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Why Indonesian earthquake was so deadly?

  • Category
    Geography
  • Published
    26th Nov, 2022

Context

The recent Earthquake (Magnitude 5.6) in West Java province of Indonesia led to massive devastation in the island country.

So, let us find out the reasons contributing to the region’s vulnerability to natural disasters.

About

The Location:

  • The Island is prone to frequent earth quakes, Tsunamis, volcanic eruptions.
  • West Javais a province of Indonesia on the western part of the island of Java, with its provincial capital in Bandung.
  • West Java is bordered by the country's capital region of Jakartato the west, the Java Sea to the north, the province of Central Java to the east and the Indian Ocean to the south. 
  • Tectonics and seismicity of Jakarta and adjacent areas is highly influenced by the convergence of the Australian Plate toward the Eurasian Plate.

Occurrence of Earthquakes:

  • An earthquake is the shaking of the earth. It is a natural event.
  • It is caused due to release of energy, which generates waves that travel in all directions.
  • The vibrations called seismic waves are generated from earthquakes that travel through the Earth and are recorded on instruments called
  • The location below the earth’s surface where the earthquake starts is called the hypocenter, and the location directly above it on the surface of the earth is called the epicenter.

Types of earthquakes:

  • Tectonic earthquakes
  • Volcanic earthquakes
  • Human induced earthquakes

Geographic factors Responsible for Earthquakes in the region:

  • Located on the Ring of fire: because of its location on the arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin known as the ‘Ring of Fire’, it becomes one of the places where a majority of the world’s earthquakes occur.
  • Movement of Fault lines: Due to number of rocks placed inside the island forms fault lines, they are continuously moving with respect to normal rocks. Hence, they can slide over each other easily and are not stiff.

A fault is a place with a long break in the rock that forms the surface of the earth. When an earthquake occurs on one of these faults, the rock on one side of the fault slips with respect to the other.

  • Type of Soil: The Indonesian island is made of basically volcanic soil made up of ashes which is similar to black soil in India. This soil easily gets settled down and is easy to swell and shrink.
    • The Structure holding capacity the soil is also poor.
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