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Earthquakes UPSC NOTE

 Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics:

  • Earthquakes are not random and occur in specific regions due to plate tectonics.

  • The Earth's surface is divided into constantly moving plates.

  • Powerful earthquakes concentrate along plate boundaries where they collide (converge), like the Himalayas.

Examples:

  • 2015 Nepal earthquake - Devastating in central Nepal due to its origin under the Himalayas.

  • April 2024 Taiwan earthquake (7.4 magnitude) - Compared to the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake (7.7 magnitude).

Taiwan's Success Story:

  • Despite similar magnitude, the 2024 Taiwan earthquake caused minimal damage compared to 1999.

  • This is attributed to stricter building codes implemented after the 1999 disaster.

Taiwan has a robust earthquake preparedness system:

  • Advanced monitoring network and early warning systems.

  • Public awareness campaigns and earthquake drills.

  • Continuously updated building codes with incentives for earthquake-resistant structures.

Scientific assessment allows for targeted building codes based on:

  • Expected shaking intensity in different locations.

  • Frequency of earthquakes in specific zones.

  • Taiwan utilizes advanced technologies like seismic dampers and base isolation systems for earthquake resistance (e.g., Taipei 101 building).


Lessons for India:

  • India's infrastructure expansion in earthquake-prone areas (like the Himalayas) necessitates stricter safety measures.

Key Learnings from Taiwan:

  • Enforce seismic codes and regulations for all infrastructure projects.

  • Construct safer buildings with proper engineering.

  • Improve enforcement and address non-compliance issues related to seismic codes.

Utilize region-specific seismic codes (like India's IS 1893) based on:

  • Local earthquake activity.

  • Building types.

  • Construction materials.

  • Explore and potentially revive traditional earthquake-resistant architectural styles in some regions of India.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Earthquakes UPSC NOTE
Earthquakes UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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