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A first approach to earthquake damage estimation in Haiti: advices to minimize the seismic risk



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Torres, Y. and Molina Sergio, Sergio and Martínez Cuevas, Sandra and Navarro, M. and Martıínez Díaz, José Jesús and Benito, B. and Galiana Merino, Juan José and Belizaire, D. (2016) A first approach to earthquake damage estimation in Haiti: advices to minimize the seismic risk. Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, 14 (1). pp. 39-58. ISSN 1573-1456 ; Print Issn 1570-761X

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Official URL: https://link.springer.com/journal/10518/14/1



This study is in the frame of the cooperative line that several Spanish Universities and other foreign partners started with the Haitian government in 2010. According to our studies (Benito et al. in An evaluation of seismic hazard in La Hispaniola, after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, 33rd General Assembly of the European Seismological Commission, Moscow, Russia, 2012) and recent scientific literature, the earthquake hazard in Haiti remains high (Calais et al. in Nat Geosci 3:794–799, 2010). In view of this, we wonder whether the country is currently ready to face another earthquake. In this sense, we estimated several damage scenarios in Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien associated to realistic possible major earthquakes. Our findings show that almost 50 % of the building stock of both cities would result uninhabitable due to structural damage. Around 80 % of the buildings in both cities have reinforced concrete structure with concrete block infill; however, the presence of masonry buildings becomes significant (between 25 and 45 % of the reinforced concrete buildings) in rural areas and informal settlements on the outskirts, where the estimated damage is higher. The influence of the soil effect on the damage spatial distribution is evident in both cities. We have found that the percentage of uninhabitable buildings in soft soil areas may be double the percentage obtained in nearby districts located in hard soil. These results reveal that a new seismic catastrophe of similar or even greater consequences than the 2010 Haiti earthquake might happen if the earthquake resilience is not improved in the country. Nowadays, the design of prevention actions and mitigation policies is the best instrument the society has to face seismic risk. In this sense, the results of this research might contribute to define measures oriented to earthquake risk reduction in Haiti, which should be a real priority for national and international institutions.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Seismic risk; Earthquake damage; Vulnerability; Resilience; Haiti
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Seismology
ID Code:59145
Deposited On:14 Feb 2020 18:59
Last Modified:14 Feb 2020 18:59

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