Earthquakes can have devastating impact in a matter of seconds. Their unpredictable nature and the potential scale of their impact make them one of the most lethal of all disasters, claiming an average of 27,000 lives a year worldwide since the 1990s. There are more than 1.4 million earthquakes a year around the planet, an average of almost 4,000 per day. Of course, if earthquake phenomena occur in uninhabited areas where they do not have any human impact, they remain hazards rather than disasters. If, on the other hand, they strike urban areas with high population density or communities where buildings are not earthquake-resistant, there is the potential for major disasters with large-scale human loss, especially in the case of larger earthquakes.
Management of earthquake risks is a process that involves pre-, co- and post-seismic phases. Rapid response systems go into action immediately after the earthquake and provide assessment of the distribution of ground shaking intensity (so-called Shake-Maps) and information on physical (buildings) damage, casualties (fatalities) and economic losses. This rapid information on the consequences of an earthquake can serve to direct search and rescue teams to the areas they're most needed and assist civil protection authorities in emergency action. As such, the need for a rapid loss estimates after an earthquake has been recognised and requested by governments and international agencies.
Subject coverage includes, but isn't limited to, the following:
- Developing/improving seismic loss estimation tools and platforms
- Structural damage following an earthquake with a specific focus on new methodologies for rapid risk and vulnerability assessments
- Non-structural damage following an earthquake with a specific focus on direct physical damage to building stock
- Human causalities/fatalities following an earthquake with a specific focus on methodologies to reduce casualties in highly populated urban areas
- Proposing methodologies to formulate direct social losses as a function of casualties
- Economic issues and downtime
- Proposed improvements for HAZUS-MH and similar platforms
- Developing fragility functions for complex and critical structures and infrastructures
- Uncertainties in the loss estimation process
- Repair, retrofit and rehabilitation of damaged structures
Submission of manuscripts: 31 March, 2016
Notification to authors: 15 June, 2016
Final versions due: 15 July, 2016