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How Do the Effects and Responses of Earthquakes Differ in Countries of Different Economic Status?

  • Date Submitted: 04/09/2013 02:42 AM
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How do the effects and responses of earthquakes differ in countries of different economic status?
On the 12th may 2008 Sichuan in China suffered from an earthquake, although China is an NIC Sichuan is one of the poorest states and so the responses and effects of the earthquake will be very different to those in an MEDC such as the 1995 Kobe earthquake.
Perhaps the most contrasting effect of the earthquake is the death rate; 6 500 in Kobe and 70 000 in Sichuan. Sichuan is such a poor area and many people in there live in poverty, the structure of the buildings is very poor and due to this and the high population density was one of the reasons for the high death rate. In Sichuan only 5 million buildings collapsed leaving 4.8 million people homeless whereas in Kobe only 200 000 buildings collapsed. One of the main types of buildings that collapsed was schools. This was especially detrimental because the earthquake occurred during school times; almost 20 000 school children were thought to have died because of this. That is more than the total death rate of the Kobe earthquake. Due to fact that the earthquakes happened in different areas, the secondary effects were very different. The main impacts in Sichuan, an already devastatingly poor place, the loss of their crops (and, for some, their only source of income) has meant that they will sink further into debt. In Kobe aftershocks caused pipe damage, resulting in fires and gas and water shortages. There was also mass congestion and traffic chaos on the roads, as many of the bridges had been damaged during the quakes.
Partially because of the different effects and partially because of the different attitudes of Japan and China the responses to the earthquake were very different. Sichuan focused more on the social responses. Although rock and mudslides meant that rescuers couldn’t get there immediately, 20 helicopters and thousands of troops were sent to rescue trapped survivors and to get medical attention to those...


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