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Comparative investigation of seismic hazards and approaches to mitigation - Essay Example

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Comparative investigation of seismic hazards and approaches to mitigation Introduction “A seismic hazard at a site is defined as a quantitative estimation of the most possible ground shaking at the site”. Probabilistic approach or the deterministic approach is considered to obtain it…
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Comparative investigation of seismic hazards and approaches to mitigation
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The occurrence of earthquake in future is expected. The Asian countries are one of the most earthquake-prone nations in the world. To make sure that the infrastructure of the country and other losses caused by the natural catastrophe is minimized certain mitigation approaches are taken up by the countries. The devastating nature of the earthquake has made many countries carry on extensive research and development programs like hazard assessment and disaster response program. Japan- the seismic hazards and its mitigation approach The Seismologists in Japan are of the opinion that Japan is yet to face a large-scale devastating earthquake, which might strike the region of Kanto, Tokai and Nankai. Intensive efforts are being taken by the country to mitigate the disasters and minimize the economic impact of the earthquakes (Office of technology Assessment Washington Dc, 149). This has resulted into extensive research and development of disaster related programs to combat the earthquake. Japan is an “archipelago” in the Pacific, which is separated by the Sea of Japan from the east coast of Asia. The four main island of the nation are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. The nation is one of the most crowded and densely populated regions in the world. About 125 million people live in the cities along the coast. The closest neighbors of the nation are Korea, Russia and China. Japan is situated at a region where several continental plates like the Eurasian, the Philippine Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the North American plates converge- an important reason that the country faces frequent earthquakes and volcanoes. The largest earthquakes have occurred in the Philippine Sea and Pacific plates. Japan experienced the most devastating earthquake in the year 1923 on September 1st – the Great Kanto Earthquake. In the span of a minute 1 lakh people were dead and over 3 lakhs buildings were destroyed. The forces were so great that it lifted the southern bay as high as upto 2 m (6.6 ft) and also raised the distant land of Tokyo to 10 cm (4 in) and experienced a horizontal movement of 20cm (8in). The giant waves- tsunami that was generated by the tremor of the earthquake washed away ships inland and it swept people and houses out of the sea. The geographical situation of the country makes it earthquake prone- in one year it witnessed as many as 5000 earthquakes. After the devastating earthquake of 1923, the Japanese government imposed seismic codes based on the performance of certain buildings in Tokyo during that time. And it was after that there came in many advances in the earthquake engineering research, seismic codes and the construction practices of the city. The Japanese designing codes were a two-stage design process that was taken up. The first phase includes an analysis approach and the second phase involved an explicit assessment of the buildings, whether they will be able to withstand the severe ground motions. The construction companies in Japan spend a considerable amount on the research and development work annually including “testing of scaled building models in large in- house laboratories and research into passive and active control technologies” (Office of Technology Assessment Washington Dc, 149). The countermeasures taken up by the country included three important aspects- the making of the city more disaster resistant, strengthening the disaster prevention system of the city like tsunami warning system and raising awareness and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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