Monday, March 14, 2011

The Great Earthquake

We in the New Madrid Seismic zone have had historic quakes but the recent one in Japan shows what can happen when a large magnitude earthquake hits an industrialized nation.  Japanese history is punctuated with several large earthquakes that caused damage and large losses of life.  A complete list with synopsis
of the events can be found here: Historic Japanese Earthquakes.
The study of earthquakes in Japan prior to the modern era used historic records to help assemble a catalog of earthquake locations and effects.  These catalogs are invaluable in helping to determine earthquake risk, and in planning for their mitigation by use of building codes and emergency preparedness.  The recent quake shows how even the most prepared nation will suffer loss from an earthquake, and that the lesson we should learn is preparedness will save lives.

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