Earthquake hazards

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: