Good post-earthquake commentary
Some good post-earthquake comments and science around the traps.
- Chris McDowall at SciBlogs has a chart of the quake and the aftershocks - he points out the tall line on the left isn’t the axis, it’s the first earthquake. [Hat tip Home Paddock]
Hand drawn chart of aftershock intensity - SCI BLOGS
- “It’s an ‘absolute miracle’ that no deaths have yet been reported from the earthquake that struck New Zealand early yesterday, says Bob Parker, mayor of the stricken city of Christchurch. You can see what he means – but Mammon may have had more to do with it than God. For it underlines how wealthy countries and communities suffer much less from a given natural disaster than poor ones.”
Mammon, more than God, caused the Christchurch earthquake 'miracle' – Geoffrey Lean, TELEGRAPH (UK)
- Why would you charge more for water in an emergency? “Eric Crampton has four good reasons.
In defense of price gouging – OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR
The BIG story is that this massive earthquake in a major city has resulted in zero deaths. The timing had much to do with it of course because most people were safe at home in their lightweight timber framed suburban beds.
Had they been in offices many would have been turned into hamburger my moving filing cabinets etc.
The low damage level is a tribute to our engineers scientists and our building codes.
Hopefully more people will be aware that “solid brick” is not your best friend in an earthquake.
Of course we know that Christchurch is subject to earthquakes. That is why there has been a major programme for strengthening older buildings. Every part of NZ is at risk of earthquake. It’s just some are more at risk than others.
The light timber frame is the ideal construction. I remember a seminar on earthquake design from an expert who had just returned from the great Alaskan earthquake. I house, which could have passed for any bungalow in Auckland, rolled down a steep hill during the earthquake. The window panes remained intact.
Remember, an earthquake of this magnitude killed 230,000 people in Haiti. Mud bricks may be romantic but they kill you in an earthquake.
Also those people who have to leave their homes do not have to worry about squatters. They have secure title to return to.
It is also amazing how quickly services etc are being restored. There is little one can do to prevent underground effects such as broken pipes and gas lines.
The response time is remarkably good.
If you see other good commentary around the traps, leave a links in the comments and I’ll post them here on the front page.
- Spotted by Mark Hubbard: a very good article by Frederic Sautet at his 'Coordination Problem' blog, comparing Chch and Haiti earthquakes: “Earthquakes as Economic Phenomena.”
Those who live in Christchurch were saved by capitalism and the accumulation of capital it has enabled over the years. Natural disasters are economic phenomena. Governments, including in the West, often ignore this truth to the detriment of the victims who suffer twice—once from the earthquake itself, and a second time from the consequences of poor government policies.