The story of one thousand earthquakes


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In early 2014 I saw a video circulated by a colleague, wherein someone from Japan had put together all the earthquakes that struck Japan between January 2011 to September 2011, essentially capturing the early tremors, the Great Tohoku earthquake of March 11, 2011 and subsequent aftershocks. It was a compelling visual which brought home the sheer intensity of the earthquake event. While the video was a visual representation of an event, could the same concept be used to create a product that could become a tool for raising awareness to a serious issue?
The Story of One Thousand Earthquakes
Over a one-year period from May 2013 to May 2014, there were a total of 1,247 recorded earthquake events of 4.0 magnitude or higher. It's time to get prepared.

With over 600 million people living along the fault-line across the Himalayan belt, South Asia’s earthquake exposure is very high. To further compound the problem, South Asia is urbanizing at a rapid pace and a significant growth in mega-cities, secondary and tertiary cities / towns is happening in high risk seismic zones. The region has experienced three large events over the past 15 years, the Bhuj earthquake of 2001, the Sumatra earthquake of 2004 (leading to the Asian tsunami) and the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. While there have been no major earthquakes these past 9 years, the region is akin to a ticking bomb for an earthquake disaster. Keeping this in mind, we mapped a region of 3000 Km radius from the center of India and analyzed earthquake events over a one-year period from May 2013 to May 2014. Only those earthquakes recorded by the United States Geological Survey’s global earthquake monitoring database (USGS) greater than 4.0 magnitude on the Richter scale were considered. We found a total of 1,247 recorded earthquake events. The story of a 1000 earthquakes was born and was a story that needed to be told.

We decided to create a video that would become an awareness tool and effectively communicate the risk the region faces. We deliberately steered away from talking about work being undertaken to reduce seismic risks or policy mechanisms that can be adopted. There are other mechanisms, mediums and opportunities to take that agenda forward. This is a short 90 seconds video and hopefully communicates the urgency of investing resources and efforts into earthquake safety. Increase the volume, enjoy, get scared. and then be prepared!


Saurabh Dani

Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist

Join the Conversation

March 17, 2015

Risk-reduction for rural houses is simple and not costly, but too little is done.
Most destructions seen from cyclones could be avoided with a few KG of g.i. wire and earthquake effects would be much reduced with simple plastered on little bands. Instead of holding large conferences, one should invest more in physical improvements and information systems.

Digambar Amatya
March 12, 2015

Nepal is in high ricks earth quake zone All Nepalese people should be aware

nadeem yousaf
March 11, 2015

Well, this is wonderful information, I experience that event after a deadliest earthquake of Oct 2005 in Pakistan, about 75000 people died in few minutes. Still government and people are unable to create a culture of preparedness and resilience, through this is improvement as well and people are constructing building on earthquake resistant mechanism but is very few in numbers and large scale of communities are still having the same way of doing it. The most important is to have mass awareness campaign and it must continue on annual basis so that people do not forget along with Drills/simulation as an opportunity for common people to practice the knowledge and skills they have in real time scenario.

charles mbatha
March 11, 2015

High risks involved is certain and the trend offs with return analysis is low returns when the heavy investments through urbanisation is wiped away.the governments in these areas need to engage top brainsto put popolicies that discourages investments of longterm nature but capitalize on short term projects with high returns .the returns can be diverted to the population to build elsewhere and compensate the investors already with heavy capital outlays.policy for protection.compensation to be put in place.

Dr Pramathesh Panchal
March 16, 2015

I think the Indian subcontinent will get separated from the rest of the world and will have a new identity as Greater India and will be super power too!

Amod Mani Dixit
April 03, 2015

Ok, then it has to float in the space in between the "rest of the world" and the Sun, Moon, or Mars. I don't think Nepal or any other country of the subcontinent would love to follow to float.

Veenu Acharya
March 16, 2015

Some one year back Exactly same pure in white does not fear or acknowledge our presence its very cool went across such object same as mentioned talked to my wife in the morning , went to that spot no evidence but saw a deep hole dug under my house surely not a rat hole or dogs work , it was different experience for me for I cant believe which organism dug such huge hole underneath the concrete belt of basement it was a pure white object in complete darkness .

Veenu Acharya
March 16, 2015

Yes its very important to share information with people , investors and consumers so that they choose to take right decision . Govt shall alter or apply strict norms of safety on projects according to situation and take all precautions to save lives & avoid loss .
Govt shall also encourage savings by introducing alternative schemes ,minimising house rents ,slowing down constructions , Banning certain value less products which attracts middle class investment ,Use & throw goods , reduce educational fees cutting development charges Stop insuring new luxurious products & buildings , Minimise use of new machinery in production thus try to give more employment opportunity to increase savings

Usoe aung
April 09, 2015

please update the data at your convenience

lhakpa gyalu sherpa
April 07, 2015

not a specialist in this field though aware of such occur said a mass destructive in Nepal in 1934 ...what would be expected next??? I assume frequent small earthquakes release energy and next one not as 1934?

Kesang namgyal
April 09, 2015

The danger is lurking. It has been warned many a times even before. It seems people n the govts are only watching for the catastrophe to take place. No ene seems to be seriously concerned of the pending danger. May god bless us all