Secondly, Sheller (2012) in the article introduces theconcept of the ‘islanding effect’ to help us understand that there is no suchthing as a natural disaster. In the article Sheller discusses how islands suchas Haiti are at a severe pitfall when it comes to escaping from a post disaster.The islanding effect works firstly by restricting movement in a triad of stages.Firstly, in the case of Haiti, travel out of the island is restricted duringevacuation for safety purposes, travel was restricted after the disaster hasoccurred and travel is often restricted if the disaster can be predicted.
Inthe case of the Haiti earthquake there was little distress warning given andadditionally there was no time to evacuate when the disaster earthquake struckand therefore people become trapped. According to Sheller (2012) the islandingeffect is down to unequal access to mobility and this can be linked to thetheme of marginalisation. Consequently, this unequal access to mobilityresulted in the Haitians becoming confined and trapped on their own island(Sheller, 2012). Moreover, in the case of the Haiti earthquake the disasterlogistic tragically produced uneven mobilities, for example outside foreign aidworkers held the ability to bring in supplies and they could come and go withfree will, whereas the poverty-stricken locals faced decreased mobility(Sheller, 2012). The people that generally escaped the island where UnitedStates citizens of a Haitian origin, or the affluent citizens of Haiti(Sheller, 2012).
Therefore, the people trapped after the disaster and unable toflee where the marginalised poorer citizens of Haiti, with some people havingno passports, or money to travel. In a like manner, the theme of marginalisationof the poorer social groups is not just aligned to the Haiti earthquake.Marginalisation of the poorer social groups is a common theme throughout manydisasters and to give another example this can be seen in the disaster ofHurricane Katrina. The evacuation plans for Hurricane Katrina relied onautomobility as Sheller (2012, p188) states “…evacuation plans relied onsystems of automobility…” Therefore, again the theme of marginalisation of thepoor can be seen because those who cannot afford their own transport are notcovered in the evacuation plan.
Brooks (2005, as cited in Squires and Hartman,2006) argues that Hurricane Katrina was mislabelled as a natural disaster andrather it was a social disaster. Then, with this argument in mind it can beconcluded that both the Haiti earthquake and Hurricane Katrina are humaninduced disasters rather than natural because if it was not for themarginalisation of the poor then there would not have been such a high deathtoll and destruction rate. Therefore, with this second argument in mind we canindeed say that there is no such thing as a natural disaster.