How do governments respond to large volcanic and earthquake disasters - Research Paper Example

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How do governments respond to large volcanic and/ or earthquake disasters? Thousands of lives are lost or disrupted every year around the world due to geohazards such as earthquakes, volcano eruptions, tsunamis and landslides. Some of the most studied natural disasters that had severe human and economic consequences in recent years include N Honshu earthquake (March 2011) and accompanying tsunami in Japan, Chile earthquake and tsunami (February 2010), southern Haiti earthquake (January 2010), Sichuan- China earthquake (May 2008), undersea earthquake off Sumatra- Indonesia and tsunami (2004), central Taiwan earthquake (September 1999)…
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How do governments respond to large volcanic and earthquake disasters
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Download file to see previous pages Also, buildings that have remained intact or partially damaged need to be stabilized so that they do not collapse in the aftershocks that follow. To initiate rescue operations, Civil defense organizations need to get their disaster control centers immediately into the act. Most of the hazards to people come from man-made structures. Liquefaction occurring underneath a building can make the building lean, or collapse, or sink several feet (UPSeis – MichiganTech, 2007) (Fig. 1). Hence, liquefaction is a risk especially in areas where the groundwater table is high and the soil is sandy. Also, the strong surface waves generated by an earthquake can make the ground heave and lurch, and thereby cause damage to buildings. Another major earthquake hazard is fire due to broken gas lines and snapped power lines. The Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 made the city burn for three days (Fig. 2), and destroyed most of the city. Flooding due to cracking of dams and levees is yet another major earthquake hazard. ...
Government’s response to hazards from large volcanic eruptions and earthquakes It is not possible to ascertain if a volcano has become extinct. A volcano that lay dormant for 5000 years erupted in 1973 on Heimaey island near Iceland (USGS, 1983). Furthermore, the eruption of volcanoes can neither be prevented nor controlled. But knowledge of the type of eruption, that is, whether explosive or effusive will give an idea of the potential hazards, and that will help in determining the measures to be taken during a volcanic eruption. The problems due to volcanic eruptions will be compounded in the likely event of an earthquake occurring in conjunction with the eruption. Furthermore, volcanic activity can provoke atmospheric repercussions because of the billowing clouds of smoke and ash plumes (Fig. 4). Governments should keep the disaster management plan in readiness with help from the civic bodies as well as fire departments in the area to deal with the evacuation of people living in the path of lava flow, to combat fires caused by molten rock and hot cinders, to take appropriate steps to deal with atmospheric pollution from sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and acid vapors. It is not possible to carry out ground-based monitoring on all volcanoes around the world. But space-based monitoring through satellite radars can help identify the volcanoes presenting the greatest danger. The radars are able to track minute changes in the Earth's movement which facilitates prediction of ensuing volcanic eruptions (European Space Agency, 2007). In the case of earthquakes, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, there are 45 states ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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