An earthquake brings with it many aftereffects, some expected and some unexpected. One key area that is often heavily impacted during an earthquake is the local infrastructure.
To effectively repair this infrastructure to help get the area back to normal, it’s important to understand how this key resource can be affected. To help you with your response to an earthquake, here are some ways that infrastructure shifts and needs repairing after an earthquake.
Communications Can Be Severed
To keep them safe from storms and to improve aesthetics, many communication lines are buried underground. While this is fine for normal circumstances, this underground location makes these utilities especially vulnerable to earthquakes.
Since effective communication is key for earthquake recovery, special attention needs to be given to assessing which lines have been severed so that repairs can begin. To help speed up response times, other utilities whose lines are buried can participate in the repair process alongside the communications vendors.
Shifting Sands Can Move
Due to their seaside location, seawalls are another component of local infrastructure that is inherently vulnerable to earthquakes. It is often the case that during earthquakes, large patches of sand essentially liquefy, leaving anything that’s built on the sand vulnerable to collapse.
To assess the urgency of seawall repair, any repair vendors should consult with local meteorologists to understand the risk of storms that could cause excess erosion or otherwise put the town at risk.
Foundations Can Crack
Depending on the severity of the earthquake, the foundations of buildings of all types can crack due to the force of the moving ground. In many cases, the foundations can shift entirely if the land they’re sitting on moves far enough. Therefore, it is important to survey each building in town to understand the level of damage that it sustained so that proper repairs can be made to keep the building’s occupants safe.
Roads Can Collapse
Depending on where roads are built, they are likely to suffer from major cracks or to collapse altogether. When assessing the damage after an earthquake, it is crucial that the ground beneath each road is surveyed to understand if it is still strong enough to support the weight of the road once that road is reopened. This assessment should take place regardless of the damage sustained by the road to ensure that no problems occur at a later time.
Responding to an earthquake will take the efforts of professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds. Therefore, it is important to establish a central command post to ensure that the efforts of each of these individuals are properly coordinated. This will help the town to get back on its feet more quickly and help reassure frightened residents that everything possible is being done to help them recover.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. You can connect with Anica on Twitter @AnicaOaks.