c . che e r o t r s super

Economic policies also contribute to famine. As always, it is the poverty stricken who suffer the most. Food grown by rural farmers is often transported to urban areas, where it can be sold for high prices to more wealthy city dwellers. This means the farmers, who depend directly upon the land for food, are denied access to much of the crops they produce. Food which is imported into countries is often distributed within urban areas, rather than transported to the more remote regions of a country. Page 32

The use of bushland for housing and firewood increases the possibility of drought. As the bushland decreases, the cycle of evaporation and precipitation is hampered, and less rain falls.

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Pest infestations, or plant or animal diseases, have also been the cause of famine. This was the case in the 1840s when a fungus destroyed much of Ireland’s potato crop. At the time, potatoes formed 80% of the peasant’s diet, and in the resulting famine, over 1.5 million people died.

Check Out: The Great Irish Famine vassun.vassar.edu/~sttaylor/FAMINE/ Famine - Wikipedia Article en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famine

World Disasters Series – Book 2


Famine Famine strikes many different areas around the world. There are many things associated with famine. Use the headings below to list them.

Contributing Factors

Effects on the People lack of food

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

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Teac he r

e.g. drought – failure of crops

Using these ideas, write a definition for “famine”.

______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons Research: or r ev i e wp u r p ose sonl y• Carry• outf some research into famines. Enter the information below.

Current famine COUNTRY

DEA THS DEATHS

_________________

__________________

_________________

_________________

__________________

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_________________

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o c . che e r o t r s super

Recent famines (i.e. this century) DA TE DATE

_________________ _________________

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DA TE DATE

COUNTRY

DEA THS DEATHS

_________________

__________________

_________________

__________________

Historical famines DA TE DATE

COUNTRY

DEA THS DEATHS

_________________

_________________

__________________

_________________

_________________

__________________

World Disasters Series – Book 2

Page 33


Background Information:

Famine and Drought Africa, Latin America and Asia are the areas of the world which are most prone to famine.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

The Sahel is a region south of the Sahara desert in Africa, incorporating Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Upper Volta, Niger, Chad and Ethiopia. Due to climatic instability, it has suffered a number of crippling droughts. The drought suffered in 1968-74 caused the death of much of the population of the Sahel region.

Australian Droughts

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Much of Africa has a tropical climate. Further away from the equatorial areas, however, the climate becomes drier, with light and unpredictable rainfall. Vegetation varies from tropical forests to grasslands and deserts. Few areas in Africa have fertile soils. In the tropical regions heavy rainfall washes away vital minerals leaving soils hard and high in aluminium and iron. In the drier regions soils are dry and stony. Additionally, poor technology and overuse of the land has destroyed many hectares of soils that were marginally fertile. Much of Africa’s land, however, could support crops. Approximately, 72% of Africa’s arable land is currently uncultivated. This resource is unlikely to be capitalised on due to the high cost of preparing the land for food production, i.e. clearing, levelling, disease control and irrigation.

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The Sahel Region

One of the most severe droughts of Australia occurred in 1982-83. Almost the entire eastern half of Australia was affected and the drought had a major effect on the nation’s economy.

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o c . che e r o t r s supe r Check Out:

Latin America is the name for the Spanish and Portuguese speaking areas of the Western hemisphere – Mexico, most of Central and South America, and part of the West Indies. Much of Latin America’s food problems are caused by economic problems rather than climatic extremes. The majority of land is owned by the wealthy, who produce food to export. Poorer farmsers are forced to farm using poorer quality land. Page 34

In October 2006, it was estimated that more than three quarters of Australia was affected by drought. In an effort to further reduce the effects of drought, schemes such as greywater recycling, and rebates for home water tanks have come into effect.

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Asia is the most populated of all the continents, containing nearly 60% of the world’s population. There are three main climatic categories within Asia – monsoonal, dry and cold. East Asia can experience severe flooding in the monsoonal season as tropical cyclones increase rainfall levels. In the north-east, the growing period is limited to four months as frost kills off crops during the rest of the year. South-east Asia, Central Asia and Mongolia have a range of dry climates in which rainfall is highly unpredictable. Most of Soviet Asia has a cold climate. The extreme northern area of Asia is so cold that the subsoil is permanently frozen.

Since 1996 drought has struck large regions of Australia and is affecting the city populations. The lack of water has seen new desalination plants developed in Sydney, Perth and the Gold Coast and many other cities have had to place water restrictions on household usage.

Many cities are facing a water crisis and have less than 50% of the normal water storages available. The incidence of drought greatly increases the chance of bushfires.

Australia in Drought www.abc.net.au/rural/drought2002/ About Drought library.advanced.org/10136/drought/ droutq.htm#FAMINE Living With Drought www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/ livedrought.shtml

World Disasters Series – Book 2


Famine and Drought From your research on the previous page, draw some conclusions about the areas in the world which are more likely to suffer droughts that can lead to famine.

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Locate the areas you have researched on the world map below.

climatic areas

average annual rainfall

vegetation

population

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What do you notice?

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© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Now compare this map with world maps showing ...

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______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Droughts and floods occur in Australia but famine hasn’t resulted. Explain how Australia manages this. ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

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Background Information:

Emergency Relief Some forms of aid can cause more problems than help

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Ignoring a developing food crisis until emergency level has been reached, results in unnecessary suffering, and “band-aid” solutions. Heeding warning signals means that famine crises may be avoided, or reduced in severity, which lessens the amount of emergency aid required. Sending inappropriate aid does nothing to ease crisis situations. For example, victims of the 1968 Biafran famine in Africa were sent a large donation of cheese. However, the Biafran’s drank little milk and could not digest the cheese. Short-sighted aid can also cause problems. The over-supply of certain foods can lead to a decrease in market demand for local farmers produce. With no income from sales, local farmers are forced to reduce the amount of food grown, and the community becomes more dependent on outside aid. Aid can also be sent for the wrong reasons. Governmental aid programs can be subject to political and economic considerations. As a result, aid can be sent to a country which would make a useful ally, rather than to a country which is in more need. Even when aid is appropriate and needed, aid agencies may have trouble distributing supplies. War zones are particularly prone to these difficulties – distribution lines can be cut and areas in trouble may be in zones of fighting, making them difficult and dangerous to access. Distribution can also be hampered by corrupt officials, who set aside supplies for their own use or profit; or underdeveloped or poor communication systems, which makes distribution hard to organise.

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Famine conditions can remain unknown outside a famine-stricken country for a number of reasons. One of the most common reasons is war. Communications systems can be destroyed, or governments involved in strategy planning can ignore or withhold reports of food shortages until food shortages reach emergency levels. Information about famines can also be withheld out of embarrassment or fear of loss of power. This was the case in the Ethiopian famine of the early 1970s. Provincial officials refused to inform the capital city and the Emperor of a famine that resulted from a longterm drought, as they were afraid that Emperor Haile Selassie would be angered and embarrassed, and that they would lose their jobs as a result. The recent improvement of communication technology means that news of a famine or other disaster can quickly be transmitted to the rest of the world via satellite, computer or electronic communication systems. Many agencies exist to help relieve famine conditions. One of the most well-known of these is World Vision. This organisation sponsors a number of aid programs throughout the world, with the aim of developing community resources to enable famine-stricken areas to develop their own long-term solutions. Some other aid agencies include:

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The League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societie Societies The United Nations AID – Agency for International Development CARE – Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Food for Peace (America)

Aid organisations can give different types of relief. Some focus on short-term aid, such as food parcels, medical supplies or provision of medical officials. Others work on an education basis, helping famine-stricken areas to develop their own solutions to their specific problems. Page 36

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Geography is another factor that can limit distribution. Access to communities in remote or mountainous areas can be difficult and these places are sometimes overlooked.

World Disasters Series – Book 2


Emergency Relief The world can be unaware that famine has affected a country. Often it is a television crew that alerts the world to famine conditions. Outline the reasons for this.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u Relief Organisations: S ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________

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Make a list of the organisations and the relief they provide.

Organisation

e.g. UN

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Once the world has been alerted to the existence of famine in an area, there are a number of ways that relief is provided.

Type of Relief

- United Nations

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o c . in the che e The relief organisations often experience difficulties,r particularly o distribution of supplies. r st super Summarise some of these difficulties.

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Background Information:

A Relief Camp Famine Relief

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Many groups and charities strive to feed starving people in famine affected areas around the world.

New technology and new farming methods have been developed that allow foods to be grown in these harsh evironments such as deserts and cold wastelands. Some of these methods include using nitrogen fertilisers, hybrid crops, greenhouses, hydroponics and canals.

Sato’s team of scientists made some clever discoveries about how mangroves can receive essential nutrients (e.g. nitrogen and phosphorus). The levels of nutrients in the seawater were too low to grow plants and so they invented a way of releasing these essential nutrients directly into the sea water. This involved burying small bags of fertiliser below the surface of the sand, next to young mangrove trees, allowing the nutrients to trickle through small holes. As a result, the once barren region is now flourishing with native African mangroves that are an excellent food source for cattle. A second mangrove species has been planted as well which produces timber, a valuable energy source for many of the households in Eritrea.

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Apart from supplying them with food, one of their chief aims is to educate the people of these regions by showing them ways to grow their own food crops so that they can feed themselves. Most of the time, famine occurs in areas where the land is considered unarable, meaning that it is virtually impossible or very difficult to cultivate, which is the main reason that famine repeats itself in these regions.

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coastline are extemely harsh. The annual rainfall is less than 20mm and this region is known as one of the driest places on the planet.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• One Man’s Mission

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Sato has spent more than a decade developing a unique program in Eritrea, a tiny country in Eastern Africa north of Ethiopia. His idea was to use seawater for irrigation by using examples of desert coastlines, such as in Western Australia, where plants are able to grow. The program, known as the Manzanar Project, involved the cultivation of mangroves and salt-tolerant grasses which could then be used as food for livestock.

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Since 1992, Sato has worked on the project which now provides food to raise enough animals to feed 2000 people. Eritrea, which won independence from Ethiopia in 1993, is one of the world’s poorest countries. The lands which lie along its 1000km

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Dr Gordon Sato, 77, is a retired molecular biologist who decided to devote his time and knowledge into finding ways to end drought, famine and suffering. With a deep knowledge of plants and using his own life’s saving he set about this massive task.

The Manzanar Project has proved such a success that now mangroves are being grown in regions never thought possible. In 2002, Eritrean workers planted 250 000 mangroves under Sato’s guidance. These workers have now become farmers who harvest the mangroves and feed them to their livestock. Sato’s goal is to eventually have more than 5 million mangroves planted.

Check Out:

Oxfam Australia

www.oxfam.org.au

Network for Good - Famine Relief

www.networkforgood.org/topics/international/ famine/ The Manzanar Project www.manzanarprojectfoundation.com

World Disasters Series – Book 2


A Relief Camp

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This family has just arrived at a relief camp in an African country.

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Put numbers 1 to 9 in the boxes to show the sequence.

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The family’s land has been affected by drought for a number of years. Prior to arriving at the camp, a series of events took place.

There is no one correct answer although certain events should precede others.

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sold animals baby died

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began the long slow walk to the camp

sold jewellery

crops failed again

daughter aged 5 died

sold tools

father/husband sought work in town

brought a few seeds to eat each day

Discuss your results in your class. Justify your sequence. World Disasters Series – Book 2

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Background Information:

A Relief Worker Celebrity Causes

Each year thousands of people enlist with international aid agencies to help provide relief to those less fortunate. Many of these workers are volunteers and devote many hours of their time to humanitarian work, especially after a natural disaster has taken place.

A considerable variety of entertainers and sporting personalities have been visiting crisis points in recent years, e.g. Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman. Many celebrities are asked to be goodwill ambassadors for well-known aid organisations such as the United Nations International Fund for Children (UNICEF). Rockstars Bono and Bob Geldof are also well-known for their efforts to fight poverty and famine.

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In 2006 when floods devastated eight regions of Ethiopia, International Red Cross were able to examine the needs of almost 500 000 people who were left either homeless or at risk of disease. Ethiopia is a country normally associated with drought but is affected by seasonal flooding. The 2006 floods were extremely damaging and as a result new islands have formed in the rivers, making access to affected areas very difficult. Almost 700 people died in the disaster.

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International Relief

Compile a list of some of these people and what their thoughts were about the affected areas they have visited. Much of this information can be gained from studying advertisements used by relief organisations to encourage the rest of the population to make contributions to famine relief funds.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons World Vision •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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www.worldvision.org

Red Cross

Celebrities Causes localdc.com/celebritycauses.htm CARE Australia www.careaustralia.com.au AusAID www.ausaid.gov.au

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In 2006, Australian Red Cross had 87 aid workers on overseas assignment in 20 countries around the world.* Many of these workers are professionals who work as nurses, finance professionals, environmental health consultants and disaster management professionals. Visit the website below to read stories from real Red Cross aid workers. www.redcross.org.au/ newsroom_featurestories_fieldstories_default.htm *30 June 2006, Australian Red Cross, www.redcross.org.au Page 40

Check Out:

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World Vision helps to fight poverty by helping people change the world they live in. People are able to sponsor starving children through World Vision and much of their time is spent making sure that people in poverty have food to eat. World Vision was started in America in 1950 to help children that were orphaned in the Korean War. During the past year World Vision helped over 70 million people in 123 countries.

World Vision Around the World www.webaid.com.au/famine/coffeshop/ world.html Relief Web www.reliefweb.int International Goodwill Ambassadors www.unicef.org/people/ people_ambassadors_international.html

World Disasters Series – Book 2


A Relief Worker Research one of the aid agencies listed on Page 40 and 42 using the Internet. Find out what tasks a relief worker is involved in and make some notes below. There are many different types of relief work so you may like to refine your search and concentrate on an area you are interested in learning more about. ________________________________________________

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________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

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Teac he r

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Research to find out how some celebrities help countries that have been suffering the effects of famine or droughts by drawing attention to their situation. Choose one celebrity to focus on and write about the work they are involved in.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons Name of• celebrity: _______________________________ f or r evi ew pur posesonl y•

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Long term aid programs are attempting to overcome the onset of famine. It is felt that there is a better solution than only providing emergency relief.

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What might be more appropriate solutions solutions? Research, then outline, some of the changes that people in these countries are being encouraged to make. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ World Disasters Series – Book 2

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Background Information:

Helping Those In Trouble Third World Countries

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Third world countries are typically poor and non-industrialised nations. Income levels in third world countries are often very unevenly distributed, with the majority of people receiving little access to social services such as education, health care or clean water. Citizens of third world countries often have to resort to environmentally damaging practices in order to survive. These practices can contribute to the onset of drought or famine. These countries usually have unstable or poor governments that cannot assist their citizens in times of famine.

agricultural programs, health programs or the purchase of increased technology. World Vision does not dictate what the money is to be used for. Instead, World Vision workers assist the community leaders in isolating the causes of their problems, and in developing solutions.

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When discussing areas of the world that are prone to famine, cultural factors as well as geographical factors must be taken into consideration. The majority of countries which suffer from famine are “third world” countries.

Currently World Vision sponsorship costs $39 per month. The money raised provides food, shelter, clothing, medicines, education, tools, raw materials and training.

Check Out:

© ReadyEdP ubl i cat i ons www.worldvision.org.au (Australia) •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• www.worldvision.org.nz

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World Vision sponsorship is a program by which people can “sponsor” a child in a third world country. Sponsors donate money to World Vision for the care of the child, and in return receive information on the progress of the child, as well as a chance to communicate with the child through letters.

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www.worldvision.org (International)

www.makepovertyhistory.org

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www.oxfam.org.au

Money given through the sponsorship program does not benefit only one child, however. The money goes to the community, which uses it in a way which will benefit that child’s future, and at the same time the future of the entire community. So, for example, the sponsorship money raised may go towards building a school through which all of the children in the village, including the sponsored child, have access to education. Sponsorship money can also aid Page 42

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World Vision Sponsorship

(New Zealand)

World Disasters Series – Book 2


Helping Those In Trouble Because of the situation in which the world finds itself, a number of methods of helping those requiring assistance have developed. Many of these make use of permanent organisations based in third world countries. How is a “third world country” defined?

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Describe the level of industry of a typical “third world country”.

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______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

Describe the education systems.

______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

Describe the available resources.

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons ______________________________________________________________________________ •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• ______________________________________________________________________________

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Many worldwide organisations attempt to provide specific relief to individuals through “sponsorship”. What is World Vision sponsorship?

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_______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________

How does it work?

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How much does it cost and what does the money raised provide? ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ World Disasters Series – Book 2

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Useful Websites Emergency Management Australia for Schools www.ema.gov.au/agd/ema/emaSchools.nsf Climate Change www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/

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FEMA for Kids: Floods www.fema.gov/kids/floods.htm

Geoscience Australia - Floods www.ga.gov.au/urban/factsheets/floods.jsp Surviving Cyclones www.bom.gov.au/info/cyclone/

Brisbane Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre www.bom.gov.au/weather/qld/cyclone/ Cyclones Clearly Explained clearlyexplained.com/nature/earth/disasters/cyclones.html

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Floods Clearly Explained clearlyexplained.com/nature/earth/disasters/floods.html

© ReadyEdPubl i cat i ons Queensland’s Disaster Management www.disaster.qld.gov.au/disasters/cyclones.asp •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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Bushfires - CSIRO www.csiro.au/csiro/channel/ich3f.html Bushfires Clearly Explained clearlyexplained.com/nature/earth/disasters/bushfires.html

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Australia in Drought www.abc.net.au/rural/drought2002/

Living With Drought www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/livedrought.shtml Famine and Hunger - Links www.trinity.wa.edu.au/plduffyrc/issues/famine.htm World Vision 40 Hour Famine www.worldvision.com.au/40hourfamine/

Flood Fire Famine - Virtual Exhibition www.archives.qld.gov.au/exhibitions/virtualexhibition/virtualexhib.asp

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Hurricanes, Cyclones, Typhoons - FAQs www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/tcfaqHED.html

World Disasters Series – Book 2


World Disasters Series: Book 2