Repository logo

The transdisciplinary construction of a seismic scenario as a process tool for addressing major gaps in earthquake disaster risk reduction in China

Accepted version

No Thumbnail Available



Change log


Su, G 
England, P 
Rodgers, J 
Young, J 


China’s approach to earthquake disaster reduction is, in accordance with the relevant national law, essentially top-down [1]; it has long focused on policies and practices at the county level of government and above. (Typical county populations in China are in the range of several tens to several hundreds of thousands). This approach has been highly effective in mobilizing large-scale earthquake disaster (risk) reduction activities – for example response to and recovery from the 1976 Mw7.5, Tangshan, and the 2008 Mw7.9 Wenchuan, earthquakes. However it is clear that the overall resilience of a society to earthquake also depends on actions from various bottom-up components (e.g., family, community). For example, nearly 90% of those rescued from the Wenchuan earthquake (around 87,000) were saved by mutual or self-rescue within local communities and societies [2]; similar percentages have also been documented for many other earthquakes worldwide (e.g., [3,4]). These percentages imply that bottom-up components of a society play a fundamental role in building its total resilience to seismic disasters, upon which China’s government-led top-down disaster management system has not yet fully capitalised.



4404 Development Studies, 4406 Human Geography, 44 Human Society

Journal Title

International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



Elsevier BV


All rights reserved
Natural Environment Research Council (NE/N012313/1)
Natural Environment Research Council (NE/N01233X/1)