Catastrophe Risk Management Technology

Real-Time Damage and Casualty Estimation Tools

Built environment and human life in many seismically active regions in the world are exposed to various types of seismic hazards, the most important seismic ground motions. Past experiences have shown that resources for ordinary emergency response organizations at urban scales are insufficient to deal with aftermath of big natural disasters and prioritization of affected areas is required in order to make the best use of available resources. Experiences with large recent natural disasters particularly in developing countries have shown that at the time of big events, the efficiency of normal call centres is reduced significantly due to disruptions to other infrastructure facilities. Quick estimations of geographical extent of affected area as well as the volume of physical damage and number of casualties are quite crucial in emergency management and proper distribution of available resources. The development and application of real-time damage estimation tools in recent years particularly since the 1995 Kobe earthquake have been under consideration in many seismic prone regions in the world such as Japan, United State, Turkey, and Italy. In the international scale one may name the projects such as PAGER, RISK-UE, RADIUS, and HAZUS.

CATRisk® has been deeply involved in the design and development of real-time casualty and loss estimation models for the local and regional government to help the management of aftermath of natural catastrophes and help early response efforts. We have been recently working with local government in developing real-time damage and casualty estimation systems. The primary objectives for such tool as decision support system are to help disaster managers towards rapid emergency response and to minimize the secondary catastrophe damages and humanitarian crises. The system consists of several main modules responsible for earthquake detection and damage calculation within seconds of earthquake occurrence, using an online network of accelerograph network. The results obtained from this system are in the form of maps and tables illustrating damage to built environment, human casualty, evacuee and first aid and emergency requirement and materials. It also generates damage reports in the forms of SMS text messages, faxes, emails and printed maps and distributes them automatically to the authorities soon after the earthquake. These systems have the ability to perform seismic damage estimation based on synthetically simulated earthquake scenarios. Such tools could be designed and developed to fulfil the need of many sectors involving in the socio-economic aftermath of natural catastrophe including:

• Emergency Response teams
• Governments
• Policy makers with regard to resource allocation
• Insurance Industry