Report of a meeting of the Joint Association for Geologists in Development Specialist Group in association with the Joint Association for Geophysics and the Engineering Specialist Groups of the Society, at Burlington House, 18 October 1989. The convenor was G. J. H. McCall.

This meeting was designed to present accounts of a wide variety of Earth science related hazards, both natural and man-made. The theme was particularly topical in view of the commencement of the UN International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction in 1990. The fact that the San Francisco Earthquake occurred on the night before the meeting added to the topicality of the theme to no small degree! The programme was designed to bring together a number of experts, drawn from both the geological and other related fields such as soil science and geophysics, to cover the scientific investigation of the nature of various hazards and the response to such hazards, both after the event and in the form of prior planning to mitigate the effects of likely future events. The meeting was targeted on the Third World Countries, the Special Interest of the JAGID Specialist Group, but papers of a general nature were included, because of the fact that there is much to be learnt from the experience of developed countries.

G. J. H. McCall introduced the theme by saying that hazard incidence and scale were increasing because of increased population concentrations (especially the mush-rooming and sprawling of some Third World cities); increased technological development;

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