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

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Earthquakes are an example of seismic activity created by plate boundaries. They can be caused by the subduction of oceanic crust which is densest at 2.9 g/cm3 under continental crust which weighs 2.7g/m3 at destructive plate boundaries. Earthquakes can also occur along conservative plate boundaries such as that shared by the Pacific and North American plates which move at 5-9 cm/year and 2-3 cm/year respectively causing the 1994 Los Angeles earthquake along the San Andreas fault alongside which lies the San Gregorio and Hayward faults. Earthquakes have different impacts dependent on the location of their foci, the point at which they originate from underground, the presence of land in the surrounding areas, but also the human factors such…show more content…
Despite generous donations of $0.96 billion from the USA and $0.84 million from Australia, as well as £300 million raised by UK based charities, the provision of food for 1.3 million by the World Food Programme was not sufficient as many died from water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid. Similarly in Kobe, the 5 hour delay in mobilising the self defence force meant that only 200 soldiers were immediately mobilised, possibly resulting in further preventable deaths. The Japanese authorities realised that more needed to be done and by 21st January, 4 days after the event, 30000 troops were in action. For some however, it was too late.
Land use in the two areas, a further human factor, was another cause of further deaths. The idyllic coastal resorts of the many islands that were destroyed by the tsunami in Thailand and Sri Lanka resulted in the deaths of 9000 foreign tourists. If an alternative land use had been present such as agriculture, this number is likely to have been lower. In Kobe the population density and close proximity of buildings in the cramped and crowded CBD is arguably another factor that resulted in an increased death toll. Indeed, 64 high rise buildings were destroyed by the earthquake, and only 19 were planned to be rebuilt under tighter planning laws that enforce wider thoroughfares and more open space to limit the impact of subsequent earthquakes in this sense. The 630m section of the Great Hanshin Expressway that collapsed could be

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