How to “Co-Live” With a Natural Hazard

Flood Victims In The UK Offered Free Counselling

As Storm Christoph runs riot in the UK, one company is offering its flood-hit customers free counselling.

People are currently being evacuated from their homes as England and Wales are hit by widespread flooding. Weather forecasters have warned more heavy rain is on the way, along with blizzards and a foot of snow. So far, over 500 flood warnings are in place, with the Manchester suburbs of Didsbury and Northenden being the worst affected areas.

“The physical impact of extreme weather is impossible to ignore. But there is reason to be concerned about another, ‘hidden’ consequence of the UK’s increasingly destructive weather – the harm it is doing to people’s mental health,” 

David Nichols, Zurich UK’s Chief Claims Officer.

To help people cope with the immediate impacts of flooding, from damaged properties and the destruction of crops to the grief caused by lost lives, one insurance company is providing a new service for victims.

Calling the impact of climate-related weather events “devastating”, Zurich UK is providing five therapy sessions to policy-holders and their immediate families over the age of 18. The insurer is also demanding that the British government overhaul the “broken” flood grant system to further protect people…

How to “Co-Live” With a Natural Hazard

Tungurahua, an active volcano in Ecuador, sits amid farming communities that have dwelled alongside it for generations. A.J. Faas

As the Andes mountain range curves through Ecuador, it rises to the peak Tungurahua. The name comes from the Kichwa language, spoken by some of the Indigenous communities of Ecuador, and means “Throat of Fire,” which is fitting for a volcano that towers more than 5,000 meters into the sky. It’s been active over the past 20 years or so, resulting in spectacular displays of flying lava and ash.

But some residents of Penipe Canton, the territorial district that borders the volcano, give Tungurahua another name: abuela, Spanish for “grandmother.” They see the volcano as a familiar, if fiery, matriarch. They live and farm in villages dotting the steep slopes—just as generations of their families have done before them—and wouldn’t dream of living elsewhere.

It’s a perspective that puzzles outsiders. In 2011, when anthropologist A.J. Faas attended a meeting between people displaced by the eruptions and canton leaders, he was not anticipating an impassioned plea to return to their still-smoking lands…

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