GAO urges earthquake resilience assessment


Federal agencies should conduct a national assessment to identify progress and remaining gaps in earthquake resilience, says the U.S. Government Accountability Office in a report issued Tuesday.

The National Institute of Science and Technology has said this has not been done, according to the GAO report.

NIST is one of four agencies participating in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. Others are the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Other GAO recommendations in the report include determining the additional actions needed to obtain input from government entities and stakeholders on research priorities.

The GAO said the Department of Commerce, Department of Interior and the Department of Homeland Security have generally concurred with its recommendations.

The GAO’s letter to Congressional committees with its report’s submission says almost half of the U.S. population, about 150 million people, live in areas at risk of experiencing damaging earthquake within the next 50 years.

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