GeoHazards International, a nonprofit research group aiming to reduce suffering due to natural disasters, measured the lethal potential of seismic disasters facing small and large cities in Asia and the Americas–areas most at risk for seismic calamity. The sample cities spanned both developed and developing countries. Variables measured: building frailty; potential for landslides and fires; and the rescue, firefighting and life-saving medical abilities of local authorities. The results indicate the city and the potential death-toll for an earthquake of magnitude 6.0.
Earthquake-Prone Cities – Most Vulnerable List
1. Kathmandu, Nepal: 69,000
A study by GeoHazards International predicted a 6.0 earthquake would kill approximately 69,000 people in this growing city of about 1 million, the most densely populated district of Nepal.
2. Istanbul, Turkey: 55,000
An major quake would kill an estimated 55,000 in this city of 10 million, which sits at the juncture of the African and the Eurasian tectonic plates. The nearby 1999 Kocaeli quake left 18,000 dead and thousands more homeless.
3. Delhi, India: 38,000
Almost 14 million people live in Delhi, a sprawling area of more than 500 square miles. A 6.0 earthquake here would kill an estimated 38,000.
4. Quito, Ecuador: 15,000
A 6.0 hit on mountainous Quito, home to 1.8 million people, would kill an estimated 15,000. A quake in 1797 ended the lives of some 40,000. In October 2006, a 4.1 quake hit the city without causing major damage. Denver SEO . A bigger threat: volcanoes. The city is surrounded by them and threatened by an active one–the only major city in the world where this is the case.
5. Manila, Philippines: 13,000
With 1.6 million people crammed into approximately 15 square miles, Manila is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. luxury cars online . A 6.0 quake here would kill around 13,000 people.
6. Islambad/Rawalpindi, Pakistan: 12,500
A 6.0 quake in Pakistan’s capital, home to around 1 million people, would kill an estimated 12,500 people.
7. San Salvador, El Salvador: 11,500
The country’s 220-square-mile capital city, home to 2.2 million people, has been the site of numerous earthquakes throughout its history, most recently in 2001. A 6.0 quake would kill an estimated 11,500.
8. Mexico City, Mexico (tie with San Salvador): 11,500
The country’s 220-mile capital city, home to 2.2 million people, has been the site of numerous earthquakes throughout its history, most recently in 2001. A 6.0 quake would kill an estimated 11,500.
9. Izmir, Turkey/San Salvador/Mexico City: 11,500
This city of 3.5 million people, situated at the junction of the African and the Eurasian tectonic plates, is the third-largest city in the country. A 6.0 quake here would kill an estimated 11,500 people.
10. Jakarta, Indonesia: 11,000
The city has a population of 18.4 million and is expected to hit 24 million by 2025. An estimated 11,000 people would be killed if a 6.0 earthquake hit here.
11. Tokyo, Japan: 9,000
An estimated 9,000 people would be killed if a 6.0 earthquake hit this city of 8 million people, the most vulnerable First World metropolis on the list. Huge earthquakes have struck the city many times: 1703, 1782, 1812, 1855 and 1923. The 1923 disaster, a magnitude 8.3 quake, killed more than 140,000.
Rounding out the List:
12. Mumbai, India: 8,000
13. Guayaquil, Ecuador: 4,30014. Bandung, Indonesia: 3,600
15. Santiago, Chile: 2,700
16. Tashkent, Uzbekistan: 2,500
17. Tijuana, Mexico: 1,800
18. Nagoya, Japan: 900
19. Antofagasta, Chile: 800
20. Kobe, Japan: 300