Uncharted seismic risk

England, P. and Jackson, J. A. (2011) Uncharted seismic risk. Nature Geoscience, 4. pp. 348-349. ISSN 1752-0894 EISSN:1752-0908 DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo1168

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The potential for earthquakes along the plate boundaries has been mapped with reasonable success. Our attention should now focus on the threat posed by unanticipated quakes located in the continental interiors. The 11 March 2011, Mw 9 Tōhoku earthquake contains a remarkable story of resilience. Neither the continuing hazard posed by the after-effects of the shaking and tsunami nor criticism of the methods for long-term forecasting of earthquakes in Japan1 should blind us to the fact that the death rate in this disaster was impressively low. The earthquake exposed more than six million people to shaking of magnitude VIII or greater on the Mercalli intensity scale. Of those, approximately 25,000, or about 0.4%, died or are still missing, mostly as a result of the tsunami. In striking contrast, death rates in earthquakes within continental interiors have often exceeded 5%, and can be as high as 30%. We argue that the knowledge that underpins earthquake resilience in Japan or California must be transferred to countries in which earthquakes regularly inflict huge death tolls, often far from the media spotlight, as discussed at a workshop on earthquake vulnerability2 in Oxford in January 2011.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2011AREP; IA63;
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Geoscience
Volume: 4
Page Range: pp. 348-349
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo1168
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2011 22:36
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:02
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/2098

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