Book number: 92417 Product format: Hardback Author: ANDREW ROBINSON

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The growth of the scientific study of earthquakes is woven into this far-reaching history. The story begins with a series of earthquakes in England in 1750. Today seismologists can monitor the vibrations of the planet second by second, and the movement of tectonic plates millimetre by millimetre, yet even in the 21st century great earthquakes are still essentially 'acts of god', striking with much less warning than volcanoes, floods, hurricanes and even tornadoes and tsunamis. Since antiquity on every continent human beings in search of attractive landscapes and economic prosperity have made a Faustian bargain with the risk of devastation by an earthquake. Today around half of the world's largest cities, as many as 60, lie in areas of major seismic activity. Many such as Lisbon, Naples, San Francisco, Teheran and Tokyo have been severely damaged or destroyed by earthquakes in the past. Throughout history starting with ancient Jericho, Rome and Sparta, cities have proved to be extraordinarily resilient. Only one, Port Royal in the Caribbean, was abandoned after an earthquake. The book seeks to understand exactly how humans and earthquakes have interacted. In some cases, physical devastation has been followed by decline but in others, the political and economic reverberations of earthquake disasters have presented opportunities for renewal. After its wholesale destruction in 1906, San Francisco went on to flourish, eventually giving birth to the high-tech industrial area on the San Andreas fault known as Silicon Valley. An earthquake in Caracas in 1812 triggered the creation of new nations in the liberation of South America from Spanish rule. Another in Tang Shan in 1976 catalysed the transformation of China into the world's second largest economy. Other chapters look at grief and growth in the land of Gandhi, Gujarat 2001, the tsunami in the Indian Ocean 2004, and meltdown and after in Fukushima 2011. With chronology of earthquakes, maps and references, a very well illustrated 256 page Thames & Hudson 2016 first edition.

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ISBN 9780500518595

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