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How can vulnerability and risk be reduced in large scale gatherings?

Introduction

On September 11, 2001, the world watch in horror as the United States experienced its worst terroristic attack that claimed thousands of lives and destroyed significant infrastructures in its wake. Not only this, catastrophic events of huge magnitude also claimed hundreds of thousands of lives- the earthquake that gave rise to a tsunami along the Indian Ocean coast in 2004; Hurricane Katrina that destroyed properties and killed people in the US Gulf coast while in 2005; earthquakes along the borders of India and Pakistan in 2005 that also killed hundreds of thousands of people; and most recently, earthquakes in China buried thousands of school children alive.

Summary and Conclusion

Reduction of vulnerability and risk during large scale gatherings is possible with the application of crowd dynamics or pedestrian simulation models. Second, the implementation of safety guidelines along with better building and infrastructure designs ensure the crowd's safety. Third, there is a need for re-examination and continual evaluation of how a crowd behaves during emergencies in highly dense areas in order to create better simulation models that will be useful in many countries around the world. Fourth, while engineers and others who design the safety guidelines for large gatherings have contributed to the safety of the crowd, it would noteworthy that more research on the social and psychological aspect of crowd dynamics should be conducted to have more efficient safety guidelines in times of emergencies or disasters.

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