MEDC is an abbreviation for More Economically Developed Country so examples are France, Germany, Italy, the USA, so these are the rich countries. LEDC is diminutive for Lower Economically Developed Country. Examples of LEDCs are Zimbabwe, India, Bangladesh, but here there are also many more to mention.
Earthquakes occur along two tectonic plate margins (where plates meet). When plates move past, towards or away from each other the movement is not smooth. Friction causes the plates to be stuck. This causes pressure to build up. Earthquakes occur when this build up of pressure is released. The point where the earthquake starts is called the focus. Energy waves race rapidly from this point. The point at ground level, directly above the focus, is called the epicentre.
On Tuesday 12 January 2010 at 16:53, a huge earthquake, registering a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale, struck the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. Haiti has a history of destructive earthquakes but this was the worst in 200 years. The epicentre was near Lï¿½ogï¿½ne, 25 km west of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater on the Richter scale had been recorded. The US Geological Survey estimates that 3.5 million people lived in the area where ‘moderate to heavy’ damage occurred.
The Haitian government estimates that 230,000 people died, about 300,000 were injured and 1 million were made homeless out of a population of 10 million. Some 250,000 dwellings were destroyed or badly damaged. For any country, this would have been a major disaster. However, as a very poor nation, Haiti was particularly badly placed to cope with such an event. According to the World Bank (2008), Haiti’s gross domestic product per person is only 660 US dollars. This makes Haiti the poorest country in the western hemisphere. It is ranked 149th out of 182 countries on the human development index.
On Tuesday 17 January 1995 at 5:46, whilst many of its citizens were still asleep, the largest earthquake in Japan hit the Japanese city of Kobe since 1923. The Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake was not only powerful (7.2 magnitude on the Richter scale), but with the epicentre only 20 km southwest of the city, it resulted in massive damage to property and loss of life. More than 102,000 buildings were destroyed in Kobe, leaving over a fifth of the city population, some 300,000 people homeless. The local government’s estimate of the cost to restore the basic infrastructure of the city was about $150 billion dollars, and that was just for the state owned buildings and services. When all added up, it makes the Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake the most expensive natural disaster in modern history. All this damage was the result of just 20 seconds of earthquake.
Kobe vs. Haiti
Primary effects: Kobe and Haiti earthquake had many differences between the primary effects because in Haiti, 230,000 people died and in Kobe, only 6,434 people died, due to the face that Haiti is an LEDC which means that all the buildings and infrastructure were not strong enough to cause less deaths, while on the other hand, Kobe is an MEDC which means that the buildings and quality of infrastructure caused less deaths compared to Haiti.
As well as this, 300,000 people were injured in Haiti, whilst in Kobe only had 40,000 people injured. 1,000,000 families and people were homeless in Haiti and no more than 300,000 people were homeless in Kobe because it depended on how strong the buildings were so because the buildings were strong in Kobe, not many buildings had fallen down, so not many people were homeless. In Haiti, 250,000 dwellings were destroyed or badly damaged, and the electricity supplies were destructed. Kobe suffered from the railway lines buckling, gas mains rupturing, water pipes fracturing and sections of elevated roads collapsing.
Secondary effects: Haiti suffered many secondary effects. Some of the secondary effects were that the roads were blocked for up to 10 days. The main prison was wrecked and 4,000 inmates escaped. The airport had to shut down due to control tower damage. All the medical facilities were destroyed and most hospitals collapsed. The key buildings were flattered for example, The Main Cathedral, Universities and World Bank offices. Lastly, 2 million Haitians lived as squatters on land they did not own, while on the other hand, Kobe had not suffered as much as Haiti. 180,000 buildings were destroyed. 2 million homes had no electricity. 1 million homes without water for 10 days. The fires engulfed parts of the city dowering wooden structures damaged roads and the water supply attempted to extinguish them, impossible. The damage caused was an excess of 220 billion dollars and the economy suffered.
Immediate responses: The short term or immediate responses for Kobe and Haiti were mostly similar. Aid was sent to both the countries to help the people who suffered and were injured in the earthquake. At Kobe, hospitals struggled to cope with the injured, treating people and operating corridors, whereas, Haiti did not have any hospitals to treat the people who were anguish with pain. In Haiti, the USA sent out 10,000 troops to help dig out the survivors beneath all the fallen buildings and houses. Haiti also had charities like Oxfam send out food to them, although Kobe were still able to provide the sufferers food and water. Different charities and countries raised money and sent help with the recovery, for example, George Clooney organised a TV charity night to help raise money for the poor and who weren’t able to afford money to buy food and water.
The Chinese team had followed and so did many other teams to help the Haitians. Iceland has sent aid in 24 hours to Haiti. In Kobe, friends and neighbours searched through the rubble for survivors, joined by the emergency services when access was possible. As well as this, major retailers, such as 7-Eleven helped to provide essentials and Motorola maintained telephone connections free of charge, whereas Haiti did not have any way of letting the survivors talk to their friends and family.
Long Term Responses: Kobe and Haiti had many dissimilar long term responses because, in Haiti, more had been destroyed, while in Kobe, less had been destroyed, which makes a differentiation to how long it took the government to rebuild everything. In Haiti, Americans Red Cross raised 57,000 dollars in 24 hours. Many countries offered financial aids including UK. The UN increased relief appeal to 1.4 US billion dollars. Everyone donated millions of money to facilitate the underprivileged, helpless people in Haiti. Aid is still being collected today and food is handed out to Haiti, as they are still distress about what happened on the 12th January.
Numerous countries are still continuing to send out tents and pledging to give them money. However, Kobe took longer to restore the road network – most was operational by July, although it was not until September 1996, that the Hanshin Expressway was fully open again. A year later, the port was 80% functioning, but much of the island container shipping business had been lost. New buildings were built further apart to prevent the domino effect, which is a series of similar or related events occurring as a direct and inevitable result of one initial event. High-rise buildings had to have flexible steel frames; others were built of concrete frame reinforced with steel instead of wood. In most buildings, rubber blocks were put under bridges and along the outside of buildings, to absorb shocks.
Why do they differ?
One of the crucial factors in determing the severity of the effects caused by an earthquake is the magnitude of the quake. The magnitude of an earthquake is measured on the Richter scale, which is logarithmic (hence, each level of magnitude is 10 times greater than the one before it on the scale). However, magnitude is not the only factor to be taken into consideration.
1. Location of the Epicentre
The epicentre is the point on the surface directly above the focus (start of the earthquake). It is at this point, where the energy from an earthquake is usually at its greatest. The distance from the epicentre therefore has a big impact.
2. Level of development of the Country
Earthquakes, which occur in the richer countries of the world, often have fewer fatalities simply due to the greater state of preparedness, which is facilitated by the greater amount of money available to put into earthquake research, monitoring and preparation.
3. Time of the Day / Time of Year
If an earthquake occurs at night, most people are in bed. In areas where buildings collapse easily this can result in a higher death toll, although in areas where fewer buildings are likely to collapse and where deaths are often higher due to collapsing roadways / falling debris, fewer people may die if the quake occurs at night. The time of year can also be important due to seasonal differences in temperature, which can exacerbate the effects of a quake. Where conditions are much warmer, this can facilitate more rapid decay of bodies and lead to an increase in the spread of disease following a quake, particularly in areas where access to clean water is poor.
4. Population Density
An area of dense population is likely to experience more deaths than a rural area simply due to a greater likelihood of people being affected by the quake and more buildings, road networks and bridges, which may collapse. A major difficulty however in earthquakes, which occur in rural areas, is getting rescue teams and aid to the affected areas.
5. Land that buildings are constructed on
Where buildings are constructed on soft granular sediments or areas of landfill, the effects of an earthquake maybe more severe due to the process of liquefaction. This process, which results in ground failure, occurs when ground shaking causes water to rise, filling pore spaces between granular sediments, increasing pore water pressure and causing the sediment to act as a fluid rather than a solid. This can result in the collapse of overlying buildings, roads etc.
The earthquakes be at variance in many altered ways because it depends on whether the country is an LEDC or MEDC. Even today, Haiti is suffering because it’s an LEDC, even though, Kobe had a more destructive earthquake, they don’t have any more problems because it’s an MEDC, which makes it the most common factor out of everything.