While accurately predicting earthquakes is in the realm of science fiction, early warning systems are very much a reality. As advances in research and technology make these systems increasingly effective, they're vital to reducing an earthquake's human, social and economic toll.
Damaging earthquakes can strike at any time. While we can't prevent them from occurring, we can make sure casualties, economic loss and disruption of essential services are kept to a minimum.
Building more resilient cities is key to withstanding earthquake disasters. If we had a better idea of when earthquakes would strike, authorities could initiate local emergency, evacuation and shelter plans. But unfortunately, this is not the case.