Geography - tectonic hazards useful case studies

Bam 2003

  • earthquake in Bam, Iran
  • Iran classified as a country with an upper middle income
  • magnitude 6.6
  • 26,000 dead
  • shallow earthquake
  • happened at 5 am when most people were at home/in bed
  • release of energy as seismic waves was directly under the city
  • vertical shaking causing maximum damage
  • buildings vulnerable to shaking due to age and as they have heavy roofs
  • poor infrastructure
  • 3 main hospitals destroyed - lack of specialised training
  • during search and rescue, emergency services struggled with the destruction of their own facilities and infrastructure
  • cold winter - most deaths due to hypothermia rather than direct crush injuries
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Nepal 2015

  • developing country
  • population 26.5 million
  • earthquake - 7.8 magnitude
  • 22,000 injured
  • multiple hazard zone
  • low level of development - local earthquake science is out of date
  • Kathmandu is one of the fastest urbanising areas - around 85% of the country's population is rural and much of the country's economy is primary industry
  • population is vulnerable
  • poverty puts people in more vulnerable areas than richer people
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New Zealand 2010 and 2011

  • developed
  • Canterbury indured a series of major earthquakes
  • economy was resilient in the aftermath of the earthquakes
  • disruption to industrial production was short lived - regions manufacturing hub had no significant damage
  • agricultural sector undamaged
  • rebuild costs were largely insecured losses
  • financial markets ignored earthquake impacts
  • business activity resilient
  • damage to properties, public infrastructure
  • relocation of people had to happen
  • tourism industry suffered - attractions demolished in Christchurch
  • international visitors down by 40% in 2011-2012
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Ejyafjallajökul 2011

  • Iceland
  • volcanic eruption
  • eruption happened underneath an ice sheet
  • large column of volcanic ash
  • areas flooded as glacier melted
  • agricultural land damaged
  • ash fall poisoned animals
  • roads destroyed
  • travel disrupted
  • businesses lost trade
  • perishable foods wasted as they could not be transported
  • people asked to stay indoors due to ash
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Tohoku 2011

  • Japan
  • earthquake turned tsunami
  • 9.0 magnitude
  • north american plate dragged by subducting pacific plate slipped upwards
  • 200000 dead
  • 3692 missing
  • explosions at Fukushima nuclear power plant = nuclear contamination 
  • contaminated water leaked into pacific ocean
  • electricity lsot in 6 million homes
  • blocked roads
  • specialist search and rescue teams flew from overseas
  • people evacuated from Fukushima area
  • rebuilding, reconstruction, port facilities rebuilt, tsunami defence system reconsidered
  • liquid natural gas prices worldwide - availability and affordability affected
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Philippines - multiple hazard zone

VOLCANOES: very common - Mt Pinatubo. 

  • frequent and violent
  • andesitic magma
  • ash
  • lahars
  • pyroclastic flows

EARTHQUAKES: frequent but vary in depth from shallow to deep

LANDSLIDES: frequent

  • typhoons
  • deforestation

CYCLONES: very frequent and usually deadly

FLOOD: a frequent result of typhoons

DROUGHT: rare but ENSO cause these

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Californian coast - multiple hazard zone

VOLCANOES: rare

EARTHQUAKES: frequent

  • conservative plate margin
  • San Andreas fault
  • usually shallow focus

LANDSLIDES: frequent

  • heavy rain
  • coastal erosion
  • wildfires

CYCLONES: never

FLOOD: rarely , associated with ENSO

DROUGHT: very common

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Indian Ocean 2004

  • tsunami
  • magnitude more than 9
  • indo-australian plate sibduct below eurasian plate
  • over 31,000 dead
  • no warning systems - uneducated population
  • 1.7 million homeless
  • threat of disease from mixing fresh water, sewage and sea water
  • ports destroyed
  • loss of tourism
  • crops destroyed
  • NGOs and local authorities had immediate and seconfary responses to a devastation of this kind
  • search and rescue
  • temporary shelter
  • reconstruction still taking place
  • warning system now set up
  • sustainable development projects have been set up by local charities to aid recovery
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Afghanistan 2002

  • earthquake
  • between 800-1000 dead
  • 400 injured
  • 6.1 magnitude
  • 20,000 homeless
  • towns flattened
  • houses collapsed due to shaking
  • droughts and wars as a result
  • shallow focus
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