Secondly, Sheller (2012) in the article introduces the
concept of the ‘islanding effect’ to help us understand that there is no such
thing as a natural disaster. In the article Sheller discusses how islands such
as Haiti are at a severe pitfall when it comes to escaping from a post disaster.
The islanding effect works firstly by restricting movement in a triad of stages.
Firstly, in the case of Haiti, travel out of the island is restricted during
evacuation for safety purposes, travel was restricted after the disaster has
occurred and travel is often restricted if the disaster can be predicted. In
the case of the Haiti earthquake there was little distress warning given and
additionally there was no time to evacuate when the disaster earthquake struck
and therefore people become trapped. According to Sheller (2012) the islanding
effect is down to unequal access to mobility and this can be linked to the
theme of marginalisation. Consequently, this unequal access to mobility
resulted in the Haitians becoming confined and trapped on their own island
(Sheller, 2012). Moreover, in the case of the Haiti earthquake the disaster
logistic tragically produced uneven mobilities, for example outside foreign aid
workers held the ability to bring in supplies and they could come and go with
free will, whereas the poverty-stricken locals faced decreased mobility
(Sheller, 2012). The people that generally escaped the island where United
States citizens of a Haitian origin, or the affluent citizens of Haiti
(Sheller, 2012). Therefore, the people trapped after the disaster and unable to
flee where the marginalised poorer citizens of Haiti, with some people having
no passports, or money to travel. In a like manner, the theme of marginalisation
of the poorer social groups is not just aligned to the Haiti earthquake.
Marginalisation of the poorer social groups is a common theme throughout many
disasters and to give another example this can be seen in the disaster of
Hurricane Katrina. The evacuation plans for Hurricane Katrina relied on
automobility as Sheller (2012, p188) states “…evacuation plans relied on
systems of automobility…” Therefore, again the theme of marginalisation of the
poor can be seen because those who cannot afford their own transport are not
covered in the evacuation plan. Brooks (2005, as cited in Squires and Hartman,
2006) argues that Hurricane Katrina was mislabelled as a natural disaster and
rather it was a social disaster. Then, with this argument in mind it can be
concluded that both the Haiti earthquake and Hurricane Katrina are human
induced disasters rather than natural because if it was not for the
marginalisation of the poor then there would not have been such a high death
toll and destruction rate. Therefore, with this second argument in mind we can
indeed say that there is no such thing as a natural disaster.

Categories: Articles


I'm Garrett!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out