Geography Case Studies

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  • Created by: lily
  • Created on: 12-06-12 14:40

Kobe Earthquake, MEDC: Facts


  • South of central Japan, heavily populated area
  • Tuesday 17th January 1995
  • 5:46am (most of the residents were sleeping)
  • Measured 7.2 on the Richter scale
  • Destructive plate boundary: Oceanic Philippines and Pacific along with Continental Eurasian
  • Focus was 16m deep
  • The ground shook for 20 seconds - 50cm horizontally,1m vertically
  • Seismic shockwaves travelled from Awaji Island (epicentre) along the Najima fault to Kobe
  • 1300 aftershocks
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Kobe Earthquake, MEDC: Effects


  • 5,000 deaths
  • 300,000 left homeless
  • 200,000 buildings collaped
  • 35,000 people injured
  • £100 billion worth of damage to infrastructure
  • 130km of bullet train closed
  • Panasonic and Mitsubishi suffered damaged
  • 2/3 of ports destroyed
  • Buildings and bridges collapsed despite earthquake proof design
  • Water and electricity badly damaged
  • Hanshin expressway (major expressway) closed
  • Overcrowded, unsanitary conditions
  • Fires (many people died in these)
  • Congestion
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Kobe Earthquake, MEDC: Responses


  • Authorities were critisized for being too slow
  • Rescue teams searched for survivors for 10 days
  • Many people moved away from the area permanently (approximately 50,000 left)
  • In the last years, earthquake proof buildings have been built and there have been earthquake drills
  • September 1st is National Earthquake Day
  • Jobs were created in the construction industry as part of a rebuilding scheme
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Nevado Del Ruiz, LEDC: Facts


  • Colombia, South America
  • Close to the town of Armero
  • 13th November 1985
  • 9:08pm (when most of the towns 27,000 residents were sleeping)
  • Warnings started at around 3:06pm
  • Destructive plate boundary: the subduction of the denser Nazca plate under the South American plate
  • Continental plate pushed upwards causing the formation of the Andes
  • Strato (composite) volcano
  • 20 million cubic metres of hot ash and rocks thrown into the air
  • Lahars up to 50m thick travelling more than 100km
  • Pumice fragments and ash thrown from secondary vent
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Nevado Del Ruiz, LEDC: Effects


  • One lahar reached the nearby town of Chinchilla killing 1927
  • In Armero, 21,000 people died (3/4 of the population)
  • 13 other villages badly affected
  • Altogether, an estimated 23,000 were killed
  • 5,000 people injured
  • 5,000 homes destroyed
  • High temperatures caused perfect conditions for bacteria and fungi to breed, so many lost their lives from minor cuts

The eruption was the 2nd deadliest of the 20th century and Columbia's worst natural disaster

It was the deadliest lahar recorded in history

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Nevado Del Ruiz, LEDC: Responses


  • The eruption cost Columbia $7.7 billion (20% of GNP)
  • Lack of preparation contributed to high death toll
  • International Aid from 30 foreign countries received within 24 hours
  • Survivors gradually rehoused in government schemes
  • Authorities had ignored a hazard zone map showing the potential damage of lahars
  • Armero not rebuilt - declared 'Holy Ground'
  • Columbia now has a new system that can detect lahars
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Water Aid, Mali

Mali - West Africa

  • One of the poorest countries in the world
  • 64% of the 12 million population living below the poverty line
  • 65% of the country is desert of semi desert
  • 1 in 5 children die before the age of 5
  • Life expectancy - 50

Only 50% of the country has sustainable access to improved water supply but many of these pumps are broken, figures of 27% are more accurate

Water Aid is a NGO (Non-government organisation)

  • Since 2000, it has helped 60,000 gain access to clean, safe water
  • Trained locals to manage and maintain the water system they have constructed
  • Raised money to keep it working
  • Want to encourage the country to invest in its own infrastructure
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Water Aid, Mali


  • Times of drought have been eased
  • Benefits of safe water, sanitation and hygiene education can reduce the number of deaths cause by diarrhoeal diseases by up to 65%
  • In the long term, communities are able to plan and build infrastructure, so that they can cope in times of hardship


  • Mali may become over dependent on aid
  • Drought conditions will still occur
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