Before discussing the harmful effects of earthquakes lets study
How does an earthquake occur?
For Details Click Here.
What are the Harmful Effects of Earthquakes?
(1) Damage to human structures – Earthquakes cause great damage to human structures such as buildings, roads, rails, factories, dams, bridges etc, and thus cause heavy damage to human property.
(2) Landslides-The shocks produced by earthquakes particularly in hilly areas and mountains which are tectonically sensitive causes landslides and debris fall on human settlements and transport system on the lower slope segments, inflicting damage to them.
(3) Fires- The strong vibrations caused by severe earthquakes strongly shake the buildings and thus causing severe fires in houses, mines and factories because of overturning of cooking gas, contact of live electric wires, churning of blast furnaces, displacement of other fire related and electric appliances.
(4) Flash Floods- Strong seismic waves cause damage to dams thereby causing severe flash floods. Severe floods are also caused because of blocking of water flow of rivers due to rock blocks and debris produced by severe tremors in the hill slopes facing the river valleys. Sometimes the blockage is so severe that rivers change their main course.
(5) Deformation of Ground surface– severe tremors and resultant vibrations caused by earthquakes result in the deformation of ground surface because of rise and subsidence of ground surface and faulting activity( formation of faults).
(6) Tsunamis– The seismic waves caused by earthquake( measuring more than 7 on richter scale) travelling through sea water generate high sea waves and cause great loss of life and property.
What are the earthquake safety rules?
Before an earthquake
1- Ensure that water heaters and gas appliances are firmly fixed and shut off when not in use, as they can cause fire hazards during an earthquake.
2- Conduct occasional home earthquake drills so that your family has the knowledge to avoid unnecessary injuries and panic in the event of an earthquake.
3- Evacuate old damaged buildings as they are sure to down first during the earthquake.
4- Be aware to tackle situations of earthquake while at home, driving a car or in a public place.
During the Earthquake
1- Do not panic.
2- Go to an open space away from the building. If not possible, then take shelter under a desk, table, bench or corner of walls.
3- Stay away from glass.
4- Do not use candles, matches or open fires in the event of an earthquake.
5- Try to stop as soon as possible while driving a car, and stay inside only until the tremor stops.
After the Earthquake
1- Expect after shocks.
2- Turn off gas and electricity.
3- Do not use light matches, and avoid turning on switches as there may be leaked gas which may catch fire.
4- Do not go near by damaged buildings.
5- Keep away from rivers and sea shores as huge waves may sweep in.