A Report from the RIKEN International Frontier Research Project on Earthquakes (IFREQ)


Mitigation of seismic hazards requires integration of science and human action, namely the science of earthquakes, anti-seismic engineering and socio-political measures. In this paper, we will be primarily examining the problem of saving human life from earthquakes. Loss of human life from earthquakes is caused overwhelmingly by the collapse of houses and buildings within less than a few minutes of the main shocks. When structural damage is reduced, most other seismic hazards will also be reduced. On top of that, if short-term prediction could be made, casualties would be further reduced dramatically. We review the state of the art in short-term prediction, in particular recent progress in approaches using electromagnetic phenomena.

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