By Ghadeer Ghloum
KUWAIT: With the spread of heartbreaking news about earthquakes that claim lives, anxiety spreads among the general public, even those who are miles away from the earthquake zone, especially since this matter is subject to nature and humans are unable to control it. However, there are some things that humans can do to avoid the amount of damage caused by the spread and frequency of incidents resulting from the impact of earthquakes.
To look more into the causes of earthquakes and the possible safety measures one can take, Kuwait Times interviewed Supervisor of Kuwait National Seismic Network at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) Dr Abdullah Al-Enezi. Causes of earthquakes According to Dr Enezi, earthquakes can be triggered by a variety of geological activities as well as human activities, because earthquakes can occur as a consequence of mining, fracking, construction of large dams, etc. “Earthquakes occur as a result of several causes, including tectonic movements and human activities.
These lead to the breaking of Earth’s layers due to pressure on the rock layers, resulting in waves that travel within the Earth and appear as vibrations. The intensity and strength of earthquakes vary depending on the strength of the layer’s breakage, its depth and its distance from urban areas,” he told Kuwait Times. “Earthquakes do not kill, but buildings do” “One of the most important measures for earthquake prevention is the establishment of earthquake-resistant structures that minimize their effects.
As experts in the field of earthquakes say, earthquakes do not kill, but buildings do. We find that some advanced countries experience powerful earthquakes, but they are not affected by them due to the strength of their buildings. No matter how strong the earthquake is, it does not affect them. On the other hand, there are countries where their structures are weak, so any seismic force could destroy their buildings,” Dr Enezi explained. Thus, the severity of earthquakes’ consequences depends on the magnitude of the earthquake and the level of preparedness in the affected area.
Primary effects are based on ground shaking, which can cause weak buildings, bridges and infrastructure to collapse. Efforts must be harnessed to mitigate the impact of earthquakes, which necessitate building buildings that adhere to seismic principles that withstand seismic activity, and strengthening whatever existing buildings that cannot withstand seismic waves. Governmental and individual responsibility Moreover, Dr Enezi highlighted the responsibility that falls on both governments and individuals when such events occur.
“At the governmental level, there should be a national emergency plan to deal with earthquakes in case they occur, and this greatly reduces the devastating effects of earthquakes. On an individual level, there should be calmness in dealing with earthquakes if they occur. Panic and rushing can lead to human losses. Therefore, when earthquakes occur, individuals must comply with the instructions of the relevant authorities to respond to emergencies,” he said.
Understanding the causes, effects and preventive measures associated with earthquakes is crucial for minimizing their impact and enhancing safety. This can help people better adapt and mitigate the devastating consequences of these natural events that go beyond human control.
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