Reducing earthquake risk

Inaugural Lecture

As recent events in Nepal have reminded us, earthquakes can be terrifyingly destructive. In the past 15 years, they’ve caused over 650,000 deaths, and property damage exceeding US$300 billion.

Reducing this impact presents a huge challenge. Prediction – long the ultimate goal – is now widely considered impossible. Engineering stronger stuctures can certainly help, but is often prohibitively expensive. So where are accessible advances to come from?

According to Professor Sandy Steacy, the answer may well be ‘operational earthquake forecasting’ (OEF); and in her Inaugural Lecture she’ll explain why.

Prof Steacy will discuss the science behind OEF, its role in assessing short-term changes in earthquake hazard, and the difficulties of communicating those changes to decision-makers and the public.

The presenter

Professor Sandy Steacy is Head of the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Adelaide. She was previously Professor of Earthquake Physics at the University of Ulster, and in 2011 was a member of the expert panel on future seismic hazard in New Zealand’s Canterbury region, which informed revised building codes in Christchurch.

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