EDITORIAL

Quake warnings, seismic culture

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Science  01 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6367, pp. 1111
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar4640

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Summary

Since 1990, nearly one million people have died from the impacts of earthquakes. Reducing those impacts requires building a local seismic culture in which residents are aware of earthquake risks and value efforts to mitigate harm. Such efforts include earthquake early warning (EEW) systems that provide seconds to minutes notice of pending shaking. Recent events in Mexico provide an opportunity to assess performance and perception of an EEW system and highlight areas for further improvement. We have learned that EEW systems, even imperfect ones, can help people prepare for earthquakes and build local seismic culture, both beneficial in reducing earthquake-related losses.

  • * Earthquake Engineering Research Institute Reconnaissance Team: Elizabeth S. Cochran, U.S. Geological Survey; Tom Huggins, Massey University; Scott Miles, University of Washington; Diego Otegui, University of Delaware.