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Keywords:

  • seismic hazard;
  • decision making;
  • building code

The recent destructive earthquakes in Wenchuan (China), L'Aquila (Italy), Port-au-Prince (Haiti), Christchurch (New Zealand), and Tohoku (Japan) have reignited the discussion over seismic safety. Several scientists [e.g., Stein et al., 2012; Wyss et al., 2012] have questioned the reliability of some seismic hazard maps based on the probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA)—a widely used probabilistic approach that estimates the likelihood of various levels of ground shaking occurring at a given location in a given future time period—raising an intense discussion on this specific point [Hanks et al., 2012; Frankel, 2013; Stein et al., 2013].