The extent to which tectonic processes represent a hazard depends upon when and where they are experienced

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The extent to which tectonic processes represent a hazard depends upon when and where they are experienced (40) A hazard can best be defined as a 'situation that poses a level of threat to life, health, property or the environment.' The overall impact of earthquakes as a natural hazard varies greatly from one place and timeframe to another. As do the types of hazards, which are categorised into primary and secondary. Primary hazards are created by the direct seismic energy of an earthquake; this could include liquefaction, slope failure and tsunamis. These primary hazards can in turn trigger secondary hazards such as floods, fires, disease and destabilisation of infrastructure. A number of factors play a part in determining the severity…show more content…
This has been seen in Montserrat on 25th June 1997 when 19 people died and seven people were injured and this was mostly due to the lack of planning and management. Another influential factor that affects the degree of the hazard is where the epicentre is closer to a rural or urban area. Rural area tend to cope with earthquakes much better as there are less buildings that are likely to collapse and rural areas are typically sparsely populated, therefore a smaller amount of people are likely to be affected by the impacts of the earthquake. However, rural areas are less likely to have the infrastructure that could cope with the impacts of a serious earthquake whereas cities do, e.g. earthquake buildings. Many people in rural areas also have less knowledge of the impacts of earthquakes and may not know how to respond during or after the quake. In densely populated urban areas such as L’Aquila, Italy the effects of earthquakes can be much more detrimental as gas pipes can burst, habitats can be lost and thousands of buildings can be damaged. These in turn can have negative secondary affects for example in L’Aquila 70,000 people were made homeless and the bursting of gas pipes resulted in the spread of fire across the city, causing more damage. Time of day can also affect the outcome of a tectonic hazard. If a volcanic eruption occurs over night the level of danger is often increased as most

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