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The effects of hazard zone information on judgements about earthquake damage

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This study investigates the extent to which people's views on the causes and preventability of earthquake damage might be influenced by their degree of exposure to hazard as well as what information they have been given about the hazard. The results show that the provision of hazard zoning information influences judgements on preventability and causes of damage, but this effect depends on the degree of hazard faced by residents. In low hazard zones, information leads to the view that causes are manageable, whereas in high hazard zones information may induce a degree of fatalism. The use of public information in risk management needs to take into account the degree of risk faced by the recipients.

Keywords: earthquake hazard; fatalism; hazard zoning information; risk; risk perception

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Geography, School of Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand 2: School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, Email:

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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