The impact of earthquakes on the intention to move: Fight or flight?
Abstract The extraction of natural gas in the north of The Netherlands has led to soil subsidence and the occurrence of earthquakes. Residents worry about the safety of their families and the saleability of their dwelling and might want to move. The goal is to examine whether the earthquakes are related to the intention to move. A survey among residents in the area was carried out in 2015. The results show that the intention to move is influenced by age, education, household size, length of residence and attachment to the region. In addition, there is an effect of experience of earthquakes, which is mediated by psychological distress (anxiety, insecurity and concern). We conclude that the way in which residents handle the earthquake experience determines their intention to move, not the experience in itself. This provides opportunities to prevent out-migration by supporting residents and by providing them psychological care and security regarding the value and saleability of their dwellings. Highlights The impact of earthquakes on moving intention is mediated by psychological distress. Being young, high educated or single is related to a higher intention to move. Having weak or no attachment to the region is related to a higher intention to move. Higher residential satisfaction is related to a lower intention to move. Experience of earthquakes increases expectation of future damage to the dwelling.
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