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Health and Disasters

3rd International ConferenceNatural Hazards and Risks in a Changing World
Addressing Compound and Multi-Hazard Risk


Marleen de Ruiter (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)


Nivedita Sairam (Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam)Sophie Buijs (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Society faces immense challenges when natural hazards and disease outbreaks co-occur. For example, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the immediate response phase after natural hazard events was often complicated, because of travel restrictions and local lockdown measures. Natural hazards can also trigger the outbreak of diseases, such as cholera and diarrhea outbreaks following the devastating floods in Pakistan in August 2022. The co-occurrence of natural hazards and diseases creates cascading effects that worsen the overall consequences. A limited understanding of these cascading impacts creates operational, ethical, and decision-making challenges for society, disaster management, and aid organisationsorganizations. 

Recent events underscore the critical need to enhance our scientific understanding of the intricate interactions between natural hazards, society, and disease outbreaks. Equally pressing is the imperative to advance our modellingmodeling capabilities, enabling us to capture the nuanced complexities of risk stemming from multi-hazard scenarios and disease outbreaks. Additionally, we must deepen our grasp of the synergies and trade-offs inherent in disaster risk reduction measures when addressing this multifaceted challenge. 

This session serves as a platform to bolster our understanding of the convergence of disasters and disease outbreaks.  We invite abstracts studying all aspects of this co-occurrence, such as cascading impacts, including health impacts that follow from natural hazards, difficulties that arise when natural hazards and diseases coincide, and challenges and lessons for adaptation management facing natural hazards and diseases.