Although there is profound evidence that pre-existing socio-economic conditions greatly influence the recovery process after an earthquake, attempts to measure and validate this relationship have been limited. As a result, GEM is investigating the relationship between disaster resilience and earthquake recovery through a novel framework, according to which socio-economic indicators are used to predict the evolution of recovery of the building stock following an earthquake. The city of Napa, California and the 2014 South Napa earthquake are being used as a case study for the development and validation of the aforementioned methodology (click on the title to read more).
The exponential growth in global population, mainly concentrated in urban areas, has led to an increase of the so-called “mega cities”, often located in hazard-prone areas (e.g. Mexico City, Tokyo, Los Angeles). These settlements frequently rely upon the interconnection and interaction between many networks. In the event of an earthquake, a failure of one of these systems may cause a cascading effect, leading to the failure of others. This interdependency has been indicated as one of the reasons for the increase in the global economic losses due to disasters in the last decade. (click on the title to read more)
Risk from earthquakes (and natural hazards in general) is defined in a multitude of ways, yet earthquake risk is primarily the product of interactions between seismic hazard, the constructed environment, and the degree of vulnerability of people and property exposed to the threat. A number of approaches for understanding earthquake risk exist, but it is the interrelationships between these concepts that are becoming the focal point for politicians, stakeholders, and the general public (click on the title to read more).
An exposure model capturing the geographical distribution and main characteristics of the building stock exposed to seismic hazard is a fundamental step in earthquake risk assessment and reduction. In this context, an open exposure model for the residential building stock has been developed for the Andean Countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela), as part of the South America Risk Assessment (SARA) project (click on the title to read more).