Analysis of the Effects of Earthquake in Rural Areas (Case study: Varzeghan)

Document Type : مقاله پژوهشی


Mohagheghe Ardabili University


1. Introduction
The evidence of geology show that in all of times earth have been threatened by nature forces that may be earthquake is the strongest phenomenon among them. Earthquake is one of the phenomenons of planet that have killed the thousands of people and have damaged to assets of people. Earthquake by reason of expansion of territory and also expanse and intense of its damage is the most popular natural disasters of world. Earthquake is one of the disastrous natural phenomena, and has direct, indirect, functional, secondary, long- time and short-time effects on human and rural- urban settlements. On August 21st, two earthquakes struck East Azerbaijan Province at 16:53 and 17:04respectively with a magnitude 6.2 and 6. Varzaghan, Ahar and Harsin cities has been the focus of most damages. By the time this report was written, official reports of loss of life have declared 327 deaths and more than 3,000 injured. Based on seismograms’ records in the national broadband seismic network of IIEES, the epicenter of these events, were: 38/55 degrees north latitude and 46/87 degrees east for the first one and second earthquake coordinates 38/58 degrees north latitude and 46/78 degrees east. Depth of both earthquakes has been reported to be about 10 km. The area is subject to earthquakes, and in 2012 a number of people were killed when two earthquakes, magnitude 6.4 and a 6.3 struck on the afternoon of 11 August.
Earthquake has some economic, political, social, psychological, cultural and skeletal consequences. This research is tried to investigate these consequences in the period of renovation in rural areas of Varzeghan. The research is intended to find an answer to this question: “what are effects of earthquake in rural areas”. In this relation, the theoretical framework of the Earthquake is investigated, and by presenting a theoretical model, the effects of earthquake in rural areas is investigated.
2. Study Area
Varzeghan County is a county in East Azerbaijan Province in Iran. The capital of the county is Varzeghan. At the 2006 census, its population was 3,549, in 930 families. The city is famous for the Sungun copper mine, 25 km from the city centre, which is estimated to have 3 percent of the known copper reserves in the world. Farming is the predominant occupation in the rural areas. The area produces apple, pear, cherry, walnut and apricot fruit. Recently spruce trees have been planted as the start of a forestry industry. Cold water fish farming has been started. Varzeghan is a mining centre for base metal mining, as well as gold. The Sungun copper mine is now the largest copper mine in northwestern Iran. The deposit itself is one of the largest copper deposits in the world. There are nearby gold mines at Shrfabad, Hyzjan, Tshkhsrv, Astrgan, Andryan and Myvhrvd.
3. Method and Materials
The main object of the research is investigation of the effects of earthquake in rural areas in Varzeghan. The research method adopted here is descriptive- analytic, and data gathering procedure is based on library and field findings. The research sample is all of the rural settlers affected by earthquake in rural areas of Varzeghan. The total number of rural-settlers affected by earthquake was estimated 398, and the number of sample was calculated 131 individuals based on Cochran's sample size formula. Reliability of the questionnaire was approved by scholars, and validity of the questionnaire was calculated 74-84% using Cronbach’s (alpha).
4. Result and Discussion
Mean scores of rural- settlers opinions was calculated and prioritized to determine the effects of earthquake on rural areas from point of view of rural- settlers. Coefficient of variations was used to prioritize which is a relative index and make comparison of different variables possible. As the research showed stress and exacerbation of depression and dejection, disruption to the family relationships, physical pain, disability to perform daily activities and social disintegration were among the most important prioritized factors.
5. Conclusion
The research findings showed that the effects of earthquake in rural areas are as follows: change in the pattern of food consumption, changes in jobs, loss of productivity, instability in the economic relations, change in trade and economic functions, lack of access to health services, disruption to social communication and reduce in communicational infrastructures, disruption to investments, loss of property, loss of life expectancy, loss of job satisfaction, lack of access to adequate food, disruption to family relationships, physical pain, social disintegration, severe damage to the social networks, reduce in integration and interaction between people, homelessness and the sense of personal and social disability, death of families, reduce in social tendencies, increase in stress, depression and dejection, increase in conflicts, fall of sphere of private life into the risk, decline in the demand, loss of self satisfaction, reduce in the feeling of being useful, social and economic insecurity, disability to perform daily activities, lack of access to health care and health services, water and soil pollution, disturbance in waste materials management, lack of access to the information, destruction of infrastructures and the destruction of housing, lands and work equipments.


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