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Experts: Strict Building Codes Saved Lives in Powerful Chile Earthquake - by Ray Sanchez - April 2, 2014

(CNN) -- Strict building codes and the preparedness of millions of Chileans who live along an arc of volcanoes and fault lines likely kept the death toll -- only six by Wednesday afternoon -- low after an 8.2-magnitude earthquake rumbled offshore and prompted a tsunami, observers said.

Officials said four of those whose deaths were blamed on the quake late Tuesday that triggered landslides, power outages, and a tsunami suffered heart attacks, while two others were crushed.

"They're a seismically active region of the world and they are very good at implementing their building codes similar to California," John Bellini, a Denver-based geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey told CNN on Wednesday.


Global Earthquake Model (GEM)

GEM’s collaborative efforts will build a heightened public understanding and awareness of seismic risk, leading to increased earthquake resilience worldwide, as the GEM community:

> shares data, models, and knowledge through the OpenQuake platform

> applies GEM tools and software to inform decision-making for risk mitigation and management

> expands the science and understanding of earthquakes

GEM - News

GEM - December 2013 Newsletter



Earthquake Alert in Philippines - October 14, 2013


This earthquake can have a high humanitarian impact based on the Magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability.

  • Earthquake Magnitude 7.1M, Depth:20km
  • on 15/10/2013 00:12 UTC
  • 5600343 people within 100km




Lac-Megantic Train Blast: PM Harper Visits 'War Zone'


One witness said the fireball that followed the derailment was "like an atomic bomb" - July 7, 2013

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the part of Lac-Megantic affected by Saturday's crude oil explosion looks like a "war zone".

At least five people died when runaway wagons packed with crude oil derailed and blew up early on Saturday.

Some 30 buildings had been completely incinerated by fires which engulfed the historic centre, said Mr Harper.

Police are trying to find 40 missing people: a nearby bar was said to have been crowded at the time of the blast.


Global Earthquake Model (GEM)

GEM is a global collaborative effort with the aim to provide organisations and people with tools and resources for transparent assessment of earthquake risk anywhere in the world. By pooling data, knowledge and people, GEM acts as an international forum for collaboration and exchange, and leverages the knowledge of leading experts for the benefit of society.

GEM Newsletter - June 2013

GEM Newsletter - July 2013

Solomons Quake Triggers Tsunami, Destroys Villages


ABC News - Live Coverage Blog - February 5, 2013

A magnitude 8.0 earthquake off Solomon Islands has generated a tsunami and destroyed three villages.


Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

From GDACS . . . Estimated wave height and arrival times of Tsunami . . .

USGS - 8.0 Earthquake

West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

National Data Buoy Center - Facebook Announcement

Explaining Risks

Aftereffects of the L'Aquila earthquakeImage: Aftereffects of the L'Aquila earthquake - October 25th, 2012 - Robert W. "Doc" Hall

The difficulties of explaining risk are the nub of the recent conviction on manslaughter changes of six Italian seismologists and a public official for inadequately forewarning the public of the L’Aquila earthquake in 2009: 309 fatalities, over 1500 injuries, and about 20,000 buildings destroyed. Seismologists classified the L’Aquila as a “moderate earthquake,” 6.3 Richter, but losses were very high in a densely populated area.

The case has drawn media attention, but Nature has a more detailed account.


Italian Scientists Convicted of Not Warning of Earthquake


Collapsed church building from 2009 earthquake in central Italy - October 22, 2012

An Italian court on Monday convicted seven scientists and experts of manslaughter for underestimating the risks of a killer earthquake and failing to adequately warn citizens before it struck the central Italian town of L'Aquila in 2009.

More than 300 people were killed, tens of thousands were left homeless, and the town's historic center and medieval churches were destroyed in the 6.3-magnitude quake.

Prosecutors argued that the defendants - members of a national panel that assesses major risks - offered "incomplete, imprecise and contradictory information" to residents.


Fukushima Disaster “a Profoundly Man-Made Disaster”: Investigative Commission

submitted by Luis Kun

Homeland Security News Wire - July 5, 2012

Executive Summary - Slideshare

Executive Summary - (88 page .PDF file)

NAIIC Report

The commission investigating the Fukushima disaster of March 2011 concluded that although the combination of the tsunami and earthquake was unprecedented in its ferocity, the disaster was largely man-made because it was amplified by what came before it and what followed it. The disaster itself, the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, said was sandwiched by practices and conduct which were the result of government-industry collusion and the worst conformist conventions of Japanese culture.

Mega-quake hotspots around the world - June 27, 2012

                                                                                Image source:

The 2010 earthquake in Haiti killed hundreds of thousands and destroyed large sections of the capital, Port au Prince; the clock is ticking on many earthquake faults throughout the world, and a comprehensive new book points to places around the world that could face the fate of Port au Prince.



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