Earthquakes: Causes and Consequences

Archive Report

Unequal Contest of Man vs. Earthquake

Proposals for Reducing Losses From Quakes

Earthquakes are among the most common, the most destructive, and the most terrifying of natural disasters. It is estimated that possibly as many as a million temblors of varying degrees of intensity occur every year. The great majority of them pass virtually unnoticed except by seismologists. But each year brings its share of violent quakes that leave behind death, fires, toppled buildings, and tidal waves. Occasionally the topography of entire regions is substantially altered.

The great earthquake that hit Alaska just five years ago—on March 27, 1964—was so devastating that the White House asked the National Research Council, an affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences, to conduct an exhaustive study of the disaster and ...

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