Publications

Made in Bhutan: The Earthquake Desk

Industrial designer Ido Bruno's journal of training a team of carpenters and welders in Bhutan to produce Earthquake Desks, designed to protect schoolchildren from heavy earthquake debris.

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Made in Bhutan: The Earthquake Desk

Understanding GEM’s Potential Beneficiaries

A study of earthquake risk reduction activities, needs, and barriers, to help guide Global Earth future tool and resource development for users who are not risk assessment experts.

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Understanding GEM's potential beneficiaries


Lessons for Central Asia

International technical experts and regional policymakers together developed strategies for urban earthquake risk management in the Central Asian Republics: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.

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A lesson for Central Asia

Kathmandu Valley Earthquake Risk Management Action Plan

GeoHazards International convened more than eighty government and non-government institutions to develop an earthquake mitigation Action Plan, which was released and endorsed by the Prime Minister of Nepal in 1999.

RADIUS Project of Antofagasta, Chile

A scenario of a hypothetical but likely earthquake, based on a probabilistic seismic risk, shows vulnerabilities that put people in danger and the likely damage to buildings and infrastructure. Includes an Action Plan to reduce these risks.

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Antofagasta RADIUS Project


RADIUS Case Study Tijuana, Mexico

A scenario of a hypothetical but likely earthquake, based on a probabilistic seismic risk, shows vulnerabilities that put people in danger and the likely damage to buildings and infrastructure. Includes an Action Plan to reduce these risks.

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Tijuana Radius Project 

RADIUS Case Study Guayaquil, Ecuador

A scenario of a hypothetical but likely earthquake, based on a probabilistic seismic risk, shows vulnerabilities that put people in danger and the likely damage to buildings and infrastructure. Includes an Action Plan to reduce these risks.

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Radius Project of Guayaquil


Risk Assessment Tools for Diagnosis of Urban Areas against Seismic Disasters (RADIUS)

Earthquake damage scenarios and action plans in nine case-study cities: Latin America (Antofagasta, Guayaquil, Tijuana); Asia (Bandung, Tashkent, Zigong); Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe (Addis Ababa, lzmir and Skopje). Lessons could be applied to other earthquake-prone cities.

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Risk Assessment Tools for Diagnosis of Urban Areas against Seismic Disasters

Tsunami Preparedness Guidebook

A comprehensive guide for people (concerned citizens, government officials, staff at I/NGOs) who want to organize, educate, and lead local tsunami preparedness campaigns. Compiles earth science, social science and emergency planning information for non-technical people.

Global Earthquake Safety Initiative (GESI)

Technical information about likely lethality of earthquakes in 21 cities-- including vulnerable aspects of the built environment, schools and hospitals. The model alerts and helps the cities prioritize risk mitigation efforts, with special attention to strengthening school buildings.

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Global Earthquake Safety Initiative


Seismic Hazard and Building Vulnerability in Post-Soviet Central Asian Republics

A compilation of current seismic and engineering data on the seismic hazard of the capitals of the Central Asian republics available in the English language. It comes to the conclusion that the risk to residents of these cities is extremely high.

Uses of Earthquake Damage Scenarios

An earthquake damage scenario EDS describes the anticipated effects that a large but likely future earthquake could have on facilities that are critical to an urban area. By tracing the social and economic events likely to ensue, the EDS can raise awareness of earthquake risk among citizens, officials, and the private sector. It can also help administrators to select earthquake-hazard-reduction strategies and set funding priorities. Part I: Uses of EDS. Part II: EDS for Los Angeles and Tokyo. Part III: EDS for Disaster Management. Part IV: EDS for International Insurance Companies. Part V: EDS methods.

The Quito, Ecuador Earthquake Risk Management Project

Quito has experienced several strong intensity earthquakes over the last 250 years. Seismic risk has increased with population growth, poorly constructed buildings, and uncontrolled development. This report describes effects of future earthquakes and prioritizes risk management options.

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The Quito, Equador, Earthquake Risk Mangement Project


Kathmandu Valley’s Earthquake Scenario

This report describes possible impacts of a potential earthquake to impact Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. The description is intended for use in planning and preparedness exercises and in raising awareness of Kathmandu Valley’s earthquake risk.

A Culture at Risk: An Initial Assessment of Seismic Vulnerabilities in Upper Dharamsala, India

Earthquake vulnerabilities endanger the Tibetan community’s efforts to preserve its cultural heritage in Dharamsala. Recommended improvements to protect the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA) and other structures.

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An Initial Assessment of Seismic Vulnerabilities in Upper Dharamsala, India

Home Coming: A story about how a strong earthquake affects a family with "left-behind" children in Weinan, Shaanxi Province, China.

Follows a family impacted by a major earthquake in central China, where the deadliest recorded earthquake occurred in 1556. Two versions: 1) graphic novel format for non-technical readers, including rural families and youth, 2) more technical, for public officials and decision makers.

Towards a Safer Bajhang: A Magnitude 7.8 Earthquake Scenario and Steps to Build Disaster Resilience

Details how a plausible disaster would impact the district and how to improve resilience. A storyline follows local characters and includes practical lessons to prepare. Appendices contain detailed technical findings of use to local decision makers as they manage safe growth and plan disaster response.

Towards a Safer Rukum (West): A Magnitude 7.8 Earthquake Scenario and Steps to Build Disaster Resilience

Details how a plausible disaster would impact the district and how to improve resilience. A storyline follows local characters and includes practical lessons to prepare. Appendices contain detailed technical findings of use to local decision makers as they manage safe growth and plan disaster response.

Towards a Safer Dadeldhura: A Magnitude 7.8 Earthquake Scenario and Steps to Build Disaster Resilience

Details how a plausible disaster would impact the district and how to improve resilience. A storyline follows local characters and includes practical lessons to prepare. Appendices contain detailed technical findings of use to local decision makers as they manage safe growth and plan disaster response.

Documentation of Traditional Housing Typologies in India in High Seismic Areas

2009-2010 - GeoHazards Society, with Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IITH), studied whether the traditional housing typologies used by the community in high seismic prone areas are strong enough to resist the anticipated intensity of earthquakes in the region.

Seismic Safety for Adobe Homes: What Everyone Should Know

Adobe is brittle and weak and vulnerable to earthquake damage. Techniques described are intended to 1) reduce damage to adobe homes in small and medium earthquakes, and 2) help reduce collapse of adobe homes in earthquakes. They MAY NOT PREVENT COLLAPSE in a strong earthquake.

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Seismic Safety for Adobe Homes


Background Papers and Supplementary Technical Information: Guidance on Developing Messages for Protective Actions to Take During Earthquake Shaking

1. Epidemiology of Deaths and Earthquake Injuries, 2. Protective Action in Immediate Fuse Events: a Literature Review, 3. Designing Risk Communication Programs to Promote Adaptive Human Behavior During Earthquakes and Tsunamis, 4. On the Nature of Strong Ground Motions during Damaging Earthquakes, 5. Understanding and Mitigating Building Collapses​, 6. Public perceptions of protective action, survey in three countries, 7. Summary of discussions with an international group of disaster messaging professionals

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Background Papers and Supplementary Technical Information

Protective Actions Implementation Workbook

This workbook can be used to implement a messaging program about what to do during earthquake shaking given the local risk, building types, and other factors.

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Protective Actions: Implementation Workbook

Guidance on Developing Messages for Protective Actions to Take During Earthquake Shaking

What people should do during earthquake shaking, to protect themselves from injury or death? It depends. Evidence-based guidance describes a process and key considerations for creating effective messages for different contexts.

Preparing Your Community for Tsunamis

Guides non-experts so that they can educate their communities and prepare for tsunamis, particularly in underserved communities around the world. Compiles the best available earth science, social science, and emergency preparedness information.

Field Manual: Post-Earthquake Safety Assessment for Buildings, ATC-20-1 Bhutan

Royal Government of Bhutan, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, The World Bank; Applied Technology Council Endowment Fund. A detailed reference for engineers to use after an earthquake occurs, when they must evaluate thousands of buildings and determine whether these are safe to occupy. Features damages common to masonry and rammed-earth building types in Bhutan.

Conceptual Seismic Design Guidance for New Framed Infill Buildings

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute Endowment Fund, Thornton Tomasetti Foundation. Shows how to design and construct new concrete frame buildings with masonry infill to be earthquake resistant. Around the globe, this common building type has been lethal during earthquakes. Intended for engineers and designers.

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Conceptual Seismic Design Guidance for New Reinforced Concrete Framed Infill Buildings


Keeping Schools Safe in Earthquakes

A process for nations to develop an effective school earthquake safety program, prepared for Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Investing in Quito’s Future

A description of the Quito, Ecuador school earthquake safety project, which prioritized high risk school buildings and presented solutions to strengthen them.

School Earthquake and Tsunami Safety in Asia-Pacific Economies:
Reducing Risk and Improving Preparedness

A policy framework and ways to keep students out of harm’s way who live in earthquake, tsunami, and volcano zones in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries.

Identifying Earthquake-Vulnerable Schools and Setting Priorities to Make Them Safe

School Earthquake Safety and Preparedness – Course Materials developed for India

Non-structural Risk Reduction Handbook for Schools

This guide explains how to prepare schools before an earthquake, to avoid significant injuries or blocked exits that result when unsecured objects fall during shaking.

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Non Structural Risk Reduction Handbook for Schools


Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital Assessment Report, Nepal

A seismic assessment of Kathmandu’s specialty centre providing essential care for women and newborn babies. A tertiary central hospital popularly known as Prasuti Griha, its disaster preparedness is a high priority.

Kanti Children’s Hospital Assessment Report, NEPAL

A seismic assessment of the only tertiary referral hospital for children in the Kathmandu Valley, and its disaster preparedness is a high priority. Almost half of patients travel from far and remote areas outside the Valley to access care.

Bir Hospital Assessment Report, Nepal

A seismic assessment of Bir Hospital, a tertiary referral and teaching hospital run by the National Academy of Medical Sciences. Bir's disaster preparedness is a high priority because it offers numerous medical specialties, serves as a center for disaster response, and provides care for Kathmandu’s poor and a large number of people.

Seismic Vulnerability Assessment of Trashiyangtse Hospital, Bhutan

Recommendations to reduce vulnerability at the sole hospital in a remote district. Earthquake-triggered landslides that will block access, so the hospital must prepare to provide essential care in isolation.

Seismic Vulnerability Assessment of Trashigang Hospital, Bhutan

Recommendations to improve preparedness at Bhutan’s main district hospital, facing high earthquake hazard and geographic isolation that will affect relief and resupply.

Seismic Vulnerability Assessment, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH), Bhutan

The assessment report is considered a best practice report in the hospital seismic safety sector, and it informed extensive preparedness and planning in this hospital.

Reducing Earthquake Risks in Hospitals from Equipment, Contents, Architectural Elements and Building Utility Systems

Shows how to equip hospitals to function in a disaster: plan for backup utilities, find and mitigate vulnerabilities in the buildings, and secure objects that could topple and cause injuries in an earthquake. Intended for hospital administrators, engineers, and maintenance staff. 

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