‘the Extent to Which the Earthquake Hazard Can Be Managed Depends on a Country’s Level of Development.’

1768 Words Feb 23rd, 2012 8 Pages
A ‘hazard’ can be defined as a geophysical process operating within the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere or biosphere which could potentially lead to the loss of human life or property. However, an earthquake only becomes hazardous and therefore needs management if it occurs within close proximity to a vulnerable population. To some extent, any human settlement around the world situated close to or on top of an area of seismic activity is vulnerable. However, not all nations suffer equal devastation.

90% of hazard related deaths occur in LEDCs but 75% of hazard related economic losses occur in MEDCs. These figures highlight the vast differences in scale but also the type of impacts nations’ experience. This is largely due to the
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It’s clear that for such a vast difference in death toll, the extent to which the two countries were able to manage the quake must have been dependent on their levels of development as all other factors were very similar.

Before an earthquake even occurs it is possible to predict roughly where and when it will happen due to detailed seismic records and sophisticated technology such as radon gas emissions, remote sensing and low-frequency electromagnetic activity. In MEDCs like the US, especially around California, dedicated groups of scientists devote their careers to the investigation of earthquake hazards and management. They have access to the latest technology, computers and forecasting to enable them to find out and report back to the wider population about any possible risks. However, in LEDCs like Iran, researching and educating their population about earthquakes is not a priority. Their main goal is to develop their profitable oil reserves and they are still relatively underdeveloped in comparison to the US with a GDP per capita of $818.7 billion compared with America’s $14.66 trillion. The fact that they are not fully developed as a nation puts them at an immediate disadvantage in terms of their ability to prepare for an earthquake.
One of the main methods used to
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