EARTHQUAKE EARLY WARNING AND RAPID RESPONSE TO EARTHQUAKE: TOWARD AN EFFECTIVE RISK REDUCTION STRATEGY
By Elisa Zuccolo
Researcher at National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics – OGS – Udine, Italy
Earthquake early warning (EEW) and Rapid Response to Earthquakes (RRE) constitute two major tools for reducing disaster risk and increasing resilience to seismic hazard in urban settings. While EEW systems provide real-time information about ongoing earthquakes, enabling end-users (e.g. citizens, businesses, governments, etc..) to take timely actions to reduce the probability of harm or loss before the earthquake ground shaking reaches them, RRE aims at providing near real-time ground-motion/damage scenarios and loss estimates in the immediate aftermath of a seismic event in order to help relevant stakeholders (first responders, infrastructure operators and owners, etc) taking appropriate actions when needed.
Advances in the field of EEW were achieved in the framework of the EU H2020 TURNkey Project. The performed studies cover the entire EEW-related processes (feasibility studies of EEW – performance evaluation of existing EEW algorithms – development of a decision-making methodology for EEW) and constitute an important paradigm shift in current approaches to analyzing and conducting EEW. In particular, they highlight the importance of accounting for EEW parameter uncertainties and having a damage- / end-users-oriented look at the EEW.
Concerning RRE, the system for the Italian railway network is an example of an operating system not directly relying on a seismic network. It is based on a WebGIS tool recently designed by EUCENTRE (EUropean CENtre for Training and Research on Earthquake Engineering) and developed in collaboration with Almaviva in the frame of an industrial partnership with Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) S.p.A. Calculation engines developed by EUCENTRE update the computed ground motion/damage scenarios as soon as new information (with an increasing degree of reliability) become available. Scenarios are used both for managing the post-seismic emergency in the epicentral area and for defining priorities in inspection programs.