Case Study: Kobe and Haiti Earthquakes
On 17th January 1995, an earthquake struck Kobe, a heavily populated urban area in Japan. It measured 7.4 on the Richter scale and occurred as a result of plate movement along the boundary between the Philippines Plate, Pacific Plate and Eurasian Plate. 35000 people injured and buildings and bridges collapsed despite their earthquake proof design. These were the primary effects. Buildings destroyed by fire when the gas mains fractured.316000 people left homeless and refugees moved into temporary housing. These were secondary effects. There were many responses too. People were evacuated and emergency rations provided. Rescue teams searched for survivors for 10 days. These were short terms responses. There were also long term responses. Many people moved away from the area permanently. Jobs were created in the construction industry as part of a rebuilding programme.
Haiti is a small island located in the Caribbean, South East of the USA and East of Cuba. Its capital city is Port-au-Prince. The earthquake was caused by the North American Plate sliding past the Caribbean Plate at a conservative plate margin. Both plates move in the same direction, but one moves faster than the other. The pressure that was built up because of the friction between the 2 plates was eventually released causing a magnitude 7 earthquake on the Richter Scale with an epicentre 16 miles West of Port-au-Prince and a shallow focus of 5 miles. The earthquake struck at 16:53 (4:53pm) local time on Tuesday 12 January 2010.
Effects of the Haiti earthquake
316,000 people were killed and 1 million people were made homeless. 3 million people were affected by the earthquake
1 in 5 people lost their jobs because so many buildings were destroyed. Haiti’s largest industry, clothing was one of the worst affected
250,000 homes and 30,000 other buildings, including the President’s Palace and 60% of government buildings, were