The accuracy of preinstrumental earthquake data, which cover longer time periods than instrumental recordings, and a more widespread assessment of macroseismic intensity data have significantly improved the knowledge of the seismic behavior of many regions of the world. The importance of these data is now widely recognized, and such an awareness stemmed from the realization that even though instrumental seismological data have now existed for about one century, this remains too short a period to cover the recurrence interval of large earthquakes and to accurately describe and examine any possible temporal change of seismicity.

Although in comparison with the instrumental...

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