Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: The hazard exposure of the Maltese Islands
Authors: Main, Geoff
Schembri, John
Gauci, Ritienne
Crawford, Kevin
Chester, David
Duncan, Angus
Keywords: Natural disasters -- Risk assessment -- Malta
Hazardous geographic environments -- Mediterranean Region
Hazard mitigation -- Malta
Earthquakes -- Malta -- History
Geomorphology -- Malta
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Main, G., Schembri, J., Gauci, R., Crawford, K., Chester, D., & Duncan, A. (2018). The hazard exposure of the Maltese Islands. Natural Hazards, 92(2), 829-855.
Abstract: International comparisons of disaster risk frequently classify Malta as being one of the least hazard exposed countries. Such rankings may be criticised because: (1) they fail to take into account historic increases in population and its seasonal variation; (2) they are based on inadequately researched and incomplete historical catalogues of damaging events; and (3), for small island states like Malta, they do not take into account the implications of restricted land area, which can be disproportionately impacted by even small hazardous events. In this paper, we draw upon a variety of data to discuss disaster risk in the Maltese Islands. In particular, the notion that Malta is one of the ‘safest places on earth’ is not only misleading, but also potentially dangerous because it engenders a false sense of security amongst the population. We argue that Malta is exposed to a variety of extreme events, which include: the distal effects of major earthquakes originating in southern Italy and Greece, plus their associated tsunamis; major ash producing eruptions of Mount Etna (Sicily) and their putative impacts on air transport; storm waves; coastal/inland landslides; karstic collapse; flooding and drought. In criticising international rankings of the islands’ exposure, we highlight the issues involved in formulating hazard assessments, in particular incomplete catalogues of extreme natural events. With Malta witnessing swelling resident, seasonal (i.e. tourist) plus foreign-born populations and increases in the urban area, further research into hazards is required in order to develop evidence-based policies of disaster risk reduction (DRR).
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacArtGeo

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Restricted Access
1.26 MBAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.