Early this morning South Asia was hit with a massive 7.5 earthquake. The quake centered in Afghanistan and rattled neighboring countries including Pakistan and India. There have been 180 people reported dead and hundreds injured by the earthquake. Included in this death toll are twelve young girls who were trampled when trying to evacuate their school.
Could these deaths have been prevented?
What if the people of Afghanistan knew there would be an earthquake coming their way?
Is it possible to predict the wrath of mother nature?
Innovative companies such as Terra Seismic are revolutionizing the way we look at earthquake data. We have always relied on gathering data after a quake to try to connect patterns and predict the next big occurrence. Terra Seismic has implemented satellite data to predict large earthquakes before they happen, allowing people to prepare themselves.
Terra Seismic is still relatively new and continues to improve the way we foresee these devastating events, but they have already correctly predicted more than a few quakes including the one that hit the Indonesia Island of Sumatra in March earlier this year. I am not sure if the earthquake that rocked South Asia this morning was predicted, but if it was, how might the repercussions be different?
Besides the massive hit the economy takes when faced with the damages of a natural disaster, many people suffer injuries, lose their homes and often times become homeless. If the people of South Asia had been warned about the earthquake that was coming their way, they could have protected themselves better. People could have avoided being near the less developed areas that are home to very unstable structures. Schools could have practiced evacuation drills to prevent the widespread panic that claimed the lives of those poor twelve girls. Hospitals could have been stocked, staffed and ready.
It is hard to say if we can truly ever be prepared for a natural disaster, but with the developing technology and Big Data available, we have a much better chance at less devastating effects than we ever have before.