The effects of earthquakes can be broadly grouped into two categories – primary and secondary hazards.
- Primary hazards are caused by the direct interaction of seismic wave energy with the ground. In most situations, this is limited to fault rupture and ground shaking.
- Secondary hazards are caused as a consequence of that ground shaking, such as ground settlement, lateral ground displacement, liquefaction, landslides and rock falls, tsunamis, floods, fires and falling debris.
Ground shaking and land-based secondary hazards are described briefly in this section. The other hazards are outside the scope of this resource.
In this section: