Japan and the Philippines are the world's most seismic areas, closely followed by California. Southern Europe falls some way behind in terms of risk, and risk in northern Europe is low.
Around 90% of earthquake damage is experienced in soft soil areas. The greatest risk to life comes in poorly developed areas where the building stock is poor. For example the recent disaster in Afghanistan was a relatively small earthquake, but the consequences were tragic. Seismic risk is a combination of an area's seismic activity, soil conditions and the type and the quality of the building stock.