Earthquake Scenarios

Development of Earthquake Scenarios

One of the effective ways to minimize the damage from a strong earthquake is development of earthquake scenarios identifying the damage-prone areas and calculating the extent of the damage.




GSI is developing advanced earthquake scenarios as a part of an Israeli plan of preparation for a strong earthquake. These scenarios are aimed to fit the conditions of the country as close as possible, based on the HAZUS program. The program enables simulating geological hazards (such as landslides), taking into consideration the population density and distribution, the spatial distribution of buildings, the level of their seismic resistance, and the distribution of infrastructure facilities. Scenarios of earthquakes help to estimate the damage to buildings and infrastructure facilities, including their functioning level after the earthquake, as well as the number of dead, injured and homeless people, amounts of debris, and the overall economic damage to the area. The scenarios are prepared on the national and local levels. The program was applied to a number of important events such as the national earthquake exercise “Turning Point 6” (October 2012), during which the GSI produced tens of damage maps for the drill coordination centers. In October 2013, a “cluster” of weak earthquakes developed north of the Lake Kinneret, leading to real-time production of earthquake scenarios by the GSI. These scenarios provided a basis for the decision-making process at the Ministry of National Infrastructures in order to address the hazard.

Lack of quantitative data on strong earthquakes is still a source for large uncertainty in earthquake damage calculations for the region. Several ongoing studies in the fields of geologic/seismic hazards, civil engineering, and infrastructure/population distribution are aimed to minimize these uncertainties.

During the years 2016-2017 the “Development of Earthquake Scenarios” project will focus mainly on two central themes: 1) Estimation of damage and casualties during the strong earthquake in Israel; and 2) preparation of a set of real time damage simulations. The first will include studies focusing on development of methods for estimation of the numbers of casualties, based on geological and construction conditions, as well as on economic aspects. The second theme will include developing algorithms for quick output processing of the damage estimation, and designing standard damage maps. The results of the project will be forwarded to the Committee for Earthquake Preparation, to the Home Front Command, the Police and to every other emergency authority needing the scenarios.

Preparing for an Earthquake in Israel

Preparing for an Earthquake in Israel

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