Technology Is The Best Way To Reduce The Impact Of An Earthquake To What Extent Do You Agree With This View

1136 words - 5 pages

‘Technology is the best way to reduce the impact of an earthquake’ to what extent do you agree with this view? (40 marks)

An earthquake is a sudden violent shaking of the ground, typically causing great destruction, as a result of movements within the earth’s crust or volcanic action. Impacts of an earthquake can include short-term impacts such as fatalities, or long-term impacts such as income lost through lack of tourism. Technology can be used to predict the likelihood of an earthquake occurring in a particular area, for example by detecting plate movement, and this can reduce the impacts of an earthquake in return. This essay will discuss whether technology is the best way to reduce ...view middle of the document...

Tsunamis are usually caused by tectonic displacement of the ocean floor often resulting in an underwater earthquake. This happened on Boxing Day in 2004 in the Indian Ocean where there was a 1000km thrust fault from a release of stress along the constructive-destructive plate boundary. No technology was in place to detect such a disaster and, although scientists knew a tsunami was likely to hit Southern Asia, most of the warnings were too late and the first TV broadcasts in Thailand even happened after the waves had hit. Up to 290,000 people were killed and thousands of bodies are still missing to this day. Since this disaster, a tsunami warning system has been put in place in the Indian Ocean and technology such as this is almost guaranteed to prevent such a high death toll for the future. There is a strong argument that if such technology was implemented before 2004, then thousands of lives could have been saved through evacuation and similar measures. Technology is the best way to reduce the impacts of earthquakes because they can predict a upcoming earthquake, allowing residents of an area time to evacuate to safe land, saving many lives. However, there are many other ways of reducing the impacts of earthquakes and technology has its limitations.

The effectiveness of earthquake monitoring and warning systems are limited as many authorities choose to ignore warning signs to avoid disruption to businesses and tourism. Also, predictions of scientists may not always be accurate and many turn out to be false alarms, which means many people are reluctant to believe that an earthquake is genuinely going to occur if they have previously evacuated for no reason. It can be argued that technology is a very good way of reducing the impacts of an earthquake but there are other, more successful ways. Examples of this include strengthening existing infrastructure as new infrastructure can be specially designed to withstand strong tremors, which directly reduces the likelihood of damage from earthquakes as it is the surroundings that cause the most damage from an earthquake as opposed to the actual tremors. For example, the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Los Angeles reinforced its existing infrastructure by wrapping steel framed around its pillars and placing steel rods in the exiting structure. Planning the location of infrastructure can...

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