The U.S. Geological Survey and the Global Earthquake Model Foundation signed an agreement that will pave the way for both parties to work collaboratively to enhance global earthquake loss modeling efforts and to incorporate these new developments into the USGS Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquake for Response, or PAGER, system – a system that provides fatality and economic loss impact estimates following significant earthquakes worldwide.
“The USGS and GEM working together will be a significant step forward in advancing global earthquake hazard risk modeling and enhancing seismic risk assessments at national and regional scales, mitigating earthquake risk worldwide,” said David Applegate, USGS associate director for Natural Hazards.
The USGS PAGER system rapidly assesses earthquake impacts by comparing the number of people exposed to various levels of shaking with models of economic and fatality losses based on past earthquakes in each country or region of the world. The estimated losses trigger the appropriate color-coded alert, which determines the suggested levels of response – critical information used by emergency responders, governments and aid agencies to understand the potential scope of the disaster.
Both the USGS PAGER team and the GEM risk team will work towards improving the global vulnerability models by calibrating casualty and economic loss models for the PAGER system using the catalog of recent earthquakes and their associated impacts. These improvements are critical for PAGER, which is one of the most sought-after USGS products in the aftermath of a large earthquake.
“The USGS has had a long-standing collaborative relationship with GEM and has worked very closely with the risk team on various projects. With our partnership formalized, I have no doubt that this will usher in a new era of collaboration on global seismic hazard and risk assessment efforts for both organizations,” said Kishor Jaiswal, USGS research civil engineer.
John Schneider, the secretary general for GEM, described the partnership as not only important for GEM but also for public and private stakeholders worldwide. “The expertise and experience that the USGS brings can strengthen GEM’s programs in global earthquake hazard and risk assessment and complement GEM’s initiatives in multi-peril modelling,” said Schneider.