Cambridge University Press

This book presents a unique, interdisciplinary approach to disaster risk research, combining cutting-edge natural science and social science methodologies. Bringing together leading scientists, policy makers and practitioners from around the world, it presents the risks of global hazards such as volcanoes, seismic events, landslides, hurricanes, precipitation floods and space weather, and provides real-world hazard case studies from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific region. Avoiding complex mathematics, the authors provide insight into topics such as the vulnerability of society, disaster risk reduction policy, relations between disaster policy and climate change, adaptation to hazards, and (re)insurance approaches to extreme events. This is a key resource for academic researchers and graduate students in a wide range of disciplines linked to hazard and risk studies, including geophysics, volcanology, hydrology, atmospheric science, geomorphology, oceanography and remote sensing, and for professionals and policy makers working in disaster prevention and mitigation.






  1. Extreme natural hazards and societal implications – ENHANS project

Alik Ismail-Zadeh

  1. The grand challenges of integrated research on disaster risk

Gordon McBean


Extreme Hazards and Disaster Risks

  1. Extreme volcanism: disaster risks and societal implications

Amy Donovan and Clive Oppenheimer

4.     Extreme seismic events: from basic science to disaster risk mitigation

Alik Ismail-Zadeh

  1. The spatial-temporal dimensions of landslide disasters

Irasema Alcántara-Ayala

  1. Global climate model and projected hydro-meteorological extremes in the future

Akio Kitoh

  1. Physically-based hurricane risk analysis

Ning Lin, Kerry Emanuel, and Erik Vanmarcke

  1. Satellite-based remote sensing estimation of precipitation for early warning systems

Soroosh Sorooshian, Phu Nguyen, Scott Sellars, Dan Braithwaite, Amir AghaKouchak, and Kuolin Hsu

9.     Predicting and mitigating socio-economic impacts of extreme space weather: Benefits of improved forecasts

Daniel N. Baker, Jamie M. Jackson, and Lauren K. Thompson

10.  Predictability of extreme events in a branching diffusion model

Andrei Gabrielov, Vladimir Keilis-Borok, Sayaka Olsen and Ilya Zaliapin


Case Studies: Latin America and the Caribbean region

  1. Earthquakes, tsunamis, and the related vulnerability in South America and the Caribbean – an overview

Omar J. Pérez, Carlos Rodríguez and José L. Alonso

  1. Magnetic studies of active volcanoes in Mexico: implications for volcanic hazards and volcano monitoring

Jaime Urrutia-Fucugauchi


Case Studies: Africa

  1. Volcanism in Africa: geological perspectives, hazards and societal implications

Nils Lenhardt and Clive Oppenheimer

  1. Recent volcanic eruptions in the Afar rift, north-eastern Africa, and implications for volcanic risk management in the region

Gezahegn Yirgu, David J. Ferguson, Talfan D. Barnie and Clive Oppenheimer

  1. Large recorded earthquakes in Sub-Saharan Africa

Vunganai Midzi and Brassnavy Manzunzu

  1. Tsunami impact on the African continent: historical cases and hazard evaluation

Vyacheslav K. Gusiakov

  1. Advancing disaster risk governance in Madagascar: the role of higher education institutions

Mahefasoa T. Randrianalijaona and Ailsa Holloway


Case Studies: Middle East

  1. Natural hazards in Saudi Arabia

Abdulaziz M. Al-Bassam, Faisal K. Zaidi and Mohammad T. Hussein

  1. Large earthquakes and tsunamis in the Mediterranean region and its connected seas

Gerassimos A. Papadopoulos and Antonia Papageorgiou

  1. Earthquake risk and risk reduction capacity building in Iran

Mohsen Ghafory-Ashtiany


Case Studies: Asia and the Pacific Region

  1. The Chao Phraya floods 2011

Sucharit Koontanakulvong

  1. Environmental risk management in Australia: natural hazards

Tom Beer

  1. The 2008 Wenchuan, China, earthquake

Zhongliang Wu and Tengfei Ma

  1. The 2011 Tohoku, Japan, earthquake and tsunami

Kenji Satake

  1. India’s tsunami warning system

T. Srinivasa Kumar, Shailesh Nayak and Harsh K. Gupta


Disaster Risks and Societal Implications

  1. The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015): essential tools for meeting the challenges of extreme events

Sálvano Briceño

  1. Disaster policy and climate change: how much more of the same?

Stephen Dovers and John Handmer

  1. Vulnerability, impacts and adaptation to sea level related hazards taking an ecosystem based approach

Keith Alverson

  1. Extreme geohazards: risk management from a (re)insurance perspective

Anselm Smolka

  1. Hitting the poor: public-private partnership as an option. Impact of natural catastrophes on economies at various stages of development

Angelika Wirtz, Petra Löw, Thomas Mahl and Sibel Yildirim


Subject Index