Factors influencing extent of earthquake damage
1. magnitude of earthquake
The mount of damage caused by an earthquake may depend on the strength of the force it released. The strength or magnitude of an earthquake is measured using the Richter Scale which ranges from 0 to 9. Most people may not even notice the occurrence of n earthquake measuring less than 3 on the Richter Scale. Note that the impact worsens as the magnitude increases.
2. Distance from epicentre
Places near the epicentre of an earthquake generally receive the strongest shock waves. Hence, they are most likely to experience the greatest damage. For example, during the 1993 Maharashtra Earthquake in India, which had a magnitude of 6.4 on the Richter Scale, there were more deaths in the village of Killari than in the village of Killari in the village of Gulbarga. This was because Killari was nearer to the epicentre of the earthquake compared to Gulbarga.
3. Population Density
If the population density of an earthquake-prone area is high, the chances of many people being killed or injured during an earthquake will be high. For example, even though the earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska in 1964 had a high magnitude of 9.2, its death toll was only 115. This is due to the fact that Anchorage had a small and sparse population then.
4. Type of Soil
During an earthquake, people who live in areas with soft soil tend to be affected more greatly. Soft soil tends to amplify the effects of an earthquake, making it more likely for infrastructure to collapse. During the 1985 Mexico City Earthquake, there was more damage in Mexico City compared to the resort town of Acapulco which was nearer to the epicentre. The reason for this may be that Mexico City lies on soft soil which amplified the effects of the tremors. Thus, Mexico City is at a risk of greater damage during an earthquake than other towns and cities around it.
5. Level of preparedness
Often, when people are prepared for an earthquake,...