SL/HL – Hazards and Disasters

Mercator Puzzle link

  • Focus is on the full range of human adjustments and responses to hazards and disasters at a variety of scales.
  • The term “natural disaster” is deliberately avoided.
  • Students are expected to examine the following four hazards:
    • Either earthquakes or volcanoes
    • Hurricanes
    • Droughts
    • Any one recent human-induced (technological) hazard resulting in an explosion or escape of hazardous material
  • Recommended that the overall approach should be concept by concept (such as vulnerability, risk and risk assessment), rather than entirely thematic (hazard by hazard).
  • At least one case study of a hazard event (or disaster) is required for each of the four hazard types.


  • Assessed in Paper 2.
  • Structured question based on stimulus material.
  • There is a choice of two questions per optional theme.
  • 20 marks per question.


Case studies:

Earthquake – Bam and California 2003, Haiti 2010

Drought – Australia 2002-2009, Ethiopia 2010-11

Hurricane – Katrina 2005 USA, Nargis 2008 Burma

Human induced – BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *