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Earthquakes-Why do some areas suffer more than others?

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Introduction

Earthquakes-Why do some areas suffer more than others? The main defining point of this question is where the specific area is. Whether it is situated on a boundary or close to it. Earthquakes have been experienced in areas such as England where it was assumed that no seismic activity was present here. This was until it was discovered that England has many fault lines running through the country. Other areas that have experienced earthquakes and do not lie on plate boundaries are areas known as hot spots i.e. Hawaii. From figure 3,51 in the text book it is clear that most of the seismic activity is experienced on or near the plate margins that make up the crust of the earth surface. This is due to the high activity at these points where new material is 'created' or 'destroyed'. From fig 3.51 I can deduce one other aspect of earthquakes and that is that there is a far greater number of reported earthquakes on the eastern sea board of Asia which runs down throughout Indonesia and continues down most of the western rim of the pacific ocean. ...read more.

Middle

This is important because we can now estimate areas that are going to be under larger threats from violent earthquakes and which are not. From the above I can determine that areas near conservative and destructive plates are going to under a larger threat than areas along constructive plate margins. Apart from the geological features such as plate boundaries the other main reason why different areas suffer in different ways comes down to human influences, for example, development and the hazards associated with developed and developing areas. Some places are considered to potentially suffer more because there is a far greater risk for people and property. If an earthquake was to hit an urban area the chances of damage from the hazard are greater than that if the earthquake struck in the countryside for example. This means the urban area would suffer more. There are many other factors, which do influence the destructive power of an earthquake. ...read more.

Conclusion

Apart from physical characteristics many areas prone to earthquakes suffer more due to the inability of authorities to act and protect areas at threat. Earthquakes are a potential threat anywhere on the globe but this threat is enhanced due to geological features such as positions in relations to plate boundaries. The effect that Earthquakes have is one that can be determined by people by taking the neccercary precautions. Areas experiencing earthquakes will always suffer but the degree of suffering will depend on the position of the area, the precautions that have been taking by the authorities, building criteria, and a new idea that has been introduced, land management. This idea is taken on board from flood prevention by placing areas that are less effected by flooding near the river i.e. farmland and areas that would be damaged considerably (property) away from the river channel itself. This idea could mean that areas prone to earthquakes would build low density housing near the area most at risk. Alex Robinson ...read more.

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