How is it of relevance?
Detailed data on the consequences from past earthquakes is of great importance as it allows us to understand their effects and helps to better estimate the risk from future earthquakes including damage to buildings, critical facilities, economic losses, social consequences and risk to life.
From consequence data, experts can develop and improve fragility functions [for buildings and other elements at risk] that are needed to estimate future possible loss under a certain earthquake scenario.
The database can be used as a framework for development of more detailed consequences datasets of any earthquake events at various resolutions (country, province, municipal and even specific locations) that can form the backbone for estimating risk.
Who are developing it?
GEMECD is coordinated by Cambridge Architectural Research (CAR) Ltd, by Emily So and Antonios Pomonis. CRED, ERN-AL, GNS, KOERI, Kyoto University, Munich Re, SPA Risk and USGS are other project partners. Read more about all participants on their group on GEM Nexus.
the various partners are responsible for different areas of the world
In a nutshell
The database’s scope is captured in the image below, showing how the various exposures interact with the multitude of earthquake-related hazards:
The database is structured in tiers (see image below). For each event there is an overview, shakemaps and socio-economic data that describe the overall consequences (tier 1). In tiers 2 and 3 more detailed data from specific affected locations are presented in aggregated or building-by-building form. This includes the effects of ground motion on standard buildings of specific vulnerability classes and critical facilities as well as the effects of other earthquake hazards (landslides, liquefaction, tsunami, fire following) on all types of exposures. The effects on human life are also considered through studies on human casualties at specific locations and in specific buildings that have collapsed. Being the main cause of destruction, damage due to ground shaking is addressed with more numerous and detailed studies and is correlated to the estimated ground motions on any affected location via USGS’s Shake Maps. The shakemaps for the events in the database have been improved specifically for the purpose of this project.
Database structure - click to enlarge
What are its characteristics?
- The overall consequences of 68 significant earthquakes around the globe, are described in detail:
- For around 65 events there are detailed statistical studies on the effects of ground shaking to standard buildings of a wide variety of vulnerability classes by period of construction, number of floors and other structural aspects commonly found around the world. More than 150,000 affected buildings are included in these studies.
- For 22 events there are studies on the consequences to specific critical facilities, important infrastructure & lifelines affected by ground shaking or other hazards, including schools and historic buildings.
- For 25 events there are studies / statistics on human casualties related to severity of ground motion, time of occurrence, region and predominant vulnerability class.
- For 26 events there are studies on consequences due to secondary hazards: landslides (13), liquefaction (5), tsunami (5) and fire following (3)
- For 18 events there are more detailed socio-economic studies addressing effects on lifelines and utilities, homelessness and recovery over time.
- Damage to buildings is described by building type, and is also mapped to the GEM Building Taxonomy (click to see):
How can I use it?
The database itself as well as tools to interact with it will become available as part of the OpenQuake platform in 2014. Tools for visualisation, literature database but also tools for cross-event analyses will be available to allow users to extract data across events and regions for subsequent vulnerability and risk assessment.
You can already take a look at the project's website gemecd.org where you can browse through the overviews for 60 of the 68 events (click below for an example):
This website furthermore hosts a data-upload portal for all project partners and documentation for current and future use of the database. See also below.
You can also access the project’s latest deliverables on GEM Nexus.
- Events list in v1 of the database; overview and justification
Templates and instructions/guidelines
..to facilitate growth of the database in the future:
- Consequence data collection guidelines
- Database design
- Rough guide to geo-referencing consequences datasets
- Spreadsheets to incorporate the GEM Building Taxonomy
- Macro template for uploading event overviews
- Macro template for uploading studies on ground shaking damage
- Macro template for uploading damage to critical facilities
..for technical management of the database:
- Interactive entity relationship diagram (for future queries to extract data from the database)
- Study and sub-event field comparison table (for future decisions on data storage)
Some of these are available from GEM Nexus. Others can be found on the GEMECD website.
How can I contribute?
- We look forward to your comments and suggestions on our data contribution guidelines and other related documents
- If you possess or know of studies that could enhance the database, we are keen to hear from you
- If you have other ideas or questions, feel free to get in touch as well
Contact us through Antonios Pomonis.