GLOBAL BLUEPRINTS FOR CHANGE
First Edition--Prepared in conjunction with the International Workshop on Disaster
Reduction convened on August 19-22, 2001
The Global Blueprints for Change contain guidance for working together to improve the capability to identify indicators of physical, social, enterprise, and environmental vulnerabilitiesthroughout the world and to select and implement realistic solutions to reduce them towardsacceptable levels.
Theme C: LEARNING FROM NATURAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL DISASTERS
Topic C.8: Improving Public-Private Partnerships
"A Race With Time in the Mediterranean Region”
This contribution was created by Walter Hays
Global Institute for Energy and Environmental Systems
With support from colleagues working in the RELEMR program
DISCLAINER: This manuscript was prepared as a contribution to the first edition of theGlobal Blueprints for Change and for use in conjunction with the International Workshop on
Disaster Reduction convened on 19-22 August 2001 in Reston, VA. The manuscript is a "work in progress" and has not been edited for policy and for conformity with the other Blueprints
A RACE WITH TIME IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION
Walter W. Hays1 and Frederic O. Simon2
1 A RELEMR principal with the US Geological Survey until July 21, 1999; now with the Global Institute for Energy and Environmental Systems, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, email@example.com
2 A RELEMR principal with USGS until July 2000, now a Consultant to UNESCO, firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: This is a Blueprint for Change containing strategies for winning the race against timein the Mediterranean region. The August 17, 1999 Kocalei, Turkey earthquake disasterdemonstrated the need for accelerating regional programs such as, “Reduction of Earthquake
Losses in the Eastern Mediterranean Region” (RELEMR), in order to win the race with time.
RELEMR has been sustained since 1993 under the coordination of the U.S. Geological Survey(USGS) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).Technical assistance has been provided by the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center(EMSC) and, since 1996, by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The goal ofRELEMR is to promote collaboration between all EMR countries, earth science organizations,seismic network operators, urban planners, engineers as they work together to improve thecapacity to create and enforce modern building codes based on modern ground shaking hazardmaps in the race with time to achieve sustainable development in a geographic regionfacingcertain future earthquake disasters. Initially, the program focused on the Eastern MediterraneanRegion (EMR) comprised of Turkey, Lebanon, Cyprus, Syria, Jordan, Israel, PalestinianAuthority, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, but it has been extended to include the Palestinian
Authority and now the entire Mediterranean region, involving France, Algeria, Tunisia,
Morocco, Italy, and Spain. Because of the geological setting and regional tectonics, the
Mediterranean region has been subjected to many damaging earthquakes, with great loss of lifeand property. In the EMR, earthquakes are associated mainly with the northward movement ofthe Arabian plate and its collision with the Eurasian plate; in the WMR, with the collision of theAfrican and Eurasian plate. The seismicity, geologic field studies, and post-earthquake studiesof past devastating earthquakes in the region all indicate the inevitability of the EMR and theWMR experiencing damaging earthquakes again. The occurrence of these earthquakes isinevitable, but earthquake disasters do not have to be
The Arabian plate is the dominant geological feature in the Eastern Mediterranean Region(EMR) (Figure 1). The 1,000 km-long Dead Sea transform fault system, a part of the complexwestern boundary of the Arabian plate, and the 1,000 km-long North Anatolian fault system, apart of the complex northern plate boundary, are two of the world’s most notable strike-slipfaults. Although not the only sources of earthquakes in the EMR, both features are principalsources of the earthquake activity. The western boundary of the Arabian plate is complex,encompassing zones of sea-floor spreading in the Red Sea, the Dead Sea transform, and a zoneof plate convergence in Turkey. The Dead Sea transform fault system exhibits left-lateral slip,with the east side moving northward relative to the west side. Total displacement is estimated atabout 107 km since Oligocene time, with an annual rate of about 0.5 cm over the last 7 to 10million years.
In the Western Mediterranean region (WMR), the earthquake activity is associated with theongoing collision in the vicinity of the Mediterranean Sea of the northward moving African plateand the southward moving Eurasian plate.
2. RECENT DAMAGING EARTHQUAKES IN THE REGION
Eight damaging earthquakes having epicenters in Turkey, offshore Cyprus, Egypt, and thecentral Gulf of Aqaba have occurred in the region since RELEMR was initiated in 1993.
Thetwo largest—the August 17, 1999 Kocalei earthquake and the November 22, 1995 Gulf of Aqabaearthquake—are reminders of how large and how devastating EMR earthquakes can be to peopleand regional development. The magnitude 7.8 Kocalei earthquake [ASCE, 1999] struck themost populous region of Turkey at 3:02 an m on August 17, 1999. Towns near the epicenter,such as Izmit, Yolova, Golcuk, Derince, Akarya, and other towns and cities along the IzmitKorfexi Bay in the Sea of Marmara, southeast of Istanbul, were hit hard. Strong ground shakinggenerated by the main shock and aftershock sequence, ground failure, and tsunami wave run updamaged or destroyed more than one hundred thousand homes and buildings in the region alongwith community infrastructure providing the essential services of supply, disposal,transportation, and communication. Current estimates indicate that the Kocalei earthquake is thefourteenth most destructive earthquake disaster this century. The costs of recoveryandreconstruction ate in the tens of billions. The magnitude 7.2 Gulf of Aqaba event caused damage
in nearby communities in Jordan, Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, and was felt for more than 700km from the epicenter. An aftershock sequence lasted for more than 1 year with numerousshocks exceeding Ms 5.0.
3. THE STRATEGIC PLAN IS BASED ON REGIONAL COLLLABORATION
The program, “Reduction of Earthquake Losses in the Eastern Mediterranean Region,”
(hereafter referenced as RELEMR) was created in October 1993 after a year of visits, planning,and dialogue between the United States Geological Survey (USGS), United Nations EducationalScientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and earth science organizations in Turkey,Lebanon, Cyprus, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, Since its formation in1993, USGS and UNESCO have coordinated the program which has the goal of promotingregional collaboration and providing specialized technical assistance to all EMR countries inorder to improve their regional cooperation (Figure 2) and capacity to cope with future potentialearthquake disasters. Technical assistance for RELEMR countries has been provided since 1993by the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) and, since 1996, by theLawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). RELEMR was expanded to include the
entire Mediterranean region in 1999, in some ways a rebirth of the
entire Mediterranean region in 1999, in some ways a rebirth of the SEISMED program [Hays,
van Essche, and Maranzana, 1991]. The goal of SEISMED was to reduce earthquake risk in theentire Mediterranean region.
4. THE IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
With technical and administrative assistance from USGS, UNESCO, EMSC, and LLNL, theregion’s scientists, planners, and engineers have focused on the implementation of sevenprogram elements since 1993. They are:
1. Geologic, geophysical, seismological, paleoseismology, and geotechnical studies supportedwithin each country to characterize the tectonic framework of the Arabian plate.
2. Seismic monitoring using seismicity networks and strong motion arrays established in eachcountry within the past two decades through funding provided before RELEMR by USAIDand the Arab Fund.
3. Hazard assessments to find answers to the questions: Where are future earthquakes likely tooccur? How big, are they likely to be? How severe will ground shaking and ground failurelikely be? and How often will earthquakes of various magnitudes likely occur?
4. Risk assessments to determine: What can happen? What are the odds of it happening” and"What are the likely consequences and losses when it does occur?"
5. Risk management (i.e., mitigation, preparedness, emergency response, and recovery andreconstruction measures and regulations) to reduce unacceptable risk.
6. Hazard awareness campaigns to inform all sectors of the public of the potential threat andways to cope.
7. Education and training to increase professional capacity.
The Palestinian Authority, which had participating informally since 1994, was officially added toRELEMR following the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel and the peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and the State of Israel. The peace process created new opportunities for
social and economic development of the region to begin in a very significant way. Planning for new development caused EMR policy makers to recognize the importance of seismic monitoring (Figure 3) and risk assessments (Figure 4). The Jordan valley, which constitutes a major part of the Dead Sea transform, is one of the most seismically active region in the Middle East, having a documented history of four thousands years of damaging earthquakes
5. JOINT SEISMIC OBSERVING PERIOD
The seismic network operators of the EMR recognized the value of sharing the informationrecorded on each country’s seismic network and agreed to initiate a Joint Seismic ObservingPeriod in 1994 to develop experience and processes on the best ways to share. The EMSC andthe USGS’s National Earthquake Information Center provided technical assistance. Through thisprocess, which ultimately was adopted as an ongoing activity of RELEMR, each country hadreliable and ready access to all the earthquake data recorded throughout the EMR.Because theGulf of Aqaba event occurred during the second Joint Seismic Observing Period (JSOP-II) and
earthquakes was greatly enhanced. In October 1997, a workshop was hosted by the CyprusGeological Survey Department to locate this event and approximately ten of the largestaftershocks that were recorded on the EMR network. This activity marked the first time all ofthe seismic network operators had joined together to analyze EMR data together. The technicalassistance of EMSC and LLNL greatly facilitated this endeavor, which resulted in a preciselocation of the main shock that was impossible to attain by any seismic network operatorworking alone.
A risk assessment provides policy makers with answers to the following kinds of questions:What are the likely consequences (i.e., losses) when an earthquake does occur? and what are thepolicy implications in terms of benefits and costs?
6. PROFESSIONAL SKILL ENHANCEMENT
Professional skill enhancement has been a primary goal of RELEMR since the formative
meeting of RELEMR in Cairo in 1993. A number of activities to improve skills needed to carryout projects directly related to the 7-point program of RELEMR (see section 2), have beenorganized and implemented. They include: 1) preparation and dissemination of “A “Reader onthe EMR” containing about twenty basic publications that are directly related to the 7-poimtprogram of RELEMR, 2) a workshop on aspects of earthquake engineering convened byKandelli Observatory in Istanbul, 3) a workshop on post-earthquake studies, convened inNicosiaCyprus, 4) training on paleoseismology for Egyptian scientists by USGS in Egypt, 5) a workshopon use of the computer to locate earthquakes convened in Nicosia, Cyprus, 6) training onemergency response for Saudi Arabian professionals in Jeddah and Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, and 7)a workshop on probabilistic ground shaking hazard maps and their applications in building codes
convened in Nicosia, Cyprus.
In addition, several other activities having benefit for EMR and WMR professionals were
organized. They include: 1) a workshop on seismic zonation; a policy tool for linking
earthquake risk assessment with earthquake risk management [Hays, et. al, 1998] convened inBarcelona, Spain, 2) a forum on RELEMR convened in Thessoloniki, Greece in conjunction withIASPEI 97, 3) a workshop on seismic zonation of Grand Tunis, convened in Tunis, Tunisia, and4) a program review for potential donors convened in Paris by UNESCO and USGS.
7. RISK ASSESMENT (MAPS) AND RISK MANAGEMENT(CODES AND LAND USE)
Since 1993, all activities of RELEMR have been focused on developing two urgently neededtechnical products for the benefit of the entire EMR—probabilistic ground shaking hazard mapsand a modern building code having seismic design provisions based on the maps. At present,neither modern probabilistic ground shaking hazard maps nor modern building codes havingseismic design provisions are being implemented in an integrated manner in individual countriesor the region. The occurrence of strong earthquakes along the North Anatolian fault and theDead Sea transform fault system represents a major threat to the safety, social integrity andeconomic fabric for the peoples of the Middle East. Future earthquakes in the EMR are expectedto impact people, property, and infrastructure without regard to political boundaries, season of the year, time of day, social status, and state-of-preparedness in the stricken country. The problem is exacerbated over time because of the increasing vulnerability of community
development and the expansion of new community development into new geographic
areas thatare susceptible to ground shaking, ground failure, surface faulting, regional tectonic deformation,tsunamis flood wave run up, and the aftershock sequence.
Economic losses and the numbers of deaths, injuries, homeless, jobless, and displaced peoplescould be unacceptably high, as they have been in some of the historic earthquakes in pastcenturies. The only remedy is to reduce community vulnerability through improved publicpolicies and professional practices planning, siting, design quality control, and construction. Toreduce the existing vulnerability and the potential losses, scientists, engineers, and planners ineach country must work with policy makers to integrate knowledge and experience on thehazard, built, and policy environments (Figure 5). Vulnerability reduction is urgent because thepotential for the occurrence of another catastrophe, like the Kocalei earthquake, affecting eachEMR country is increasing with time.Cooperative efforts underway since the beginning of RELEMR to construct a probabilisticground shaking hazard map of the EMR are succeeding. The first step was completed in 1999.
Both the EMR and the WMR contributed to the ground shaking hazard map of the world
compiled by the Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program (GSHAP). State-of-the-art
earthquake hazard assessment no longer refers to single parameters such as the horizontal peakground acceleration (PGA) as a quantifier of the hazard. The modern construction engineerrequires information about the expected accelerations at frequencies similar to the naturalfrequencies of the building under design. In order to provide this information, we have to know(even at the most simplified level) the attenuation laws of ground motions at different frequencybands. These attenuation laws should preferably be obtained experimentally. However, empiricalattenuation functions can only be developed in regions that are well instrumented and areexposed to frequent occurrence of relatively strong earthquakes. The seismicity of the MiddleEast is relatively low and in great parts of the region there are no strong motion instruments.Consequently, the development of region-specific empirical attenuation functions is impractical,and alternative methods are necessary.Cooperative projects are being planned to develop an EMR-wide building code having aseismicdesign provisions based on the EMR probabilistic hazard maps now being developed. Thestarting point will be Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority. Relevant governmentalinstitutions in Israel and in Jordan are already in the process of preparing and/or updating theirbuilding codes. The Palestinian Authority will coordinate its regulations with those of Jordan andIsrael. An EMR-wide building code does not exist and is urgently needed to stabilize theimpending economic development in the region. Seismic design provisions of building coderequirements are based on geological and seismological studies to quantify the spatiallydistributed seismic hazard parameters concerning location, maximum magnitude, frequency, and
probability of occurrence. However, a building code has more than technical elements; it alsoencompasses social, administrative, political, legal, and economic considerations in eachcountry.
The fact is, “ Earthquakes do not kill people – buildings that are not designed and
constructed to be earthquake resistant do! ”
The government has a moral imperative to protect the people by providing safe buildings.
Proper planning of community development (i.e., land use), a critically important risk
management strategy, is also important for ensuring stability of future development in the EMRand is much easier to enforce if probabilistic hazard maps and aseismic building codes areavailable. This means that each country will soon be able to pay close attention to the wayshouses, commercial buildings, schools, and hospitals to form communities and integrated withinfrastructure providing the essential services of supply, disposal, transportation, andcommunication are sited, designed, quality controlled, and constructed.
7. THE CONTINUING RACE WITH TIME
It is urgent that EMR and WMR professionals and policy makers join forces in a concerted,ongoing, collaborative way to update and quantify the regional earthquake threat that all EMRpeoples face. It is clear that the EMR and WMR are in a race with time. That is the reason formarshaling the region’s resources and focusing on sharing regional network data, to quantifyingthe seismic hazard, and preparation of probabilistic ground shaking maps and aseismic buildingcodes.No country in the EMR and WMR can solve the issues posed by the earthquake threat alone.
The ONLY way to address the problem of earthquake hazard assessment is through genuinecollaboration. By collaboration we mean: a) joint validation and verification of existing data,linkage of monitoring systems, agreeable definitions of seismological parameters, b) unificationof evaluation procedures, and c) joint interpretation of the data and information. These tasksrequire collaboration on all working levels; from technical fieldwork, through routine dataanalysis to high-level seismological modeling and statistical analysis. It should be emphasizedthat even the most elementary seismological information such as the location of an earthquake,can not be determined accurately enough by any single institution’s seismic network to justifyworking alone. Long-term, sustained collaboration with other institutions in the region isessential for realizing the benefits that sustainable development would provide for the EMR andthe WMR.It should be mentioned that one of the first cooperative acts after the signing of the peace treatybetween Jordan and Israel was the linking of the national seismic networks.
The wisdom of this action is clear; the most heavily populated areas of Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authorityare in close proximity to the Dead Sea transform.Today, there is on-going cooperation between the seismologists, planners, and engineers of theregion, either as be-lateral (e.g., Jordan - Israel), or multi-lateral agreements (e.g., through RELEMR). They are working together to find practical answers to the question, “What makes a community in the EMR vulnerable to earthquakes?”
The answer is that many factors combine to make a community vulnerable to the physical effectsof earthquakes. They range from the ways engineered and non engineeredbuildings
infrastructure performing the essential functions of supply, disposal, transportation, and
communication are combined to form the community to the temporal and spatial characteristicsof the earthquake hazards. To the extent possible, all must be identified and incorporated in amodel of the community’s hazard and built environment when assessing the overall urbanvulnerability and risk (see Figure 4). A community’s vulnerability to the earthquake hazards ofground shaking, ground failure, surface fault rupture, regional tectonic deformation, tsunamis,and aftershocks is the result of either no public policy, or flaws in public policies related to: a)planning, b) siting, c) design, d) construction, e) quality control, and use of individual elements
of the built environment (i.e., single family dwellings, commercial buildings, schools, hospitals,government buildings, highway structures, bridges, underground pipelines, dams, power plants,airports, ports, railways).
Comprehensive studies following damaging earthquakes including the August 17, 1999 Kocaleiearthquake have isolated the principal factors that increase the vulnerability of a community.They include:
1. Older, non-engineered residential and commercial buildings typically constructed of unreinforcedmasonry or other construction materials having little or no resistance to the lateralforces of ground shaking.
2. Older infrastructure constructed at one time to conform with an existing seismic code orstandard that is now considered to be outdated and inadequate as a result of changes in thestate-of-the art or state-of-practice.
3. Non-engineered residential and commercial buildings that are vulnerable to fire following anearthquake.
4. New buildings and /or infrastructure that have been sited, designed, and constructed withoutadequate consideration of the proximity to the fault.
5. Communities sited at the water’s edge or in low-lying or coastal areas that are susceptible totsunami flood wave run up.
6. Buildings or lifeline systems sited on or encased within poor soil that either enhances groundshaking or fails through permanent displacements (e.g. liquefaction, lateral spreading, falls,topples, slides, and flows of soil and rock).
7. Buildings having irregularities in plan and elevation and vertical and/or horizontal
discontinuities in mass, strength, and stiffness.
8. Schools and hospitals—a community’s “safe haven” facilities--that have been designed andconstructed with materials having low resistance to lateral forces and with irregularities inplan and elevation and vertical and horizontal discontinuities in mass, strength, and stiffness.
9. Communities having their communication facilities and disaster response control centerconcentrated in the most hazardous areas instead of being widely distributed geographicallyto spread the risk.
10. Bridges and viaducts with high public use having outdated designs.
11. Underground utilities for electricity, gas, water, and sewage that fail due to liquefaction.Although mitigation (e.g., building codes and land use regulations) has been recognized duringthe past decade as the key to becoming an earthquake resistant community, all nationsthroughout the world have been slow in investing in modern building codes, code enforcement,
and land use regulations. The economic cost of not adopting and implementing earthquakemitigation measures and regulations has been high--on the average of $4 billion/year now in theUnited States, and in the order of at least $20 billion/year throughout the world. In the pastdecade, policy makers have learned repeatedly from each earthquake disaster that a community’slong-term investment in mitigation is the only way to prevent earthquake disasters and becomeearthquake resistant. Earthquake disasters (e.g., Kobe, Japan in 1995, Northridge and LomaPrieta, California in 1994 and 1989; Spitak, Armenia in 1988, Mexico in 1985, and Campania-Basilicata, Italy in 1980) have continued to produce the “expected” along with the “unexpected”
(i.e., “surprises”). Because each disaster is now being used as a “laboratory,” we have
significantly increased our level of understanding of earthquakes and their consequences and ourcapability to implement realistic, cost-effective mitigation measures and regulations.However,along with these advances, has come a sobering new awareness of the increasing vulnerabilityand unacceptable risk of every community’s built environment (i.e., buildings and infrastructure)over time, as understanding increases and building codes and standards for lifeline systems are improved.Community policy makers worldwide have also learned during the past decade that they need amix of public policies to justify investments in risk management and to optimize or balance the
community’s benefit/cost. They need to invest in mitigation, while continuing to plan for theinevitable earthquake. This means that EMR policy makers in every country should consider allthe mitigation options at their disposal and start adopting and enforcing public policies to:
1) Stop siting, designing, and constructing new buildings and lifelines systems that do not
comply with current building regulations, lifeline guidelines and standards, and land –use
2) Stop siting buildings and lifeline systems in close proximity to the causative fault,
3) Stop siting buildings and lifelines on poor soils that either enhance ground shaking or failthrough permanent displacements (e.g., liquefaction, lateral spreading, and landslides),
4) Stop siting buildings and lifelines in low lying or coastal areas susceptible to tsunamis,
5) Stop designing and constructing modern buildings having irregularities and asymmetry indesign and poor quality of construction,
6) Stop building any structure with inadequate earthquake resistance.
This Blueprint for Change is dedicated to all who suffered losses in the August 17, 1999 Kocaleiearthquake disaster. We also dedicate the activities being implemented under the auspices ofRELEMR by earth science organizations, network operators, urban planners, engineers, andpolicy makers in the EMR and WMR to them. Many colleagues are now working together in arace with time. Their goal is to: 1) promote sustainable development as a public value in everycountry [Tudor Rose Holdings, Ltd., 1999], 2) make the entire Mediterranean region resilient tofuture earthquakes, and 3) take actions that will keep earthquake disasters like that in the Kocaleiearthquake from happening again.
American Society of Civil Engineers, 1999, Civil Engineering, v. 24, no. 10.
Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Programme, 1999, A World Seismic Hazard Map,
International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction Program Forum, Geneva, July 5-9, 1999.
Hays, W., W., L. van Essche, and F. Maranzana, 1991, SEISMED and the IDNDR:
Opportunities to Reduce the Risk from Earthquakes and Other Natural Hazards: in Episodes, v.14, no. 1., pp. 13-18.
Hays, W. W., B. Mohammadious, and J. Mohammadioun, 1998, Seismic Zonation: A
Framework for Linking Earthquake Risk Assessment with Earthquake Risk Management, Amonograph, Ouest Editions, Nantes, France, 147 p. 1999.
Tudor Rose Holdings Ltd., 1999, Natural Disaster Management, England, 320 p.
United States Geological Survey, 1993, A Program to Reduce Earthquake Losses in the EasternMediterranean Region (RELEMR), Administrative Report, Reston, VA, 87 p.
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