Newcastle Earthquake Case Study

Essay by ipodrixJunior High, 9th gradeA, May 2006

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The magnitude of the Newcastle earthquake was 5.6 on the Richter scale, which is a moderate earthquake in comparison to other major earthquakes in the world.


The Newcastle earthquake had a shallow epicenter, about 1km - 5km below the surface which meant that the tremors from the earthquake was not absorbed by the ground as much, leading to an increased intensity of the earthquake.

The Meckering earthquake in 1968 was much bigger then the Newcastle earthquake in 1989 at a magnitude of 6.8 in the Richter scale but did not cause as much damage because Meckering's population was tiny with only approximately 240 residents.


The Newcastle earthquake occurred on December 28th, 1989 at 10:29.00 am.

The time of the day may have contributed to the damage caused because most people would be working in buildings during this time, increasing their vulnerability to collapsing structures. However it may have reduced the loss of life because if people were sleeping they would not have a chance to react and take action in order to save their lives.

The time of the year may have contributed to the damaged caused because it was a holiday season when more tourists may be visiting. However it may also have reduced the damage caused because the residents may have left their homes during the holiday season.


Newcastle's buildings were poorly equipped to withstand earthquakes because no one expected there would be an earthquake and so such building standards to protect against earthquakes were never set.

The buildings in Newcastle were a major factor in the damge and death toll resulting from the earthquake because they were not earthquake resistant resulting in easily collapsible buildings which could kill many people and increase the damage to infrastructure.

The short term effects of the...