Sample Essay on:
The Whittier Earthquake Of 1987

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Essay / Research Paper Abstract

In this 7 page essay, the writer uses the Whittier Narrows Quake to show how frighteningly unpredictable and random California's earthquakes have become. The writer discusses the occurrence of that particular quake, its socioeconomic devastation, and most importantly-- describes what "lessons" we should have learned from this random example of geologic terror. Comparisons are also made between the Whittier quake and the Loma Prieta quake of 1989. Bibliography lists 9 sources.

Page Count:

7 pages (~225 words per page)

File: D0_Whittier.doc

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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:

over the past twenty years, the Los Angeles area has witnessed several earthquakes, and in particular, two that were quite devastating; the 1971 San Fernando earthquake, and the January 17, 1994, Northridge Earthquake. Given the certainty that earthquakes will occur, they still seem to come as a surprise, and leave many communities unprepared to deal with their aftermath. For example, on October 1, 1987, at 7:42 a.m. the residents of the Los Angeles basin got a jolting reminder of the perils of "living on the fault line." This was due to the so-called Whittier Narrows earthquake. Hardest hit by the quake was Whittier (pop. 72,000). Whittier is twelve miles from downtown Los Angeles and was the community closest to the epicenter. When the quake, registering 6.1 on the Richter scale, first struck, it was thought to be centered along the Old Whittier Fault. However, after extensive study, it was determined that it was actually the result of a "new" fault, or a fault that had not previously been discovered by scientists. II. Lessons Learned From the 1987 Whittier Narrows Earthquake What are the lessons learned from the Whittier quake? And, how does this quake compare to other more recent, higher magnitude quakes? Despite the fact that regular warnings are part of California living, repeated in schools, in earthquake exercises, by local and state governments, and even in the front of telephone books, many people were caught off-guard and panicked. Fortunately, Californians learned a lot from the Whittier quake. The Whittier earthquake was not the "big one" that Angelenos perpetually wait for. This may be hard to comprehend given the extensive damage caused by the earthquake. Although classified as "moderate," the quake left more than 100 injured and six dead, including an electrical repairman buried in an underground ...

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