An great, non-technical article, from an MIT Engineer on what we can learn from the Japanese experiment with the quake and tsunami. I fear he is correct when he says,
But I wouldn't bet on the authorities taking the right action. Time and again, all over the world, settlements that have been destroyed by a natural disaster are simply rebuilt in exactly the same place. That's what happened in the Thai beach resorts devastated by the 2004 tsunami, and it's also what happens on an almost routine basis in certain parts of the United States. Low-lying properties on the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Seaboard are destroyed by seasonal hurricanes and rebuilt over and over again, often with the help of financial incentives from the U.S. government.