Scawthorn, Charles SPA Risk LLC, Oakland, California.
Last reviewed:April 2017
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The application of the natural and social sciences for the reduction of risk resulting from the effects of earthquakes. Although earthquake shaking and building collapse are the primary causes of loss of life and property earthquake loss can also be caused by other effects such as ground failure (e.g., liquefaction, landsliding), tsunami, fire and hazardous materials release, and is also caused by business and social disruption, equipment and content damage, and lifeline damage (Fig. 1). Lifelines are urban services, such as water, power, gas, communications, and transportation, without which an urban region cannot function. Occasionally, effects other than shaking, such as widespread ground failure, tsunami, fire following an earthquake, landslides, or release of hazardous materials, may be the dominant agents of damage in a particular earthquake. See also: Earthquake
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