Discuss the View That the Impact of Earthquake Hazards Depends Primarily on Human Factors

1388 words 6 pages
“Discuss the view that the impact of earthquake hazards depends primarily on human factors (40)”.

I agree to some extent about the statement above and that human factors can affect the impact of an earthquake hazard. A hazard is an object or process that has the potential to cause harm. Ground shaking, ground displacement and flooding are some of the hazards that are produced during an earthquake. In relation to the question above the type and severity of the impact can be affected by physical factors (such as the magnitude and frequency of the quake) as well as human factors (population density and education). I will be discussing the question using the following case studies, Sichuan, Indonesia and L’Aquila.
On the 12th May 2008 an
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When the waves reached inlands they had reached 24m in height and in some places close to 30m which meant there was no chance of escape for those people close to the epicentre.
Within 15 minutes of the earthquake the island of Sumatra was hit without any warning resulting in the deaths of 130,736 people and a further 37,063 missing, an hour later still without any warning Thailand was hit leaving 5,395 dead along with 2,817 yet to be found. One the main reasons why this earthquake was so devastating is also due to a lack of management there were no tsunami warning systems in place. However in contrast to Sichuan the frequency of tectonic activity in the Indian Ocean is very low, around 90% of tsunamis occur in the pacific ocean where the ring of fire is located; where the most tectonic activity occurs. An earthquake of this magnitude occurring in the Indian Ocean is very rare, hence why there were no systems in place. So to some extent human factors did influence the impact of this earthquake but what made this earthquake one of the most destructive was the location of the epicentre and the proximity of the focus to the sea floor. When a tsunami occurs a lot of energy is released the further the waves travels the more energy is loses the closer the tsunami is to the impact zone the more concentrated the energy is, in this case Sumatra was approximately

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