An integrated and interdisciplinary model for predicting the risk of injury and death in future earthquakes Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND: A comprehensive technique for earthquake-related casualty estimation remains an unmet challenge. This study aims to integrate risk factors related to characteristics of the exposed population and to the built environment in order to improve communities' preparedness and response capabilities and to mitigate future consequences. METHODS: An innovative model was formulated based on a widely used loss estimation model (HAZUS) by integrating four human-related risk factors (age, gender, physical disability and socioeconomic status) that were identified through a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological data. The common effect measures of these factors were calculated and entered to the existing model's algorithm using logistic regression equations. Sensitivity analysis was performed by conducting a casualty estimation simulation in a high-vulnerability risk area in Israel. RESULTS: the integrated model outcomes indicated an increase in the total number of casualties compared with the prediction of the traditional model; with regard to specific injury levels an increase was demonstrated in the number of expected fatalities and in the severely and moderately injured, and a decrease was noted in the lightly injured. Urban areas with higher populations at risk rates were found more vulnerable in this regard. CONCLUSION: The proposed model offers a novel approach that allows quantification of the combined impact of human-related and structural factors on the results of earthquake casualty modelling. Investing efforts in reducing human vulnerability and increasing resilience prior to an occurrence of an earthquake could lead to a possible decrease in the expected number of casualties. Language: en

publication date

  • January 1, 2016