Managing Earthquakes

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  • 1. Methods to Reduce the Impacts of Earthquakes
  • 2. In this lesson, you will understand that: • Various Methods can be used to Reduce the Impacts of Earthquakes 1. Planning the Location of Infrastructure 2. Designing Earthquake Resistant Infrastructure 3. Strengthening Existing Infrastructure 4. Education 5. Earthquake Monitoring and Warning Systems
  • 3. Problem: The collapse of infrastructure causes much economical damage and even deaths!
  • 4. Solution/Method/Measure/Adaptation: 1. Planning the location of infrastructure • Build new infrastructure away from earthquake prone areas to reduce economical damage and lower number of deaths caused by earthquakes • Authorities can implement guidelines on the location of new infrastructure and set limits on the heights of buildings
  • 5. Buildings are not too tall in earthquake-prone Japan!
  • 6. Example: • In USA, authorities use earthquake risk maps to control land use so as to minimise damage that may be caused by earthquakes
  • 7. Limitation: • The control of land use is difficult in cities of developing countries where there is high rural- urban migration and the country lacks resources to improve the situation • Poverty causes such migrants to construct their houses illegally on earthquake-prone zones, where they may suffer devasting effects of earthquakes
  • 8. Imagine the damage that earthquakes can cause to these slums in Mumbai!
  • 9. What is so special about this building in Japan?
  • 10. Solution/Method/Measure/Adaptation: 2. Designing Earthquake-Resistant Infrastructure • New infrastructure can be specially designed to withstand strong tremors by making use of the latest technology
  • 11. Earthquake Resistant Building Cross-bracing Shear walls Reinforce walls (concrete walls using two steel with steel bars beams in them) to reduce rocking Shock absorbers movements (base isolators) absorb tremors of earthquakes
  • 12. The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco cost S$75 million to build!
  • 13. Limitation: • People living in LDCs cannot afford to construct such expensive earthquake resistant infrastructure
  • 14. Problem: There are still more than 1.8 million older buildings that cannot withstand earthquake tremors in Tokyo
  • 15. Solution/Method/Measure/Adaptation: 3. Strengthening Existing Infrastructure • New infrastructure can be specially designed to withstand strong tremors and reduce damage from earthquakes by making use of technology
  • 16. Example: • Existing infrastructure can be reinforced by wrapping steel frames around the pillars of buildings and bridges, or by placing steel rods in existing structures
  • 17. Example: • Fireproof materials and automatic shut-off valves can be installed into gas pipes and electricity supplies to minimise the risk of fires in the event of an earthquake
  • 18. Limitation: • The effectiveness of seismic retrofitting is limited as the strengthened infrastructure may not be as strong as new earthquake resistant infrastructure
  • 19. Example of Limitation: • During the 1994 Northridge Earthquake in USA, many buildings and highways that had been strengthened with steel frames were badly damaged • However, new earthquake-resistant buildings in the same area remained undamaged Watch Quakewrap!
  • 20. Solution/Method/Measure/Adaptation: 4. Education on Emergency Procedure • Earthquake drills are conducted regularly in many earthquake-prone countries to educate and familiarise people on what to do in the event of an earthquake
  • 21. • Governments of earthquake-prone countries also use posters and signs to warn people about areas that are prone to the effects of earthquakes e.g. coastal areas where tsunamis can occur Watch TillySmith!
  • 22. Drills are boring.
  • 23. Limitation: • People tend to be complacent and may not see the importance of earthquake education especially if earthquakes have not happened in the region for a long time
  • 24. Example of Limitation: • Research shows that residents in Tokyo are less prepared for earthquakes than residents in other parts of Japan as the last Tokyo earthquake occurred more than 80 years ago in 1923
  • 25. Solution/Method/Measure/Adaptation: 5. Earthquake Monitoring and Warning Systems • Earthquake-prone areas should invest in seismometers and computers that can monitor tremors of the Earth or change in water levels • Authorities will then inform residents through sirens or public broadcasts of impending danger and begin mass evacuation
  • 26. Example: • In Haicheng, China, scientists identified changes in the ground level and increase in small tremors which are signs of an impending earthquake • Authorities were informed and people were warned to evacuate the city • 90 000 people were saved from the magnitude 7.3 earthquake that destroyed 90% of the city’s infrastructure
  • 27. Tsunami Monitoring and Warning System
  • 28. Limitation: • The effectiveness of an earthquake monitoring and warning system is limited • Authorities may choose to ignore warnings to avoid disruptions to business and tourism as • Predictions of scientists may not always be accurate and turn out to be false alarms
  • 29. In this lesson, you have understood that: • Various Methods can be used to Reduce the Impacts of Earthquakes 1. Planning the Location of Infrastructure 2. Designing Earthquake Resistant Infrastructure 3. Strengthening Existing Infrastructure 4. Education 5. Earthquake Monitoring and Warning Systems