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BEFORE THE

BRARY OF CONCRE
HEARING LIBE

AFR 15.1998
SUBCOMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND

SPACE

OF THE
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE,
SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION

APRIL 10, 1997

Printed for the use of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

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For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402

ISBN 0-16-056040-3

SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION

JOHN MCCAIN, Arizona, Chairman TED STEVENS, Alaska

ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina CONRAD BURNS, Montana

DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii SLADE GORTON, Washington

WENDELL H. FORD, Kentucky TRENT LOTT, Mississippi

JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West Virginia KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas

JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts OLYMPIA J, SNOWE, Maine

JOHN B. BREAUX, Louisiana JOHN ASHCROFT, Missouri

RICHARD H. BRYAN, Nevada BILL FRIST, Tennessee

BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota SPENCER ABRAHAM, Michigan

RON WYDEN, Oregon SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas

JOHN RAIDT, Staff Director

MARK BUSE, Policy Director
IVAN A. SCHLAGER, Democratic Chief Counsel and Staff Director

JAMES S.W. DREWRY, Democratic General Counsel

SUBCOMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SPACE

BILL FRIST, Tennessee Chairman CONRAD BURNS, Montana

JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West Virginia KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas

JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts TED STEVENS, Alaska

RICHARD H. BRYAN, Nevada SPENCER ABRAHAM, Michigan

BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota

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NATIONAL EARTHQUAKE HAZARDS

REDUCTION PROGRAM

THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 1997

U.S. SENATE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SPACE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION,

Washington, DC. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:10 p.m., in room SR-253, Russell Senate Office Building, Hon. Bill Frist (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Staff members assigned to this hearing: Rosalind Parker, staff. counsel, and Floyd Deschamps, detailee; and Lila Helms, minority senior professional staff. OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BILL FRIST, U.S. SENATOR

FROM TENNESSEE Senator FRIST. Good afternoon. Today the Science, Technology, and Space Subcommittee will examine the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.

I welcome all of our witnesses who are here with us today, as we seek ways to reduce the impact of future earthquakes on the lives of our citizens and property. The devastating consequences of the recent earthquakes in Japan and Northridge, California, emphasize the need for programs like NEHRP. The Northridge Earthquake caused 57 deaths and more than $25 billion on losses. The Kobe Earthquake caused more than 6,000 deaths and $200 billion in losses.

Approximately 38 States currently face significant risk of earthquakes. The probability of a moderate earthquake occurring in the Central United States within the next 50 years is greater than 90 percent. Earthquakes in the Central United States have a larger affected area, and therefore, the hazards are much greater than in the Western United States for earthquakes of similar magnitude.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone includes my home State of Tennessee. I am pleased that we will be able to hear from witnesses today from Memphis, Tennessee, which lies in the heart of this New Madrid Fault.

Although earthquakes happen less frequently and, in the aggregate, cause less economic loss than other types of natural hazards, they have the potential for causing intense, abrupt, sudden damage. A major earthquake could happen at any time in the United States. Insured losses from such an event could total as much as $80 billion, depending on the location and magnitude of the quake.

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