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(Un)natural Disasters: Health Responses after Natural Hazards in Southeast Asia

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By Li Hongyan, Ong Suan Ee and Bill Durodié

Southeast Asia is certainly no stranger to natural hazards, having experienced some of the world's worst. This paper argues that the occurrence of a natural hazard does not inevitably lead to a natural disaster. Whether a disaster results largely depends on pre-existing conditions, such as a country's level of development and infrastructure, its social stability, and the availability and accessibility of healthcare facilities, as these are critical to the effectiveness of health responses.