Loma Prieta damage largely attributed to enhanced ground shaking

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Abstract

Earthquake hazards are commonly treated independently by Earth scientists, yet when a large earthquake occurs, property losses are seldom totaled separately for each earthquake hazard. Four years after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake rolled through northern California, a quantitative answer to the following question is not yet available: How much damage was caused by ground shaking, liquefaction, landslides, tectonic ground rupture, or tsunami?

Although the consequences of one earthquake do not necessarily follow for others, an answer to this question will help guide public policy and set research priorities. The cost effectiveness of earthquake hazard mitigation can be improved when the relative significance of earthquake hazards is known because it enables public agencies to concentrate mitigation efforts on the most portentous hazards.

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