Earthquake Casualty Loss Assessment in a Major City of Israel ‐ the Case of Tiberias

Igal M Shohet, Hsi-Hsien Wei, Robert Levy, Stav Shapira, Ohad Levi, Tsafrir Levi, Amos Salamon, Yaron Bar-Dayan, Moti Zohar, Oren Vilnay

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Mitigating the consequences of potential earthquakes requires an estimation of the casualties that may incur, and accordingly the development of an appropriate risk management and response model. Based on an extensive literature review of the consequences of earthquakes, the following parameters
were identified as a significant factor in estimating human casualties:
1. The earthquake related hazards in the designated area, namely the seismic vibrations, amplification of the ground acceleration, surface rupture, soil liquefaction, landslides, and tsunamis.
2. The vulnerability of the structures to the seismic hazards. This is assessed by an empirical or analytical approach that combines simulation of seismic events, reaction of the ground, and the capacity of the building stock.
3. Vulnerability of the population due to its socio-economic conditions and demography in the designated area.
This information is crucial to the prior preparedness plans and to the emergency response during and after an earthquake disaster. As a part of the research of “Risk Assessment for Earthquake Casualties in Israel”, Hazus-MH (Hazards U.S. Multi-Hazard) was adapted. This methodology of estimating the potential losses from disasters was developed by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) in order to examine the effects of natural hazards including strong earthquakes. The city of Tiberias is located along the tectonically active Dead-Sea-Fault, near the lake of Gallile in Northern Israel, and therefore is exposed to a high risk of earthquakes and landslide hazards. Thus it was chosen as a case study in this research. Tiberias covers an area 10.7 sq. km. which are divided into 12 census tracts (GIS ground cells) with forty-five thousand inhabitants.
The goal of this study is to develop and implement a semi-empirical model for casualty estimation that will enable to forecast the extent, types, and severity of casualties that may result in Tiberias and its surroundings in the case of several scenarios of given earthquakes. The expected deliverables will enable the research team to assess the risk, and develop strategies for retrofitting the vulnerable structures, and improve preparedness of the population in the case of destructive earthquakes.
Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publication2014 European Seismological Commission 34rd Assembly
StatePublished - 2014

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