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Terry Gibson

Terry Gibson

Most Nepalese disasters are ignored

The world has rightly turned its attention to the tragedy unfolding in Nepal. Next week a different story will grab the headlines. Meanwhile reality for Nepali people is that disasters continue every day. They are much smaller in scale – landslides, floods and other events causing death, injury and destruction affecting tens rather than thousands. 

Masters of the Universe

Having attended the GAR 2015 report launch and the GAR for Tablet app that allows for colourful infographics and visualisations of disasters and impacts, Terry Gibson felt we are still "surrounded by dinosaurs" who talk about 'natural disasters'. But no disaster is natural, only weather events are. And while we "still hear people talking as if the only disasters of concern are the large scale events", says Terry, GNDR's "own data, GAR's and others' shows that a large majority of disasters are small scale, recurrent, resulting from the complex interaction of many factors." The knowledge everyday heroes hold of the everyday disasters they face "is the missing piece without which big data and 3D visualisations won't make a difference to the billions of people most affected by disasters."

Sendai sunshine

"After the pomp and ostentation of the WCDRR opening ceremony, the dividing lines between powerful and powerless are no more clearly drawn than here, where VIPs sweep up to the entrance whilst the more ordinary file in by the clogged high security queues and civil society representatives have very few seats at the table. Yet, those dividing lines of power and powerlessness, which are a mere nuisance at this conference, are what shape the consequences of climate change and other threats for billions worldwide."

Seeing snow for the first time

"Should snow fall in the Solomon islands, Bangladesh, Mauritius or Nigeria this would be remarkable, even in these times of extreme weather events; but less remarkable than agreement on a wise and progressive framework rooted in reality and recognising the grinding impact of everyday disasters on much of the world's population."
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