The recent Iran and California earthquakes have caused many deaths between them and have made many people aware of how serious the threat of earthquakes is to humans.
The recent Iran earthquake which hit the town of Bam situated in the south eastern part of the country has taken many casualties with it many of whom have died reports at the moment suggest that up to 30,000 people have either been injured or have died in this earthquake. With a magnitude of only 6.3 on the Richter scale the earthquake took so many lives because of a lack of shock absorbers in buildings which the services had not provided to buildings which could have damage inflicted upon them easily.
The people of the town of Bam had no knowledge of what to do in the event of an earthquake this was due to poor service from the earthquake authorities in Iran as they are well aware that Iran is a centre point for earthquake activity.
Sub standard construction were the main cause of death, as many people’s houses could not stand the stress put upon them from the earthquake many died because their houses collapsed on them. Reports suggest that many of the buildings were made of mud and weak brick these were then covered with a heavy roof. The lower part of the buildings could not cope with the weight of the heavy roof therefore collapsing.
The city of Bam was urbanised to a high extent as there had been a rapid growth in population and many people had decide on constructing there on houses. By constructing their houses by themselves people had not constructed them to a high quality and had used cheap materials again this caused the houses to collapse on them.
People were not able to get medical treatment in the aftermath of the Earthquake as the town’s two hospitals had been destroyed in the quake.
In contrast to the Bam earthquake a similar type of earthquake occurred in the same time period in California it measured 6.5 on the Richter scale and shook the coast from Los Angeles to San Francisco. It is reported that buildings swayed but did not fall only three people died in the quake.
Despite this quake being stronger than the one that took place in Iran it did not have as many casualties despite the area being heavily populated. The reason for this were because the buildings had Shock absorbers on them as the authorities knew that California lies on a destructive plate boundary and therefore tectonic activity is likely to take place on it.
The people living in this area were well informed by the earthquake authorities and they knew what to do in the event of an earthquake. The government had also provided the earthquake authorities with money in order for them to protect the area as much as possible emergency services were also ready in the event of casualties.
The main difference between the two earthquakes was that the people in the city of Bam were not prepared for an earthquakes the government had not set aside provisions for earthquake authorities and therefore buildings had not been strengthened etc. Also being a developing country the government has very little money to provide to authorities such as the earthquake ones.
However the earthquake that took place in California did not take as many causalities and there was no damage to buildings this was because the authorities were prepared and knew exactly what to do they had provided the people with information on what to do when in an earthquake they had also strengthened bridges and buildings to limit the destruction in the quake. Most importantly the government had provided them with money to do this in. Without the money it is difficult to do anything.
However if the Iranian government had spent money in the first place it would have cost them less then what they have to spend after the Quake has taken place.
This table shows the differences between the two earthquakes:
6.5 on the Richter scale
6.3 on the Richter scale
30,000 death and casualties so far
No damage to buildings
Large amount of damage
Government provide money to deal with earthquakes
No money provided to deal with earthquakes
Authorities well equipped
Emergency services ready
Emergency services are not ready
Buildings have shock absorbers
No shock absorbers poorly built
People know what to do in the event of an earthquake
People have no idea of what to do in the event of an earthquake
Plans in the event of an earthquake
No plans in the event of an earthquake
Lots of money
Little amount of money
There were very few similarities between the Iran and California earthquakes the only ones being they were both around the same magnitude 6.3 and 6.5. They both occurred on destructive plate boundaries. They both took casualties and they both occurred in places that had experienced earthquakes before. These were the only similarities between the two earthquakes.
Earthquakes unlike other natural disasters are difficult to predict before they occur the only real sign is small tremors before the main quake. Therefore people must always be prepared for earthquakes especially in areas where they are frequent. Buildings should be reinforced, escape routes thought out, emergency services prepared, people fully aware, authorities have full details and are able to predict as soon as possible that an earthquake is inevitable.
These are some of things that people should be aware of in the event of an earthquake. The above points should be implemented in order to make an area as safe as possible from an earthquake.