USAID/OFDA PREPARE Program for Costa Rica and Colombia
Miyamoto et al.
The PREPARE (Preparing Rescue and Emergency Personnel to Ameliorate the Response to Earthquakes) program, for a disaster risk reduction (DRR) and disaster risk management (DRM) program in San José, Costa Rica started in 2015 and its first phase was completed in early 2017. The program was implemented with financial support from USAID/OFDA. The targeted beneficiaries include an estimated 470,000 residents of San José. The goal of PREPARE is to provide national and municipal DRR institutions with a clearer picture of the probable impact of an earthquake, and to assist them to meet their goals to reduce fatalities and lessen the social and economic impact of future earthquakes. In the Phase I component, seismic risk assessment for the built environment was conducted. This program used the OpenQuake platform from the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) to estimate the expected values of number of fatalities, injuries, structural damage, post-earthquake building tag distribution, and debris volume for a (500-year) earthquake scenario. As part of this phase, rigorous data collection was undertaken to classify the building types and distribution of buildings in the target area. The data collection, performed electronically, employed the FEMA 154 type methodology (i.e., rapid visual survey to identify various building characteristics such as structural type, material, configuration, soil, etc.), and accounted for the local construction. Monte Carlo simulations with 10,000 realizations were conducted and the data was aggregated to compute the seismic risk for the city and to identify the zones most vulnerable to the earthquakes due to large pool of weak buildings, high seismicity, large population, or a combination of factors. Analysis showed that high fatality rates (order of 1%), large percentage of damaged buildings (6% tagged yellow or red) and high ratio of physical damage (over 40%) would be expected. The results from this phase is being utilized to develop a post-earthquake damage assessment program, allocate resources for risk reduction and developing a risk management plan with the goal of developing more resilient cities.