Monday, March 01, 2010

Earthquakes and death toll

A lot of people observed that Haiti's 7.0 earthquake killed almost 300,000 whereas the recent 8.8 earthquake in Chile killed only 700+.

California too was once hit by a 7.0 earthquake, but death toll was only 63 people.

The Philippines' 1990 earthquake, also 7.0, death toll was 1,620i, despite the very long fault line that moved, spanning at least 5 provinces: Nueva Ecija to Tarlac to Pangasinan to La Union to Benguet.

Of course a 7.0 earthquake occuring 30 kms. below the surface is "weaker" compared to a 7.0 earthquake occuring just 5 kms. below the surface. Also, countries that are in the "Pacific Ring of Fire" where some 80 percent of all earthquakes and volcanic eruptions around the world happen, are more prepared than those outside the Ring. Like Haiti.

But the bigger factor is economic. California is richer, also Chile, also the Philippines, compared to Haiti. Capitalism is stronger in the above mentioned countries/state, compared to Haiti. In the latter, the economy is mostly controlled by the government, and there are lots of foreign aid too.

Governments don't give away and will never give away, free strong houses. Therefore, people should keep a big portion of their income so they can buy or build strong houses, or buy a unit in strong condo buildings.

But government does not think that way. It thinks it should continue confiscating nearly 1/3 (32 percent) of our monthly income because govt. has a big and expansive disaster bureaucracies and pork barrel by the president, legislators and the generals, to "help" people in case of disasters.

Political earthquakes aggravate natural earthquakes.

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