Nepal Earthquake: Why do some vibration can be deadly?

The earthquake in Chile was not widely discussed media, while disasters in Nepal resulted in complete and total destruction. How similar the two earthquakes that can cause different effects?

Most of the answer, of course, building standards and wealth.

Since the big quake in Chile in 1960 (with a strength of 9.5 on the Richter scale), with a death toll of 5,500 people, the country has made a number of major changes to modernize their buildings, in order to hold the event of a large earthquake. Earthquake kit list


While in Nepal, only a few buildings are made to follow the standards, and many of which collapsed when the earthquake.

But wealth and building standards regulations have not describe all conditions: geology there any different.

Nepal is located in the junction between two continental plates (where India collided with Asia) and sesaran Nepal quake was hidden: the fault mostly buried underground and surface cracks quickly covered by mud after rains and dense forests.

Furthermore, the speed collisions between continental plates (about 4,5cm each year) means that a large earthquake hit Nepal only once in decades.

Lessons from Chile

While in Chile fault is obvious – a large trough in the bottom of the Pacific Ocean below South America shifts at nearly 10cm per year – and the large earthquakes that occur each year, so the earthquake resistance is a priority.

As the collision zone between the continental shelf, the problems facing Nepal is quite simple and has been studied quite well.

Indeed, geologists have identified the fault segment Nepal’s most vulnerable just a few weeks before the deadly earthquake struck.

Other countries are located in the continental plate collision zone is also facing a problem, because the widespread earthquake fault stretching thousands of kilometers in the ground.

Throughout the Mediterranean to Indonesia, situated earthquake fault network, which was created by forging plate of Africa, Arabia and India towards the Eurasian plate. Major cities – including Istanbul, Tehran, Tabriz and Ashkhabad – located on some of the most dangerous surface on Earth.

“Because cesarean continental too limited, they are less likely to crack, with some faults that cracked only once every few thousand years – well beyond human memory or recorded history,” said James Jackson, a geologist from the University of Cambridge, England, who heads the organization earthquakes Without Frontiers , a project to improve resistance to earthquakes.

Since 1900, earthquakes in fault continents have merenggutl lives of two times more than the earthquake that occurred on sea borders and continents.

Over the past few years, Jackson and his colleagues have been tracking the fault-fault elusive continent in Iran, Kazakhstan and China.

Using satellite images with high resolution, they can see anomalies on the surface that suggests the location of the fault.

Meanwhile, reflection seismic helps to illustrate what lies underground. And back in the lab, the scientists studied satellite photographs of the surface of the earth usual to monitor the deformation of the surface of the planet.

“We can see exactly where Earth is being stretched apart or fragmented, so that allows us to map the parts of the Earth that is under great pressure,” said Richard Walters of the University of Leeds, a member of the Earthquakes Without Frontiers .

In the case of Nepal, this information is already widely available, and indeed a lot of research has been done by local organizations (such as the National Society for Earthquake Technology ) to prepare for a large earthquake next – trained masons, strengthen schools and hospitals, educate residents of the earthquake and collect vital resources.

“It seems there is a loss of lives which is much less than what is expected to be caused by a massive earthquake (although the number of victims could still increase to tens of thousands) and there is evidence that the program of the government of Nepal and several nonprofits indeed save lives,” said Philip England , a geologist at the University of Oxford, is also part of the team Earthquakes without Frontiers .

At least, the earthquake in Nepal will hopefully highlight to the international community the importance of improving earthquake resistance.

“Five times more money is spent on the response [to the earthquake] rather than helping people to prepare,” said Katie Peters, from the Overseas Development Institute in London, told Sky News earlier this week.

The first results of the EU Satellite Sentinal 1 indicates that the earthquake last Saturday in Nepal no cracks the surface, and may be a significant strain are still stored in the segment of the fault, and that a large earthquake could hit the country in the next few decades.

“Despite this terrible disaster, the impact is potentially much worse. We hope that this event becomes a trigger for a more positive outcome for the future,” said England.

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