Multiple Hazard Zones - CALIFORNIA

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  • Multiple Hazard Zones - CALIFORNIA
    • Background
      • Ever since 1849, California has been one of the most desirable places to live in the USA.
      • It's economy is the 6th largest in the world.
        • 25 Californian counties have per capita incomes of over £35,000
      • Population - 40 MILLION (2008)
      • Human Development Index - 0.95 (almost the highest)
      • Coastal area which includes Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.
    • California's Hazards are due to plate tectonics and climatic patterns (El Nino and La Nina)
      • Plate Tectonics...
        • San Francisco lies along the SAN ANDREAS FAULT where the Pacific Plate moves North westwards past the North American Plate.
          • The two plates are moving in the same direction but the Pacific Plate moves more quickly which creates friction. --> CONSERVATIVE BOUNDARY
          • The San Andreas fault is the fracture/fault line between.
            • It runs along the Californian coast from LA North to San Francisco. Other fault lines run parallel and San Francisco is built over 2 of them.
          • These faults move regularly, causing earthquakes.
            • In 1906, SAN FRANCISCO was destroyed in an earthquake measuring 8.2 on the Richter Scale.
              • It fractured gas pipes which caused explosions and fires and water pipes which could have been used to prevent the spread of the fires.
            • In 1989 a further earthquake hit SAN FRANCISCO and reached 7.1 on the Richter Scale.
              • Its epicentre was at LOCA PRIETA in the Santa Cruz mountains.
              • Caused major damage and deaths
                • 63 people were killed and 13,757 were injured. --> most of the deaths were from where the FREEWAY COLLAPSED.
                • 1018 houses were destroyed and 23,408 were damaged.
                • Damage cost US$6 BILLION
                • 366 businesses were destroyed and 3530 were damaged.
              • 5.2 Aftershock hit the region 37 minutes after the main earthquake.
      • California suffers periodic climatic change (which can be hazardous)
        • Sometimes drought can occur and forest fires threaten
        • Sometimes floods occur and landslides threaten.
        • Flood risks in California coincide with EL NINO while drought and forest fires coincides with LA NINA
    • Geophysical and Hydro-meteological hazards.
      • Geophysical
        • Earthquakes and Tsunamis  which can cause coastal sinking.
          • Earthquakes are the main risk. - Large SHALLOW earthquakes occur along the swarm of faults associated the San Andreas fault line.
      • Hydro-meteological
        • Landslides and mudflows, heavy rain (associated with EL NINO), drought (associated with LA NINA), Heat waves, Bush Fires (secondary hazards of drought) and Coastal Fogs.
          • Landslides are a frequent secondary hazard of Earthquakes and floods.
          • Fogs occur in the San Francisco bay area.
    • Coping capacity in California is high because they have high-tech disaster preparedness but the economic costs of a disaster are especially high because it is a megacity.


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