Although India has a long written record, the shaking intensity of few damaging earthquakes that occurred before AD 1800, can be quantified. Since reliable estimates of future shaking near planned nuclear power plants depend on the extrapolation of historical earthquake data spanning many centuries, estimates of seismic risk to the planned Jaitapur nuclear power plant assessed from a short dataset of only the past few centuries, may not, therefore, represent the true risk to the plant.

On the anniversary of Haiti's devastating quake, Nicholas Ambraseys and Roger Bilham calculate that 83% of all deaths from building collapse in earthquakes over the past 30 years occurred in countries that are anomalously corrupt.

Roger Bilham, one of the first seismologists to visit Haiti after last month