Discuss the View That the Impact of Earthquake Hazards Depends Primarily on Human Factors

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Discuss the view that the impact of earthquake hazards depends primarily on human factors. (40 marks) Earthquakes are caused by the movement of tectonic plates when the energy from friction is released on the earth’s surface. They occur at all plate boundaries; destructive, constructive and conservative. Every earthquake will be different, and there are many factors influencing the extent to which it will have an impact on the surrounding area and its population. In most earthquakes physical and human factors will play a part in how an area and the population are affected. All seismic activities will affect the structures, population and environment in different ways because there are many factors that can affect it. Human reasons can be due to the use of the land, how densely the area is populated and how well they are prepared for the situation. And then there are physical reasons for example, the type of plate boundary, what the surrounding area is like (e.g. are mudslides common), whether it’s a shallow, intermediate or deep focus earthquake and where the earthquake actually occurs (e.g. Out at sea, on land). The more people in a small space the more likely the death toll will be higher because there are more people in the affected area. This is why shanti towns and slums will be affected very badly because you have the highest density of the people here, with buildings that aren’t designed to survive earthquakes and this is because it’s the buildings that normally kill people. Therefore something else that it depends on are the building regulations, if the buildings are built to deal with the stresses of earthquakes, then they are less likely to fall, and therefore people are less likely to be killed by the buildings. There are more high rise buildings in cities, this will create a greater risk in cities because if these buildings cannot deal with the
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