Characterization of Modern and Historical Seismic–Tsunamic Events, and Their Global–Societal Impacts
Geological Society Special Publication
AbstractEarthquakes and tsunamis are high–impact geohazard events that could be extremely destructive when they occur at large magnitudes and intensities, respectively, although their causes and potential locations are, for the most part, predictable within the framework of plate tectonics. Amongst the main reasons for their high impact include enormous numbers of casualties, extensive property damage in vast areas, and significant social and economic disruptions in urban settings where
... residential areas, global banking centres, industrial factories, and critical facilities (nuclear power plants, dams) may be located. In order to reduce the impact of these geohazards, the nations, societies, professional organizations and governments need to collaborate to prepare more effective seismic and tsunami risk assessments, disaster management plans, educational and training programmes for increased preparedness of the public, and strategic plans and objectives for capacity building, skill and knowledge transfer, and building of societal resilience. Improved building design and construction codes, and emergency preparedness and evacuation plans should be part of disaster management plans in countries where destructive earthquakes and tsunamis occurred earlier. Fast increasing population in coastal corridors in developing and developed countries is likely to escalate the social and economic impacts of these geohazards exponentially in the future. The chapters in this book present case studies of some of the most salient earthquake and tsunami events in historical and modern times, their origins and manifestations, and efforts and most effective practices of risk assessment and disaster management implemented by various governments, international organizations and inter–governmental agencies following these events. New methods of computing probabilistic seismic hazard risks, delineating respect distance and damage zones along–across seismically active faults and recognizing tsunamigenic and submarine landslides on the seafloor are introduced. The conclusions presented in the chapters show that: (1) scientific understanding of the characteristics of seismically active faults is paramount; (2) increased local (community), national and global resilience is necessary to empower societal preparedness for earthquake and tsunami events; and, (3) all stakeholders, including policy–makers, scientists, local, state and national governments, media, and world organizations (UNESCO, IUGS, GeoHazards International–GHI, Global Geodetic Observing System–GGOS; National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program–NEHRP) must work together to disseminate accurate and timely information on geohazards, to develop effective legislation for risk reduction, and to prepare realistic and practical hazard mitigation and management measures.