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Hazard - Earthquakes.

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Case Study: Earthquakes Name of Hazard: Earthquake Where: Kobe, Japan Date: 17 January 1995, 5:46am Causes: The earthquake due to Kobe being situated on a minor fault, known as the Nojima fault, which lies above a destructive plate margin. This is where the Pacific, Eurasian, and Philippine plates meet. On contact with the Eurasian plate, the Philippine plate gets forced downwards. This has created volcanic activity and means that Japan is under constant threat from severe earthquakes. As you can see from the diagram below Japan has 4 plate pushing against oneanother which could quadruple the size of an earthquake. The movement of these plates as showed in the diagrams below release a huge amount of pressure, which is released as waves. These waves move the earths crust both horizontally and vertically, as was the case with Kobe. Effects: As with most hazards there were two kinds of effects, Direct, and Secondary. ...read more.


More than 150 fires occurred in Kobe and surrounding areas in the hours after the earthquake. These resulted in several large fires, and fire fighters were for the most part unable to combat them because of streets being blocked by collapsed buildings and building debris, traffic congestion, and severe water system damage. Nearly 5,500 deaths occurred purely from fire alone, with the number of injured people reaching about 35,000. Nearly 180,000 buildings were badly damaged or destroyed, and officials estimate that more than 300,000 people were homeless on the night of the earthquake. The life loss caused by the earthquake was the worst in Japan since the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, when about 140,000 people were killed, mostly by the post-earthquake conflagration. The economic loss from the 1995 earthquake may be the largest ever caused by a natural disaster in modern times. ...read more.


There weren't enough blankets for the 200, 000 people who either lost their houses or were taking refuge for some other reason spent the night in unheated gyms or in parks. In Awaji Island, the epicentre, the nighttime temperature dipped down to -2 C, and there is a shortage of blankets. 2.3 million people were without water for almost 3 days following the earthquake all due to pipes breaking and networks failing. What can be done to limit the effects if it happens again? Following the example of places like San Francisco with their huge number of earthquake proofed buildings Japan is striving to improving the quality of all its buildings. They should practise drills and procedures and equip fire teams better to harness fire. They should research more into seismology, as now days with improved equipment earthquakes are easier to detect. Improving communication with services and the population is the route to improved and limiting the damage and death of future hazards. PIC OF BUILDING ...read more.

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