Analysis of Deaths Caused by Interplate and Intraplate Earthquakes



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Two kinds of earthquakes, interplate and intraplate, occur in the world. Interplate earthquakes occur at the plate boundaries and are common. Intraplate earthquakes occur within the stable continental land mass and are less common. Fatality models have been developed by a number of different research groups in the last decades to estimate losses in these types of events. This is a relatively new research area, with the added problem that a fatal event only occurs every fortnight or so, so that the data collection process is long term. This research study has two objectives; the first is to update the Generalized Poissonian distribution parameters for the period 2000 to 2009. The second is to establish the statistical properties of the set of fatal earthquakes for the world, for the interplate region, and intraplate region in the last decade and for the twentieth century. This work has not been previously completed and represents a potential insight into the cost effectiveness of current earthquake mitigation schemes. The key hypothesis is that fatal interplate earthquakes occur at a higher rate than fatal intraplate events. The results of the two analyses show that there is an increase in the average number of earthquakes and the average number of deaths caused by these earthquakes for this decade, indicating this decade has proved to be worse when compared to the earlier recorded earthquake period data. There was a total of 202 recorded fatal events in the period of 2000 to 2009. The interplate earthquakes proved to cause more fatalities compared to intraplate earthquakes during the past decade. The difference at the five percent confidence level is significant.