Presented by: The Lessons of New Zealand
The two earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, provided a reminder that despite great scientific advances in our understanding of earthquake risk, there is still a great deal of uncertainty.
The ground motion exceeded the design standards that were in place for typical structures in this part of New Zealand.
Laurie Johnson, Lexington Insurance Company
In contrast to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, experts pointed to the 2010 earthquake in Chile as evidence that advances in building codes and construction can help reduce damage and save lives. While scientists have learned much in the last decade about earthquake sources, ground shaking and building performance, the two earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, made it abundantly clear that huge gaps in knowledge still remain. The earthquakes in New Zealand’s second-largest city were on previously unknown faults. This uncertainty must be reflected in catastrophe models and better integrated into risk management decisions.
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