Many societies live on active plate boundaries. One in particular that interests me is Japan. Japan has seventy active volcanoes, and lies along the ring of fire, which is a series of volcanoes and fault lines that outline the Pacific Ocean. Japan has about 1,500 earthquakes a year, however many are small and do not cause damage. Japan’s worst earthquake was in 1923 and killed 140,000 people.
Over time, the Japanese have learned to cope with the many dangers, and even benefit from living on an active plate boundary. The Japanese are very respectful of their environment and know that they cannot stop the volcanoes from erupting and the earthquakes from occurring, but they try to monitor the activity and minimize the hazards the best they can. One way they do this is by teaching people how to handle eruptions and earthquakes without panic. In schools they teach earthquake and volcanic safety, and if a school is close to an active volcano, kids even wear hard helmets to school in case of an eruption. The Japanese government also created eighteen volcano observatories, where scientists can monitor active volcanoes and study older deposits. Each observatory has many instruments monitoring volcanic activity daily. The Japanese also benefit from the many volcanoes. For one, they use volcanic sources for heat and also for energy. Some power stations even run off of the energy from volcanoes. Old Japanese legend even states that bathing in volcanic ash can treat arthritis. And of course, having plenty of active volcanoes would attract tourism.
In conclusion, Japan has a large amount of active volcanoes and earthquakes, and there is not avoiding the fact that they will erupt/occur, but the Japanese have grown accustomed to dealing with these hazards. They monitor volcanic and earthquake activity daily, teach their citizens how to stay safe, and in some ways even benefit from living on an active plate boundary.