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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1893; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091893

Rapid Population Growth throughout Asia’s Earthquake-Prone Areas: A Multiscale Analysis

1
Center for Human-Environment System Sustainability (CHESS), State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology (ESPRE), Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
3
School of Natural Resources, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
4
Key Laboratory of Environmental Changes and Natural Disaster, Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
5
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology (ESPRE), Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Abstract

Assessing the changes of the population living throughout the most seismically hazardous area (MSHA) constitutes an important foundation for seismic risk assessment. However, the changes of the population living in the MSHA of Asia, which exhibits the highest number of earthquake related fatalities, were poorly understood. Therefore, this study analyzed the changes of the population in the MSHA between 2000 and 2015 at the continental, subcontinental, and national scales. We found that the population, especially the vulnerable population (i.e., children under or equal to the age of 14 and elderly people over or equal to the age of 65), in Asia’s MSHA increased rapidly between 2000 and 2015. The population in the MSHA increased by 185.88 million with a growth rate of 20.93%, which was 3.38% greater than that in the non-MSHA region. Meanwhile, the vulnerable population in the MSHA increased by 63.65 million with a growth rate of 19.73%. The increase of the vulnerable population in the MSHA was 19.93% greater than that in the non-MSHA region. We also found that urban population growth was a major factor impacting the increase in both the population and the vulnerable population throughout Asia’s MSHA. Therefore, attention should be paid to the changes of the population in Asia’s MSHA, whilst it is imperative to execute strict building codes and select the development location more carefully in the MSHA. View Full-Text
Keywords: most seismically hazardous area; vulnerable population; earthquake exposure; urban population; Asia most seismically hazardous area; vulnerable population; earthquake exposure; urban population; Asia
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Dou, Y.; Huang, Q.; He, C.; Meng, S.; Zhang, Q. Rapid Population Growth throughout Asia’s Earthquake-Prone Areas: A Multiscale Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1893.

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