San Fransisco earthqake case study

Here is a seven mark question answer to the geography earthqake case study

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  • Created on: 26-05-10 15:32
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Name an area you have studied where an earthquake has taken place. Describe its effects on
people and the local economy (7 marks)
1. San Francisco, California (USA) was hit by an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the richter
scale on 17th October 1989. The quake lasted 15 seconds and struck without
2. A total of 6000 homes were destroyed or damaged in the quake. Many of the older
(50-100 year old) buildings which were not designed to withstand earthquakes and
were most severely damaged.
3. Low rise buildings were worse as taller buildings which swayed with the quake /
ground motions.
4. The worst hit area was the Marina district, where the houses were built on reclaimed
land. As a result of the weak sub-surface sediments, liquefaction occurred during the
earthquake resulting in reduced strength and causing buildings to collapse due to lack
of support.
5. As electricity cables snapped and gas mains burst, fires also swept through the area.
6. A number of roadways were damaged during the earthquake, including the collapse
of the upper tier of the double-deck er Nimitz Highway (Interstate 80) onto the
lower deck, killing and trapping motorists in their cars.
7. The quake resulted in massive economic costs, businesses were closed and lost
profits, office buildings were severely damaged and the collapsed bridges stopped
people getting to work. The economic costs of the quake totaled $4.4 billion.


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