Discuss the View That Poverty Is the Real Killer in Earthquake Disasters (40 Marks)

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Submitted By glo2909
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To discuss this statement, there is first a need to understand what is meant by the key words in it such as poverty and disaster. First of all, poverty is where people’s basic needs for food, clothing and shelter aren’t being met. There are usually two types of poverty. One of those is absolute poverty which is when people cannot obtain adequate resources to support a minimum level of physical health. This tends to be seen earning less than 2dollars a day by the World Health Organisation (WHO). There is also relative poverty and this occurs when people don't enjoy a certain minimum level of living standards and this is determined by the government (which is enjoyed by the majority of the population). This can vary between countries. Also, a disaster is something which causes very distressing or ruinous effects which disrupt functions of an organisation, society or system. What constitutes a disaster is the societies inability to cope rather than the event itself. There are a number of things besides poverty that can accentuate the effects of an earthquake such as the structure of the buildings, the population density, the education of the people but also more physical factors such as magnitude and the time of day when the earthquake hits.

Poverty by itself can completely change the effects that the earthquake can have. If the money isn’t available to pay for preparation, monitoring, education about such problems and recovery, then does a country really have a chance against a natural event such as an earthquake? An example of the difference between the amount of money that countries have, is Bam which is located in Iran on the Arabian, Eurasian and Indo-Australian plates and California on two plates that run parallel to the San Andreas Fault. These two earthquakes were very similar for example the Sam Simeon earthquake which hit California occurred on 22nd…...

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