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Impact of Earthquakes on the Central USA

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Title: Impact of Earthquakes on the Central USA
Author(s): Elnashai, Amr S.; Cleveland, Lisa J.; Jefferson, Theresa; Harrald, John
Contributor(s): Spencer, Jr., Billie F.; Masud, Arif; Pineda, Omar; Suarez, Rob; Chang, Liang; Unen, Can; Gencturk, Bora; Frankie, Thomas; Lee, Jong Sung; Barbuto, Daniel; Challand, Sarah; Vlna, Jessica; Mekala, Sindhura; Alrawi, Nasiba; Harrald, John; Fiedrich, Frank; Johannes, Tay; Madhukar, Ashutosh; Mexted-Freeman, Clinton; Sener, Sebnem; CUSEC; IEM; Army Corps of Engineers; Bauer, Robert; Basuch, Douglass; Chesla, Kirk; Escalona, Eduardo
Subject(s): FEMA Phase I Mid-America Earthquake (MAE) Center Catastrophic Earthquake Response Planning
Abstract: The region of potential impact due to earthquake activity in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) is comprised of eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. Moreover, the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone (WVSZ) in southern Illinois and southeast Indiana and the East Tennessee Seismic Zone in eastern Tennessee and northeastern Alabama constitute significant risk of moderate-to-severe earthquakes throughout the central region of the USA. The investigation summarized in this report includes earthquake impact assessment scenarios completed using HAZUS-MH MR2 for several potential earthquake scenarios affecting the aforementioned eight-state region. The NMSZ includes eight scenarios - one for each state - whilst the WVSZ scenario in Indiana and the ETSZ scenario in Alabama complete the suite of ten total scenarios. These ten scenarios are designed to provide scientificallycredible, worst case damage and loss estimates for the purposes of emergency planning, response and recovery. The earthquake impact assessments presented in this report employ an analysis methodology comprising three major components; namely hazard, inventory and fragility (or vulnerability). The hazard characterizes not only the shaking of the ground but also the consequential transient and permanent deformation of the ground due to strong ground shaking. The inventory comprises all assets in a specified region, including the built environment and population data. Fragility or vulnerability functions relate the severity of shaking to the likelihood of reaching or exceeding damage states (light, moderate, extensive and near-collapse, for example). Social impact models are also included in the current assessment methodology and employ infrastructure damage results to estimate the effects on populations subjected to the earthquake. Whereas the modeling software used (HAZUS-MH MR2, FEMA-NIBS, 2006) provides default values for all of the above, most of these default values were replaced by components of traceable provenance and higher reliability than the default data, as described below. The hazard employed in this investigation includes ground shaking for three seismic zones and various events within those zones. The NMSZ consists of three fault segments: the northeast segment, the reelfoot thrust or central segment, and the southwest segment. Each segment comprises a deterministic, magnitude 7.7 (Mw7.7) earthquake caused by a rupture over the entire length of the segment. The employed magnitude was provided by US Geological Survey (USGS). The NMSZ represents the first of three hazard events utilized in this report. Two deterministic events are also included, namely a magnitude Mw7.1 in the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone (WVSZ) and a magnitude Mw5.9 in the East Tennessee Seismic Zone (ETSZ) earthquakes. Permanent ground deformation is characterized by a liquefaction susceptibility map that provides data for part of the eight states. Full liquefaction susceptibility maps for the entire region are still under development and will be utilized in subsequent phases of the current project. Inventory is enhanced through the use of the Homeland Security Infrastructure Program (HSIP) 2007 Gold Dataset (NGA Office of America, 2007). This dataset contains various types of critical infrastructure that are key inventory components for earthquake impact assessment. Transportation and utility facility inventories are improved while regional natural gas and oil pipelines are added to the inventory, alongside some high potential loss facility inventories. Additional essential facilities data were used for the State of Illinois via another impact assessment project at the Mid-America Earthquake Center, funded by FEMA and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. Existing HAZUSMH MR2 fragility functions are utilized in this study and default values are used to determine damage likelihoods for all infrastructure components. The results indicate that the State of Tennessee incurs the highest level of damage and social impacts. Over 250,000 buildings are moderately or more severely damaged, over 260,000 people are displaced and well over 60,000 casualties (injuries and fatalities) are expected. Total direct economic losses surpass $56 billion. The State of Missouri also incurs substantial damage and loss, though estimates are less than those in Tennessee. Well over 80,000 buildings are damaged leaving more than 120,000 people displaced and causing over 15,000 casualties. Total direct economic losses in Missouri reach nearly $40 billion. Kentucky and Illinois also incur significant losses with total direct economic losses reaching approximately $45 and $35 billion, respectively. The State of Arkansas incurs nearly $19 billion in direct economic loss while the State of Mississippi incurs $9.5 billion in direct economic losses. States such as Indiana and Alabama experience limited damage and loss from NMSZ events with approximately $1.5 and $1.0 billion, respectively. Noting that experience confirms that the indirect economic loss due to business interpretation and loss of market share, amongst other features, is at least as high if not much higher than the direct economic losses, the total economic impact of a series of NMSZ earthquakes is likely to constitute by far the highest economic loss due to a natural disaster in the USA. The contents of this report provide the various assumptions used to arrive at the impact estimates, detailed background to the above figures, and a breakdown of the figures per sector at the county and state levels. The main body of the report gives state-level impact assessments, whilst the Appendices give earthquake impact modeling results at the county level. The results are designed to provide emergency managers and agencies with information required to establish response plans based on likely impacts of plausible earthquakes in the central USA.
Issue Date: 2008-09-03
Series/Report: MAE Center Report 08-02
Genre: Technical Report
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/8971
Publication Status: unpublished
Peer Reviewed: not peer reviewed
Sponsor: Army W9132T-06-02
Date Available in IDEALS: 2008-09-03
 

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