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Earthquake Early Warning System in Southern Italy

Encyclopedia of Complexity and System Science, 5, 2395-2421, 2009, doi 10.1007/978-0-387-30440-3
A.Zollo, G. Iannaccone, V. Convertito, L. Elia, I. Iervolino, M. Lancieri, A. Lomax, C. Martino, C. Satriano, E. Weber, P. Gasparini


Many regions in the world are affected by natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, floods, storms, landslides, etc., each of which can have
devastating socio-economic impacts. Among these natural events, earthquakes, have been among the most recurrent and damaging hazards during last few
decades, resulting in large numbers of casualties, and massive economic losses [30].
The problem of earthquake risk mitigation is faced using different approaches, depending upon the time scale being considered. Whilst over time scales of decades it is of utmost importance that land use regulations and building/infrastructure codes are continuously updated and improved, for time scales of a few years, the main risk mitigation actions are at the level of information and education in order to increase individual and social community awareness about potentially damaging hazards. Over shorter time scales (months to hours), it would naturally be of great benefit to society as a whole if the capability to accurately predict the time, location and size of a potentially catastrophic natural event were available. However, due to the great complexity of the natural processes of concern, such predictions are currently not possible. On the other hand, on very short time scales (seconds to minutes), new strategies for earthquake risk mitigation are being conceived and are under development worldwide, based on real-time information about natural events that is provided by advanced monitoring infrastructures, denoted as “early warning systems”

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*Notice: This is an electronic version of an article published in Encyclopedia of Complexity and System Science: complete citation information for the final version of the paper, as published in the print edition of Encyclopedia of Complexity and System Science, is available on the  Springer online delivery service, accessible via the journal's website at

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