Earthquakes are one of the costliest natural hazards facing the United States. Major earthquakes occur infrequently but can be devastating, especially when they occur in densely populated areas. Over the last hundred years, earthquake damages in the United States totaled more than $50 billion, with just one earthquake (Northridge, CA, 1994) accounting for nearly $40 billion of that total. Earthquake monitoring and the study of earthquake ground motions are fundamental to the informed engineering of resilient buildings and lifelines.
- Fact Sheet