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1) Land Use Regulations

Building restrictions on areas that are deemed as unsafe.

This prevents the collapse of any buildings during an earthquake or its
resulting effects.
For example, in California, USA, new buildings are constructed away
from fault lines and areas with high risk of liquefaction.
Another example is in the earthquake prone areas of Japan where
buildings have a height limit.
However, every measure has its limitations.
It is difficult to control land use in developing countries as they lack
the resources to improve the situation.
This measure is also very costly as the government would need to
acquire the unsafe land and compensate those moving out which
requires a lot of money. Some people may also be reluctant to move.
Therefore, this measure might not be very effective in less developed
or developing countries as they do not have the resources or are
unwilling to allocate resources for this.

Prohibition of construction of new buildings on low lying areas and along
For example, in the coasts of Japan and North America, along the
Pacific Ring of Fire, buildings are only allowed to be constructed after
the erections of protective barriers like seawalls.
This measure allows for the existing or new buildings along the coast
to be protected against water related disasters.
However, these seawalls and protective barriers can only protect the
buildings to some extent.

The planning of new infrastructure
New infrastructure is built away from unsafe areas to reduce.
Authorities also implement guidelines on locations of new
infrastructure and set limits to building heights.
However, this is limited as in existing cities, such planning is
redundant as large scale movement of people is not possible.
This is an example in Tokyo, Japan.
By planning new infrastructure away from unsafe areas, it reduces
economical damage in the event of a disaster and also reduces the
number of deaths.
The need for the regulation of land use is an important and successful
preparedness measure as it prevents the collapse of buildings, which result in
the reduction of the number of unnecessary lives lost.

2) Building Design

Earthquake resistant buildings to reduce risk of building collapse and to
minimise damage.
Steel & Reinforced Concrete
Wide & Heavy Base
Damping Devices
Act as: Shock Absorbers & Counterweights
Sheer Core & Sheer Walls
Cross Bracing
To allow space for building to sway
Base Isolation Bearings
Absorb force of the earthquake
Reduce movement of building
Taipei 101, Taiwan (1,2,3)
Istanbul Airport, Turkey (7)
to maintain
to construct
to convert existing buildings into earthquake resistant buildings
People in LDCs cannot afford to construct expensive earthquake
resistant buildings
Governments of LDCs resist the move due to the high budget needed
Designing earthquake resistant buildings is an important and successful
preparedness measure as it prevents the collapse of buildings and the result
of unnecessary loss of lives and damage to property.

3) Use of Technology

History of earthquake occurrence is studied
Provides estimate of frequency, magnitude and location of earthquakes
at particular fault lines.
It is limited as earthquakes can happen anywhere.
Earthquakes timings are also hard to predict.
Installation of earthquake sensors
Installed in earthquake prone areas to monitor frequency of vibrations
and detect possible developments of earthquakes
An example, the 7.3 magnitude Haicheng earthquake.
Scientists identified small changes in ground level and increase in
small tremors.
Authorities were notified and people were evacuated.
90,000 people saved from the earthquake that destroyed 90% of the
Despite that, there are some limitations to this.
Earthquake sensors are expensive.
Earthquake usually happens seconds after warnings are sounded.
Device failure
Causes fake alarms. Frequent false alarms causes people to not
take future alarms seriously.
Future warnings might also be ignored to avoid disruptions to
business and tourism.
Waste of resources.
Economic activities cease, affecting the economy
Tsunami Warning Systems
Eg. Hawaii, USA
Pressure sensors and Deep-ocean tsunami detectors installed.
To detect and predict paths of tsunamis.
However, this has its limitations.
False warnings when in presence of high waves.
Little time to evacuate once an approaching tsunami is detected
The use of technology is a very important and successful measure as it
allows for early detection of disasters and the evacuation of people so as to
reduce the unnecessary loss of lives.

4) Emergency Drills

Creates awareness and reduces levels of panic and irrational behaviour in the
event of an earthquake.
For example, Japan has a Disaster Prevention Day on 1 September.
However, this measure has its limitations.
Usually when an earthquake strikes, there is little to no time to
evacuate the people.
Additionally, drills are based on the most serious earthquake recorded.
In this case of the Tohuku earthquake that occurred in 2011, the drills
and evacuation plans were inadequate for that earthquake of that
Conducting emergency drills is an important and successful preparedness
measure as it educates the people on what to do during an earthquake so
more lives are saved.

5) Infrastructure Development

Existing infrastructure is reinforced with steel bars by cross bracing.
However, this measure has several limitations.
It is very costly.
The results are also aesthetically unpleasing.
This cross bracing technique is also untested until an earthquake
actually occurs.
An example will be the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
Infrastructure strengthened by cross bracing were badly damaged
during the earthquake.
Fireproof material and auto shut off valves installed to gas pipes and
To prevent risk of fires in an event of an earthquake.
However, a limitation is that it is difficult to ensure all the gas pipes
and electricity supplies are all strengthened.
Developing infrastructure is an important and successful preparedness
measure as it prevents further damage onto property after an earthquake
and allow rescue workers to work in a safer environment.