Comparing Earthquakes

This exercise should allow you to compare the effects of quakes on countries at different levels of development and to then try and suggest reasons for any differences or similarities you find. | |MEDC – Kobe, Japan |LEDC – Kashmir, Pakistan | |Location |Kobe is located 32 kilometres west of Osaka on the |The epicentre is Muzzafarabad the capital of Pakistan | | |Japanese island of Honshu. It has a population of 1.5 |administered region of Kashmir, 80km north of Islamabad.| | |million and is one of the largest and busiest ports in | | | |Japan. Kobe is an important centre for commerce, | | | |tourism, shipbuilding, and for manufacturing steel, | | | |rubber, and textiles. | | |Date |17th January 1995 |8th October 2005 | |Time |5:46am |8:50am | |

Magnitude |7.2 on the Richter scale |7.6 on the Richter scale | |Cost | | | |No of Deaths |Over 5000 people died |79,000 people died | |Primary Effects |The collapse of buildings, bridges and roads resulting |The collapse of buildings and trees. Many school | | |from the seismic waves shaking the crust. During the 20 |children were trapped under the collapsed schools | | |second earthquake, the ground moved up to 50 centimetres|rubble.

Also landslides and large cracks appeared in the| | |horizontally and up to 1 metre vertically. Some of the |ground. | | |deaths were caused by these primary effects. |Broken sewage systems spread many diseases, also | | | |contributing to the death toll. | |Social Effects |Almost 300,000 people were made homeless by the |Most of the affected people lived in mountainous regions| | |earthquake and had to be given emergency shelter.

Fire, |with access impeded by landslides that blocked the | | |triggered by broken gas pipes and sparks from severed |roads, leaving an estimated 3.3 million homeless in | | |electrical cables, caused a huge amount of damage, |Pakistan. The UN reported that the quake directly | | |destroying at least 7,500 wooden homes.

The severe |affected 4 million people, occurring prior to the | | |winter weather (-2°C.) made this a serious problem. |commencement of winter snowfall in the Himalayan region.| | |People were put into schools, town halls, open parks, |Damages incurred have been estimated at well over US$ 5 | | |etc. and were forced to live, in some cases for long |billion (300 billion Pakistani rupees). India and | | |periods, in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions. Food, |Pakistan opened five crossing points on the Line of | | |blankets, medical supplies and clean water were, for the|Control (LoC) to facilitate the flow of humanitarian and| | |first few days, in short supply.

The scale of the |medical aid to the affected region. International aid | | |problem made it difficult for the authorities to cope. |teams from around the world came to the region to assist| | | |in relief. | |Economic Effects |The earthquake hit Japanese industry and many businesses|The total losses to public and private assets amounted | | |closed. The Toyota motor company had two factories in |to US$2.3 billion with an | ||Kobe, both of which made vehicle parts which no other |Overall cost of US$5.2 billion (including recovery | | |factory could make.

Once these factories were put out of|needs). | | |production Toyota's whole assembly system ground to a | | | |halt. The earthquake caused massive damage to all the | | | |transport facilities. Several sections of motorway, many| | | |of which were built above the ground on tall concrete | | | |stilts, collapsed or toppled sideways. This resulted in | | | |the Hanshin Expressway being completely closed. Railway | | | |lines were buckled and many stations damaged. At the | | | |port, cranes tilted or fell and 120 (out of 150) quays | | | |where ships were moored were destroyed. Port buildings | | | |and their contents were badly damaged in many places. | | |Reasons for the differences/ |

They are both similar in the sense of the magnitude, as they both share the same tectonic plate. They are very | |Similarities of the effects of |different in the sense that Pakistan is an LEDC and therefore doesn’t have the resources to cope with a natural | |the quakes. |hazard at this magnitude whereas Japan, has experienced this before and has the means to deal with the disaster,| | |and this is visible in the fact that people started to get their life back on track with 6months of the | | |earthquake compared to Pakistan waiting fro aid from MEDCs. |

What makes cities vulnerable to disaster? Cities are growing fast; half the world’s population live in urban areas. The growth is greatest in LEDCs. By 2025, 80% of the world’s urban population will be in LEDCs. The 1976 Guatemala City quake was known as a ‘poor-quake’, because nearly all the victims were in shanty towns.

Some people at plate boundaries are more vulnerable than others. Using your own knowledge, annotate the small diagrams below to explain why people living in LEDCs are more vulnerable than those in MEDCs.

----------------------- LEDCs do not have a lot of money and therefore they cannot afford to spend money on earthquake precautions, such earthquake monitoring equipment, like seismometers.

LEDCs have less educated people, and therefore if they are not educated about earthquakes, when one actually happens they wouldn’t know what to do, as they have never been told how to stay safe.

When an earthquake has struck, sanitation is hit, meaning a lack of clean water, food, so more diseases spread, killing a lot of people.

LEDCs have very limited amount of emergency services, so when a natural disaster strikes, they have to rely heavily on MEDCs for aid, which can take up to several days.

LEDCs have poorly constructed buildings, for example they are made from the wrong material. They are mainly constructed from concrete meaning more people are killed when the buildings collapse.

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