It is difficult to know how many fatalities and injuries in an earthquake may have been avoided by a mitigating action because the result without the mitigation can usually not be estimated with a useful reliability. The case of the evacuation before the 1975, M 7.3, Haicheng earthquake offers a rare opportunity to quantitatively estimate the number of casualties saved. We show that the computer tool QLARM has calculated the human losses in eight damaging earthquakes in China approximately correctly within 40 min, without information from the affected area. Therefore, our estimates of the numbers of casualties that would have...

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