Discuss the view that the impact of earthquake hazards depends primarily on human factors (40)

966 Words Dec 13th, 2013 4 Pages
Discuss the view that the impact of earthquake hazards depends primarily on human factors (40)
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
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This was particularly evident in Kobe Earthquake of 1995. When the 6.9 magnitude struck, the main urban area of the CBD where all of the sky scrapers were situated remained standing. This was due to the building codes like the spring built foundations used in the towers. The scheme was a great success as it prevented the loss of thousands of lives. Another example was in the Northridge quake of 1994, California, where a good proportion of the 57 that died were due to collapse of buildings. Although America does now implement strict building codes, at the time, the buildings were old and so when they were built there were no codes.
Finally, the physical factor of land relief plays a major part in impacting on people when a quake strikes. For example in the Haitian earthquake of 2010, although there were over 220,000 deaths, not many of these were caused by secondary effects such as landslides. Because Haiti is a low lying country, there weren’t any opportunities to suffer more fatalities through landslides, however, in the lesser known quake in Iwate-Miyagi-Nariku, Japan there were many landslides, the largest of which was caused by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake which occurred on 14 June 2008.
In conclusion, I think that it is difficult to argue convincingly that the impact of human hazards depends primarily on human factors because in every case there are always numerous factors that contribute to the extent of the earthquake. The easy route would be to

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