View Full Version : Ring of Fire

Bill Moore
09-24-2017, 09:27 PM
While the media is understandably focused on the past three devastating hurricanes to hit U.S. territory, the Pacific region continues to face its enduring threats tied to the ring of fire. Most recently the probability of a major volcano eruption on the island of Bali, Indonesia.

Bali volcano: Evacuations continue as tremors suggest Mount Agung eruption imminent


Bali has declared a state of natural disaster, which means that regencies across the island are compelled to set up shelters for evacuees.

So far, more than 35,000 people have moved to temporary accommodation and that number could rise to 70,000 following an eruption, Governor I Made Mangku Pastika said.

I don't anticipate this event will create long term political stability, but have always been curious about the correlation of political unrest tied to natural disasters. Most studies indicate there is little evidence to support this hypothesis, and instead point to the political conditions prior to the disaster. But, do they look at the correlation over an extended period of time? I know in some cases that in remote areas villages and towns lost their state run schools, and while the national government did a good job responding quickly to save lives, they failed to address the infrastructure problems, at least initially. This allowed problematic NGOs tied to radical Islam to establish Madrassas in these areas in lieu of real schools.

Do Natural Disasters Fuel Unrest?


The literature has not reached a clear consensus but suggests that democratic countries like the Philippines are relatively safe from violence. Dawn Brancati and Philip Nel and Marjolein Righarts found strong evidence for increased likelihood of armed conflict following natural disasters. More recently, Rune Slettebak found that countries affected by climate-related natural disasters (storms, floods, and droughts) were less likely to experience armed conflict, and Drago Bergholt and Pivi Lujala found that while climate-related natural disasters cause economic contraction, they do not appear to affect the propensity for armed conflict. Looking specifically at earthquakes, Alastair Smith and Alejandro Quiroz Flores found that major protests were more prevalent after earthquakes, but did not relate these protests to armed conflicts. The balance of evidence suggests that while natural disasters fuel public demonstrations, they are not robustly linked to armed conflict.

Reasonable people do not hold the government responsible for earthquakes, typhoons, flash floods or other rapid onset natural disasters.

Bill Moore
10-01-2017, 08:58 PM
Dunkirk-style evacuation as Vanuatu volcano pollutes drinking water


Vanuatu has launched a Dunkirk-style evacuation on the northern island of Ambae as a flotilla of boats rescues islanders from an erupting volcano.