The most intense natural threat in the UK is stereotypical. The rain causes floods which overflow the sewers into the streets, stop children from going to school and generally shut down an area for a few weeks. Someone told me that we had an earthquake in Kent a few years ago, but with a magnitude of four, we don’t really talk about it. Normally, the floods happen in early spring.
The areas by the rivers such as the Thames are really hit. So the residents of those areas are prepared. The have wall enclosed houses and buy sandbags to block the water from entering their houses.
However, preparation does not always mean that there are no consequences. A year after Storm Desmond hit Cumbria in 2015, over 700 families were not able to return home. Over 5,200 homes flooded after month’s worth of rain fell in one day. The storm cost an estimated £1.3 billion in insurance.
Currently, the UK is facing the worst hurricane season for 7 years, with the back end of the storms from across the pond hitting our coasts. Hurricane Irma which is currently devastating the Caribbean and the Southeast Coast of America has caused damaging winds of up to 60mph. In the month of September 2017, the UK is set to face the end of three tropical storms.
The context we need to place the flooding and storms the UK is facing into is global warming. The met office has stated that the enhanced greenhouse effect, albeit global warming, has had an effect that increases flooding.
Flooding and storms are the main natural disasters which affect the population of the UK. We have been lucky to that respect. However as the threat of climate change increases, the natural threats we face could potentially become more severe. So as we grow into the future, we should continue to prepare ourselves for the unknown.
by Issy K.