Discuss the View That the Impact of Earthquake Hazards Depends Primarily on Human Factors

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“Discuss the view that the impact of earthquake hazards depends primarily on human factors (40)”. I agree to some extent about the statement above and that human factors can affect the impact of an earthquake hazard. A hazard is an object or process that has the potential to cause harm. Ground shaking, ground displacement and flooding are some of the hazards that are produced during an earthquake. In relation to the question above the type and severity of the impact can be affected by physical factors (such as the magnitude and frequency of the quake) as well as human factors (population density and education). I will be discussing the question using the following case studies, Sichuan, Indonesia and L’Aquila. On the 12th May 2008 an…show more content…
This lack of management lead to the collapsing of 5m buildings along with a further 21m damaged. This included 8 schools which were toppled in Dujjangyan, killing and trapping school students. China did not create an adequate seismic design code until after the 1976 quake and even then it was difficult to enforce building regulations, producing a total estimated economic loss of $86b. Making this the second mostly costly earthquake from 1900-2013. The impacts of this earthquake were caused primarily on human factors, with adequate predicting systems and improved infrastructure the total loss and damage could have been reduced. From the case study above we can see that human influences were the main cause in the severity of the impact, but that’s not always the case, physical factors are just as important. This can be seen in the great Sumatra- Andaman earthquake which took place on the 26th of December 2004 and registered a 9.1 magnitude, one of the third biggest recorded quakes. The subduction of the Indo-Australian plate under the Burma plate triggered the tsunami responsible for the greatest loss of life in a tectonic event. A 15-20m slip occurred along 1600km of fault line in two phases over a period of around 3-4 minutes, the longest rupture ever recorded in an earthquake. The focus was located just 30km below sea level, which resulted in serval billion tonnes of water being displaced across

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