Essay on Positive and Negative Effects of Earthquakes

Free 750 words Essay on Positive and Negative Effects of Earthquakes for School and College Students.

An Earthquake can be defined as the shaking of Earth’s surface due to the sudden release of energy in the Earth’s Lithosphere. It causes seismic waves that help humans identify the frequency, type and size of the earthquake quantitatively. On an average, 20,000 earthquakes are recorded every year by the scientists at the National Earthquake Information Centre. Some are small enough to go unnoticed whereas some are wrath of God himself, killing thousands of people and causing destruction beyond repair.

free essay on Effects of Earthquakes

Though this natural disaster results in enormous damage to the human race, it has its plus points.

Positive Effects of Earthquakes

Though hard to believe, earthquakes have their own pros. Due to the destruction to buildings and manmade structures it causes, humans have always feared earthquakes. In an attempt to make monuments and buildings that will last forever and be unscathed by these quakes, engineers have always been coming up with better techniques of building. Now, lighter materials are used to build quake-free structures that can handle side- ways loads. This has been a major evolution in the history of engineering.

Quakes are the way of earths “self-correction” that ensures a life- sustaining balance. Due to the tectonic activity of the earth, which causes tremors, a major cycle of pushing vital nutrients to the earth’s surface from the ocean beds is carried out. This makes it easier for humans to mine the metals and minerals out of the surface of the earth.

In the same way, fossils and natural gas are pushed higher up during an earthquake, making it easier for us to mine them out. Though, we must not ignore the fact that mining can be a potential trigger for minor earthquakes.

Earth has multiple layers beneath the “crust” that are yet to be explored. Geologists find it very difficult to dig beyond the superficial layers. Here, earthquakes help by animating the earth’s natural activity, enabling geologists to have a deeper insight of the planet. The enormous amounts of energy released during quakes are a window to the interior of the earth.

Another major plus of having earthquakes are the number of terrains we see. From mountains to hills to ocean beds – all are results of the tectonic movement of the earth. Quakes help cycle material from the mantle, enabling a new bed to form below oceans. These beds encourage the growth of life forms making earth the vibrant planet it is today.

Negative Effects of Earthquakes

To say that earthquakes are disastrous would be an understatement. It is no secret that the death toll of the 2008 off the coast Earthquake in Indonesia went up to 280,000. The 2010 quake in Haiti resulted in loss of over 230,000 lives. Death accompanies this natural calamity.

Along with death, earthquakes cause damage to property and effect the economy of the affected area negatively. Some major earthquakes in the past have lead to loss of over $240 billion dollars worth of physical assets. Destruction of developed as well of under – developed economies due to earthquakes isn’t unheard of.

Shaking and ground rupture are one of the major impacts of earthquakes, causing buildings to collapse and dams/ bridges to fail. Severe landslides and avalanches are also triggered due to earthquakes. Fatal fires can also break out during earthquakes, due to electric supply or gas line damages.

Soil liquefaction occurs when the earth shakes vigorously, causing water saturated materials to lose their strength. Due to this, many rigid structures sink or tilt. The 1964 Alaska Earthquake is an excellent example of this.

Tsunamis are long wavelength, long period sea waves that are caused due to displacement of large volumes of water. When an earthquake occurs below the sea bed, it causes tsunami that can result in a fatal calamity for the humans. Floods that refer to the overflow of water contained in a water body can also be caused due to earthquakes. These disasters may lead to water-borne epidemics and eventually cause loss of life and property.

Humans also undergo mental instability due to the panic caused by Earthquakes. Loss of hygiene, general facilities and necessities naturally follow quakes. High insurance premiums, depression, inflation in rates, degradation of economy and health, loss of wildlife and scenic beauty are a few consequences to name.

As disastrous as earthquakes appear to be, we should not forget the positive aspects of this disaster. Like every realm of life, the so called “calamity” has its pros and cons. To end with Aristotle’s words

“All Earthquakes and Disasters are warnings, there’s too much corruption in the world.”

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