Recent devastating earthquakes in Indonesia, Japan, Kashmir and Haiti have shown that even if seismic hazard maps exist, they do not help scientists to predict the damage and death tolls, writes Max Wyss of the International Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics in the Earth Magazine. Now the scientific community has started questioning the calculation methods used. Although prediction is not possible, seismologists can advise about earthquake probabilities. They strongly recommend improving building codes, as it is 'collapsing buildings, not earthquakes' that kill people. The author concludes that "this is a time in hazard and risk seismology when new approaches are needed."