Worldwide rapid socio-economic loss model for earthquake economic loss and fatality estimation


The production of a robust worldwide rapid socio-economic loss model for earthquake economic loss and fatality estimation: success from 2009-2014

James Daniell1,2 & Friedemann Wenzel2

1 John Monash Scholar, The General Sir John Monash Foundation, Level 5,
30 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3000
2 Geophysical Institute & Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Hertzstrasse 16, 76187, Karlsruhe, Germany



An empirical global earthquake loss model is presented based on empirical data from 1900- 2008. Over 7300 damaging earthquakes have occurred since 1900 via the CATDAT Damaging Earthquakes Database, occurring in different socioeconomic situations. Disaggregated fatalities and economic losses and costs from earthquakes as well as secondary effects (landslide, liquefaction, tsunami) have been collected for each event.

A virtual earth was created from 1900-2014 for 255 countries, taking into account border changes, population, building stock, economic production, earthquake vulnerability and socioeconomic indices such as development. Collected intensity maps from 3000+ damaging earthquakes were then superimposed on this exposure to recreate each historical earthquake. 450 seismic resistant codes were also reviewed in order to provide a global seismic code influence index.

The result of this geophysical, engineering, and socio-economic analysis was the production of a set of socioeconomic fragility functions to accurately determine the economic loss and cost and number of fatalities from a damaging earthquake anywhere in the world, within minutes and hours after an event (J. E. Daniell’s Doctoral Thesis). This was tested for the period of 2009-2014 with 100% success for economic losses and 98% for fatalities and used on and can also be used for future risk assessment.

Keywords: Economic losses, earthquake loss assessment, global risk, fatality estimation, insurance.

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