The occurrence of earthquakes in the world is very unevenly distributed. The west coast of the Americas, south and southeast Europe, and large parts of southern and southeastern Asia, are much more at risk than Africa or Australia. Earthquakes often happen in the vicinity of relatively young mountainous regions that are still evolving, and that may still be uplifting by a few millimetres per year. Often such slow movements build up pressure over time only to be suddenly released as enormous quantities of energy, producing an earthquake. In just a few tens of seconds an entire landscape can change destroying entire cities.
As an example of what happens during such an event, material on the Izmit Earthquake in Turkey is provided. It demonstrates how data from Earth Observation satellites can help to monitor such a catastrophic event, and hopefully help mitigate the disaster.