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Earthquakes are inevitable but the damage caused is not. Discuss this view

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Earthquakes are inevitable but the damage caused is not. Discuss this view (60) An earthquake is a natural phenomenon that results from the sudden release of stored energy in the Earth's crust creating seismic waves. At the Earth's surface, earthquakes may manifest themselves by a shaking or displacement of the ground and sometimes cause tsunamis, which may lead to loss of life and destruction of property. An earthquake is caused by tectonic plates getting stuck and putting a strain on the ground. The strain becomes so great that rocks give way and fault lines occur. With the physical processes in mind and the fact that we can neither control nor predict earthquakes it is fair to suggest that earthquakes are inevitable, however the damage that they cause is variable depending on numerous factors. ...read more.


Since an earthquake is the release of strain building up in the crustal rocks, the areas which have "locked" for sometime are likely to move in the future. Seismologists in California have used this "gap theory" for major fault lines such as the San Andreas Fault in order to produce earthquake probabilities. However, these are just predictions and it is only in the case of a few earthquakes where forecasting was successfully achieved. In 1975 the Chinese successfully predicted the Haicheng earthquake five and a half hours before the event, managing to evacuate 90,000 people. But, this is very rare and difficult to do Many people think the destruction caused by earthquakes is unavoidable, and that the only option is to pick up the pieces after the shaking stops. However, earthquake damage and loss can be limited by steps taken before, during, and after the earthquake. ...read more.


As a result of this earthquake 18,306 homes were damaged but the death toll was relatively low at 63 people. In comparison Hanshin had a magnitude of 7.2 yet the death tolls reached 140,000 and 560,000 buildings were destroyed. In spite of the billions of yen spent on public awareness, three quarters of blase Tokyoites have done nothing to increase the survivability of them and their houses (such as chaining up their bookcases), and when a quake does hit somewhere such as Hokkaido, 60 per cent of people polled say they would react by "standing there, waiting to see what would happen next". Earthquakes may be inevitable, but earthquake disasters are not. Scientists and engineers are continuously working to understand earthquake hazards better. This improved knowledge helps guide steps to reduce future earthquake losses. The result is that residents of Southern California and other seismically active areas of the United States can live with greater peace of mind in earthquake country ...read more.

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