Materials of the International Conference
50th Anniversary of the International Geophysical Year
and Electronic Geophysical Year

16-19 September 2007 • Suzdal, Russia

Earthquake impact data bases: Availability and uncertanties

N. Frolova1, V. Larionov2, J. Bonnin3, and A. Gvishiani4

1Seismological Center of IGE, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

2Extreme Situations Research Center, Moscow, Russia

3Institute of Physics of the Earth, Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, France

4Geophysical Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia


The recent strong earthquakes in different countries all over the world demonstrated the need for a reliable information on past events' impact. This data are extremely critical for calibration of the near real time systems for expected loss estimations, which make use of simulation models for shaking intensity distribution, damage to building and structures, number of casualties. This information plays also an important role for experts responsible for emergency management and sustainable development. The paper is analyzing the earthquake impact databases, which exist at global, regional and national levels. As a rule, impact databases are oriented for definite end-users. Insurance companies were the first to create and maintain the databases on natural disasters' consequences, including earthquakes. The databases of SwissRe and MunichRe are well known, but have restricted accessibility. Few years ago an impact database was created by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters in Brussels. At present it contains the description of 1034 earthquakes occurred during the period from May 1901 up to April 2007 worldwide, which caused a number of fatalities equal to 10 persons and above and/or 100 persons reported affected. Special attention is paid to the knowledgebase on past earthquakes developed and maintained by Seismological Center of IGE, Russian Academy of Sciences and Extreme Situations Research Center. The knowledge-base contains the description of more than 1600 events occurred all over the world during the last about 100 years, including event parameters (origin time, location, magnitude, depth of source), damage to buildings, social and economic losses, macroseismic effects, as well as optional information on response measures. The developed knowledge base has been used for calibration of different global versions of the "Extremum" family System in order to compensate the incompleteness of our knowledge about built environment and population distribution in the earthquake-prone countries, as well as regional vulnerability functions of elements at risk. Taking into account the uncertainties of information in different impact databases and their accessibility the undertaken analysis of existing global databases allowed to determine the structure and content of the earthquake impact database which might be created by joint efforts of scientific community and decision makers responsible for seismic risk management.

Citation: N. Frolova, V. Larionov, J. Bonnin, and A. Gvishiani (2007), Earthquake impact data bases: Availability and uncertanties, in: Materials of the International Conference '50th Anniversary of the International Geophysical Year and Electronic Geophysical Year', GC RAS, Moscow, doi:10.2205/2007-IGY50conf.

© 2007 Geophysical Center RAS and authors