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Gcse Restless Earth Case Study

Two years after the earthquake...

  • 80% of the rubble had been cleared
  • 350,000 people still living in tents
  • Only 111,000 out of the 125,000 shelters planned had been built
  • Not all the money promised in aid had been sent, making recovery difficult
  • There is a shortage of safe, clean water
  • Only 18% of the required homes had been built

Managing Earthquake & Volcanic Hazards
The difficulties of predicting these hazards are that we don’t know…
  • When it will happen
  • Exactly where it will happen
  • How big it will be
  • What other impacts it may have
  • How many people live there
However, there are things we can look out for.
Signs of a volcano nearing eruption
  • Animals and birds moving out from an area
  • An increase in gas emissions – When a volcano is close to erupting it starts to release gases such as sulphur. The higher the content of these gases, the closer it is to erupting.
  • An increase in soil temperature – The temperature around a volcano will increase when it is about to erupt. We can use thermal imaging cameras to detect these heat changes
  • The volcano swelling
  • An increase in small earthquakes – As the magma moves up through the cracks in the earth’s crust, many small earthquakes are set off.
  • Water in ponds getting warmer
  • Because it is very hard to predict when an earthquake or volcano is going to happen, people need to be prepared for when one may occur. People can…
  • Create an exclusion zone around the volcano
  • Make sure they have an evacuation plan
  • Have an emergency supply of basic provisions such as food and water
  • Ensure that money is available to deal with the emergency
  • Ensure that a good communication system is in place
  • Do earthquake drills so they know what to do in the event of a real earthquake
  • Build earthquake proof buildings. In San Francisco, the Transamerica Pyramid was designed to absorb the energy of an earthquake and withstand the movement of the Earth
  • Build roads and bridges to withstand the power of an earthquake

What is needed after a natural disaster - Case Study

  • The Izmit earthquake struck 55 miles east of Istanbul, Turkey near the industrial city of Izmit
  • It happened on August 17th at 3:02am local time and lasted 45 seconds.
  • The rate of urbanisation in Turkey had been rapidly increasing and with the huge amount of people in the city and lack of housing, people resorted to building their own houses.
  • More than half the population in Istanbul is living in illegal accommodation says Turkey's Chamber of Commerce.
  • So when the earthquake struck, it was these self-built houses and illegal houses which didn't meet building regulations that collapsed leaving people trapped in their houses.
  • Trained volunteers to help the injured people
  • Clean water to prevent the spread of disease
  • Food – shops, towns, roads and farms are often damaged
  • Radio communication – phones often don’t work
  • Medical help
  • A plan to evacuate the area if necessary
Immediate response and relief efforts

  • International Aid
  • A Swiss team of 98 rescue experts and 18 dogs
  • The EU said it was sending $2.1 million in aid
  • Britain donated $800,000 | Germany provided $560,000 | Ireland added $270,000 | Swiss charities promised $2333,000 | Finnish Red Cross gave $50,000
  • Many of the survivors were left to help with the rescue effort
  • Hospitals made triage and were poorly prepared lacking basic medical equipment
  • Canine search + rescue
Criticisms of the Turkish Authorities
  • Inadequate detection system which resulted in relief agencies sending too little aid
  • Government responded slowly
  • Failure to provide maps, interpreters and information to foreign aid helpers.

Case studies

Kobe, Japan, 1995 (MEDC)

On 17th January 1995, an earthquake struck Kobe, a heavily populated urban area in Japan. It measured 7.4 on the Richter scale and occurred as a result of plate movement along the boundary between the Philippines Plate, Pacific Plate and Eurasian Plate.


  • Primary effects happen immediately. Secondary effects usually occur as a result of the primary effects.
Primary effectsSecondary effects

35000 people injured.

Buildings and bridges collapsed despite their earthquake proof design.

Buildings destroyed by fire when the gas mains fractured.

316000 people left homeless and refugees moved into temporary housing.


These can be divided into short and long term.

Short termLong term

People were evacuated and emergency rations provided.

Rescue teams searched for survivors for 10 days.

Many people moved away from the area permanently.

Jobs were created in the construction industry as part of a rebuilding programme.

Kashmir, Pakistan, 2005 (LEDC)

On 8 October 2005, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale hit the Kashmir region of Pakistan. The earthquake was the result of collision between the Indian and Eurasian plates.


Primary effectsSecondary effects

Buildings collapsed.

79,000 people were killed.

Landslides, and large cracks appeared in the ground.

Broken sewerage pipes contaminated water supplies and spread disease.

People died of cold during the harsh winter.


Short termLong term

The army and emergency services arrived to join the rescue effort.

Tents were given out by charities.

Aid workers arrived from abroad to find survivors and treat the injured.

Schools and hospitals were rebuilt.

Building regulations were improved to reduce damage and the death rate in future earthquakes.

Now try a Test Bite.

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