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How are new technologies being used in disaster zones?

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Introduction

´╗┐How are new technologies being used in disaster zones? In this essay, I am going to look at technologies which aid areas which are frequently hit by seismic activity. In particular, I have chosen to take a look at measures taken before and after an earthquake in a MEDC (the earthquake and resulting tsunami on 11th of March, 2011, off the coast of Japan). In order to compare the two countries, I am going to attempt to answer the questions listed below: * What technologies were available to forewarn the disaster? Were they used? * Were any building techniques or materials been used in this area to limit damage? * Were technologies used to aid people? After covering the points, I am going to attempt to find out whether these technologies had a large impact on the potential damage and death toll. ...read more.

Middle

This sent warnings to many different countries that would be affected by the tsunami. Were any building techniques or materials been used in this area to limit damage? In Japan, there are very strict building codes in order to make buildings ?earthquake proof? (in reality, even the most well designed building could be damaged in a very strong earthquake). Buildings are designed with deep foundations and large shock absorbers, which allow the building to move and flex independently of the ground. Many modern Japanese buildings have designs based off traditional pagodas and temples. These buildings were very flexible because they were made of timber, which is not as rigid as other materials, such as bricks. However, modern constructions are on a far larger scale, and concrete reinforced with steel is usually used instead. In some taller buildings (for example, the Tokyo Sky Tree, scheduled to be finished in late 2011), there is a tripod-like base which allows for flexibility and stability. ...read more.

Conclusion

Conclusion I think that these technologies had a significant impact on the death toll and damage caused, because stronger buildings allow people to remain unharmed within them. The EEW could prevent any extra accidents from occurring when regarding trains and other large machinery. However, these solutions would not be practical in an LEDC, because the building regulations are usually not as strict. Even if building restrictions were stricter in LEDCs, the majority of the population would not be able to afford to build or design buildings that are as advanced as the earthquake proof buildings. The same is true for an EEW, because fewer people own mobile phones and televisions where there is less wealth, so it would not reach as wide an audience. Some things are probably easier to achieve for an LEDC, such as seawalls, because they are relatively inexpensive. In my opinion, more money from aid should go into the prevention and minimisation of damage and death caused by disasters, as less will have to be spent on the relief effort. ...read more.

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