The horrific images and constantly updated death toll following the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria have provoked strong feelings of empathy and despair. Hope is needed and, unprompted, I look around for research into the area – and come away even more convinced that research is absolutely vital.
But the images also prompt questions. How can this happen? Again? Is this as far as we have come with all the knowledge, research results and technical solutions we have today, in everything from materials, construction, solidity, urban planning, safety and security?
Following the 2011 earthquake in Japan, for instance, the country has focused heavily on securing structures with, as far as I am aware, successful results, and on preparing its people and buildings against future tremors.
There is a great deal of knowledge and competence at KTH regarding different aspects of earthquakes. This includes research into being able to better predict when an earthquake might happen.
And that is a source of hope.