Casualty modelling

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Luca Leone
tel: 01223 460475

Tremendous progress has been made in earthquake science and engineering in the past decades. However, fatalities and injuries due to earthquakes continue to dominate recent headlines, and the mitigation of these losses remains a challenge. Assessment of human casualties in earthquakes has become a topic of vital importance for national and urban authorities responsible for emergency provisions, for the development of mitigation strategies and for the development of adequate insurance schemes. In spite of this, there are currently no globally applicable casualty rates for use in earthquake loss estimation models.

Drawing from new evidence collected from recent events together with existing knowledge, CAR has been actively involved in the assessment of human casualties in earthquakes, improving understanding of how casualties occur in these natural disasters and providing casualty parameters for loss estimation models.

Leading the field of global practitioners in mass-casualty assessment after earthquakes, CAR has been involved in studies for New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation for Wellington and more recently, collaborating with the U.S. Geological Survey in its development of the Prompt Assessment for Global Earthquakes Response (PAGER) programme. PAGER provides an alert less than 30 minutes after an event has occurred, based on an estimate of the number of deaths or extent of economic losses due to ground shaking following an earthquake. These prompt alerts inform emergency responders, government and aid agencies, and the media of the scale of a disaster.

CAR’s work on casualty modelling has led to an improved understanding of the relationship between deaths and injuries following earthquakes and contacts developed in the area have been instrumental in establishing an international network on Disaster Casualties. CAR remains engaged with earthquake‐affected communities in different parts of the world, focusing on applying their research towards making real‐world improvements in seismic safety and actively participating in the international debate on the way forward for earthquake risk mitigation.

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