How Insurance Works

Anthropogenic hazard

Anthropogenic hazards or human-made hazards
can result in the form of a human-made disaster. In this case, anthropogenic means threats
having an element of human intent, negligence, or error; or involving a failure of a human-made
system. This is as opposed to natural hazards that
cause natural disasters. Either can result in huge losses of life and
property as well as damage to peoples’ mental, physical and social well-being. Sociological hazards
Crime Crime is a breach of the law for which some
governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction which will carry some form of
penalty, such as imprisonment or a fine. At least in the view of the legislators, the
criminal act will cause harm to other people. Each legal jurisdiction may define crime differently. While every crime violates the law, not every
violation of the law counts as a crime: for example, breaches of contract and of other
private law may rank as “offenses” or as “infractions”. Modern societies generally regard crimes as
offenses against the public or the state, distinguished from torts. In context, not all crimes constitute human-made
hazards. Arson Arson is the criminal intent of setting a
fire with intent to cause damage. The definition of arson was originally limited
to setting fire to buildings, but was later expanded to include other objects, such as
bridges, vehicles, and private property. Arson is the greatest recorded cause of fire. Some human-induced fires are accidental: failing
machinery such as a kitchen stove is a major cause of accidental fires. Civil disorder Civil disorder is a broad term that is typically
used by law enforcement to describe forms of disturbance. Although civil disorder does not necessarily
escalate to a disaster in all cases, the event may escalate into general chaos. Rioting has many causes, including large-scale
criminal conspiracy, socioeconomic factors, hostility between racial and ethnic groups
and mass outrage over perceived moral and legal transgressions. Examples of well-known civil disorders and
riots are the Poll Tax Riots in the United Kingdom in 1990; the 1992 Los Angeles riots
in which 53 people died; the 2008 Greek riots after a 15-year-old boy was fatally shot by
police; and the 2010 Thai political protests in Bangkok during which 91 people died. Terrorism Terrorism is a controversial term with varied
definitions. One definition means a violent action targeting
civilians exclusively. Another definition is the use or threatened
use of violence for the purpose of creating fear in order to achieve a political, religious,
or ideological goal. Under the second definition, the targets of
terrorist acts can be anyone, including civilians, government officials, military personnel,
or people serving the interests of governments. Definitions of terrorism may also vary geographically. In Australia, the Security Legislation Amendment
Act 2002, defines terrorism as “an action to advance a political, religious or ideological
cause and with the intention of coercing the government or intimidating the public”, while
the United States Department of State operationally describes it as “premeditated, politically-motivated
violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub national groups or clandestine
agents, usually intended to influence an audience”. War War is a conflict between relatively large
groups of people, which involves physical force inflicted by the use of weapons. Warfare has destroyed entire cultures, countries,
economies and inflicted great suffering on humanity. Other terms for war can include armed conflict,
hostilities, and police action. Acts of war are normally excluded from insurance
contracts and sometimes from disaster planning. Technological hazards
Industrial hazards Industrial disasters occur in a commercial
context, such as mining accidents. They often have an environmental impact. The Bhopal disaster is the world’s worst industrial
disaster to date, and the Chernobyl disaster is regarded the worst nuclear accident in
history. Hazards may have longer-term and more dispersed
effects, such as dioxin and DDT poisoning. Structural collapse
Structural collapses are often caused by engineering failures. Bridge failures may be caused in several ways,
such as under-design, by corrosion attack, or by aerodynamic flutter of the deck. Failure of dams was not infrequent during
the Victorian era, such as the Dale Dyke dam failure in Sheffield, England in the 1860s,
causing the Great Sheffield Flood. Other failures include balcony collapses or
building collapses such as that of the World Trade Center. Power outage A power outage is an interruption of normal
sources of electrical power. Short-term power outages are common and have
minor adverse effect, since most businesses and health facilities are prepared to deal
with them. Extended power outages, however, can disrupt
personal and business activities as well as medical and rescue services, leading to business
losses and medical emergencies. Extended loss of power can lead to civil disorder,
as in the New York City blackout of 1977. Only very rarely do power outages escalate
to disaster proportions, however, they often accompany other types of disasters, such as
hurricanes and floods, which hampers relief efforts. Electromagnetic pulses and voltage spikes
from whatever cause can also damage electricity infrastructure and electrical devices. Recent notable power outages include the 2005
Java–Bali Blackout which affected 100 million people, 2012 India blackouts which affected
600 million and the 2009 Brazil and Paraguay blackout which affected 60 million people. Fire Bush fires, forest fires, and mine fires are
generally started by lightning, but also by human negligence or arson. They can burn thousands of square kilometers. If a fire intensifies enough to produce its
own winds and “weather”, it will form into a firestorm. A good example of a mine fire is the one near
Centralia, Pennsylvania. Started in 1962, it ruined the town and continues
to burn today. Some of the biggest city-related fires are
The Great Chicago Fire, The Peshtigo Fire and the Great Fire of London in 1666. Casualties resulting from fires, regardless
of their source or initial cause, can be aggravated by inadequate emergency preparedness. Such hazards as a lack of accessible emergency
exits, poorly marked escape routes, or improperly maintained fire extinguishers or sprinkler
systems may result in many more deaths and injuries than might occur with such protections. Hazardous materials Radiation contamination When nuclear weapons are detonated or nuclear
containment systems are otherwise compromised, airborne radioactive particles can scatter
and irradiate large areas. Not only is it deadly, but it also has a long-term
effect on the next generation for those who are contaminated. Ionizing radiation is hazardous to living
things, and in such a case much of the affected area could be unsafe for human habitation. During World War II, United States troops
dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As a result, the radiation fallout contaminated
the cities’ water supplies, food sources, and half of the populations of each city were
stricken with disease. In the Soviet Union, the Mayak industrial
complex exploded in 1957. The Kyshtym disaster was kept secret for several
decades. It is the third most serious nuclear accident
ever recorded. At least 22 villages were exposed to radiation
and resulted in at least 10,000 displaced persons. In 1992 the former soviet union officially
acknowledge the accident. Other Soviet republics of Ukraine and Belarus
suffered also when a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant had a meltdown in 1986. To this day, several small towns and the city
of Chernobyl remain abandoned and uninhabitable due to fallout. The Goiânia accident was a radioactive contamination
accident that occurred on September 13, 1987, at Goiânia, in the Brazilian state of Goiás,
after an old radiotherapy source was stolen from an abandoned hospital site in the city. It was subsequently handled by many people,
resulting in four deaths. About 112,000 people were examined for radioactive
contamination and 249 were found to have significant levels of radioactive material in or on their
bodies.[1][2] In the cleanup operation, topsoil had to be removed from several sites, and
several houses were demolished. All the objects from within those houses were
removed and examined. Time magazine has identified the accident
as one of the world’s “worst nuclear disasters” and the International Atomic Energy Agency
called it “one of the world’s worst radiological incidents”
Another nuclear power disaster that is ongoing is Fukushima Daiichi. In the 1970s, a similar threat scared millions
of Americans when a failure occurred at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant in Pennsylvania. However, the incident was resolved and the
area fortunately retained little contamination. The Hanford Site is a decommissioned nuclear
production complex that produced plutonium for most of the 60,000 weapons in the U.S.
nuclear arsenal. There are environmental concerns about radioactivity
released from Hanford. Two major plutonium fires in 1957 and 1969
at the Rocky Flats Plant, located about 15 miles northwest of Denver was not publicly
reported until the 1970s. A number of military accidents involving nuclear
weapons have also resulted in radioactive contamination, for example the 1966 Palomares
B-52 crash and the 1968 Thule Air Base B-52 crash. CBRNs CBRN is a catch-all acronym for chemical,
biological, radiological, and nuclear. The term is used to describe a non-conventional
terror threat that, if used by a nation, would be considered use of a weapon of mass destruction. This term is used primarily in the United
Kingdom. Planning for the possibility of a CBRN event
may be appropriate for certain high-risk or high-value facilities and governments. Examples include Saddam Hussein’s Halabja
poison gas attack, the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway and the preceding test runs
in Matsumoto, Japan 100 kilometers outside of Tokyo, and Lord Amherst giving smallpox
laden blankets to Native Americans. Transportation
Aviation An aviation incident is an occurrence other
than an accident, associated with the operation of an aircraft, which affects or could affect
the safety of operations, passengers, or pilots. The category of the vehicle can range from
a helicopter, an airliner, or a space shuttle. The world’s worst airliner disaster is the
Tenerife crash of 1977, when miscommunications between and amongst air traffic control and
an aircrew caused two fully laden jets to collide on the runway, killing 583 people. Rail A railroad disaster is an occurrence associated
with the operation of a passenger train which results in substantial loss of life. Usually accidents with freight trains are
not considered disasters, unless they cause substantial loss of life or property. One of the most devastating rail disasters
occurred in 2004 in Sri Lanka when 1,700 people died in the Sri Lanka tsunami-rail disaster. Other notable rail disasters are the 1989
Ufa accident in Russia which killed 574, and the 1917 Modane train accident in France which
killed 540. See also the list of train accidents by death
toll. Road
Traffic collisions are the leading cause of death, and road-based pollution creates a
substantial health hazard, especially in major conurbations. Space Space travel presents significant hazards,
mostly to the direct participants, but also carry the potential of disaster to the public
at large. Accidents related to space travel have killed
22 astronauts and cosmonauts, and a larger number of people on the ground. Accidents can occur on the ground during launch,
preparation, or in flight, due to equipment malfunction or the naturally hostile environment
of space itself. An additional risk is posed by low-orbiting
satellites whose orbits eventually decay due to friction with the extremely thin atmosphere. If they are large enough, massive pieces travelling
at great speed can fall to the Earth before burning up, with the potential to do damage. The worst space disaster to date occurred
on February 15, 1996 in Sichuan, China, when a Long March 3B rocket, carrying the Intelsat
708 telecommunications satellite, suffered a guidance system failure two seconds after
liftoff and crashed into a nearby village. The Chinese government officially reported
six deaths and 57 injuries, but some U.S. estimates run as high as 200 deaths. The second worst disaster was the Nedelin
catastrophe which occurred in the Soviet Union on October 24, 1960, when an R-16 intercontinental
ballistic missile exploded on the launch pad, killing around 120 military ground support
personnel. The Soviet government refused to acknowledge
the incident until 1989, then claiming only 78 deaths. One of the worst human-piloted space accidents
involved the Space Shuttle Challenger which disintegrated in 1986, claiming all seven
lives on board. The shuttle disintegrated 73 seconds after
taking off from the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Another example is the Space Shuttle Columbia,
which disintegrated during a landing attempt over Texas in 2003, with a loss of all seven
astronauts on board. The debris field extended from New Mexico
to Mississippi. Sea travel Ships can sink, capsize or crash in disasters. Perhaps the most infamous sinking was that
of the Titanic which hit an iceberg and sank, resulting in one of the worst maritime disasters
in history. Other notable incidents include the capsizing
of the Costa Concordia, which killed at least 32 people; and is the largest passenger ship
to sink, and the sinking of the MV Doña Paz, which claimed the lives of up to 4,375 people
in the worst peacetime maritime disaster in history. Costs
Some human-made disasters have been particularly notable for the high costs associated with
responding to and recovering from them, including: Deepwater Horizon oil spill, 2010: Between
$60 and $100 billion. September 11 attacks, 2001: $20.7 billion;
Chernobyl disaster, 1986: $15 billion estimated cost of direct loss. It is estimated that the damages could accumulate
to €235 billion for Ukraine and €201 billion for Belarus in the thirty years following
the accident; Three Mile Island, 1979: $1 billion;
Exxon Valdez oil spill, 1989: The clean-up of oil spill cost an estimated $2.5 billion;
recovery for settlements, $1.1 billion; and the economical loss suffered due to the damage
to the Alaskan ecosystem was estimated at $2.8 billion;
AZF chemical plant explosion, 2001: €1.8 billion
The costs of disasters varies considerably depending on a range of factors, such as the
geographical location where they occur. When a disaster occurs in a densely populated
area in a wealthy country, the financial damage might be huge, but when a comparable disaster
occurs in a densely populated area in a poorer country, the actual financial damage might
be relatively small, in part due to a lack of insurance. For example, the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
and tsunami with a death toll of over 230,000 people, cost $15 billion, whereas the Deepwater
Horizon oil spill, in which 11 people died, the damages were six-fold. See also
Existential threat List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by
death toll Survivalism
Dark tourism References

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