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Creating an earthquake scenario in China: a case study in Weinan City, Shaanxi province


Written by Yue Cao


In efforts to address government-identified gaps between top-down policies and local-level preparedness approaches, a team from China, the UK and the US undertook a transdisciplinary, participatory project (Pan-participatory Assessment and Governance of Earthquake Risks in the Ordos Area – PAGER-O) to develop an earthquake scenario for two administrative districts of Weinan, Shaanxi province, located east of Xi'an. They designed the scenario study and communication materials, a first of their kind in China, to help local agencies describe and communicate earthquake risk to local decision-makers and the public. 

The team used a storytelling approach to create two science-based narratives of the scenario earthquake's aftermath. The narratives can help people visualise the estimated losses and impacts, and provide mitigation and preparedness recommendations that, if implemented, will help reduce earthquake damage and consequences. 

This paper was produced as part of the PAGER-O project. It focuses on project implementation in China, using a case study in Weinan City, Shaanxi province.

Yue Cao, Janise Rodgers, Guiwu Su, Wenhua Qi, David Milledge, Alexander Densmore, Craig Davis, Philip England, John Young, Arrietta Chakos, Xiaoli Li, Timothy Sim, Emily So, Barry Parsons, Lei Sun, Junlei Yu and Chunlan Guo