Suggest reasons why the strongest earthquakes are not always the most costly (10 marks)
There are a variety of reasons why the strongest earthquakes are not always the most costly. One of these reasons may be that the country is well prepared when it comes to natural disasters. An example of this was the earthquake that happened in Chile in 2010. This earthquake had a magnitude of 8.8 which is the 8th largest earthquake recorded since 1900. Because Chile is on a fault line it has always been prone to earthquakes and therefore has learnt to adapt and cope with them. For example, the run drills in their schools so children will know what to do in case there is an earthquake. There are also a lot stricter rules on building regulations, so they are more likely to survive an earthquake than collapse. Because of this only 525 were killed and the total costs were $15-30 billion which is relatively small compared to other earthquakes of similar size. Another reason may be that there are very few settlements in the area and therefore the costs will be lower because there are fewer people and buildings. For example, the earthquake that happened in Alaska in 1964. This is the second largest earthquake ever recorded with a magnitude of 9.2, the first being Chile with a magnitude of 9.5. You would expect the costs and the death toll to be quite high however this isn’t the case. Because it happened in a remote part of Alaska, Prince William Sound, there were only 131 deaths in total which is surprisingly low. Also, the property damage cost was about $311 million (in the 1960’s) which is very low when compared to earthquakes of that size. One final example could be to do with how well educated people are about earthquakes. An example of a country that educates people about earthquakes is the USA. This is understandable as some parts of the USA are very earthquake prone e.g. Alaska, California and Hawaii. Proof of how this can be useful, can be seen when looking at the...
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