Question by Michael W: What are short term earthquakes?
Short & Long term earthquakes?
Answer by False Pretense
The impact of a strong earthquake can be devastating. Earthquakes can destroy settlements and kill many people. Aftershocks can cause even more damage to an area. It is possible to classify the impacts of an earthquake, by taking the following factors into account:
short-term (immediate) impacts
social impacts (the impact on people)
economic impacts (the impact on the wealth of an area)
environmental impacts (the impact on the landscape)
Short-term (immediate) impacts
People may be killed or injured.
Homes may be destroyed.
Essential services may be disrupted.
Transport and communication links are disrupted.
Water pipes may burst and water supplies may be contaminated.
Shops and business are destroyed.
Looting may take place.
Transport and communication systems are disrupted and so trade is not easy.
The built landscape is destroyed.
Fires spread due to gas pipe explosions.
Fires can damage areas of woodland.
Landslides may occur.
Tsunamis may cause flooding in coastal areas.
Disease may spread.
People may have to be re-housed, sometimes in refugee camps.
The cost of rebuilding a settlement is high.
Investment in the area is focused only on repairing the damage caused by the earthquake.
Income is lost.
Important natural and human landmarks may be lost.
The Traumatic Effects of Earthquakes
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder occurs in 32% to 60% of the adult survivors and 26% to 95% of the children survivors who have been evaluated after earthquakes. Rather than being a circumscribed event with a defined endpoint, earthquakes tend to produce a series of events that continue to affect people’s lives over a prolonged period. Persistent or recurring disruptions from the earthquake substantially contribute to continued mental-health problems. General psychological distress levels following an earthquake appear to stabilize after about 12 months, but posttraumatic stress reactions do not stabilize until 18 months after the earthquake. In some individuals, there is a high likelihood of permanent psychological symptomatology following earthquake exposure. This is particularly true of those who have the highest level of exposure and the greatest concentration of personal loss and damage associated with the earthquake. Coping with stress by using avoidance measures (e.g., withdrawal from the situation, isolation, trying to avoid further stressors) appears to contribute to continued distress and posttraumatic stress. Older people and those with a prior history of mental-health problems seem to be at greater risk than others for experiencing posttraumatic stress following an earthquake1. Also at risk are (1) rescue workers with high levels of catastrophic exposure and (2) individuals who, in reaction to the earthquake, tend to “dissociate,” or become “numb,” and have a sense of being detached from their emotions and bodily experiences for a prolonged period of time2.
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