Coping with the aftermath of Earthquakes : June 2013 SDM

Helpful notes for the GCSE Geography B OCR Sustainable Decision Making 2013 exam. These notes are also helpful for anyone studying the impacts of Earthquakes.

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Resource 1: Types of Tectonic Hazards

Earthquakes: 

  • Happen at all plate boundaries.
  • Shockwaves are caused as plates jerk past each other (Conservative Plate Boundary).
  • Most common at Conservative Plate Boundaries.

Volcanoes:

  • Occure only at Destructive and Constructive plate boundaries.
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Resource 1b: Why do people live in areas at risk?

Ignorance of the risks:

  • Some people think that a severe earthquake won't happen again in the near future. 

Advantages of the areas:

  • Minerals such as, gold.
  • Volcanoes produce fertile land.
  • Geothermal Power from Volcanoes.
  • Volcanoes produce new land.
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Resource 1b: Why do people live in areas at risk?

Inertia:

  • There have always been people there.
  • Their family's always lived there

Lack of Alternatives:

  • Subsistence farming.
  • Don't want to leave their job.
  • Don't want to leave family and friends
  • Can't afford to move.

 

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Resource 1b: Case Study Information

  • Hawaii uses the fertile soil from volcanoes to make coffee beans.
  • 21 countries use geothermal energy from volcanoes which can produce about 8000 mega watts of power.
  • Earthquakes and Volcanoes bring tourism.
  • Volcanoes release minerals which can be used for the production of beauty products.
  • California is prone to earthquakes however:
    • It has 5.7million overseas tourists.
    • 900,000 people work in tourism.
    • Tourists spend over $100billion in California.
    • The climate is dry and sunny which is good for raising the moral of workers.
    • Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere for people had lack of alternatives. 
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Resource 2: Trends from recent Earthquakes.

  • The number of estimated deaths increases as the magnitude increases.
  • Hokkaido, Japan only had one death because the area has earthquake proof buildings.
  • China has a lot of deaths because of the high population rates, lack of earthquake proof buildings and large rural areas. 
  • The cost of damage is generally higher in MEDCs due to the abundance of high quality expensive buildings which are at risk for example, California. 
  • LEDCs have higher estimated deaths due to the limited measures taken to reduce the impacts of earthquakes. For example, Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, had high death rates due to the earthquake having a high magnitude and the fact that it is a largely rural area. 
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Resource 3: Before Disaster

Preparation:

  • Monitor the area.
  • Build earthquake proof buildings.
    • This is mainly done in MEDCs because it is very costly however; Haiti is starting to develop this. 
    • Houses in Kobe (Japan) have been cleared and rebuild in an earthquake proof way.
  • Education
    • Japan does evacuation drills in school
    • Japan encourages people to make earthquake kits
    • Japan provides people with advice on what to do in the event of an earthquake. 
    • The Great California Shake out tries to educate people about the Preparedness Now programme. It has also produced a risk assessment and calculated estimated costs.
  • Train emergency services to be able to respond quickly and efficiently in the event of an earthquake.
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Resource 3: Before Disaster

Monitoring:

  • Use of satellites -most LEDCs can't invest in this type of technology.  
  • Monitor the behaviour of animals, for example, frogs and dogs.
  • Foreshocks.
  • Monitor gas emissions from the ground.

Prevention

  • It is impossible to stop an earthquake from occurring.
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Resource 3: During Disaster and After

During Disaster:

  • People can't do much during the disaster.
  • Get in a safe position for example, perform earthquake drills (drop, cover, hold). 
  • People can also stand with their back against a sercure firm wall. 

After Disaster:

Areas can begin to prepare for the next disaster.

  • LEDCs:
    • Build temporary shelters. However, those shelters have become permanent in Haiti.
    • Refugee Camps are established.
  • MEDCs:
    • Build permanent earthquake proof houses for example, Kobe in Japan.
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Resource 4: Earthquakes in MEDCs and LEDCs

MEDCs:

  • Fewer buildings will fall because of them being made earthquake proof.

LEDCs:

  • More buildings will fall because they are poorly built and can not withstand a high magnitude earthquake. 
  • A lot of buildings collapsed in Haiti because there are no planning laws or building regulations. 
  • Building regulations are barely followed in Turkey. 
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Resource 4: Earthquakes in MEDCs and LEDCs

Social issues linked to an earthquake:

  • Death rates increase if the magnitude of the earthquake is high. 
  • More people are likely to die in an LEDC. This could lead to children becoming orphans ect.
  • Many people lose their homes and work places.
  • Homelessness increases. 
  • Psychological issues such as, stress.

Economic issues linked to an earthquake:

  • It is more expensive to rebuild in an MEDC.
  • LEDCs tend to rebuild tourist attractions first before other parts of the country, for example, Haiti.

Environmental issues linked to an earthquake:

  • Surrounding habitats are damaged by collapsed buildings.
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Resource 5: Comparing Earthquakes

Turkey

Worst social impact:

  • Camps were set up and blankets, food and water were provided to shelter the tens of thousands of people who were left homeless in freezing conditions.

Worst economic impact:

  • Over 1000 buildings were destroyed.

Worst environmental impact:

  • Buildings collapsing onto the surrounding area.
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Resource 5: Comparing Earthquakes

New Zealand

Worst social impact:

  • No civilian buildings collapsed however, there was lots of disruption to people's lives. This was because people began to panic that there was going to be a tsunami; this led to panic buying.

Worst economic impact:

  • Insurance claims ranged between $2.25 billion and $3 billion. 

Worst environmental impact: 

  • Streets were contaminated by burst sewage and water pipes.
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Resource 5: Comparing Earthquakes

Haiti

Worst social impact:

  • The earthquake led to around 92,000 deaths. This could lead to psychological issues such as, orphans or there being no one to pay the bills in a family. 
  • People became more stressed considering that a major hurricane has hit Haiti 4 weeks prior to the earthquake.
  • Homelessness as only 15% of the required temporary housing had been built.

Worst economic impact:

  • Inaction of the Haitian Government means recovery is at a standstill. This means people remain homeless seeing as no rebuilding is being done.

Worst environmental impact:

  • The surrounding environment was surrounded in rubble for long amounts of time. This was because a year on only 5% of the rubble had been cleared.
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Resource 5: Comparing Earthquakes

Summary 

Haiti was hit by its earthquake the worst because it simply was not prepared. This is mainly because Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere; this meant that Haiti did not have the funding to invest in things like earthquake proof buildings.In addition, conditions within the country were already bad considering how poor it is and the fact that it had been hit by a hurricane 4 weeks prior to the earthquake. There was already widespread poverty, homelessness, open sewers and debt before the earthquake struck. This resulted in the impact of this earthquake being very severe. 

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Resource 6: Seismic Retrofitting

What is it?

  • Seismic retrofitting is making a building, which was not originally built to be earthquake proof, earthquake proof. This is good however; no one knows what magnitude these retrofitted buildings can withstand. 
  • It is mainly done in MEDCs because it is very costly.
  • In California residents pay a couple thousand dollars to get their houses retrofitted. 

How sustainable is it?

  • It is socio-economically sustainable because it is cost effective as it saves people money in the long term if it is able to withstand an earthquake. In addition, it is socio-economically sustainable because it provides jobs for people and ensures the well being of people and their safety. 
  • Retrofitting can be environmentally sustainable to some extent if it is able to withstand an earthquake. However, it is not environmentally sustainable because the materials used need replacing. 
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Resource 7: Impacts of an earthquake-Hayward Fault

Why is there likely to be a catastrophic earthquake on the Hayward Fault?

  • There are many facilities along the Hayward Fault.
  • Major highways could collapse.
  • Aqueducts could burst.
  • Bay Area Rapid Transit (trams) cables could break.
  • Many airplanes could crash as they attempt to land at the airports.
  • Gas refineries could cause fires. 
  • An earthquake along the Hayward Fault could cause other faults to become active. 
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Resource 7: Impacts of an earthquake-Hayward Fault

Why will it have an impact on the USA?

  • It's on a conservative plate margin. 
  • Both plates are moving northwest.
  • Pacific plate is moving at 6cm per year.
  • North American plate is moving at 1cm per year.
  • An earthquake along the Hayward Fault will cause tremors along other fault lines. 
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Resource 7b + 8: Property and People at risk

  • Santa Clara is the county which stands to have the greatest economic cost in the event of an earthquake. This is because it has the highest Residential Property cost of $315 billion; as well as the highest Commercial Property cost of $205 billion. 
  • Santa Clara could possibly have the greatest loss of life because it has a population of 1,880,000. 
  • If I was in charge of earthquake planning in California I would invest the most amount og money in Santa Clara. This is because it has a high population hence more lives could be saved. In addition, it would save more money in the long term when it comes to rebuilding because Santa Clara has the highest cost in residential and commercial properties.
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Resource 7b + 8: Property and People at risk

  • Santa Clara is the county which stands to have the greatest economic cost in the event of an earthquake. This is because it has the highest Residential Property cost of $315 billion; as well as the highest Commercial Property cost of $205 billion. 
  • Santa Clara could possibly have the greatest loss of life because it has a population of 1,880,000. 
  • If I was in charge of earthquake planning in California I would invest the most amount og money in Santa Clara. This is because it has a high population hence more lives could be saved. In addition, it would save more money in the long term when it comes to rebuilding because Santa Clara has the highest cost in residential and commercial properties.
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Resource 8: Facilities at risk

Advice for stakeholders in the Bay area before the disaster

Local Residents:

  • Get underneath something.
  • Retrofit your homes.
  • Bolt things down.
  • Have a survival kit ready. 

Directors of the 76 hospitals:

  • Bolt beds down.
  • Get hospitals retrofitted.
  • Have a crisis plan ready which states how you can evacuate patients quickly and safely.
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Resource 8: Facilities at risk

Advice for stakeholders in the Bay area before the disaster

Fire chiefs and police chiefs:

  • Consider relocating.
  • Stockpile medical supplies and rescue equipment elsewhere.
  • Run regular practice drills and workshops for emergency and rescue workers. 

Head teachers of schools, colleges and universities:

  • Retrofit buildings.
  • Bolt things down.
  • Conduct practice evacuation and earthquake drills.
  • Educate students on what they should do in the event of an earthquake, for example, drop, cover, hold.
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Resource 8: Facilities at risk

Advice for stakeholders during the earthquake

Local Residents:

  • Get underneath something.
  • Drop, cover and hold.
  • Stand with you back against a firm and secure wall.
  • Don't try to run outside.

Operators of bridges:

  • Prevent drivers from going onto major highways.

Tram drivers:

  • Stop moving.
  • Tell passengers to get under seats or in any other safe position.
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Resource 8: Facilities at risk

Advice for stakeholders during the disaster

Drivers:

  • Stop driving.
  • Don't try to drive home.
  • Cover your head and neck.

Operators of power plants:

  • Turn of all plants.
  • Turn off electricity.
  • Evacuate from the building.
  • Try to get in a safe location and position.
  • Drop, cover and hold.
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Resource 8: Facilities at risk

Advice for stakeholders after the disaster

Local Government:

  • You should begin to look into how you can start rebuilding collapsed buildings.
  • Rubble should be cleared as soon as possible.
  • Shelters should be immediately set up to cater for people who have lost their homes.
  • Immediately send rescue and emergency services to help people. 
  • Start education local residents and businesses on how they can prepare for the next disaster.

National Government:

  • Provide some aid to California.
  • Provide funding for things like retrofitting and the construction of earthquake proof buildings. 
  • Start educating people on how to prepare for the next disaster.
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Comments

Mr A Gibson

Great! These will really help you understand the before and after of an earthquake. Useful information and example.

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