In the wake of the devastating earthquake in China this week, Forbes reported on a study of earthquake vulnerability by GeoHazards International, an NGO working towards earthquake safety around the globe. Of the 20 cities worldwide ranked as most vulnerable to earthquakes, San Salvador was ranked number 7:
The country's 220-square-mile capital city, home to 2.2 million people, has been the site of numerous earthquakes throughout its history, most recently in 2001. A 6.0 quake would kill an estimated 11,500.
GeoHazards also released a study in 2001 after the earthquakes which hit El Salvador pointing out that many measures to reduce the damage and fatalities those quakes caused are both feasible and relatively low cost. This week US military personnel participated in disaster preparedness exercises in El Salvador simulating response to a devastating earthquake.