Earthquake Risk Assessment and Engineering Design - A Vital Consideration for the Pacific Rim

Boyce WH,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
Earthquakes are the most frightening and devastating natural phenomena known to mankind. They strike without warning and their consequences can be disastrous in terms of the toll of human life, financial crises related to the damage or destruction of man-made structures and the social and economic effects on a wide spectrum of the affected communities in the aftermath of the event. Such situations can be widely attested to by most areas around the Pacific Rim. Indeed, the threat of earthquakes is always imminent because of the geological-tectonic nature of the region as manifested by past experiences. It is patently obvious that earthquake occurrences are not only a geological hazard but also pose a serious social danger. When one considers the 19 September 1985 Mexico (Michoacan) earthquake (Mitchell at al., 1986), the necessity of continuing research is of paramount importance. An estimation . of earthquake risk encompasses both qualitative and quantitative aspects and demands a multidisciplinary research effort integrating seismology, tectonics, geology, enginering, sociology, economics, insurance and governmental policies (Bolt, 1978; Booth, 1984). These roles in mitigating such a hazard have been aptly discussed by Press (1985). A series of discussion papers based on an intergovernmental conference covering the whole scenario were published by UNESCO (1978). A comprehensive case history was provided through a workshop on the 1886
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