Day_183: Introduction of Understanding Earthquakes

Earthquakes, being a natural phenomena, have generated both attraction and fear among people worldwide. We are aware of earthquakes leading to enormous devastation, fatalities, property damage, and potentially initiating tsunamis. Despite the numerous technological developments, earthquakes remain unpredictable and have the potential to occur at any given moment and location.

An earthquake is the result of a sudden slip between two blocks of the earth’s crust, which leads to the release of energy in the form of seismic waves. Seismic waves propagate through the Earth’s crust and can be monitored by devices known as seismometers. Earthquakes occur in various regions of the planet, encompassing terrestrial areas, subaquatic environments, and even within the earth’s mantle. The seismic intensity of an earthquake is quantified using the Richter scale, which spans from 1 to 10.

Earthquakes result from a multitude of sources, encompassing tectonic plate displacement, volcanic eruptions, and even anthropogenic operations like mining and drilling.

Day_138 : Natural Disasters in Europe (1)

Natural disasters in Europe mainly consist of hydrological, meteorological, climatological, earthquake and volcano eruption disasters.

Figure   The Europe

Earthquake disasters mainly occur in the Aegean Sea, the south-western coast of Balkan Peninsula, and the southern part of Italy. Volcanoes are active in the central and southern parts of Italy, the southern Aegean Sea, and Iceland area.

Concerning hydrological, meteorological, and climatological disasters, heavy rain, and storm disasters are caused by a low  pressure in the Iceland area developed in a winter season. A cold atmospheric current coming from Arctic gain a warmer vapor stream from the Gulf Stream and develop the strong atmospheric depression in the area. This causes the strong winds and high tidal waves along the coastal areas of the North Sea.

Netherlands and England can be highlighted. Netherlands had storm surges in 1530 and 1570. The death toll were approximately 400,000(1530) and 70,000(1570) for each. The 1953 depression made 1800 death toll in 1953. This disaster reached to England also. England’s disasters were the 1703 Thames river flood and the 2003 Heatwave. The temperature was 8-10 over than an average year on August 2003.

With regard to earthquake disasters, Italy, Greece, and Portugal are the main countries to be affected.

The following past article explains the recent earthquake cases in Italy.

Day_131 : Italy-Recent earthquake and past earthquake disasters (2)

To be continued…..

Day_114 : World Disaster Chronology-1980


Date Place Disaster Type Situations
1980.01- US, East Cold Wave 100 (DM)
1980.01- India, North Cold Wave 80 (DM) Bihar 
1980.04- Peru Heavy Rain, Flood 90 (DM)
1980.05- US, Northwestern Volcano  Mount St.Helens Volcanic Eruption*  80 (DM), A summit was disappeared by landslide and huge volcanic eruptions.
1980.06- India Heavy Rain, Flood Over 600 (DM)
1980 India Disease Over 550 (D)
1980.07- Japan Cool weather damage Damage cost was over 6,900 mil, yen
1980.07.28 Nepal Inland Earthquake (not confirmed), 90(DM)
1980.08- Japan Heavy Rain, Flood 26 (DM),Injured 50, Destroyed 400, Inundation over 39,000
1980.08- US, East Heat Wave 1,000-1,300 (DM)
1980.08- India, East Heavy Rain, Flood Over 1,500 (DM)
1980.08- Haiti Storm, Flood 270 (DM)
1980.08- China Heavy Rain, Flood Unknown (DM)
1980 Bangladesh Heavy Rain, Flood Over 650 (DM)
1980.09- India, Southeastern Heavy Rain, Flood 200 (DM), Orrisa
1980.10.10 Algeria, Northwestern Inland Earthquake  M7.1-7.5, El Asnam Earthquake 2,600-5,000(DM)
1980.10- India Infectious disease Over 400 (D)
1980.10.24 Mexico, Central Inland Earthquake (unknown), 65 (DM)
1980.11.23 Italy, South Inland Earthquake 1980 Irpinia earthquake** M6.9   2,500-4,700 (DM)
1980.12- Japan Heavy Snow 103 (DM)Injured over 1,300, Destroyed over 5,800, Inundation over5,500

D: Dead number DM: The dead and missing number

*St.Herens volcanic eruption

Day_87 : North and Central Americas – Mt. St.Helens and Mt.Pelee

**1980 Irpinia earthquake


Day_87 : North and Central Americas – Mt. St.Helens and Mt.Pelee

1.Volcanic Disasters

North America
Mount St.Helens erupted in 1980. 57 people were dead.
St.Helens volcanic eruption was really huge. You can see this from the following video.

From environmental sociological perspectives, the difference between the U.S. and Japan is that the people and nature’s relationships. This case indicated that somehow. The people are living far from the nature, Mt.Helens. That is why the fatality number was not so large compared to the huge eruption. In Japan, people tend to live near the nature and live with the nature. This call “Satoyama” in Japanese. Other Asian countries are the same with Japan.
This will be discussed later.

Mount Pelee
St.Pierre city, the city was destroyed completely in 1902 by the Mt.Pelee’s eruption.
The population of the city was approx. 28000: almost all were dead, only 2 survived. One of the only two survivors was in a prison. The story can be seen from the following video.

2. Climate, meteorological, and hydrological disasters: Hurricanes

North America
1900 Galveston, death toll was over 6000
2005 Katrina, the death toll was over 1400, the cost was 100 Bil. UDS
1998 Mitch, 13,700 were victimized in Honduras and 3,300 were so in Nicaragua
Hurricane Jeanne,  2800 were killed in Haiti

These will be also discussed later.


※Disaster data, such as death toll source is NIED DIL homepage.

Day_78 : Disaster statistics – Overview

The following is the overview of disasters in the World. The data 1970-2010, over 2000 death toll disasters which have 50 events, was analyzed (Total death toll approx. 3mil.).

Vulnerable Areas:
1. Southeast Asia –West Asia
Over 50% of the world pop.is living.
events 68%
death 56%
Countries : The Philippines, Indonesia, China, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India,Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Armenia, Turkey

2. Central America
event 18%
death 14%
Countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, Venezuela,Columbia, Peru

3. Africa
Drought: 3event, total death toll 0.9mil. (29%)

4. By country
India 8, Iran 6, Bangladesh 4, China/Indonesia/The Philippines 3

India : Earthquake and Flood
Iran : Earthquake 1/4 of the world earthquake disasters (over 1000 death toll)
Bangladesh : Storm Surge 1/10 year has over 1000 death toll event.

5. Others
Volcanic Disaster
Indonesia : 13/30 events (over 1000 death toll after 1960s) in the world.

Affected People
Populated Countries: China and India: Flood and drought

These analyses referred the NIED DIL homepage (in Japanese).


Day_65 : 1991 Unzen Fugendake Volcano Eruption

1991 Unzen Fugendake Volcano Eruption Killed 43 people. This disaster has a lot of lessons. The key words are media, volunteer firefighters, police officers, and an evacuation area. The people were all dead in the evacuation area. During the volcano eruption, media people tried to get into the area to shoot pictures, videos, and report. They went into the local people’s houses. The residents were worried about their belongings in their houses. So many volunteer firefighters (12) also went into the area to check, and police officer (2) also did that. The taxi drivers (4) bring them into the area. They all died in the area. Katia Krafft and Maurice Krafft, world’s famous French volcanologists were also dead during the disaster.


Wikipedia (Katia and Maurice Krafft)

Wikipedia (Unzen Fugendake Pyroclastic flow, Japanese)

Day_64 : 1985 Nevado del Ruiz Volcano Eruption

One of the most significant volcano disaster we must know is 1985 Nevado del Ruiz volcano eruption. Approx.23000 citizens in Armero city were dead. The cultural aspects were embedded in this disaster. The disaster was predicted. The hazard maps indicated the city would be affected by the volcano eruption and lahars. The both, priest and mayor, told the citizens to stay in the same place because they were afraid of panic before the time, did not tell them to evacuate. That made tragedy. The people in the city tended to follow the both persons because of the culture, a religious and vertically‐structured society. There were also other factors*.