Essay on Destructive Forces Of Nature On Planet Earth

1404 Words Nov 24th, 2016 6 Pages
Earthquakes represent one of the most destructive forces of nature on planet Earth. Earthquakes result when built up tectonic stress and energy in the fault lines of continental and oceanic plates abruptly release. This sudden release of energy generates the seismic energy that causes the violent shaking in the ground. The two earthquakes that occurred in Haiti and Chile in 2010 remind us how destructive they can be. The earthquake that struck Haiti in January of 2010 was a magnitude 7.0 and resulted in the deaths of an estimated 230,000 people and resulted in damages between $7-10 billion (Cavallo 2010). The earthquake that struck Chile a month later in February was of a magnitude 8.8, and resulted in the deaths of 525 people and resulted in $15-30 billion in damages. (USGS 2010). The 2010 Chilean earthquake released around 500 times more energy than the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Any loss of life is awful no matter the amount, but one would likely assume that an earthquake with a magnitude 8.8 would certainly result in more loss of life and damage than a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. Although many factors such as magnitude, amount of energy released, and geographic location contributes greatly to the amount of potential lives lost, and economic damage, government corruption and infrastructure also play disproportionate roles in these consequences. To begin, the 2010 8.8 magnitude Chilean earthquake was a shallow focus quake that occurred at the boundary between the Nazca and…

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