As increasing urbanization is taking place worldwide, earthquake hazards pose serious threats to lives and property in urban areas. For seismic hazard mitigation, a practical earthquake forecast method appears to be far from realization, because of the extreme complexity involved in earthquake processes (e.g., Kanamori et al., 1997). Another approach to mitigate seismic hazards is the development of early warning systems (ews) (Nakamura, 1984, 1988; Heaton, 1985; United States National Research Council, 1991; Teng et al., 1997; United States Geological Survey, 1998; Wu et al., 1998; Wu...

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