On Feb. 22, a magnitude-6.1 earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, killing nearly 200 people and causing $12 billion in damage. About three weeks later, a massive magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck northern Honshu, Japan. The quake and tsunami killed about 30,000 people and caused an estimated $310 billion in damage. Both events are stark reminders of human vulnerability to natural disasters and provide a harsh reality check: Even technologically advanced countries with modern building codes are not immune from earthquake disasters.
About 75 million Americans in 39 states face a significant risk from a strong earthquake. Because of this significant risk, the Congressional Hazards Caucus Coalition will sponsor an earthquake hazards briefing Tuesday, September 20 at 3:00 pm, in room 2325 of the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill.