Over the years, earthquakes have been some of the most destructive natural disasters causing human death. Human activities form part of the factors that contribute to the increase in the number of fatalities that are earthquake-related. The exponentially burgeoning number of earthquakes, as well as earthquake-related deaths, baffles most of the world’s geologists; with some clinging to believe that the rise is merely a random natural occurrence. The paper endeavors to argue in support of the evidence-based proposition that there have been more deaths from earthquakes this decade than the last one.
Humans are susceptible to natural disasters every day among them being earthquakes. Earthquakes are geological events in the earth’s crust that generate strong vibration that often occasions damage to man and physical objects on reaching the surface. Besides, they kill, maim or injure people as well as causing massive destruction of their property. There exist various causative agents of earthquakes; however, the most common cause of this phenomenon is the e earth’s movement along a fault. Notably, they have been recorded over an extended period from generation to another. Ideally, earthquakes remain to be one the most destructive and deadly natural phenomena having claimed thousands of lives. They have instilled fear to humankind besides causing deaths over time because of their enormous capacity to cause destruction and their random occurrences. There have been more deaths in this decade (2000-2010) compared to the past decade (1990-2000).
From the time-series plot documented in various platforms, a global overview of the number of deaths, monetary damage and the as well as the number of natural disasters indicates the trend as there being more deaths in this decade compared to the previous one. Among these natural disasters, earthquakes were on top of the list with a similar trend. The time-series plot further denotes the monetary damage. Below is a chart indicating the average yearly number of deaths resulting from earthquakes in the two decades.
A detailed analysis of the table above indicates that the number of deaths has not only increased in the past 20 years but also over the other decades. Various factors are attributable to the trend. Looking at earthquakes from the disaster analysis point of view, it is conclusive that there has been heightened population growth. Population growth results into the scramble for the limited resources, in attempts to make ends meet. People end up settling in earthquake prone zones in the process of population redistribution. Moreover, much weight rests on the patterns of economic development as opposed to safety considerations. People tend to concentrate much on their economic life, without drawing much attention on their well-being or the negative impacts of settling in certain areas. The variations in weather and climate compound the matter when attempting to uncover this upward trend as people tend to look for the most suitable areas regardless of their potential earthquake occurrence. Today, people build in earthquakes zones, flood plains as well as other high-risk areas as opposed to how the situation was lying 20 years ago. Such actions render natural hazards a major catastrophe. The table below represents the population growth over the decades, depicting the increased pressure on resources where people settle on earthquake-prone zones.
The table of figures paints a clear picture of the constantly increasing population over the constant earth’s space despite it being at a decreasing rate. It proves the inevitable pressure on the existing resources, among them land. Such pressures force people to settle on unsuitable areas where they become victims of the earthquake, further raising the figures.
The measurement of earthquakes is the logarithm of the amplitude of the earthquake waves as recorded by seismographs. The measurement is the Richter scale where the higher the value, the stronger the earthquake and the higher the likelihood of it causing more deaths and massive destruction. Some of the world’s worst or strongest earthquakes have just occurred recently in this decade; justifying the occasioned increase in deaths.
Additionally, the number and magnitude of earthquakes over the years have increased immensely; giving a clear picture as the why the number of deaths has increased to:
The table above depicts a huge increase in the number of earthquakes with a stronger magnitude over a similar period of years. Despite the fact that the data stretches over a long time and depicts the decades in consideration as combined, it is a persuasive element. One can clearly see the increasing number of high-magnitude earthquakes and conclude of the increased negative effects among them over the years more so on the deaths. Other factors held constant, increased number of high-magnitude earthquakes result into high deaths.
Seismic tension keeps on mounting in the volatile Ring of Fire, where approximately 90% of the earthquakes in the world occur. Besides, an approximated 81% of those considered as the largest magnitude earthquakes occur in the same Ring of Fire. The precipitous rise in the magnitude, as well as the number earthquakes, is alarming. About fifteen earthquakes of 7+ magnitude strike the planet yearly, a scenario that baffles world’s geologists, with some clinging to the believe that the rise is merely a random natural occurrence. However, with the upward trend in deaths over the decades, then a solution must be sought.
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