Seismic Case Study: Gorkha Flashcards Preview

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1

Name my detailed earthquake case study

Gorkha earthquake, Nepal, 2015

2

At what type of plate boundary did the Gorkha earthquake occur?

Destructive.
Eurasian plate subducts under Indian plate at 4-5cm per year.

3

Name the mountain range created at the boundary between Eurasian and Indian plate

Himalayas

4

Are large earthquakes common in Nepal?

No.
There are frequent minor quakes that release the energy in small amounts.

5

What magnitude was the Gorkha earthquake, 2015?

7.8 mag.

6

Where was the epicentre of the Gorkha earthquake, 2015? Why is this significant?

77km northwest of the capital, Kathmandu.
The population of Kathmandu was 2.8 million at the time.

7

How deep was the focus?

15km underground

8

Which countries were affected by the Gorkha earthquake?

Nepal
India
China
Bangladesh

9

How many people were killed?

9000 deaths

10

How many people were injured?

22,000 injured

11

How many people were forced to leave their homes?

2.8 million displaced

12

How many buildings were damaged / destroyed in Kathmandu and its surroundings?

600,000 buildings damaged/destroyed

13

What was the cost of the initial damage?

$5 - $10 billion damage cost

14

What were the secondary impacts of the Gorkha earthquake?

Landslide
Avalanche
Aftershocks

15

Where was the avalanche triggered?

Mount Everest

16

What did the avalanche on Mount Everest cause?

19 climbers died.
Hundreds more were stranded

17

How many aftershocks occurred the next day? What were their magnitudes?

Two aftershocks.
Mag 6.6 and 6.7

18

There was another aftershock a month later.
Location?
Magnitude?
Death toll?
Injured?

76km northeast of Kathmandu.
Magnitude 7.3.
>100 people killed.
1,900 injured.

19

Give the social risks facing seismically active areas

• Building collapse -> deaths/injuries affect quality of life and ability to work.
• Destroyed homes -> homelessness.
• Damaged infrastructure -> people may be cut off and unable to reach a safe place.
• Destruction of heritage sites -> loss of tradition/culture.
Eg Dharahara Tower and Basantapur Tower, Kathmandu were destroyed in Gorkha e.quake.
• Burst water pipes -> contaminate water.
• Disease.
• Nepal's landslides -> blocked roads which delayed rescue efforts.

20

Give the economic risks facing seismically active areas

• High damage costs.
Eg as much as $10 billion due to Gorkha = almost half of Nepal's GDP.
• Injury/loss of livelihood -> people are unable to work -> loss of income.
• In coastal areas tsunamis may occur -> more destruction.

21

Give the environmental risks facing seismically active areas

• Built landscape destroyed.
• Important natural / human landmarks may be lost.
• Gas pipe explosions -> fires that damage woodland.
• Landslides due to unstable ground.
Eg several landslides and rock fall in mountainous areas of Nepal -> blocked roads.
• Tsunamis may occur.

22

How did Nepal respond to the Gorkha earthquake?

Declared state of emergency.
Nepalese army assisted in rescue / clear up.
Government asked for international aid.
'Tent cities' were created due to large scale homelessness.

23

How did the UN respond to the Gorkha earthquake?

UN created "Nepal Earthquake 2015 Flash Appeal" fund.
Raised $330 million in two weeks.

24

How did the UK respond to the Gorkha earthquake?

British organisation: Search And Rescue Assistance in Disasters (SARAID).
Sent a team of experts with 1.5 tonnes of specialist equipment for cutting through concrete and steel.
They also brought own tents and food, so as not to drain local resources.

25

How was technology used to aid with relief efforts?

'Crisis mapping' and 'crowd sourced' data collection allowed the analysis of large quantities of data -> identify where to send most aid to.

Facebook 'Safety check' and Google 'Person finder' -> people could "check-in" as safe / locate missing people online.

26

Give an example of an organisation that helps to prepare people for earthquakes in Nepal

Nepal Red Cross Society works in 66 communities...
- teach people how to identify local hazards and risks.
- train emergency responders in first aid and search and rescue.
- develop community disaster plans.

27

Earthquake damage investigations were carried out 6-11 days after the Gorkha earthquake.
What did the results show?

Buildings made of stone / brick, with no consideration of seismic resistance were damaged the most.
Reinforced concrete buildings were largely undamaged.

-> importance of earthquake-proof structural design.

28

How did the Nepal Red Cross Society help with the Gorkha earthquake?

8000 staff and volunteers.
Carried out evacuations, first aid, search and rescue.
Provided relief items and emotional support to affected people.
Cash grants to >50,000 families who lost homes / businesses.