Optimisation of Disaster Forecasting and Prevention Measures in the Context of Human and Social Dynamics addresses a wide range of disaster-management regimes. The principal themes (for a series of typical disaster scenarios) focus on how these disasters can affect both the human and natural environments. Accordingly, the articles in this book cover the following areas of concern: natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides and floods; man-made disasters such as accidents at mining and tailings dams; nuclear/radiological facilities; transport accidents involving hazardous materials; fires; and environmental contamination. Monitoring and the assessment of health and environmental pollution risks, as well as the communication of these risks to the public, are also discussed. The scientific content thus focuses on risk assessment as part of national policies regarding protection of man and environment; the need for strong cooperation at international and national levels; using a cost–benefit approach; information sharing and networking; and vulnerability as a moderating factor in risk assessment. The contributions are very useful, especially to those partner countries that are developing their legal framework in civil emergency planning as well as in environmental protection.
Following the very successful Workshop (ARW) in April 2007, which was structured on the basis of the ever-increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters in the region, the second ARW was convened on 7–10 April 2008 in Chisinau, Moldova. This was aimed at further supplementing the efforts to transfer technology and knowledge and so help decrease the vulnerability of the population to both natural and man-made disasters.
As the Moldova–NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) has foreseen, the follow-up ARW tried to unify the efforts of the scientific community in creating a greater understanding of the various threats to society and the environment. Thus, this ARW had the task of further evaluating accumulated European theoretical knowledge and practical experience in the relevant fields of concern so that practical recommendations can be developed for the prevention and mitigation of disasters.
The agenda consisted of about 30 presentations (from ten countries), and discussions, that addressed a wide range of disaster-management regimes. The principal themes focused (for a series of typical disaster scenarios) on how these disasters can affect both the human and natural environments. Accordingly, the presentations and syndicate discussions covered the following areas of concern: natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, and floods; man-made disasters such as accidents at mining and tailings dams; nuclear/radiological facilities; transport accidents involving hazardous materials; fires; and environmental contamination. Monitoring and the assessment of health and environmental pollution risks, as well as the communication of these risks to the public, were also discussed.
The essence of the various themes centred on the integrated techniques for predicting, measuring and assessing the various physical, environmental, health and social risks, and how these risks might be prevented or at least mitigated. The ARW again recognised the complex inter-relationships between several of the key factors that must be involved, to varying degrees of sophistication, in the overall management of the range of hazards and their associated risks. These factors include: monitoring; risk and other modelling exercises; control measures (such as licensing); public liaison and information management (including education); and cost-benefit assessments.
The scientific content of the presentations, and the subsequent written papers, were thus focused on: risk assessment as part of national policies regarding protection of man and environment; the need for strong co-operation at international and national levels; using a cost–benefit approach; information sharing and networking; and vulnerability as a moderating factor in risk assessment. The presentations appeared to be very useful especially to those partner countries that are developing their legal framework in civil emergency planning as well as in environmental protection. (Some participating countries, such as Moldova, the Ukraine and Georgia, are aligning their legal frameworks to EU directives and other international standards.)
The ARW contributions reflected the extensive experience in the participating countries (namely, Armenia, Austria, Bulgaria, Georgia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Romania, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the Ukraine, together with a further written paper from the Netherlands) in the field of combating natural and man-made disasters, as well as how their secondary impacts should be assessed and adapted to the specific conditions in the Republic of Moldova.
In the opinion of the ARW participants there is a continuing need to convene similar more dedicated follow-up ARWs, with the aim of gaining a greater understanding of further specific topics, such as environmental and health monitoring, drought conditions, and the role of land-use planning, in mitigating the effects of natural disasters and preventing man-made disasters.
This paper is intended as an “alarm signal” for the preservation of the two priceless valuables, human life and the environment. It is essential for this approach to empower the idea of rendering everybody responsible for all factors in the sense that they should extend to individuals' efforts as well as to team efforts in order to preserve life and the environment. This is achieved by complying with prevention regulations for fire hazards in forest areas and also by proper behaviour concerning the warning, evacuation and saving people in a forest area on fire. In addition, the article aims to render public opinion sensitive enough to understand that forest fires are disasters that can be avoided, or at least limited, and carrying forward positive results is entirely in man's power.
T. Chelidze, N. Tsereteli, E. Tsereteli, L. Kaldani, J. Dolidze, O. Varazanashvili, D. Svanadze
11 - 22
The critical importance of accurate mapping and assessment of natural hazards and risks is discussed, which hazards and risks relate not only to seismic events but also to floods and avalanches, and their consequences. Accurate mapping is crucial in the early warning process and there is evidence of considerable discrepancies in previous mapping efforts. These discrepancies can have major economic effects on, for example, investment potential and insurance factors. Thus, hazards must be more accurately defined and risk assessments must be based on multi-risk calculation methods.
The sustainable management of forests is the key to preventing disasters, both natural and man-made. A healthy community activity fulfils, by means of education and responsibility, the concept of sustainable development.
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have been found to be very useful in seismic hazard and risk assessment studies. GIS can be used to integrate vast amounts of data geographically, take the spatial distribution of phenomena into consideration and communicate the results graphically, performing analysis of complex mathematical models. The central part of Chisinau (6.3 km2 site), capital of the Republic of Moldova, has been the case study in a project aimed at the assessment of vulnerability of buildings to seismic impact. The city is exposed to Vrancea earthquakes experiencing PGA ≅ 300 cm/s2 for recurrence interval T = 475 yr . Collection, classification and digitization into ArcView GIS format of the main characteristics of the subsoil, such as mean shear wave velocity, natural period of vibration and amplification factor, compilation of database for the existing structures, as well as construction of Digital Terrain Model (DTM), were performed. The final product is the GIS database and software module for purposes of evaluation of seismic damage to buildings. The incorporation of the amplification capacity of the soil through the direct utilization of the transfer function constructed on the base of geotechnical data, allows fast assessment of scenario seismic events and mapping of parameters of the ground motion (PGA, EPA, etc.). The existence of moderate-magnitude and blast records for the studied site, as well as databases of building damage, allow validation of the accepted techniques and methodologies for ground motion and damage simulations.
Actuarial geo-information systems are mainly used for the spatial analysis of surface data sets. But geological, hydrogeological as well as hydrological aspects should be considered in the calculation of premiums in the insurance industry. A first deployment method for these geo-scientific subsurface information is shown in this paper.
Fresh water resources of Bulgaria and water management in the country are estimated and compared with other countries. The government policy, and organizational structure of the network for flood monitoring, forecasting and warning are presented in this paper, as are the types of activities and divisions of work with neighbouring countries in the framework of trans-border cooperation in this area of the Balkans.
Time and again, shipping accidents and major incidents at industrial establishments have demonstrated how quickly serious water pollution can occur, with effects such as fish mortality and other harmful impacts on the aquatic habitat. In order to minimise the consequences of such incidents, continuous water monitoring is indispensable in the interests of early identification and timely counter-measures. This is all the more essential in an industrial conurbation like Hamburg. Here the water quality measuring network, with a current total of ten measuring stations, has been operating on all important bodies of water since 1988. In addition to averting danger, continuous water monitoring makes a contribution to prevention (detection of illegal discharges) and to observing short-term and long-term changes in water quality.
The protection of water against pollution from hazardous substances of industrial plants is normally implemented by a combination of technical and organisational safety measures within strategic hazard management. The demand for hazard prevention results from several motivations that can be allocated to the public as well as to the plant operators. But rarely is economic benefit the reason why preventive measures are seen as mandatory. This paper focuses on prevention activities to detect kinds of costs and benefits in water hazard management. Furthermore, the first basic approaches are shown for using economic perspectives in the fields of hazard prevention for a practical method of improving efficiency.
Pre-conditioning of crude water at S.C. CET Iasi S.A. is affected with lime and FeSO4, the result consisting of a semi-liquid substance (slime). The slime is temporarily stored in tanks and is transported by truck to the CET Iasi II Holboca slag and ash storage centre. The transportation and storage conditions, as well as the need for environment protection, led to a new approach being adopted. A new installation for slime transport from the temporary storage tanks to the drying installation was created; the result consists of a solid product that is easy to transport and store.
Ruxandra Malina Petrescu-Mag, Dacinia Crina Petrescu, Doina Petri, Alexandru Ozunu
98 - 111
Water is becoming more and more a scarce commodity in many parts of the world where they are also facing tremendous extreme events such floods. In all these areas, due to the inefficient use of water, water pollution caused by the human intervention and by changes of the human habits, the water becomes an important issue of debates, making the sustainable use of water a mandatory requirement. In the last decade, Europe suffered major floods, causing fatalities, economic losses, displacement of population and, last but not least, a huge impact on nature. The paper raises the reader's awareness of the fact that floods have always existed and will continue to exist - they are part of the nature; as United Nations and Economic Commission for Europe Guidelines on Sustainable Flood Prevention pointed out, as far as feasible human interference in the processes of nature should be reversed, compensated and prevented. The “lesson” from Tirlisua (Northern Romania) remains in the collective memory, strengthening the necessity of approaching a new paradigm of humans and nature living together.
Tailings dams present a tremendous risk to the environment and the human health. For this reason emergency planning for all installations of tailings storage facilities are necessary. Recommendations for measurements concerning the safety of tailings dams are given.
Galyna P. Yevgrashkina, Dmytro V. Rudakov, Mykola M. Kharytonov
122 - 129
The main factors determining groundwater pollution in Western Donbass are analyzed and estimated quantitatively. The developed 2-D unsteady transport model with the un-ordered macro-dispersion scheme was proved to be effective in modelling solute transport in aquifers. The proposed complex of protective measures based on carried-out research makes it possible to reduce mineralization of groundwater and surface waters.
Oana–Cristina Modoi, Lucrina Ştefănescu, Sanda Mărginean, Corina Arghiuş, Alexandru Ozunu
130 - 143
The paper presents significant aspects regarding risk management related to wastes in the Romanian mining industry. The national and international legislative framework is approached thematically, focusing on the new European Directive regarding mining wastes (Directive 2006/21/EC on the management of waste from the extractive industries – the mining waste directive). The two studied subjects of interest are: waste heaps and tailing dams, and plans for the preliminary analysis of the risks induced upon the environment. Best practice environmental management requires mitigation of risks of environmental damage from unexpected incidents occurring in the mining industry. The management of mining wastes represents a very significant component of the mine closure and conservation process, in view of the ecological reconstruction of the area and reuse of the affected land. Consequently, an adequate waste management system in the mining industry determines medium and long-term benefits for the environment, for economic efficiency and for the mining communities.
I. Paskaleva, A. Aronov, G. Valev, R. Seroglazov, M. Kouteva, T. Aronova
144 - 162
This work focuses on the assessment of seismic risk issues associated with the potassium salt deposit of Provadia and Soligorsk. The long-term studies, 1983–2007, of the only terrestrial Bulgarian salt deposit (Provadia, φ=43.060N, λ=27.450E) and Belarusian (Starobin φ=52.840N, λ=27.470E) in connection with the observed higher seismic activity and probable manifestations of technogenic seismicity in the region is presented. The characteristic features of the seismic processes are identified by the curves of recurrence of seismic events with an energy range of 4÷8. A quasi-periodic character of the seismicity activation over time against the general trend of increasing seismicity activation is established. It is shown that zones of epicentres of seismic events are larger that mining areas. Some differences in the pattern of seismic processes, such as: seismic activity in the range of small energies (K = 4–8) is higher in the Soligorsk region; events of the higher energy class K>9 characteristic of the Provadia region are carried out.
The paper is devoted to research on the interaction of artificial soil blends which may be used for soil rehabilitation of mining dumps and soil saprophages (Diplopoda). The mutual influence of mining spoil/rock, chernozem soil and litter of Robinia pseudoacacia L. on Diplopoda biomass and carbon dioxide emission of artificial soil blends has been studied. Mathematical models that describe the dependence of vegetable-eating milliped's biomass and carbon dioxide emission changing upon experimental factors (blends composition) are presented. A significant decrease of body mass of the millipeds inhabiting mining gobs, and an increase in response to the addition of Robinia pseudoacacia L. leaf litter to the soil blend, were found. Experiments testified that biological activity of soil blends increases in the presence of invertebrate saprophages. The experimental results show that this will help enhance the quality of the overall soil media and so reduce the potential polluting effects from surface run-off from mining spoil and reduce erosion risks.
The risks of storage of the hazardous chemicals Melanj, Samin and Izonit used as liquid rocket fuel are described. The historical background of conversion, general problems are explained and focused on the storage situation of these missile propellants in Azerbaijan. The toxicology and environmental effects of the stored chemicals are combined with a risk assessment and risk management. The result is a remediation potential developed under the responsibility of NATO and NAMSA.
Groundwater is by far the most frequent receptor at risk from contaminated sites. Between 1989, when the Law for Cleanup of Contaminated Sites (ALSAG) was implemented in Austria, and 2006 the remediation of contaminated sites enabled a qualitative amelioration of groundwater bodies of about 46 million m3. Remediation targets cannot always be met. Ecologically practicable solutions have to be adapted to the site conditions given.
In the article, the assessment of the nuclear environment on the territory of the Republic of Moldova before and after the Chernobyl accident is presented. The results of research on Sr-90, Cs-137 nuclide migration in the soil surface, the factors and parameters causing their accumulation and transfer to the yield of the main agricultural crops are shown. On that basis, the methodical approaches to the assessment, forecasting and regulation levels of contamination of plants and soils are described. The need for a radiological monitoring and its application as a means of nuclear product quality management, and the optimization of protective measures for the diminution of consequences in the agricultural sphere from nuclear contamination of agricultural land, is defined.
This paper offers a methodology for socio-ecological monitoring. It consists of high-sensitive indicator systems and a unified procedure for estimating the integral environmental condition with regard to the toxic-mutagenic background, and the general and genetic health of the population. It permits the definition of the integral criteria describing the ecological and genetic hazards for biota and human beings from the impact of mutagenic ecological factors. The paper shows a perspective of using a micro-nucleus test in the system of a socio-ecological monitoring in somatic cells of a person. This test also defines the general mutagenic background and the state of a human organism in the cytogenetic status.
During the 1996–2004 period 850 patients, who were participants in diminishing the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear accident (PDCCNA), and their children, were investigated in terms of clinical, immunological and cytogenetic analyses. The clinical investigations indicate that the PDCCNA patients, when compared with patients of a control group, were more susceptible to infectious and non-infectious diseases, with the prevalence of large polymorphism of nervous, heart-vascular and gastric-intestinal system, which were accompanied by circulatory disorder of the vegetative nervous system. The immunological analysis revealed alterations in the immune system of the PDCCNA. Cytogenetic research of the lymphocyte cultures of peripheral blood of PDCCNA members living in the Republic of Moldova in the last 15–20 years after the accident, and their children, revealed the deterioration of the hereditary system, being expressed through a high level of genomic, chromosomal, and chromatid type aberration. Chromosomal type of aberrations prevailed in the adults and chromatid type in the children.
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