Although short-lived, earthquakes are the most menacing and feared of natural hazards because of their sudden impact and devastation. Widespread loss of life and property can occur within seconds. Most large earthquakes are caused by movement on a fault. An area’s vulnerability to seismic hazards can be readily identified based on a number of local conditions, such as liquefaction potential, ground shaking amplification, instability, and distance from a fault. There are a number of actions that can help to mitigate an area’s vulnerability to a damage-causing quake, these include land-use planning, building design, response and recovery plans, and community awareness.



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