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AuthorCassidy, J FORCID logo
SourceEncylopaedia of natural hazards; by Bobrowsky, P TORCID logo (ed.); Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series vol. 41, 2013 p. 208-223, 104
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20100066
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
Subjectsgeophysics; earthquakes; earthquake mechanisms; earthquake studies; earthquake magnitudes
Illustrationslocation maps; photographs; tables
ProgramPublic Safety Geoscience Targeted Hazard Assessments in Western Canada
Released2016 01 21
AbstractEarthquakes pose a major threat to human life and economic development. We are reminded of this year after year. A recent example being the tragedy of the January 12, 2010, magnitude 7 earthquake in Port au Prince, Haiti that resulted in the loss of more than 250,000 lives. That earthquake, like many earlier ones, clearly showed that the populations at most risk are those in developing countries with few or no guidelines for earthquake-resistant construction. This is the fastest growing population on Earth. The M 8.9 2012 Tohoku, Japan earthquake struck a country having modern building code, yet this earthquake still resulted in 15,854 deaths (most from the tsunami) and had an economic cost of more than ?235B - Making it the world’s most expensive natural disaster. However, we are making great progress in our ability to monitor earthquakes, study the details of the earthquake process, and estimate the ground shaking expected from future earthquakes. Reducing losses requires better building codes, better construction, and a population that is aware of the risks and actively involved in mitigation efforts. The first step is in knowing the risks. I hope that this entry contributes, at least in a small way, to knowing the risks. I hope that this entry helps inspire you to mitigate the risks of earthquakes, whether that is by drawing up a personal preparedness plan for your home and family, volunteering for a community organization, conducting research into hazard assessments, utilizing hazard information as an engineer or community planner, or as a politician. Earthquakes cannot be stopped, but the effects of earthquakes can be minimized.

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