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Gujarat and Sanfrancisco Earthquake Essay Sample

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Gujarat and Sanfrancisco Earthquake Essay Sample

The aim of the enquiry is to find out what the factors were, which led to more people dying in the Gujarat earthquake in 2001, then the San Francisco earthquake in 1989. The Gujarat earthquake started at 8:46 am on Friday 26th January 2001. The earthquake struck the heavily populated (LEDC) state of Gujarat in western India. The earthquake measured 7.9 on the Richter scale and sent tremors thousands of kilometres across the continent. It was so large that it was felt as far away as Pakistan and Bangladesh. The earthquake lasted just 45 seconds but caused incredible damage. More then 160,000 people were injured and 800,000 buildings were damaged, which was 90% of the total buildings. One million people were left homeless because of this. All four hospitals and eight schools in the area were destroyed. In damage estimates it came to $5.5 billion. The San Francisco earthquake started at 5:04pm on 17th October 1989.

The earthquake took place in San Francisco, California USA (MEDC) measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale. Like the Gujarat earthquake it caused massive damage. The big tremors of the earthquake proved too much for the previously earthquake proof Nimitz highway. The upper deck shook and wobbled before completely collapsing onto the lower deck. It squashed the traveling vehicles and the passengers inside into gaps only 12 inches high. Everyone in the San Francisco felt the earthquake hit but only some escaped their homes before their ceilings and walls collapsed. 2000 people were left homeless and about 60 people died whilst 3000 were injured. In damage estimates it came to $7.billionIn Gujarat the buildings were not designed to withstand earthquakes and were very poorly built.

The rescue services were also poor as they were not fully prepared and arrived too late to help hundreds of people. This is one of the main factors why so many people died. The collapsed highway was also a large factor because it blocked the roads and hindered rescue teams. The magnitude of the earthquake was larger then the San Francisco earthquake therefore causing more buildings to collapse. Many people also died from the limited medical facilities. Due to the poorly built buildings collapsing, many people were left without food, water and shelter. All four hospitals in the area had been destroyed meaning people could not get the medical attention they needed. This could also cause a spread of diseases causing the remaining, healthy people to die.

On the other hand in San Francisco the buildings were designed stronger and overall better. They had highly trained rescue teams that reached the area in minutes. Helicopters were also used to evacuate the injured and hospitals were put on red alert. Many of the big fires were also controlled by trained crews. The electricity and gas was reconnected in a matter of hours, meaning people could stay warm and dry.

In conclusion I think that the main reason why more people died in the Gujarat earthquake then the San Francisco is because of the poor rescue services. If the rescue teams had been faster and more efficient, then a lot more lives would have been saved.

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