Human response to earthquakes Fd by 8i9Q0a7B


									As you have seen in the case of San Francisco, earthquakes can be responsible for
many deaths. Despite this, people still live in earthquake prone areas. Many people
simply don’t want to leave their homes and jobs and in LEDCs, many people can not
afford to move anyway. Millions of people live in earthquake prone areas and it is
simply not feasible to move millions of people away from these areas. Therefore
we need to learn to live with earthquakes and reduce their impact as much as
possible. In order to do this, advance planning and preparation is required so
people know what to do in the event of a quake.

Can we predict earthquakes?
As earthquakes are natural phenomena, they can occur unexpectedly and are
therefore impossible to predict accurately. Despite the inability to predict
exactly when an earthquake will occur we can:

i)     monitor earth movements to monitor for any irregular movements using
       seismometers (but not all countries can afford the technology to constantly monitor earth
ii)    analyse past earthquake data to help forecast possible events.
iii)   look for possible signs that a quake may be about to occur. It has been
       recognised that some unusual natural events may occur prior to an
       earthquake. These include:
        unusual animal behaviour (recognised by Chinese scientists);
        changes in well water levels;
        swelling of rocks as cracks open up in them.

What safety precautions can we take?
As we are unable to prevent major earthquakes, to reduce the effects of
earthquake hazards, good planning is essential. As many deaths occur due to the
collapse of old or unstable buildings and roadways, it is important that such
buildings are designed to withstand earthquake vibrations and that they are built
on stable land. Reinforcing road and railways and designing buildings to be more
flexible (i.e. to move in the opposite way to the earthquake to counteract the
movement) are good examples. The following advice can also make people more

          check for loose objects;
          know how to switch off gas, electricity and water mains;
          carry out annual earthquakes drills (e.g. San Francisco April 18th) –
           practice what to do if an earthquake occurs.
          arrange where to be re-united with family in the event of an emergency;
          If indoors stay put. Get under a table or stand in a corner;
          If outdoors stay in an open area.
          Organise emergency supplies of food, clothes and medical supplies.

Put a heading “Monitoring earthquakes
   1. Copy out the following sentence:

   We cannot accurately predict earthquakes as they can occur without warming,
   however scientists are becoming more confident in monitoring earth movements
   and trying to predict when major earthquakes might occur.

   2. Answer the following questions in full sentences)…
      i.    what do we call the instrument used to monitor earth movements?
      ii.   why may it be more difficult to monitor and predict earthquakes in
      iii.  what unusual natural events are seen as predictions for possible
            earthquake activity?

Put the heading “Preparing for earthquakes”

   3. Copy and complete the following sentences using the missing words below:

As earthquakes cannot always be accurately predicted, good planning is essential to
reduce the damage caused. Buildings can be made __________ ________, by
reinforcing the __________________ or using ________ on the roof to counteract
the swaying movements caused by earthquakes. It is also important that houses are
not built on ___________ land. This can cause them to collapse easily in an
earthquake. Roads and Bridges should also be ____________ to prevent them
collapsing. Some cities, such as San Francisco have annual ___________ _______
to help practice what to do in the even to fan earthquake (e.g. April 18 th in San

 reinforced      earthquake drill        weights       foundations        unstable

                                 earthquake proof

To top