Business Continuity Plan alert: Q3 2018 Earthquakes now at a record high

“Is it just me, or does there seem to be another new earthquake being reported every other day at the moment?”  Is pretty much how the conversation about earthquakes started between analysts in our Global Data Centre @ssonanalytics this week. There was a general feeling in on our office that there has been a noticeable increase in the regularity of natural disaster news lately.  One colleague commented that it seemed almost impossible to turn of any sort of news feed in the last few weeks without hearing about yet another (often devastating) natural disaster. If it wasn’t volcanoes erupting, it was earthquakes happening. Were we imaging it?

Luckily, we work in a place with lots of clever data folk and hundreds of API data feeds, so it was pretty easy to go in and check out the historical facts. Has there in fact been significant increase in the number of earthquakes lately or does it just feel that way due to the intense press coverage?

Take a look at exhibit A below (source: United States Geological Survey) which explores the number of earthquakes with GREATER than 6 Magnitude (that’s very strong in case not clear)  occurring in a shallow depth (i.e. less than 3km below earth’s surface – that’s very shallow). Obviously the more shallow the earthquake the more the impact is felt and more devastating the consequences can be. 

Pay particular attention to the red line below. That’s right now. Yikes.

So that will be a big fat, YES then. In fact, the number of earthquakes in this category currently occurring are at an all time record high for the last 5 years.  

Right then, so now that’s we have the probability increase confirmed, what can we do about it? The short and rather depressing answer is absolutely nothing, except of course be more prepared for if and when the worst should happen. 

For any business, regardless of whether your operating model is Shared Services, Global In-house-Centre, Captive, Hybrid or fully leveraging a BPO partner (Business Process Outsourcer), you need to a water-tight understanding of the current and changing nature of the varying different natural disaster risks that your location could be facing. Whether it’s an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, volcano or other that your most at risk of in your business location, before writing or refreshing your Business Continuity Plans (BCP) it’s critical you arm yourself with as much relevant and recent data as you can. 

If you haven’t seen them already, explore as many of SSON Analytics Risk & Resilience data workbooks on the topic as you can. They’re all FREE and they cover in depth data on natural disaster risk and resilience (or rebound factor as you might call it) for every continental region in each quarter of the year. The latest 2018 editions containing natural disaster risk data on LATAM, Europe and the Pacific Ring of Fire. God speed, Stay safe, and please do remember forewarned is forearmed. 

N.B. Need access risk data you can’t see inside SSON Analytics Risk & Resilience series? Check out the City Cube for the very latest, updated risk data across 3800 cities around the world. 


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