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Earthquakes, large or even moderate, are often followed by secondary phenomena, such as landslides, tsunamis, fires and technological disasters, leading to cascading effects that may, in turn, cause severe repercussions. Before, during and after the occurrence of these events, risk communication, currently evolved to codified legislation, is a crucial factor. Policy selection in the present study is approached by the application of the risk game tree and its formation. The events studied here in view of policy making have occurred both in the historical and the instrumental era, to account for different level of exposure and anthropogenic hazards, in Greece (1894 Atlanti, 1953 Kefallinia series, 2003 and 2015 Lefkas), Italy (1976 Friuli), Japan (2011 Tōhoku) and Slovenia (1917 Brežice). In all case studies the whole disaster management cycle is examined, i.e. mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Disaggregation of earthquake-related direct and cascading effects, as well as risk communication are taken into account and ethical challenges are posed both to scientists and policy makers.
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