Earthquakes are caused by sudden movement of rock along broken surfaces. Thousands of earthquakes occur in the world every year and a number of these are not even noticed by most people. Some earthquakes are slight while others are strong and have damaging impact on buildings and the lives of people. Earthquakes are the most unexpected natural disasters and when these happen people do not even get time to save their lives. Many buildings collapse as a result of earthquakes and many people get buried under the rubble.
Earthquakes have become a fear for many people and to accommodate this many construction companies are building structures which can withstand earthquakes to a certain degree. For this purpose, it is essential to seek advice from a geotechnical engineer. Geotechnical engineering experts have vast knowledge of plate tectonics and are able to analyze rocks and soil. Their advice could be helpful in constructing structures which will lessen the effect of natural disasters like earthquake.
In a single year, earthquakes ruin thousands of homes and kill millions of people. They occur naturally on the earth’s surface due to the movement of plates which are located below the earth’s crust. The vibrations arise at the epicenter and that is where the maximum destruction occurs. The vibrations caused by the earthquake have the potential to cause massive destruction and even ruin entire cities.
Earthquakes occur due to two reasons. Firstly, it occurs when a volcano erupts suddenly and secondly due to the movement of plates which can happen due to cracks in the plate or crust waves. Moreover, earthquakes can also arise on the ocean floor and produce ground movements. In the recent years, majority of the earthquakes have occurred at the boundary of the continental plates of North and South America, South Asia and Pacific Ocean. It is believed that stress on the boundary of the plates creates pressure towards the middle and leads to movement of the Earth.
The major consequences of such natural disasters are the loss of human life. The location and magnitude of the earthquake is a major factor which determines the number of lives that will be lost and the number of structures that will be damaged. A huge number of deaths can be caused by collapse of structures which were constructed from heavy and weak materials. Other economic and social consequences include trauma, cost of damage, loss of jobs, loss of housing, business interruption, waste of energy and material.
However, companies and agencies nowadays are implementing strategies as to limit the effect of such natural disasters to some extent. These planning include minimizing the use of land that has already gone through ground damages, shaking, landslides and fault rupture. Their basic aim is to reduce the number of lives that are lost each year due to earthquakes and disasters related to earthquakes and to reduce the damage done to structures and the natural environment. To achieve these goals, many countries are building structures which can withstand the devastating effects of earthquakes.