CoreLogic's Maiclaire Bolton takes a look at the damage that can be caused by earthquakes and the proper way to assess how much damage they can cause. Of the 20,000 earthquakes that occur each year--about 50 per day--only a small number actually cause substantial damage.
So, to think like seismologist, Bolton looks as the most powerful recent earthquakes which teaches the reader one very intuitive lesson: the bigger the magnitude, the greater potential for damage:
Or more simply –big earthquakes cause more damage than small earthquakes. However, it’s not just magnitude that needs to be considered, as sometimes a smaller magnitude earthquake can cause more damage than one of larger magnitude."