About psychologic impact of earthquakes on population (based on results of psychological studies)

Category Tectonic & Seismotectonic
Group GSI.IR
Location 4th internetional Conference on Seismology
Holding Date 11 March 2008
     Earthquake makes a great psycho-social impact on population. It is necessary to study the apprehension of earthquake by population. It depends not only on the expected consequences but on the level of awareness about the real situation and on the trust in the information. If the population in the seismoactive zone is not informed that it lives in a hazardous zone and if it is not ready for earthquake psychologically then during the hazard it is seized by panic and shock. The author conducted sociologic studies in 1999 after earthquake in Agdash city, after earthquakes of November 25 and December 6,2000 in Baku city. We interviewed 350 people with a special questionnaire. The opinion-poll revealed a great number of psychologically injured people. Lack of awareness of population about the possibility of earthquake in zone of their residing resulted in non-adequate response - the panic caused foolish and dangerous behavior of the people and it could not take appropriate measures to save their lives.
People injured themselves not directly in the earthquake but in their non-adequate behavior - they jumped out windows and balconies thinking that they were saving their lives. Sociologic studies conducted in Shamakha city in summer 2001 to determine the level of awareness of population about earthquake risk in their residing zone (January 2002 is he 100 anniversary of earthquake Shamakha) demonstrated that the population in Shamakha city and the adjacent villages is rather well informed about the possibility of a strong earthquake in their residing zone.

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