Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

Cartograms: sixteen years of major earthquakes

  • Written by  Benjamin Hennig
  • Published in Tectonics
Cartograms: sixteen years of major earthquakes
08 Jul
2019
Benjamin Hennig creates a series of cartograms to demonstrate the impact of the 439 major earthquakes which took place between 2001 and 2017

Earthquake WeekWhile predicting earthquakes still poses challenges, documenting earthquakes that have already happened has become a routine task, with a wide network of sensors and stations available around the globe that contribute to monitoring these seismic events. But not every earthquake also turns into a disaster; they only become hazards where humans are most affected. On the one hand, this is connected to population density, as where more people live, more people are also potentially affected. But other factors, such as housing and living conditions, as well as preparedness, also play a role.

The Emergency Events Database by Universite catholique de Louvain compiles data about disastrous earthquakes (and other disasters). This data is extracted and included in this cartogram series. For a disaster to be entered into the database at least one of the following criteria must be fulfilled: Ten or more people reported killed; one hundred or more people reported affected; declaration of a state of emergency; call for international assistance.

Keep an eye on the world
signup buttonGet Geographical’s latest news delivered straight to your inbox every Friday, plus a collection of free eBooks on the subjects that matter to you!

Between 2001 and 2017 a total of 439 of such disastrous earthquakes were reported. These reflect the general global seismic activity quite well and the first cartogram below shows each country and region proportional to the total number of earthquake disasters according to these criteria.

When dissecting these into the various categories of impact, the picture changes. The next cartograms show the the total damages (quantified in US dollars), the number of affected people (151 million), the number of deaths (558,000), and the number of people who became homeless (11.8 million) as a result of the earthquakes in the same period. Each of these provides an insight into the changing nature of the impact earthquake’s have on people’s lives.


Disasterous Earthquakes 2001-2017

WEB mainmap


WEB map1


WEB map2


WEB map3


WEB map4

Geographical July 2019CRACKING THE EARTHQUAKE CODE
The July 2019 issue of Geographical takes an in-depth look at the ways advancements in technology are improving the scientific art of earthquake detection. But will we ever be able to accurately predict these devastating incidents?
Pick up the latest issue of the magazine today, or take out a 3 or 12-month subscription and never miss a thing!

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter and get a free collection of eBooks!

geo line break v3

Related items

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...

Climate

A review of climate crisis coverage in the global media…

Oceans

Marco Magrini looks at the carbon capturing power of the ocean’s…

Oceans

Marine Protected Areas are designed to benefit the marine ecosystem…

Climate

The link between China’s economic growth and increased pollution has…

Climate

An analysis of nine year’s worth of lightning data, covering…

Climate

When getting on ‘board’ with sustainability is the entire goal

Oceans

Many scientists believe that jellyfish numbers are increasing, pointing to…

Geophoto

Prepare to be inspired, startled and filled with awe in…

Climate

Excessive use of nitrogen-based fertilisers is contributing to numerous environmental…

Energy

A group of scientists from Edinburgh University has come up…

Geophoto

​This year’s winning environmental photographs show the impacts of the…

Wildlife

A WWF report has revealed that global forest vertebrate populations…

Climate

Yesterday saw one of the biggest public protest movements in…

Climate

On the eve of millions of world citizens going on…

Wildlife

Around 75 million birds are kept as pets in Indonesia,…

Wildlife

Migratory animals are actively adjusting their traditions to cope with…

Climate

How many trees can you plant in a day?

Polar

New analysis of NASA data has led to the discovery…

Climate

Naomi Klein is back and calling for a new world…

Geophoto

The move away from film has meant more pictures being…