Mitigating damage from earthquakes is possible

By Lawyer Mohammed Al-Muthaffar

Last Monday, we woke up to heartbreaking news of a major earthquake in Turkey and Syria. The earthquake left thousands of people dead and many more wounded. It also resulted in the collapse of buildings and infrastructure and the destruction of public and private property. These disasters are from God Almighty and are difficult to predict or prepare for, despite our best attempts. It’s also difficult to avoid their grave outcomes.

Earthquakes are a natural phenomenon resulting from increased stress to tectonic plates as they move. This is followed by rebounds called seismic waves. The phenomenon occurs because of the breaking and displacement of rocks due to the accumulation of internal stresses on the earth as a result of geological influences driving the movement of plates.

The earthquake arises as a result of volcanic activities or as a result of the presence of slips in the layers of the earth’s crust. In addition to their devastating effects on buildings, transportation and facilities, earthquakes lead to cracks in the ground, depletion of springs, the emergence of new springs, rises and depressions in the earth’s crust, as well as the occurrence of high waves under the sea (tsunamis).

But in some countries, such as Japan, where earthquakes occur frequently, we find that they have prepared well for such disasters, in anticipation of their sudden occurrence. We find that they have built buildings that can withstand these tremors. It’s time for countries that are highly exposed to such earthquakes to follow Japan’s lead to be able to reduce the effects of these earthquakes.

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