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Creating an earthquake scenario in China: A case study in Weinan City, Shaanxi province

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Milledge



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


In efforts to address government-identified gaps between top-down policies and local-level preparedness approaches,a team from China, the UK and the US undertook a transdisciplinary, participatory project to develop an earthquakescenario for two administrative districts of Weinan, Shaanxi province, located east of Xi’an. We designed the scenariostudy and communication materials, a first of their kind in China, to help local agencies describe and communicateearthquake risk to local decision-makers and the public. Weinan was destroyed by the 1556 M8¼ Huaxianearthquake, China’s deadliest so far, and damaged by the 1568 M~7 Shaanxi Gaoling earthquake (also known as theM6¾ Northeast Xi’an earthquake). We chose a repeat of this 1568 event, because earthquakes of the size of the 1556Huaxian event are extremely rare in the Weihe basin (and similar tectonic environments worldwide). We modelled theground motion of the 1568 event, prepared a loss estimate, conducted field charrettes comprising field work and localconsultations, and carried out disaster issue-focused social surveys to understand Weinan’s main earthquake riskproblems. We used a storytelling approach to create two science-based narratives, in Chinese and English, of thescenario earthquake’s aftermath. One is a short graphic novel with earthquake mitigation and preparedness tips for thegeneral public; the other is a narrative story with technical content and recommendations for relevant local agencies.The narratives can help people visualize the estimated losses and impacts, and provide mitigation and preparednessrecommendations that, if implemented, will help reduce earthquake damage and consequences.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rodgers J, Su G, Qi W, Milledge D, Densmore A, Davis C, England P, Young J, Cao Y, Chakos A, Li X, Sim T, So E, Parsons B, Sun L, Yu J, Guo C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction

Year: 2019

Pages: epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 26/08/2019

Acceptance date: 23/08/2019

Date deposited: 27/08/2019

ISSN (print): 2212-4209

ISSN (electronic): 2212-4209

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2019.101305


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