Thursday, December 10, 2015

Earthquake Time Bombs

Earthquake Time Bombs by Robert Yeats
Cambridge University Press: 11/30/2015
eBook review copy; 361 pages
hardcover ISBN-13: 9781107085244

Earthquake Time Bombs by Robert Yeats is a very highly recommended look at the disaster potential of earthquakes impacting major urban areas today. It certainly should be a must-read for anyone involved with making policy or charged with providing emergency services for urban areas that are at risk for a major earthquake.

Yeats does a superb job in the presentation of the information to help make it accessible to everyone. Not only is it written in a easy to read style, including many diagrams and pictures to help illustrate the concepts, he has organized Earthquake Time Bombs into two parts and a conclusion. Part of this organization is so, if you aren't a novice to the basic science, you can skip the first part. "The first part provides a background in earthquakes and plate tectonics, including the concept of geologic time and an explanation of why we, as scientists, cannot tell you when the next huge earthquake will strike, or where. You can use this first part as a reference."

Then the second part "describes several earthquake time bombs around the world, most of which you have heard of for reasons other than earthquakes, such as Caracas, Tehran, Jerusalem, or Kabul. Some of these time bombs are in unexpected places: Seattle, Los Angeles, Tokyo. Each of the time bomb chapters may be read on their own without going back to the explanatory Part I, although you may want to read the explanations as well as the descriptions of individual time bombs."

It's a helpful way to organize the information. Although I read it straight through as written, I could have easily skipped the first section, as I already have a good, basic foundation in the science. After the information on the various cities which have been determined to be earthquake time bombs, Yeats provides references, in case you want to do more research on a specific city/region. He also has an index. As is my wont, I'm always pleased to see references and an index in my nonfiction.

With the large populations in megacities today, preparedness is essential and should be taken seriously before the big one happens. Additionally, since earthquakes are not only locally devastating, but can instigate tsunamis which can cause even more destruction, the information is of global significance if a population center is near a coast.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of
Cambridge University Press, via Netgalley, for review purposes.

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