Critical Issues on Probabilistic Earthquake Loss Assessment. Journal of Earthquake Engineering
Probabilistic loss modeling can be used to develop risk reduction measures, such as the identification of regions more prone to human and economic losses, or to develop financial mechanisms to transfer the earthquake risk from local governments to the private sector. This study addresses several critical issues in probabilistic loss modeling, and provides recommendations depending on the intended final use of the risk results. Modeling issues related to convergence in probabilistic event-based analysis; consideration of epistemic uncertainties within a logic tree; generation of different types of loss exceedance curves; and derivation of risk maps are thoroughly investigated. The Metropolitan Area of Lisbon is used to explore these issues, and it is demonstrated that different assumptions in the loss modeling process can lead to considerably different risk results. Furthermore, the findings and recommendations of this study are also relevant for institutions that promote the assessment of earthquake hazard and risk, such as the Global Earthquake Model Foundation.