Plate Tectonics and Associated Hazards Hazard management: earthquakes

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Plate Tectonics and Associated Hazards
Hazard management: earthquakes
Prediction is very difficult
At risk regions can be identified through plate tectonics but attempts to predict
earthquakes a few hours before are unreliable
Prediction is based upon monitoring groundwater levels, release of radon gas and
unusual animal behaviour
Fault lines E.g. the San Andreas Fault can be monitored and local magnetic fields
Areas can be mapped on a basis of geological information and studies of ground
stability ­ this can help predict the impact of earthquakes and can be used t produce
a hazard zone map
Close studies of a fault line can indicate the point along a fault where the next
earthquake might be due
Is thought to be impossible
studies have tried to keep the plates sliding past each other rather than sticking then
Tried to lubricate this movement with water and oil
Since earthquakes strike suddenly, violently and without warning, or warning,
preparation cannot be put off until the event
E.g. In the USA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's earthquake has the
following objectives
o To promote understandings of earthquakes and their effects
o work better to identify earthquake risk
o improve earthquakeresistant design and construction techniques
o encourage the use of earthquakesafe policies and planning practices
Hazardresistant structures
Designed to be aseismic or earthquake resistant
Putting a large concrete weight on top of a building which will move, with aid of a
computer problem, in the opposite direction to the force of the earthquake to
counteract stress
Building large rubber shock absorbers into the foundations to allow some movement
in the building
Adding cross bracing to hold the structure together when it shakes
structures such as elevated motorways can be retrofitted with such devices to make
them more earthquake proof
Earthquake proof buildings can make a huge difference. E.g. 1989 the 7.1 Richter Loma
Prieta earthquake in California with earthquake proof buildings resulted in the deaths of only

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Richter in Armenia without earthquake proof buildings resulted
in the deaths of more than 25,000.…read more

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Landuse planning
most hazardous areas in the event of an earthquake can be identified and regulated
School and Hospitals should be built in areas of low risk
Important to have sufficient open space as this forms a safe area away from fires
and aftershock damage to buildings
Insurance and Aid
In MEDCs, people are urged to take out insurance to cover their losses
Most aid in LEDCs is emergency aid that arrives a few days after the event ­
medical services, tents, water purification equipment…read more


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