Discuss the view that the impact of earthquake hazards depends primarily on human factors (40) Plan:
Intro –What is a hazard? - Human and Physical Factors – How to manage with events Main – Natural Hazards – Human Factors – Management
– Case Studies –California 1994 –Gujarat 2001 –Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004 Earthquake Hazards occur when there are adverse effects on human activities. This can include surface faulting, ground shaking and liquefaction. In this essay I will be discussing the factors that affect earthquakes, whether human such as population density, urbanisation and earthquake mitigation or physical such as liquefaction, magnitude, landslides and proximity to the focus. Economic Development is one of the greatest human factors that affect the impacts. For example, in the Northridge Earthquake, California in 1994 only 57 people died after the 6.7 magnitude quake occurred. Compare this to an LEDC such as India, and the Gujarat Earthquake in 2001, we can see how much of a difference being developed makes. The 7.9 magnitude quake on the 26th January 2001, Gujarat claimed 20,000 people and injured a further 160,000, but in California, only 57 people died and there were only 1500 injuries. This is due to the development of the country which encompasses factors such as money to prepare for the quake and also money for aid after the quake too. As the USA’s GDP per capita stands at 49,965 USD and India’s is only 1,489 USD we can see that this would affect the money spent on quake proofing buildings, education for evacuation and money for aid too. But in India there is less economic development and as a result there were far more fatalities and impacts such as in the town of Bhuj, over 90% of all buildings were damaged. One physical factor of an earthquake is the possibility of lowland coastal areas being open to tsunami threats. The Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004, claimed 300,000 people due to the earthquake of magnitude 9.0 triggering a slip in the...
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