Monday, April 18, 2016

Earthquake in Ecuador


An earthquake with 7.8 magnitude hit Portoviejo, Ecuador on this last Saturday. At least 413 people died and more than 2,500 people were injured in this natural disaster. It left much destruction in its wake, taking out highways, buildings, and electricity. Aid workers from around Latin American and Europe and private organizations came to help. The Spanish Red Cross predicted between 3,000 to 5,000 people became homeless due to the earthquake. People everywhere are searching for their loved ones. The Ecuadorian military was also brought in to search for survivors.

Additionally, the United Nations refugee agency plans to bring in an airlift to help those affected by the earthquake. The European Union gave 1 million euros to contribute to humanitarian aid for the victims. Moreover, 180 inmates escaped through a hole left in the El Rodeo state prison due to the earthquake. Fortunately, approximately 30 were recaptured by today. The biggest problem is the lack of water and food.

Additionally, in the past few weeks, there have been some other major earthquakes in Japan, India, and Myanmar. "Seismologist Roger Bilham from the University of Colorado told Express, more than half the Indian landmass was ripe for a major quake that could cause massive damage." This is not so different than our situation here in California. We are due for a gigantic earthquake that has not happened yet. It was predicted that we would have one last year, but it did not come. "Seismologists continue to predict dangerous quakes for large parts of California whose populous cities are situated over major fault lines."

Questions:
Are we prepared as a country/state for a major earthquake? Do you think that there is anything we (The United States) can do or should we just let nature take its course?
Is there a governmental policy you would implement for these types of natural disasters?

http://www.inquisitr.com/2996749/massive-earthquake-predicted-major-tremors-worldwide/
http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/18/americas/ecuador-earthquake/
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/19/world/americas/ecuador-earthquake.html

10 comments:

Nevan Samadhana said...

I think that the best way to prepare for an earthquake is to educate the public as best as possible on what to do after the earthquake. Not much can be done to prevent an earthquake as they are currently out of our control but our response including how fast and the quality of aid can be in our control.

Daniel Jun said...

The problem with cataclysmic events like earthquakes is that they are so unbelievably destructive. When California gets rocked to its foundations by quakes, the gas needs to be shut off, people need earthquake kits, and fools need to learn that windows are basically falling knives waiting to happen (yes, there are shatterproof windows but just because it didn't break in the first quake doesn't mean you should be standing near it on the second). Teaching people what to do, especially in densely populated areas like San Francisco, is probably the best thing to do. Although that won't stop the inevitable loss of life simply due to bad luck.

ETHAN CHAO said...

We, as a state and country, are probably as prepared as we could be. Of course, it would definitely benefit us to implement earthquake resistant architecture, like buildings that could sway. We've got great first responders, and will get the help we'll need when the time comes. Early warning of earthquakes sounds reassuring to the public, but we must consider that it is impossible to evacuate even a tenth of a city of, say, San Fransisco, with the time given, let alone Los Angeles. There really isn't anymore we can do to prepare for an earthquake. Immediate martial law and mobilization of armed forces and national guard in not only California, but in the surrounding states as well will definitely help save more lives.

Kristen Tamsil said...

Basically we live in a dangerous world no matter how you look at it. The land that shakes were here before we settled in. If you live in the hurricane alley, it as there before human. So natural disasters cannot be avoided. However, the local and federal government can and should help prepare for response to these potential natural disasters, not just after they happen, but also in preparation and education work to ensure the impacted population are ready to react and survive as much as possible. Lives will be lost. Buildings and infrastructure destroyed, money lost, and so on. But a more prepared nation, counties, cities and local population anticipate and react to these disasters with more conviction. We do not want another "Katrina". It's not the natural disaster that is concerning. It's how we react as people and government to prepare for those events.

Kristen Tamsil said...

Basically we live in a dangerous world no matter how you look at it. The land that shakes were here before we settled in. If you live in the hurricane alley, it as there before human. So natural disasters cannot be avoided. However, the local and federal government can and should help prepare for response to these potential natural disasters, not just after they happen, but also in preparation and education work to ensure the impacted population are ready to react and survive as much as possible. Lives will be lost. Buildings and infrastructure destroyed, money lost, and so on. But a more prepared nation, counties, cities and local population anticipate and react to these disasters with more conviction. We do not want another "Katrina". It's not the natural disaster that is concerning. It's how we react as people and government to prepare for those events.

tonynater said...

My condolences goes out to the families of the victims of this disaster. Natural disaster's like these I think are a strong argument for a strong national government. A government really shines through when a large coordinated effort is needed.

As for our own preparedness, I think that we are prepared on paper, as most buildings in California are not that tall and for the most part higher buildings satisfy strict earthquake codes. However, I do not think California is mentally prepared. The West Coast has lived in general tranquility for the past half century, and have not faced significant death and suffering. While an earthquake will probably not kill too many people, it will still be a shock to many residents here - who often forget about their mortality living in a technological and trade powerhouse of the world.

Brianna Panozzo said...

On the state level, I do think that more preparation needs to be put into earthquake readiness. California is at extremely high risk, and I personally do not feel very prepared from what we are taught in school to do during an earthquake. In fact, our earthquake drills seem very rare and most teachers do not explain the protocol for where we if it happens. If we can accept the fact that this is going to happen and educate people on the state level accordingly, then we can better anticipate a natural disaster and save lives. I would implement natural disaster safety assemblies in schools to prepare people for this danger throughout their lives. Not once have we been sat down and explained our school's detailed plan of attack for an earthquake, and this is going to contribute to more lives lost when such disasters do occur.

Monica Mai said...

We definitely should not just let nature take its course. That would lead to a very disastrous and catastrophic impact on humankind. Perhaps this is just me, but I realize that there are no evacuation plans (that I know of) for San Mateo and perhaps other cities. If there is one, the local government should make it more clear. If there isn't a plan, then the local government should implement a plan. We practice these drills all the time at school, but what if we're not at school when a disaster strikes? We must be better prepared for natural disasters at any time and location. This would be a difficult task for the national government to regulate, as some areas are more prone to natural disasters than others. So, I believe it is up to local and state governments to perhaps put regulations and what not into preventing natural disasters, or at the very least, preparing for and minimizing the effects of natural disasters.

Ryan Swan said...

I believe the United States as a country is definitely prepared for any circumstance like a massive earthquake. It is doubtful that the government has done little planning in case such an event were to occur. Although one thing that concerns me is our incapability to survive without electricity. If an earthquake like the one that hit Ecuador hit America, it is likely many power lines and electricity producers will be destroyed. Thus leading to a blackout. The blackout is what I think the U.S. needs to most prepared for. Furthermore, it would be nice if the U.S. provided some aid for the Ecuadorians. And finally, if such policy does not exist already, there should be some protocol to follow in case of a black out. It is believed that America is more prepared for a zombie apocalypse than it is a nationwide black out. And as silly this might sound, if this is true, we are more likely screwed considering the chances of a nationwide blackout has a more realistic chance of occurring.

Alex Binsacca said...

I think we are as prepared as we can be for this type of situation. I mean we only been told about this situation for literally the last four plus years. In all honesty I think California is mentally prepared for an earthquake because we all do still live here. (or it could just be the fact that since nothing has happened here within the last decade, that we all just lost some much interest in it. Or we just shrug it off our shoulders, to a point where nobody really cares anymore.) The reason I say this is because we are all still living here, and I curious too know how many people are already prepared for such an incident to occur. I think all of the newer buildings earthquake safety requirements, and education is doing just its job. Everyone living in California is well aware of the risk of living here. The only thing we can do from here on out is play the waiting game. The only other thing I can think of to prepare for this situation is have the government be ready as well, and not an earthquake in California be like Hurricane Katrina.