Rolling the Stone Back up the Hill.doc by wangnuanzg


									                              Rolling the Stone Back up the Hill:
                                     Preliminary Questions
                          Raised by the 2001 El Salvador Earthquake
                                        Dr. Ben Wisner, Oberlin College
                                Vice -chair, Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative
                                Vice-chair, IGU Commission on Risk and Hazards

                                                   20 January 2001


                       Ben: “But let's continue to push!” George Kent: “OK, Mr. Sisyphus.”

         These are very preliminary thoughts about the earthquake in El Salvador that as of this writing has killed at
least 700 people, with perhaps another 2000 still missing, 45,000 people evacuated, tens of thousands of homes
destroyed, hospital capacity reduced by two-fifths, more than 1,000 schools severely damaged (19%).

Why El Salvador?

          This sounds so familiar. Why bother? Why have I spent a week reading through ReliefWeb
( ) and exchanging a blizzard of email communications with friends and
colleagues all around the world?

         The reasons are many. First, El Salvador seems to present a litmus test of the well known hypothesis
(maybe mythic belief in the disaster management cosmovision) that disaster opens a “window of opportunity” for
policy changes that reduce vulnerability to the next disaster. After hurricane Mitch, for the two years 1999 and
2000, the Inter-American Development Bank and many other multilateral, bilateral donors, aid agencies, and NGOs
provided support not just for recovery but for mitigation and prevention of further disasters. There was supposed to
be a new mind set that recognized the link between disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.

          El Salvador was well placed to take advantage of this aid and “new thinking” since it hadn’t suffered the
degree of damage that Honduras and Nicaragua saw. In addition, it’s long civil war (1980-92) was over.
Institutions that are needed achieve sustainable development were being build, democratic institutions. Civil
society was strong and active. Many of some 750,000 Salvadorans abroad in the US were in a position to remit
income. There was an active regional coordinating body (CEPREDENAC) to assist. The Pan American Health
Organization (PAHO) and Organization of American States (OAS) were there to provide technical assistance.

         So I was struck by the seemingly dramatic collapse of the myth of policy opportunities as silver linings.

          I was also struck by the blatant failure to apply well established knowledge. Haresh Shah had provoked a
long discussion in 1999 along these lines when the earthquake in Turkey forced him to call for a profound
reconsideration of the good of engineering knowledge if building codes aren’t enforced. Preliminary and anecdotal
information suggests that the landslide that buried 200 homes in Las Colinas, Santa Tecla, was partly due to
economic development activities on the ridge above the community. In the oblique, color air photo on the New
York Times front page, Monday 15 January, one can clearly see that the slip begins where a road cuts across the
          Timing also had something to do with my reaction. The International Decade for Natural Disaster
Reduction is over. Many of us are assessing what it achieved. There are new initiatives that seek to carry forward
the momentum of the Decade (initiatives by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Earthquakes and Megacities
Initiative, ProVention Consortium, UN Development Program, among many others). Also, symbolically, we were
only two weeks into the third millennium. So I was forced to ask: is this still acceptable in the new millennium? Is
it to be business as usual for the media, for governments, for donors, for agencies?

         Or is it time that we say, with the Zapatistas, “Ya Basta!”?

         Here, then are some ideas about El Salvador, yes, but also about the New World Order, the so-called
“global” order. They are organized around a partial list of themes. Please take all this as a starting point.

          One thing that has grown out of the past week is a web page maintained by Dr. Maureen Fordham at
Anglia University in UK. I am very grateful to her. Here, in this page, is a home for radical interpretations of
disaster as it appears all over the world. The word “radical” is used in the sense of radix or “root”, the root causes of
vulnerability and what to do about it.

What Difference Can We Make?

          The “what to do about it” is very important and why one section of my notes is called “Knowing vs.
Doing”. One proposal I have, to be elaborated elsewhere, is to bring science and politics together is a very practical
and concrete way. What we lack, among other things, are enforceable internationally agreed standards for
mitigation and prevention activities. What does political theory tell us about a state that is incapable or unwilling to
apply a body of established knowledge, at low cost, that would protect its citizens from the kind of landslide that
killed so many in El Salvador? Is that good governance? Is that a legitimate state?

          There is here a dual question of developing and disseminating low cost ways of identifying landslide
hazard AND actually getting this knowledge USED. This second is more a policy and political issue and has
several parts ranging from work toward internationally agreed standards in the context of a human rights approach to
citizens' safety, to work with citizen groups and local NGOs to give them the information they need to DEMAND
these standards be met by governments, to funding, training, and administration issues.

          I think that one of the follow-on activities after the IDNDR could and should be for groups of scientific
specialists working with teams of law and policy experts to come up with proposed internationally standard
minimum expectations for all governments.

         These would be minimum standard and would be realistic in the sense that low-cost technology is available
to achieve them.

         Some form of treaty process would then have to win agreement to bring the standards into force.
Meanwhile the very process of developing the standards and of working out the low cost solutions would increase
general awareness. Everybody wins.

         This process would have to be arduous and painstaking and detailed. At the moment in these notes I've
just addressed the case of landslide hazard identification. In the case of building codes, for example, there is more
agreement and wide spread practice. Just concerning earthquake hazard mitigation and mitigation of possible
secondary, collateral hazards (like landslides) there would probably have to be a dozen or more working groups.

         I invite all readers who want to participate in that process to contact me at .

Organization of the Notes

         I discuss six clusters of questions and issues that have not been adequately addressed during the IDNDR.


          The most challenging questions, thought not at all new, focus on whether human beings have a right to
security from disasters triggered either by extreme events in nature or by failure of human techno-systems. Despite
appearances, this is neither a childish concept nor strictly metaphysical or theological. I am not kicking my heals at

heaven or denying Buddha’s Four Nobel Truths. We all do suffer, sicken, grow old, and die. The question is
whether as an acculturated species that shapes its own “second nature”, we are moving toward a shared belief that
the authorities responsible for social order have a responsibility to provide minimum, internationally agreed
safeguards against catastrophic events. Parallel debates from the mid-1970s onwards concerning basic needs and
human rights (see my book Power and Need in Africa: Basic Human Needs and Development Policy. London:
Earthscan, 1988) and the more recent turn toward rights-driven approaches (e.g. by UNICEF and UNDP) suggest we


         For a long time mental health was seen as a secondary issue in disaster response and recovery. There was
also a double standard: citizens of rich countries could afford the “luxury” of counseling, but masses of poor
humanity in shelters or refugee camps could not. This has begun to change, however there are still practices
inherited from the commandist, military history of disaster management that abuse the spirit and cause emotional
suffering. Often still differences in dominant urban vs. subordinate rural cultures cause friction and
misunderstanding. For instance, upper class, mestizo, urban professionals in Mexico City consider the Nahuatl
world view (cosmovision) and understanding of volcanos to be nothing more than superstition. They have as little
understanding or empathy for the conditions of daily life on the slopes of the volcano Popocatepetl . When, in 1994,
the Army stole farmers’ pigs and chickens once residents had been convinced to evacuate the eruption danger zone,
one such technician remarked that “a pig and a chicken make no difference to the GNP.”


          Countries like El Salvador are part of a system now called “global.” Throughout the 1980s there have
been wave after wave of interventions by the international financial institutions designed to manage external debt
and to encourage growth based on free trade. El Salvador emerged from its brutal land wars (“civil war”, 1980-
1992) into a world where neoliberal principles of less government or other forms of social control and more market
control was almost unquestioned. NAFTA was two years away. However, complete laissez-faire precludes
effective control of land development in dangerous places, regulation of dangerous factories and pollution, centrally
funded and maintained infrastructure accessible to the poor. A new global economic order has shifted and
reallocated risk socially and spatially (see John Handmer and Ben Wisner, "Hazards, Globalization, and
Sustainability: Conference Report." Development in Practice 9,3, (1999), pp. 342-346). The ordinary people
affected by market driven development are not unaware of what is happening to them. Frances Fukuyama may
think that history has ended, but Superbarrio (a series of Mexican activists dressed as a masked wrestler) continues
to struggle with “greed” and “corruption” as opponents in performances in the working class colonias of Mexico
City. Opposition of political parties to the “recovery” plans of the ruling party are part of a broader discontent with
dollarization and the stresses of globalization.


         We approach the tenth anniversary of the Earth Summit in Rio. “Rio + 10" is an occasion to look critically
as the notion of sustainable development. For cities it is impossible to conceive of “greening”, much less
“sustainable development” without enforced land use planning. San Salvador is not exceptional as a city where the
brightest and the best write plans and legislate regulations that are never implemented or enforced. Why? What can
be done about it?


          It is not only the well established principles of urban and environmental planning that fail to be applied.
The IDNDR produced and disseminated a wealth of shared scientific and technological knowledge in such areas as
earth science, engineering, hydrology, climatology, logistics, and public health. However there are still huge gaps
between science and government, science and the media, science and educators/ opinion leaders, and science and the
public. I focus on just one body of knowledge below – landslide hazard identification – but the point should be
considered a general and challenging one.


         My notes end on the same fundamental question with which they began. Why are there no internationally
agreed and enforced standards for preparedness and response? There have been many efforts, especially during the
past decade of large and complex humanitarian emergencies. PAHO has pioneered a system for cataloging and
sorting medical donations. A large group of humanitarian agencies have successfully produced a set of agreed
principles and minimum standards for relief (see Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster
Response. Geneva: The SPHERE Project, 2000; ). Despite these and other positive
steps, we continue to see government fail to stockpile and prepare in the most basic ways. Despite positive
experience and models of cooperation among UN and among bilateral agencies, we continue to see waste and

Is Safety from Natural Hazards a Human Right?
By George Kent, University of Hawaii ( )
[with permission from response to Ben’s messages]

Ben's observations in response to the El Salvador earthquake and landslides and the subsequent rescue efforts are
surprising. I am not a disaster person, so I naively expected that there would be more systematic preparations and
responses. Why is it that earthquakes are so often treated as if the current one was the first one?

Are there agreed international standards for disaster preparedness? Are there any international agencies that inspect
for the adequacy of preparation?

As a human rights advocate, I would begin with principle that all people have a right to protection from disasters,
and consequently governments have an obligation to protect them. This means that in addition to establishing
standards based on these rights, there ought to be some well-designed institutions of accountability. There should be
some international agencies that are capable of calling national governments to account if their preparations are not

If this has not yet been achieved, civil society organizations (non-governmental organizations) could contribute by
proposing draft international agreements with regard to disaster relief, and they could create their own inspectorate.

Cultural and Social Issues

      “The number of aftershocks, in addition to the fact that the entire country has been
      affected one way or the other, constitutes a major stress on each individual - rescuer
      and/or victim. This has lead some to advise the population, incorrectly, to dispose
      quickly of dead bodies because they represent a threat to public health. It is a well
      known fact that people dying in those conditions are not the cause of epidemics
      when basic rules of hygiene in corpse preservation are followed . It is also well
      known that mass burial has a huge impact on the mental health of survivors. Being
      able to identify the bodies of family and friends, even if only through pictures, facilitates
      the mourning process. In addition, the legal implication of mass burials are endless in
      terms of pension, insurance, inheritance, etc.”
      [PAHO, 18 January 2001, emphasis added]

   “Increasingly, authorities ordered large earth movers to plow through mud, tree limbs and destroyed homes to
begin the process of reconstruction.” [Reuters, 15 Jan. 2001]

   “Despite the bulldozers, some emergency workers sifted through debris for photographs that

   they piled in a truck so that mourners might cling to something of their loved ones. [Reuters, 17 Jan. 2001]

Bulldozers and mass graves. Is there no respect for public feelings? There is still hope for rescues, or I’m sure
some relatives and friends think so. Bulldozing! How would I feel if Sonia and Gabi were bulldozed? PAHO and
WHO have been trying to educate authorities for decades that cadavers are unpleasant, but not dangerous to public
health under most circumstances. In Mexico City in 1985 there were protests against Mexican military teams who
used dynamite to break up rubble for the bulldozers.

Economic Development and Politics

   Letter sent to the Guardian:

   By David Sanderson

   “Sir, We welcome the announcement by international development minister George Filches
   that Britain has committed funds to the rescue effort (UK gives £600,000 to quake victims,
   16 January).

   “But this tragedy highlights a problem long ignored by governments and institutions. By 2015,
   600 million people will live in the burgeoning cities of the developing world. The
   overwhelming pressures of urbanization force the very poorest citizens into a city's most
   dangerous and disaster-prone areas.

  “ Inadequate urban management, and the subsequent rise of unplanned shanty towns - with
   little in the way of city services or building regulations - puts citizens at the mercy of natural
   disasters. Earthquakes, hurricanes and everyday emergencies, like fires and landslides,
   continue to claim thousands of lives, perpetuate poverty and erode poor people's savings.

   “By 2025 over three fifths of the world's population will live in cities. If more support was
   given to development and urban planning in the third world, then fewer funds might be
   needed to respond to the growing global tally of natural disasters.” [ emphasis added]
   David Sanderson
   Technical and Policy Advisor
   CARE International UK
   16 January 2001

This comment is basically correct, but what good does it do to exhort donors to support urban planning and
development with they have no leverage of the “growth machine” that profits from uncontrolled growth in cities all
over the world (see Sustainable Development and Political Issues)

 “Oscar Ortiz, mayor of Santa Tecla ... a former guerrilla fighter ... took over as mayor for the FMLA ... says his
office has been left alone to provide for the hundreds of homeless.”
[A. Bounds and R. Lapper, “Earthquake opens up some old divisions,” Financial Times , 20 Jan. 2001, p. 3]

Note from Steve Bender, OAS ( http://www/ )

As in the case of Haresh, I want to build on Ben's communication and note that an open alternative to address the
vulnerability reduction of populations and their social and economic infrastructure to natural hazards is to continue
to tie vulnerability issues directly to economic development, particularly at the national and regional scale since
development loans and programs are set at those levels, and through sectoral mechanisms.

To that end, I am enclosing information about the upcoming Hemispheric Conference on Vulnerability of Reduction
of Trade Corridors to Socio-Natural Disasters (TCC), organized by the OAS, to look at the linkages of the

agriculture, energy and transportation sectors to national and regional development through the perspective of trade
corridors, such as the Central America Pan American Highway, which was severely impacted by the

Please consider your participation and I would be glad to answer any questions you might have, or they can be
directed to Laura Acquaviva <> at the TCC secretariat. I apologize if you have previously
received this information and already acted on it.

To carry through with international declarations in 2000 that disaster reduction is a development problem entails
linking disaster management issues to high profile development issues.

   “The task of rebuilding 75,000 houses fully or partially destroyed is ‘a massive challenge,’
   said deputy housing Minister Cesar Ceron.

   "’I have traveled through dozens of communities and villages and the scene is the same:
   homes are in ruins,’ he told AFP, adding: ‘We have no option but to ask for aid.’

   “Even before the crisis, El Salvador, with a population of 6.1 million people, had a
   shortage of half a million houses, according to official estimates.”
    [AFP, 19 January 2001, emphasis added]

   “There has been some criticism leveled at the government - that they have being giving
   priority to the population base of its own political party rather than targeting on a needs basis.”
   [Ros O’Sullivan, Concern (Ireland), 19 January 2001]

   “Salvador's former leftist rebel group Farabundo Marti National Liberation
   Front, now a political party, called on Congress to revoke a recent law making the US
   dollar legal tender in El Salvador.

   ‘We ... ask that the dollarization (of the economy) be rolled back, because we feel the
   measure is making the uncertainty and confusion caused by the earthquake even worse,’
   FMLN leader Leonel Gonzalez told AFP.” [AFP, 18 Jan. 2001]

“...rebuilding will cost $1billion , or 50% of the budget. But budget approval has been held up because the main
opposition, the former guerrillas of the FLMN, want more flexibility in spending. For that reason, they have also
called on Mr. Flores t o suspend a newly-introduced plan to adopt the dollar as currency.”
[“Lessons from El Salvador’s tragedy,” The Economist, 20-26 January, 2001, p. 31]

Of course houses and infrastructure need to be rebuilt, but how and in what economic context? What is also
required is a national dialogue on the meaning of “development”, an open discussion that begins with human needs
and does not take the dogmas of neoliberalism for granted. In Nicaragua, for example, the two years since Mitch
have seen the evolution of such a new vision of a possible future, articulated by 350 non-governmental groups
involved in recovery work. These groups represent a wide cross-section of the population and of sectors (see CCER
web site, ).

   “Inter-American Development Bank President Enrique V. Iglesias and the president of the
   Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America, Claudio
   Gutiérrez Huete, today signed documents that provide $1,410,000 in nonreimbursable
   financing to strengthen the capacity of six countries of the Central American Isthmus to
   prevent or mitigate the most devastating effects of natural disasters. [IAB, 4 August 1999]

Has there been an annual review of that has been accomplished with this investment? It’s been more than a year.
There are minimal things that one might expect: protection for schools and hospitals, identification of landslide
hazard (as mentioned earlier), protection of life line infrastructure. What’s been accomplished? ( See )

Sustainable Development and Politics

   “SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Desperate friends and relatives of
   the hundreds of people missing after an earthquake killed more than 400 worked against the
   clock on Monday in hopes of finding survivors in a devastated middle-class neighborhood.

   Most of the dead were pulled from the rubble in the suburb of Santa Tecla in the capital
   San Salvador, where a massive mudslide engulfed as many as 500 middle-class homes.”

This isn’t the pattern seen in San Salvador 1986, Mameyes, Puerto Rico 1986, or Guatemala 1976: the
marginalized low income population in these situations was forced by economic conditions to live on or below
dangerous slopes because they could not afford to live elsewhere, or because there did not exist affordable, efficient
mass transit to provide them with access to employment from safer locations.

In this case the worst landslide, burying 500 homes, seems to have affected a middle-income area outside San
Salvador. I recall a very bad landslide on the outskirts of Manila I visited last year, where middle class people had
been bamboozled by a developer who was subsequently investigated, together with geological survey officials, for
having known that the area was unstable.

This is part of a more complex story about what is happening in large cities world wide: where those who have the
means try to find ways of escaping the growing congestion, contamination, crime, multi cultural/ multi ethnic/ multi
caste nature of the center city and near suburbs. Hence white middle class move into the San Fernando Valley;
hence probably these "middle class" (lower middle class, from the look of the photos of housing I've seen) move out
of central San Salvador, hence the middle-class salaried workers move into the development outside Manila. It is
only the super-rich who can maintain walled, guarded compounds closer into the center of such cities.

  “Environmental groups blamed unchecked housing construction for stripping hillsides of
  soil-retaining vegetation that would have prevented the killed landslide in Las Colinas.

   “‘We just don't want to learn our lesson," Ricardo Navarro, director of the private
   environmental group Salvadoran Center of Appropriate Technology (CESTA), told AFP in
   an interview.

   “‘For over a year we've been warning them not to play around with nature. There should
   have been no construction or deforestation on the Balsamo range’ where Las Colinas was
   built, he said.

   “Even worse, Navarro added, the construction companies opened trenches on top of the hill
   up to 12 meters (yards) long, which ‘contributed’ to the landslide.

   “‘At the very least, the relatives of the people who died there should be compensated for
   their loss,’ Navarro added.

   “Santa Tecla Mayor Oscar Ortiz, whose district included Las Colinas, said that in mid-2000
   a court rejected a petition to halt all construction on the Balsamo range.

   “Environment Minister Ana Maria Majano, on her part, Thursday ruled out any blame for the
   construction companies in the disaster, which she attributed to ‘other causes’ that she did
   not describe.

   “Some 3,000 homeowners in the Pinares de Suiza neighborhood, one kilometer (0.6 miles)
   from Las colinas, are ready to sue the Avance Ingenieros construction company for shoddy
   workmanship since their homes have been rendered uninhabitable by the earthquake, local
   residents told reporters.” [AFP, 19 January 2001]

“I'm depressed but not astonished, and found this morning's revelation about legal protests to
  deforestation by local residents very telling. Even the substantial resources of the middle class
  (e.g. taking developers to court) were insufficient to support successful 'mitigation' altering the
  balance of power between residents and developers. We learn again (who learns?) that our
  efforts miss the mark if we do not speak the language of empowerment, social justice, social
  change, political organizing--and insist in all our research, teaching, training, writing, consulting
  (and movie making!) that the central issues in disaster work are profoundly political.”
 [Elaine Enarson, responding to Ben’s messages]

Amen! Get more information on logging dispute. How important was as factor in landslide? Get more technical
information about landslide hazard identification: deterministic vs. probabilistic approaches.

   “While the massive temblor has brought the nation together in rescue efforts marked by acts of
   solidarity and dedication, some Salvadorans are saying it wasn't the quake but a landslide that
   caused the most deaths. And they're angry with the government's failure to take preventive
   measures. Environmentalists here say deforestation on the slopes of the Balsamo Mountains
   may have contributed to the landslide that buried Katia's home and others in Las Colinas.

   “Indeed, experts say that Salvador's earthquake demonstrates once again what people learned
   in Venezuela's devastating landslides in 1999 and across Central America in 1998 with
   hurricane Mitch - that disregard for the environment exacerbates whatever destructive wallop
   natural phenomena like earthquakes and floods carry.

   “Intense construction on Venezuela's Caribbean coast, and hundreds of cases of disregard for
   established land-use restrictions - often with official complicity - led to one of South America's
   worst disasters. More than 30,000 people perished in those mudslides.

   “And with Mitch, loss of life and property damage in Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador
   were much worse than it would have been because of heavy deforestation and uncontrolled
   construction in known risk zones.

  “ In both cases, corruption was an important culprit of the human suffering, just as
   environmentalists and other watchdog groups may find was a factor in Saturday's landslides in
   El Salvador.

   ‘For years and years, we have been saying we have to protect the Balsamo Mountains,’ says
   Ricardo Navarro, director of The Center for Appropriate Technology, a local environmental
   group affiliated with Friends of the Earth International. ‘We said there's going to be a tremor,
   and it's going to collapse, and that's what happened’."

   “Mr. Navarro's group has filed cases before many different governmental entities to try to stop
   the deforestation and construction of homes there. But the desperate need for new housing
   and construction industry interests took precedence, he says.

   “Saturday's quake has claimed at least 400 lives, and Red Cross officials estimate another
   1,200 people are still missing. But it's not as devastating as the 1986 quake here that killed
   1,500, injured 20,000, and left some 300,000 homeless.

   “Currently, Las Colinas is the neighborhood where the rescue efforts are concentrated.
   Monday, a thousand rescue workers labored on the site where hundreds of homes lay buried

   beneath the rubble. Rescue workers labored all weekend, but mostly in vain.”

   [Catherine Elton, Special to The Christian Science Monitor, 15 January 2001]

And also:

   “Anger And Grief

  “ Santa Tecla residents, supported by ecologists, angrily blamed the government for allowing
   trees to be cleared -- despite their protests -- to make way for the construction of mansions
   on hilltops. Removing the trees left the area more vulnerable to mudslides due to the looser
   earth, they said.” [Reuters, 17 Jan. 2001]

   “Haven't seen anything in the NYTimes yet but the AP story in the Denver Post (1-16-01, p. 20A) included this
   (also heard on NPR):
          In Las Colinas, environmentalists and residents had sued landowners and construction companies to
   stop the deforestation of the hillside. A judge had ruled against them, and angry residents on
   Monday argued that the resulting development had caused hundreds of deaths.”
   [Elaine Enarson, email to Ben, 17 Jan. 2001]

This is very important information. How can we follow up? What’s going on with, among other things, the
judiciary? Of course, one of the things that the end of the long civil war in 1992 was supposed to bring with the UN
peace accords was support for reform of the judiciary. Was this done? Possibly relevant example: So-called “Plan
Colombia” is supposed to cost twice the $1.3 billion that the U.S. has pledged. The half is supposed to go to
strengthening democratic institutions, including judicial reform. The U.S. half is for the military hardware. It is
already on its way. The other half, supposedly “somebody else’s business” (e.g. EU?) has not materialized! As
Roger Jones (Australia) commented to me yesterday, disaster prevention and mitigation is a matter of thorough,
systematic, comprehensive institutional change throughout ALL government institutions at ALL levels. Amen to

Also, as George Kent (Univ. of Hawaii) commented to me, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other
accepted international instruments IMPLY that a nation state provide minimum accepted standards of public safety
for its citizens. Those standards do not exist yet !

“ The earthquake may carry a political cost, too, for Mr. Flores’ conservative ARENA, which has governed since
1989. Environmentalists lost a battle two years ago to stop housing development on the dry, sandy hillsides above
Santa Tecla. Planning laws had been tightened to restrict building in high-risk areas. But the planning office,
says Clarisa Rodriguez, a former city official, does not always enforce its own rules. New houses that flouted
them continued to be built above Santa Tecla.

“...[El Salvador’s National Emergency Committee (COEN)] does not have much say in long-term planning to
mitigate the effects of future disasters. This involves strengthening laws and enforcing them – hard in states
cursed by corruption.”

[“Lessons from El Salvador’s tragedy,” The Economist, 20-26 January, 2001, p. 31, emphasis added]

Here below is a response from Dr. Paul Susman (Bucknell University) that describes an analogous situation in
Puerto Rico. This also brings to mind how many small, non catastrophic, this invisible and silent disasters take
place. La Red has focussed a lot of attention on the numerous, small disasters in Latin America that are, in their
opinion, the result of failed/ distorted development.

Puerto Rico Example
by Paul Susman, Bucknell University
[with permission, from response to Ben’s messages]

I support your call for a response to the idiocy of increasing vulnerability to satisfy the all-mighty market even when
the most obvious hazard vulnerability is increased.
Part of the response, I think, ought to be, for the umpteenth time, a reminder that the "market" cannot address
disaster prevention unless its operation is curtailed. Even when the rules are in place for environmental impact
assessment, etc., market forces (even without corruption) overwhelm the regulators whose eyes aren't shut - they
just don't see.

Just adding one more note about vulnerability and the real estate market -- Not only do property values and
development trump concerns about immediate hazards, but, middle class housing developments, for example, may
generate new vulnerabilities for nearby older and less affluent neighborhoods whose complaints go ignored by

The August 1998 Tortugo flood in Puerto Rico is a case in point (25 families lost everything). To build an access
road to the new upper middle class development outside San Juan, the Tortugo River was filled in and a drainage
pipe installed. It was inadequate to the load and the situation exacerbated by garbage blocking it. Heavy rains led to
floods that overwhelmed the older pre-existing community located close to the river. Permits were granted, etc. but,
in the enthusiastic development frenzy, assessing impacts on the pre-existing nearby community were not part of the

Examples from the Philippines
by Mel Luna, University of the Philippines
[with permission from response to Ben’s messages]

I can truly identify with your feelings and reflection with the way things went out that led to the El Salvador
landslide. Although in smaller scale of casualty, the Phillippines has landslides almost annually. In August, 1999,
there was the Cherry Hills subdivision where, due to heavy rain, the hills landslided into a middle-class subdivision
in Antiplolo.

In June, 2000, the dump site in Payatas created an avalanche of garbage during the typhoon, causing more than 200
known deaths and still unknown number of unrecovered bodies.

Yes, the tendency to convert the environment into a money generating investment has to be rationalized and made
sustainable. This is where the people's actions ( the communities concerned) are needed to prevent developments
that can not ascertain the welfare of the stakeholders. Advocacy for policies, as well as outright confrontation at the
sites are strategies which are commonly used here in the Philippines. The people face the project proponents
squarely to prevent projects for development aggression such as dams that will submerge communities, toxic waste
processing in the middle of residential areas, etc.

Let me just share to you a related happening here. At this time, mobilization and people's power is now the
remaining option of the Filipinos to oust a president whose graft and corruption practices are very much
substantiated in the impeachment proceedings. But since the majority senator judges are pro-president (ally of
political parties), they are simply protecting the latter and are working for acquittal.) Ultimately,
the power coming from the people are the ones that can save one's destiny.

Knowing vs. Doing: Science and Action

      “As of this morning 39 % of hospitals were lost and significant damage to laboratory
      materials has been discovered . Temporary clinics are being set up to in several
      areas to accommodate the fact that over 1300 beds have been rendered unusable
      by damages caused by the earthquake. In the case of the Rosales and San
      Rafael hospitals (see detailed report on the web) damages are structural and
      will take years to be fixed.”
      [PAHO, 19 January 2001, see ]

Since the 1985 earthquake in Mexico City, PAHO has worked hard to develop with partners in the region methods
of structural and non-structural mitigation for hospitals. These have been published and are available free of
charge. And PAHO experts have been available to assist in implementing this knowledge, knowledge that is well
established. Why hasn’t it been used? Why in the year 2001 does this earthquake knock out 39% of El Salvador’s

   “As usual in Central America, solidarity displayed by neighboring countries resulted in offers
   of assistance and the immediate sending of health professionals, equipment and mobile
   facilities. Although these mobile facilities are no substitute for normally operating health
   services, they are sufficient to respond to life saving needs. No medical teams, in addition to
   those from neighboring Latin American countries and the U.S. Military (SOUTHCOM) are
   likely to be required.

   As a policy, PAHO/WHO discourages sending mobile field hospitals from other than the
   closest of geographical neighbors sharing the same culture and health approach, because
   they are costly, difficult to transport and arrive too late to make a difference in terms of
   saving lives. The high cost of this type of aid (which also quickly depletes the donor's
   budget) would be better invested in medium-term needs that often go unmet once public
   attention wanes.” [PAHO, 14 Jan. 2001, my bolding]

How well is this policy generally accepted? Implemented? Does the U.S. Military share “the same culture and
health approach” in PAHO’s definition?

   “Dr. Claude De Ville, head of PAHO's Emergency Preparedness Program, pointed out that
   earthquakes have a profound health effect on the population. He urged citizens not to rush to
   bury the dead before identification, adding that ‘while the presence of dead bodies is
   unpleasant, the cadavers do not cause disease.’ Much more worrisome is the damage to the
   mental health of the survivors, who may suffer by not knowing if a loved one is missing or
   dead, he added.”
    [PAHO, 16 Jan. 2001]

PAHO and WHO have been trying to overcome the myth that corpses are extreme health hazards for years and
years. Why is this myth so persistent?

        SUMA, the Humanitarian Supply Management System, Makes
        Novel Use of the Internet in El Salvador Earthquake

   “El Salvador's National Emergency Committee (COEN) has activated the country's national
   SUMA team, whose members are among the more than 2,000 professionals trained in
   Latin America and the Caribbean. The team is setting up the SUMA system
   ( at anticipated points of entry of international aid
   to sort inventory and classify incoming humanitarian relief. At the request of El Salvador's
   government, PAHO and FUNDESUMA, the NGO that manages SUMA's logistical
   operations, sent a support team from Costa Rica to help in what is expected to be a major
   “The earthquake in El Salvador marks the first time SUMA has used the Internet to alert
   disaster-stricken countries about what is on the way. The Government of Colombia (whose
   national Red Cross Society helped to create the SUMA system and has been one of
   SUMA's strongest supporters in the Americas) has advised PAHO/WHO that they are
   using one of SUMA's specialized modules--the warehouse module--to register donations
   being collected by the Colombian Red Cross and Caracol, a local radio and TV station.
   Colombia will use the Internet to forward detailed information about their shipment to El
   Salvador's SUMA team, in advance of its actual arrival.

   “Similarly, the National Emergency Commission in Honduras (COPECO) has activated its
   national SUMA team to register data on emergency supplies being collected at appointed
   locations, in coordination with the Red Cross and the Fire Department. As the supplies are
   en route to the neighboring country of El Salvador, Honduras' SUMA team also will have
   sent an advance report by Internet. This pattern of sending information on donations before
   the supplies actually arrive, using SUMA's standard software and criteria for classifying and
   assigning priorities to the supplies, will greatly aid the recipient country by allowing them to
   get the most important and urgently needed aid to those who need it quickly.

   “FUNDESUMA is also mobilizing additional volunteers from the Dominican Republic,
   Venezuela, Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia and Panama to support the team in El
   Salvador. The Governments of Honduras and Peru have also included SUMA trained
   experts in their bilateral assistance to El Salvador.” [PAHO, 16 January 2001]

There exist excellent technical people and systems in Latin America (recall Steve Bender’s comment at FEMA focus
group): engineers, geologists, geomorphologists, social scientists, public health and emergency physicians, etc., etc.
Why can’t this level of expertise be mobilized and effectively USED BEFORE a disaster, that is in prevention and
mitigation – protection of schools, hospitals, critical lifelines, buildings? Both the building housing El Salvador’s
emergency commission and the offices of the El Salvadoran Red Cross were seriously damaged (recall observations
of poorly constructed building where Red Cross delegation in Guatemala’s second city, Quetzaltenango, was

   “A 30-strong rescue team from Taiwan had the area sealed off and used sophisticated
   equipment to detect the slightest sound that would indicate a survivor.” [APF, 17 Jan., 2001]

More technology.

   Global Disaster Information Network GDIN Assistance to El Salvador:

   “The Government of El Salvador requested assistance from GDIN-International and within an hour, the organization began organizing assistance.
   At the request of GDIN, USG remotely sensed products should be posted up today. In
   addition, GDIN has requested help from the European Commission, the European and
   French Space Agencies, Spot Image and Space Imaging. ArcInfo has also provided
   assistance through GDIN. GDIN facilitated products come from many sources and will be
   posted on ReliefWeb. “

   [Larry Roeder, Executive Director, GDIN, 15 January 2001,
   see ]

This is probably useful in damage assessment in a situation where transportation is difficult and there are many
isolated rural hamlets. But, again, why is there is advanced technology applied AFTER the event, as with the
medical inventory tool above, rather than as an aid to prevention? Does GDIN have access to images that would be
of assistance in identifying landslide hazard? (See Landslide... is not Rocket Science.)

   “450 people are confirmed dead in Santa Tecla. The town was founded in 1854 with the aim to
   build a new capital outside the zone of San Salvador's frequent earthquakes.” [ACT, 16 January

Historical knowledge and historical irony! What about the one radio news mention of allegations that “rich”
people were illegally harvesting trees from slope above Santa Tecla ? Were the trees protected? Since when? Who
was responsible for enforcement? Knowing vs. doing!!

Haresh Shah recalls his 1999 email discussion ( )

Thank you for your communications on El Salvador. I share your frustrations and feelings. After every event,
whether it is in the developed world or developing world, we hear the same excuses and same expressions of
"surprises". It seems to me that the societies at large have become very elastic. They keep taking in these excuses
and "explanations" without breaking. Intellectuals keep talking, professionals keep meeting in conferences and
workshops and what not, and the killing, misery, pain, disruption, keep happening with unfortunate regularity. What
can we do? We cannot give up or get frustrated or point fingers. We must do what we can.

There are many many ways in which we individually and collectively can help.

Besides the mailing list you have, I am also sending these communications to WSSI, people involved in US-Japan
programs, a new alliance formed in Tsukuba, etc. I am also attaching herewith my communications with all of you
after the Turkey, Greece, and Taiwan earthquakes. What I said almost a year ago still is valid. We all need to
do something that will make a difference. Let us keep this dialogue going.

Landslide Hazard Identification isn’t Rocket Science!

   ...[R]escue crews reported pulling out four other victims from a truck swept away by a land slide
   along Guatemala's stretch of the Pan-American highway. Other people aboard the truck were listed as

   Authorities said 16 separate landslides had cut off roads around Guatemala and that at least
   30 houses were destroyed or damaged in Jutiapa department when the earthquake hit at
   11:33 am (1733 GMT) Saturday. [AFP, 14 Jan. 2001]

Landslides seem to be responsible for many deaths in El Salvador (200 homes buried in one location, 500 in
another). Landslides following earthquakes are very common in Central America. Wouldn’t it be relatively easy to
identify areas along major transportation corridors (e.g. OAS trade corridors project) and also in towns and cities
where hazard of landslide is high? Aren’t there straight forward things that can be done to stabilize slopes, or, if
not, then shouldn’t people and critical facilities be relocated? This isn’t rocket science.

“Landslide hazard mapping is not difficult and some has been done. We are trying to organize a project around the
CA Pan American Highway.”
[Steve Bender, OAS, responding to Ben’s mailings]

   “Just outside the capital, workers dynamited massive hillside boulders to prevent them from
   crashing on the roads, several of which, including one major highway, reopened late
   Tuesday.” [APF, 17 Jan. 2001]

Landslide hazard identification and mitigation, albeit crude. Why couldn’t something of this sort have been done
BEFORE? Among all the kinds of microzonation work that can be done BEFORE an earthquake, identification of
zones subject to extreme landslide hazard must be among the easiest and most certain.

Notes on landslide hazard and risk identification and remediation
by David Alexander, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
[by permission form email responding to Ben’s messages]

To begin with, nothing reliable can be said about the landslides caused by the El Salvador earthquake until there is
firm information on exactly what type of movement is involved (Varnes or other classification).

Secondly, landslide identification is, I venture to say, NOT a particularly difficult task. Most landslides occur in
well-defined areas (e.g., stream headcuts). Many are reactivations of previous movements, or at least occur
on slopes where one can detect signs of other movements in the past.

Pause for a brief anecdote: last July I went down to the regional air photo archive with the engineer from our local
town hall. I showed him that under our town's middle school gymnasium there were signs of past landsliding (a
hint of a degraded, curved scar on a slope undercut by a stream channel). Yesterday I heard that the brand new
bypass around town will not open this week because immediately after being built it has become affected by
landsliding. It passes under the middle school gymnasium. I have not yet been to see whether my prediction has
been borne out (weariness and discouragement on my part, not lack of interest!).

The moral of this is that you can probably make quite a good prediction of where landsliding will occur by looking
at reasonably sharp, black-and-white, panchromatic, stereographic aerial photographs printed at scales of 1:15,000 to
1:25,000, of the kind that any modern Zeiss repeating air photo camera will take (and, of course, you must make
field visits to verify what you interpret). The cost of a sortie is usually about $10,000 per 150 sq. km, though it
varies substantially (aircraft take-off costs are the main part). After that, you need nothing more sophisticated than
the pairs of air photos ($10-15 each for 25x25 cm prints), a pair of stereo goggles ($19.95), a fine-point marker pen
($2.49), reasonably accurate contour maps (preferably at 1:10,000) and a few sheets of clear plastic. Of course, if
you can also monitor some sites with piezometers and inclinometers, your results will be more accurate, but this
probably will not add much to your diagnosis.

Landslide identification on aerial photographs requires (a) knowledge of the local lithology and what the terrain
consists of and looks like, (b) consideration of texture, tonality and morphological signs that indicate potential
landsliding, and (c) experience of the local and general scenarios of landsliding. Ceteris paribus, mottled terrain
(signifying disturbed ground) and dark tones (signifying concentrations of groundwater) indicate a landslide hazard.
Slope undercutting, oversteepening or incision, lithological junctions (e.g., clay abutting limestone at the
surface), the presence of springs or seeps, and variations in vegetation (e.g. presence of hydrophytes such as canes,
which colonize areas of high soil moisture) all indicate landsliding. Cuspate or lobate forms, headscarps, lateral
shears, median trenches, and bulging ground, in either fresh or degraded form, are all indicative. The investigator
needs to have in mind the characteristics of different types of movement (slides, flows, topples, falls, glides,
Sackungen, rock avalanches; movements of rock blocks, sediment, earth, debris, mud; simple and composite types,

Other remote sensing methods of landslide identification are of dubious value. In general, landslides cannot be
identified reliably on satellite images. Even color air photos tend to be less effective than black and white ones.
With the exception of liquefaction phenomena, most earthquake-induced landsliding is merely a matter of bringing
forward in time, and possibly increasing in size and intensity, what would have happened in the absence of
seismicity. It means that a whole suite of mass movements that would have occurred in any case (but separately) all
happen together. Single earthquakes of M>7 can trigger 10-15,000 landslides, though not necessarily all at once, as
some of them may occur within four days of the event as a delayed reaction because pore water pressure can take
time to increase.

Earthquakes with heavy or persistent rain increase landslide potential. So do clastic sediments and thick soils on
deeply incised terrain. The frequency of landslides increases with a roughly exponential function towards the
epicenter, and the main concentration will occur within a radius of about 30 km.
Liquefaction is a special case, that is more closely associated with seismicity. Liquefaction potential can be
predicted in advance of earthquake activity on the basis of knowledge of sediments (but in three dimensions, not just
the surface pattern of deposits) and groundwater conditions. Lenses of sand within impermeable clays are
particularly susceptible to liquefaction failure. So are clastic sediments arranged in alternating permeable and
impermeable layers. The latter condition can give rise to lateral spreads--landsliding at very low angles--which is
especially damaging if it carries along large (or giant) blocks of rock (e.g. olistoliths).

Slope stabilization is not a particularly mysterious process. If it is properly chosen and established, vegetation can
bind soils together and reduce soil moisture content. But not all vegetation types are effective and some
shallow-rooted trees can stimulate mass movement by blowing over in high winds (hence post-hurricane
landsliding). Deforestation does increase the rate of landsliding, often by various orders of magnitude, but

not automatically, because it also depends on other factors, such as what vegetation or land cover replaces the forest,
what degree of weathering has taken place, what the slope drainage conditions are, whether the slope is
steepening and lengthening, and how fast all these variables change.

Apart from revegetation and simple surface drainage works, most slope stabilization measures are expensive. Nets,
flexible barriers, rock bolts, gunnite, terracing, deep drainage wells and channels, debris stilling basins and weirs,
osmotic and cathodic electrical soil moisture reduction systems, pumps, excavation and regrading--they are all
costly and can only be applied sparingly. At least one third of the cost will go in maintenance and
operations--perhaps even two thirds.

Non-structural measures are cheaper and better than structural ones. It is easy enough to do a regional evaluation
(nice if it is on a GIS) of factors That relate to landslide hazard (lithology, slope angles, lengths and orientations,
vegetation and land cover, anthropogenic factors, etc). In the past it has taken me, working on my own, about a
month to do this by hand for about 150 sq km, with no aids like GIS but with high accuracy. The end product is
usually a regionalized map or rasterized matrix (perhaps with 1 hectare cells) of landslide potential categories from 0
to 4, which can be contoured if necessary.

Landslide risk requires that the landslide potential map be crossed with maps of human habitation and land use. To
do this meticulously is time-consuming and involves juggling with a variety of debatable assumptions about how
vulnerability and hazard interact with each other, site by site. Nevertheless, it can be done quite effectively. Last
year I did it for nine villages and towns in Umbria Region. The key is to look at past history of landsliding and use
this to develop scenarios of what will happen in the future. In this particular field the past is truly the key to the

Further reading

Carrara, A., Cardinali, M., Guzzetti, F., and Reichenbach, P. 1995. GIS technology in mapping landslide hazard. In
Carrara, A. and Guzzetti, F. (Editors), Geographical Information Systems in Assessing Natural Hazards.
Kluwer, Dordrecht: 135-175.
Carrara, A., Guzzetti, F., Cardinali, M. and Reichenbach, P. 1999. Use of GIS technology in the prediction and
monitoring of landslide hazard. Natural Hazards 20(2-3): 117-135.

Cruden, D.M. and Varnes, D.J. 1996. Landslide types and processes. In Schuster, R.L. and Turner, A.K. (eds)
Landslides: Investigation and Mitigation. Special Report, Transportation Research Board, National Academy
of Sciences, Washington, D.C.: 36-75.

Drennon, C.B. and Schleining, W.G., 1975. Landslide hazard mapping on a shoestring. Proceedings of the American
Society of Civil Engineers, Journal of the Surveying and Mapping Division 101(SU1): 107-114.

Harp, E.L., Wilson, R.C. and Wieczorek, G.F., 1981. Landslides from the February 4, 1976, Guatemala earthquake.
U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1204A, 35 pp.
Lazzari, M. and Salvaneschi, P. 1999. Embedding a geographic information system in a decision support system for
landslide hazard monitoring. Natural Hazards 20(2-3): 185-195.

Leroi, E. 1996. Landslide hazard-risk maps at different scales: objectives, tools and developments. In Senneset, R.
(ed.) Landslides. Balkema, Rotterdam: 35-51.

Parise, M. and Jibson, R.W. 2000. A seismic landslide susceptibility rating of geologic units based on analysis of
characteristics of landslides triggered by the 17 January, 1994 Northridge, California earthquake. Engineering
Geology 58(3_4): 251_270.

Sidle, R.C., Pearce, A.J. and O'Loughlin, C.L. 1985. Hillslope Stability and Land Use. Water Resources Monograph
Series, Vol. 11, American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C., 140 pp.

Veder, C. 1981. Landslides and Their Stabilization. Springer-Verlag, New York, 247 pp.

Preparedness and Response: Toward Minimum Standards?

   “CIDA is sending two Hercules aircraft - contracted from Canadian Forces - with a total
   capacity of 30 tonnes of emergency materials, including power generators, clean water and
   sanitation equipment, as well as shovels, picks, blankets and first aid kits.”
   [CIDA, 14 Jan. 2001]

Why can’t El Salvador stockpile such very basic things? Or, at least, why can’t they be stockpiled on a regional
basis for Central America (CEPREDENAC)?

   “[El Salvador’s] Congress approved legislation late on Tuesday that keeps retailers from hiking prices of
   bottled water and basic foods such as beans and corn, which Salvadorans were clamoring
   for after the quake, reported local media.” [Reuters, 17 Jan. 2001]

There needs to be legislation already on the books for such contingency. This is part of the enabling legislation that
should on the books of every nation as the result of the IDNDR!

    Major Taiwanese charity groups have offered to take part in rescue and relief work to help El
   Salvador hit by a killer earthquake, officials said Monday. ... We are glad we now have the
   ability to help others suffering from earthquakes," Interior Minister Chang Po-ya said.”
   [AFP, 15 Jan. 2001]

A number of distant countries that have suffered devastating earthquakes, including Turkey, Japan, PRC, and
Taiwan, are sending search and rescue or medical teams. The former will probably arrive too late. The latter may
well not be necessary (and donated medicines and medical equipment could end up burdening the recipients and
being wasted – see PAHO guidelines). So why does this continue? Basic human solidarity and compassion?
Attempts to please voters (e.g. in Taiwan or Turkey)? Attempt to appear competent in such matters in the face of
doubts by citizens at home (e.g. Turkey)? Geopolitics (PRC vs. Taiwan)? Incremental links and connections for
future economic benefits by contractors, etc.?

“AFSC is sending 4,000 hygiene kits and has released $10,000 from its Crisis Fund to pay for
  local purchase of emergency supplies. AFSC staff on the ground assembled seven truckloads
  of food, hygiene supplies, candles, and tools for delivery from Honduras.” [Interaction, 16 Jan.

This seems a reasonable way to do things: local purchase, work with partners in the region , rapid response.

   “Oxfam America has offices in the capital city of San Salvador and has contacts with
   communities around the country. Oxfam is particularly well-positioned to deliver emergency
   relief and long-term rehabilitation aid, having carried out similar work in the region after the
   devastation of Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Oxfam partners, Las Dignas, have already organized
   brigades to support the most affected communities of Santa Tecla and Usulutan, addressing
   immediate needs for food and water.” [Oxfam, 15 Jan. 2001]

  “ Carolyn Williams, Head of Christian Aid's Latin America and Caribbean team, said the
   charity will be initially donating $100,000 to Christian Aid funded organisations working in the
   worst-affected areas.” [CA, 15 Jan. 2001]

Even better to have a history and local partners right there.

   “There has been some criticism leveled at the government - that they have being giving

   priority to the population base of its own political party rather than targeting on a needs basis.”
   [Ros O’Sullivan, Concern (Ireland), 19 January 2001]

Such allegations are very common. They were made following hurricane Mitch against the ruling party in
Nicaragua. There is much soul searching world wide as financial and human resources have been hemorrhaging
from development work into humanitarian missions. Why does a novel like Le Carre’s The Constant Gardener ring
true despite its specific fictions?

“‘Many people are not really homeless at all and are just taking advantage,’ says Mauricio Ferrer, director-general of
the [Salvadoran] National Emergency Committee.”
[A. Bounds and R. Lapper, “Earthquake opens up some old divisions,” Financial Times, 20 January, 2001, p. 3]

Let them eat cake?

Further Reading...

...On Sustainable Development...


Bernard, T. and Young, Y. 1997. The Ecology of Hope: Communities Collaborate for Sustainability. Gabriola
Island, BC, Canada: New Society Publishers.

Daly, H. and Cobb, J. 1989. For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward Community, the
Environment, and a Sustainable Future. Boston: Beacon.


Ayres, R. and Weaver, P., eds. 1998. Eco-Restructuring: Implications for Sustainable Development. Tokyo: United
Nations University Press.
Barraclough, S. and Moss, D. 1999. Toward Greater Food Security in Central America Following Hurricane Mitch:
Rethinking Sustainable Development Priorities. Boston: Oxfam America.

Harvey, D. 2000. Spaces of Hope. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Hawken, P., Lovins, A., Lovins, L. 1999. Natural Capitalism. Boston: Little, Brown.

Handmer, J. and Wisner, B. 1999. "Hazards, Globalization, and Sustainability: Conference Report." Development
in Practice 9,3, pp. 342-346.

Inoguchi, T., Newman, E., Paoletto, G., eds. 1999. Cities and the Environment: New Approaches for Eco-Societies.
Tokyo: United Nations University Press.

Jaeger, C. 1994. Taming the Dragon: Transforming Economic Institutions in the Face of Global Change. Yverdon,
Switzerland: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers.

Kirby, J., O'Keefe, P., Timberlake, L., eds. 1995. The Earthscan Reader in Sustainable Development. London:
Earthscan Publications.

Pye-Smith, C., Feyerabend, G., Sandbrook, R. 1994. The Wealth of Communities. West Hartford: Kumarian Press.

Sachs, W. 1999. Planet Dialectics. London: Zed Books.

Weizsaecker, E., Lovins, A., and Lovins, H. 1997. Factor Four: Doubling Wealth -- Halving Resource Use.

London: Earthscan.

...On Hazard Vulnerability and Mitigation...


Anderson, M. and Woodrow, P. 1999. Rising from the Ashes: Development Strategies in Times of Disaster. 2nd
ed. London: IT Press.

Blaikie, P., Cannon, T., Davis, I., Wisner, B. 1994. At Risk: Natural Hazards, People's Vulnerability, and Disasters.
London: Routledge.

[El mismo en Espanol: Blaikie, P. et al., 1996. Vulneralibilidad: El Entorno social, politico y economico de los
desastres. Lima: La Red/ ITDG.]

Maskrey, A. 1989. Disaster Mitigation: A Community Based Approach. Oxford: Oxfam.

 [El mismo en Espanol: Maskrey, A. 1989. El Manejo popular de los desastres naturales: Estudios de
vulnerabilidad y mitigacion. Lima: Tecnologia Intermedia (ITDG).

Varley, A., ed. 1994. Disasters, Development and Environment. Chichester: Wiley.


Burby, R., ed. 1998. Cooperating with Nature: Confronting Natural Hazards with Land-Use Planning for
Sustainable Communities. Washington, D.C.: Joseph Henry Press.

Comfort, L. et al. 1999. "Reframing Disaster Policy: The Global Evolution of Vulnerable Communities."
Environmental Hazards 1, 39-44.

Comfort, L. 1999. Shared Risk: Complex Systems in Seismic Response. Amsterdam: Pergamon.

Diaz, H. and Pulwarty, R., eds. 1997. Hurricanes: Climate and Socio-Economic Impacts. Berlin: Springer Verlag.

Eade, D. and Williams, S. 1995. The Oxfam Handbook of Development and Relief. 3 vols. Oxford: Oxfam

Enarson, E. and Morrow, B., eds. 1998. The Gendered Terrain of Disaster: Through Women's Eyes. Westport:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)             1997.    Multi-Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment.
Washington, D.C.: FEMA.

Godschalk, D. et al. 1999. Natural Hazard Mitigation: Recasting Disaster Policy and Planning. Washington, D.C.:
Island Press.

Lavell, A. and Franco, E., eds. 1996. Estado, Sociedad y Gestion de los Desastres en America Latina: En Busca del
paradigma perdido. Lima: La Red, FLACSO, ITDG.

Maskrey, A., ed. 1998. Navegando entre Brumas: La Aplicacion de los sistemas de informacion geografica al
analisis de riesgo en America Latina. Lima: La Red/ IT Peru.

Mileti, D. 1999. Disasters by Design: A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States. Washington, D.C.:
Joseph Henry Press.

Mitchell, J., ed. 1999. Crucibles of Hazards: Mega-Cities and Disasters in Transition. Tokyo: United Nations
University Press.

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). 2000. Natural Disasters: Protecting the public’s health. Washington,

Peacock, W., Morrow, B., Gladwin, H., eds. 1997. Hurricane Andrew and the Reshaping of Miami. London:

Perrow, C. 1984. Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies. New York: Basic Books.

Platt, R. et al. 1999. Disasters and Democracy: The Politics of Extreme Natural Events. Washington, D.C.: Island

Shrivastava, P. 1992. Bhopal: Anatomy of a Crisis. London: Paul Chapman Publishing.

Wisner, B. 1999. "There Are Worse Things than Earthquakes: Hazard Vulnerability and Mitigation in Los
Angeles." In: J. K. Mitchell, ed., Crucibles of Hazard: Mega-Cities and Disasters in Transition, pp. 375-427. Tokyo:
United Nations University Press.

Wisner, B. 1998. "The Geography of Vulnerability: Why the Tokyo Homeless Don't 'Count' in Earthquake
Preparations." Applied Geography 18,1, pp. 25-34.

Wisner, B. 1996. "The Geography of Vulnerability." In: J. Uitto and J. Schneider, eds., Preparing for the Big One
in Tokyo: Urban Earthquake Risk Management, pp. 20-33. Tokyo: United Nations University.

Wisner, B. 1995. "Bridging 'Expert' and 'Local' Knowledge for Counter-Disaster Planning in Urban South Africa.
GeoJournal 37,3, pp. 335-348.

Wisner, B. 1993a. "Disaster Vulnerability: Scale, Power, and Daily Life."Geojournal 30,2, pp. 127-140.

Wisner, B. 1993b. "Disaster Vulnerability: Geographical Scale and Existential Reality." In: H.-G. Bohle, ed.,
Worlds of Pain and Hunger, pp. 13-54. Freiburg Studies in Development Geography 5. Saarbrücken and Fort
Lauderdale: Breitenbach Publishers.

Wisner, B. and Slooff, B., eds. 20001. Health and Environment in Emergencies and Disasters. Geneva:

...On Contemporary Capitalism...


Durning, A. 1992. How Much is Enough? The Consumer Society and the Future of the Earth. New York: W.

Korten, D. 1995. When Corporations Rule the World. West Hartford: Kumarian Press.

Mander, J. and Goldsmith, E., eds. 1996. The Case Against the Global Economy and For a Turn Towards the
Local. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.


Bales, K. 1999. Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Chossudovsky, M. 1997. The Globalization of Poverty. London: Zed Books.

Corbridge, S., Martin, R., Trift, N., eds. 1994. Money, Power and Space. Oxford: Blackwell.

Harvey, D. 1982. The Limits to Capital. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Johnston, B., ed. 1997. Life and Death Matters: Human Rights and the Environment at the End of the Millennium.
Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press.

O'Connor, M., ed. 1994. Is Capitalism Sustainable? New York: Guilford.

Reed, D., ed. 1996. Structural Adjustment, the Environment and Sustainable Development. London: Earthscan.

Sassen, S. 1998. Globalization and its Discontents. New York: The New Press.

United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) 1995. States of Disarray: The Social Effects
of Globalization. Geneva: UNRISD.

... El Salvador and Latin American Background ...


Barry, T. 1990. El Salvador: A Country guide. Albuquerque: The Inter-Hemispheric Education Resources Center.

Boyce, J. and Pastor, M. 1997. “Macroeconomic Policy and Peace Building in El Salvador.” In: Kumar, K., ed.,
Rebuilding Societies After Civil War, pp. 287-314. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.

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