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Title: A multi-hazard historical catalogue for the city-island-state of Malta (Central Mediterranean)
Authors: Main, Geoff
Gauci, Ritienne
Schembri, John A.
Chester, David
Keywords: Natural disasters -- Catalogs
Natural disasters -- Malta
Earthquakes -- Malta
Hazard mitigation -- Malta
Natural disasters -- Risk management
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Main, G., Gauci, R., Schembri, J. A., & Chester, D. K. (2022). A multi-hazard historical catalogue for the city-island-state of Malta (Central Mediterranean). Natural Hazards, 114, 605-628.
Abstract: The city-island-state of Malta is traditionally viewed as a low-hazard country with the lack of a long historical catalogue of extreme events and their impacts acting as an obstacle to formulating evidence-based policies of disaster risk reduction. In this paper, we present the first multi-hazard historical catalogue for Malta which extends from the Miocene to 2019 CE. Drawing on over 3,500 documents and points of reference, including historical documentary data, official records and social media posts, we identify at least 1,526 hazard events which collectively have caused the loss of at least 661 lives. Recognising that historical materials relating to Malta are complicated by the presence of a strong temporal bias, we establish a four-point reliability indicator and apply this to each of the 1,062 recordings, with the result that some 78 % show a high degree of reliability. For an island state where there are significant gaps in the knowledge and understanding of the environmental extremes and their impacts over time, this paper addresses and fills these gaps in order to inform the development of public-facing and evidence-based policies of disaster risk reduction in Malta.
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