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Geomorphology: Preparation of Earthquakes Essay

Preparation of Earthquakes

1. Building designs & locations
a. Fault lines should be shown on maps for people to avoid constructing buildings above active fault lines
b. If not, foundation of buildings must be extended to solid material c. High-risk areas should have low-density land use
d. Steel structures built to prevent buildings from collapsing when the ground moves
i. Taipei 101 has a steel pendulum that would sway & reduce resonance amplification during an earthquake
ii. Tokyo’s buildings reinforced to withstand stronger earthquakes
e. Shock-absorbing rubber blocks installed in buildings to absorb earthquake energy & oscillations
f. Electric supplies installed in buildings in Japan & San Francisco with auto shutoffs to prevent fires
g. Fireproof materials used in fittings of buildings to reduce intensity of fires BUT
h. Developing countries may not be as well prepared as Developed countries i. Quite costly for the whole nation to have earthquake resistant features j. Less Developed Countries would have less money for such investment k. Over-congested cities would be a death-trap during an earthquake i. Kobe has many areas with flimsy & old structures which collapsed during the Earthquake

ii. Many buildings & infrastructures collapsed in Sichuan 2008 due to corruption iii. To save cost & time, materials used to build schools were low quality, resulting in collapse of the buildings
iv. Haiti had no reinforced buildings & the govt building collapsed during the earthquake too
2. Drills/ Education
a. In Japan, annual drills are conducted to prepare & educate the population b. Warning systems such as SMS were used to warn the Japanese of impending disasters c. Data collected from constant monitoring of areas in the cities helped to save many lives d. Japan invested thousands of dollars in seismographs and data collection systems to monitor the ocean & ground movements

BUT
e. Some cities/countries do not have such warning & monitoring systems
f. There was no warning for the Indonesian quake & tsunami
i. Difficult as most people could not afford phones or TVs
g. Though given prior warning, there was only 15min to seek shelter when there were no transportation or shelters to go to
i. ∴ Warning had a minimal effect
– Populations in Developed countries tend to be more prepared as they have greater financial means for drills & use of technology for warnings
3. Prediction
a. Many countries have been investing in earthquake prediction i. Studying patterns of previous earthquakes & animal behaviours ii. Useful if accurate prediction of next earthquake can be made b. China has saved many lives through a few successful predictions c. Japan has been researching on animal’s behaviour for earthquake prediction BUT

d. However, predictions made may not be accurate e. China managed to predict an earthquake that hit Beijing 9 hours later i. Failed to do so for a similar but stronger earthquake 1 year later f. Their previous prediction saved many lives as evacuation was carried out, with less than 2k deaths

g. However, there was no preparation or evacuation process for the later earthquake, resulting in more than 60k deaths

IHE Notes: Preparation of Earthquakes

Conclusion

– Developed countries living near earthquake zones would be more prepared than Developing countries
– Individuals are educated on the appropriate reactions during & after earthquakes
– Stronger & better buildings are built, minimizing damage dealt & saving lives
– However, corruption may be rampant and thus require assistance from other countries for recovery
– Developed countries like Japan did not survive the tsunami either, despite great preparation


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