Earthquake hazard, also referred to as seismic hazard, describes what level of ground shakings at the earth’s surface is expected due to potential future earthquakes. Ground shaking is the most relevant effect of an earthquake; however, it may also trigger secondary phenomena such as tsunamis, landslides or rock falls.
Earthquakes have a great potential for causing damage to buildings, the environment and people’s well-being. The location and frequency of earthquakes cannot be precisely predicted; however, thanks to robust earthquake hazard assessment, we gain an improved understanding of how often and how intensely the earth could shake in the future at a given location. It also sets the basis to efficiently tailor mitigation measures to make communities more resilient to future earthquakes.
Earthquake hazard assessment is based on knowledge of past earthquakes, geology, and tectonics and takes into account various factors that may affect the strength of the shaking at any given location.