Mitigation and Risk Reduction
Impediments to Disaster Prevention in Major Cities
The issue of mitigation and risk reduction in terms of different disasters has become an urgent problem in the modern world. Unfortunately, various catastrophes have become an ordinary reflection of human activities. Despite people trying to incorporate numerous strategies for reducing the risks of the disaster occurrence, the nature still continues causing many problems to the mankind. Current mitigation and risk reduction practices are effective; however, there are a number of impediments to disaster prevention in major cities which do not allow these strategies to have the full power in case of emergency or disaster. The major problem of the modern world is that being aware of the possible disasters and having assessed the possible risks, the impediments still exist, which causes numerous problems related to dealing with the disasters, such as evacuating people, eliminating panic, and promoting structured and previously accepted disaster coping techniques. Having analyzed recent disasters in the major cities in the world, Fernandez, Bendimerad, Mattingly, & Buika have defined the impediments to damage risk management in such big cities as Tehran, Manila, Mumbai, Kathmandu, Istanbul, Quito, and Bogota. These include high risk transfer mechanisms, compliance with codes, problems in norms and regulations, shift response to mitigation, weak legal framework, lack of funding, education, information, and communication, poor coordination, and many informal settlements. According to Oosterom, Zlatanova, & Fendel, disaster risk reduction practices leave many obvious gaps hoping for successful outcome and absence of any disasters for many years. Each of the impediments to disaster prevention in major cities mentioned above may be found in the recent disasters.

Specific Examples in Recent Earthquake Disasters for Each of the Impediments: Strategies for Addressing the Impediments in the Examples
There are a lot of examples where the natural disasters and particularly the earthquakes have led to numerous problems for the nations, such as 2010 Haiti earthquake, which resulted in the loss of 222,570 lives, the earthquake in Indonesia in 2004, which caused death of 165,708 people, the disaster in China in 2008, which killed 87,476 people, the death of 73,338 people in 2005 in Pakistan, and the nature disaster in 1990 in Iran ,with the loss of 40,000 lives. Trying to cope with the problem after it has already occurred, the countries usually risk failing. Developing mitigation and risk strategies, the government usually fails to consider other important issues, which may result in impediments when the disasters occur. Taking a specific example of Haiti’s earthquake in 2010, the main impediments to implementation of mitigation and risk reduction strategies are going to be discussed with reference to the problems and real actions which took place.
Haiti’s 7.0- magnitude earthquake is one of the best examples of the presence of numerous impediments in dealing with the natural disasters. The earthquake hit the capital of the country, Port-au-Prince, in the year 2010. Due to the weak legal framework and lack of funding, the reconstruction of the city occurred with complete ignorance of the fact that the city has already been subjected to earthquake. As a result, the possibility of natural disaster occurrence was not taken into account during the city reconstruction. Lack of funding, education, information, and communication also played its role as the low financing of the city reconstruction did not allow the government to create appropriate city infrastructure with numerous protective constructions and implement risk reduction strategies. Many people were unaware of the possible nature disaster occurrence and therefore, the absence of any communication and information created additional difficulties when the earthquake took place. Additionally, having a very poorly developed economy, the place has many informal settlements, which also caused numerous troubles while trying to eliminate the causes of the earthquake. The poverty in the country resulted in lack of risk transfer mechanisms, lack of compliance with any codes, and very poor coordination.
The state did all possible to overcome the problems having applied numerous strategies; however, these strategies were too slow and in many cases ineffective. The number of real losses still remains a question. Thus, on the first day the Haitian government collapsed the presidential palace. During the second day, the mechanisms for working with the international communities were implemented. This is the direct proof of the absence of any codes and regulations. After 72 hours passed (the time when most people could be saved), no decisions have been drawn, which speaks of absence of any coordination and mechanisms of coping with the disaster. Only on the 10th day after the disaster the resettlement strategies took place, which indicates poor settlement and the presence of informal ones. Absence of any funding and confirmation of the cancellation of the US debt are the reasons of implementing the national recovery plan only on the 65th day after the disaster.
In conclusion, each country located in an earthquake prone area develops mitigation and risk reduction strategies; however, a number of factors may lead to impediments to the existing strategies creating many problems. Having considered the example of 2010 Haiti earthquake, it has been confirmed that the country has a lot of difficulties in reducing the losses and preventing as many destructions as possible. Thus, absence of risk transfer mechanisms and compliance of codes, problems with norms and regulations, too late shift response to mitigation, weak legal framework, lack of funding, education, information, and communication, poor coordination, and many informal settlements have lead to great life losses and millions of damage.

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