Tectonic Hazard Profiles Determine the Way in Which People and Governments Respond to Hazards.’ Discuss. (Total 70 Marks)

1570 Words May 22nd, 2013 7 Pages
‘Tectonic hazard profiles determine the way in which people and governments respond to hazards.’ Discuss. (Total 70 marks)
Plan
Definition of tectonic hazard, plate movements, LEDCs, MEDCs, responses, people and governments (human responses)
Hazard profile sections of report: magnitude, frequency, predictability
Concepts and theories: models and diagrams
Case studies: LEDC Haiti earthquake, MEDC tsunami Japan, California, China
Introduction
Tectonic activity varies due to geographical location and position of tectonic plate boundaries. The Earth's crust is made up of continental and oceanic plates, which move across the surface of the planet, meeting at plate boundaries. Plate tectonics cause volcanic activity, tsunamis and
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In contrast, the Haiti earthquake of January 2010 was of a similar magnitude 7.0 quake, but caused up to 250,000 deaths. The lack of governmental aid and the long duration of time it took for help to arrive from abroad meant there was no immediate response so the human loss was high. 90% of the country’s population have little or no money and so cannot afford the safety resources or modifications in need to rebuild their lives, this meant the internal response process was very slow and is still ongoing with the country being an LEDC.

These examples show that human factors related to wealth and development are just as important in explaining responses as well as the physical factors, as the contrast of an LEDC and an MEDC show how the differences in political and economic power can have an impact on population.

Predictability Hazard observations are an important factor which can affect predictability. Although this isn’t the case with earthquakes, monetization of a volcano is easily achievable. Mt St
Helens was closely observed by satellites and therefore people were aware of the changes. They were therefore able to evacuate and 63 people died despite huge pyroclastic flows destroying vegetation up to 32km away from the volcano.

However, the Japan earthquake in 2011 with a Richter scale of 9.0 had over 15,000 deaths however 99% of these were from the impacts of the tsunami which happened thirteen minutes after the

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