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Earthquakes: The Same Effects, but Differing Responses Essay

Earthquakes are the result of energy release within the earth’s crust, as well as an immense natural hazard greatly affecting people – despite whether it is a more or less economically developed country. However, the way in which responses occur may differ between these regions. Underlying friction is the initial cause of earthquakes. As tectonic plates begin to shift, they are resistant and still held together by friction – whether with another plate, or the mantle. However, the force to shift the plate continues despite the friction against this force, until the force overpowers the friction and the plate moves; causing many impacts.

Some include shaking and ground rupture; resulting in more or less damage to infrastructure, landslides and avalanches; which can occur if slopes are produced from the earthquake; and fires, if the earthquake causes damage to electrical power or gas lines. Other impacts include those caused by water – such as a tsunami; if the earthquake has caused sudden or abrupt movement of large masses of water, and floods; which occur from an overflow of water onto land. Lastly, humans can be impacted as earthquakes can cause injury and loss of life.

Responses to earthquakes are affected by economic factors and types of technology available. Some immediate responses include rescue and medical teams taking action, tents given out to aid those affected, and emergency food and supplies distributed. Some long-term responses include re-built buildings, re-established water supplies, and tightened building laws to prevent damage in case of future natural hazards. Primary effects include buildings collapsing, roads to crack, bridges to fall, and several other factors.

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Some secondary effects include fires caused by broken gas pipes, diseases caused by corpses that haven’t been buried, and sewerage pipes bursting and later contaminating water supplies. As it is a natural hazard that occurs as the result of an energy release within the earth’s crust, at this moment, earthquakes are not preventable. However, scientists are currently conducting research towards these findings. So far, one measure taken to prevent earthquake damage is the construction of buildings.

In some places, new laws are being enforced with specific requirements and features of structures that are to be built – such as, for example, base of a building must be made of a material resistant to movement. There are several possible outcomes of earthquakes – therefore many different factors of aftermath. Some examples of earthquake aftermath in Haiti’s 7. 0 magnitude earthquake of January 2010 include water shortages, damaged infrastructure, and about 230,000 count death toll. So, earthquakes affect many peoples’ lives.

For example, earthquakes often leave people homeless, without water, or cause death. On the other hand, earthquakes not only affect the person within the region the natural disaster struck. All around the world, donations and fundraising occur to help the country replenish damaged infrastructure. The impacts of earthquakes are certainly very harsh – they can cause sincere damage, several deaths and additional natural hazards, such as fires. However, the impacts can have a different effect on LEDC’s and MEDC’s.

Because MEDC’s have the economical advantages that LEDC’s do not, they tend to have a quicker recovery from earthquake damage. For example, when comparing the Los Angeles earthquake of 1994 to the Kashmir earthquake of 2005, the responses are distinctively different. For instance, in Los Angeles, nearly all schools were re-opened after just one week, and all in three weeks. However, in Kashmir, the need for schools to be re-built and re-supplied was put off for much longer than three weeks. As mentioned previously, an earthquake greatly affected the community of the MEDC United States.

On January 7th, 2005, a 6. 7 magnitude earthquake struck Los Angeles, California. The fact that it was a MEDC played a huge role in the aftermath – both the immediate responses and the long-term responses. Primarily, the earthquake was responded to immediately as electricity supplies were repaired within hours, the Red Cross established emergency food and shelter in nearby buildings within hours, and people were rescued before the death-toll exceeded 57. Almost all schools were opened after just a week, and all were just after three.

So, after building new infrastructure and saving dozens of people, the United States was equipped with enough money and technology for repairs due to the earthquake. So, earthquakes have caused tragedy in MEDC’s; such as the USA, and LEDC’s; such as Pakistan – all leading up to great damages. However, the ability to repair from the earthquake is quite dependent on the economical position of the country. In conclusion, earthquakes are immense natural hazards that greatly affect people – despite it being an MEDC or LEDC.

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